Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois. Basel's leading rendezvous for the rich and famous ever since three 11th-century kings (Conrad II, Henry III, and Rudolf III) once convened here, the Trois Rois has long been an integral part of Basel history. Once a small inn on the banks of the Rhine, it was given a regal makeover in 1842. Today, the furnishings have retained their 19th-century grandeur, with ravishing shades of cream, gilt, and powder blue; ornate woodwork and impressive
tapestries nudge the opulence factor ever higher. Riverside rooms command higher rates, but you can be sure the Rolling Stones and opera star Montserrat Caballé splurged on them. There is a feast here for the stomach as well as the eyes: the formal Cheval Blanc, under chef Peter Knogl, serves up French cuisine classique on the broad, awning-shaded Rhine terrace (heated into late fall). The Brasserie proffers a stunning glass wall overlooking the river, and the Salon du Cigare puts a high-tech spin on an old-world lounge. The hotel remains surprisingly intimate and understated in the best Swiss way.