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LadyInRed Jun 19th, 2016 06:53 PM

Honeymoon hotel in Montreux/Vevey
We will be spending 2.5 days/3 nights in the Montreux/Vevey area for our honeymoon during the last weekdays of September. We have narrowed down our hotels to these two, which are about the same price and within our budget:

- Hotel de Trois Coursonnes in Vevey - city view room. This is their most basic room since lakeview is not in our budget unfortunately, and they do sometimes upgrade but we don't want to plan on that.

- Eurotel Montreux - classic or superior (larger room). These are their basic and one-step higher rooms. They also sometimes upgrade, but all rooms have lake views with balconies.

Montreux vs. Vevey would factor into our decision here, if one would be better for our honeymoon or better located for our activities. During our trip, we plan to spend time wandering the lake area by our hotel, walking the promenade in Montreux to Chillon Castle, seeing the Vevey market, taking a half-day trip to Yvoire, and spending the rest of the time at the vineyards. We will fly out of Geneva airport after.

It seems that the decision may be a nicer room with view in a 4-star hotel (Eurotel) vs. a less nice room in a 5-star hotel (Hotel de Trois Coursonnes). Other factors would be if the outdoor restaurants/ terraces would be closed by end of September, and if a hotel was on an especially noisy or busy street. Has anyone stayed in these hotels or knows the locations and can provide input on which would be better for a honeymoon?

Thank you!

swandav2000 Jun 19th, 2016 08:57 PM

Hi LadyinRed,

Oh gosh, what a dilemma! I'm afraid I wouldn't go with either of your choices, unfortunately.

I just would insist on a lake view room; if I'm staying at a lake, I want to see it from the moment I wake up until I get to bed at night.

And the Eurotel is notorious in Montreux. It is the only high-rise in town, and folks hate it as a blight on the lakeshore . . . It is called the White Tower, and not fondly.

I wonder if you've considered other hotels in the area? Would you consider these?

Au Fil de l'Eau -- right on the lake, an upscale B&B type hotel well known for their restaurant.

4-star Hotel Victoria -- above Montreux in Glion, a member of the Relais and Chateaux group, stunning views across the lake and to France

4-star Hotel Golf Rene Capt -- right on the lake in a quiet position not far from Chillon castle.

3-star Hostellerie Bon Rivage -- right on the lake in a quiet spot in La Tour-de-Peilz outside Vevey. May not be as luxurious as you want, but the location can't be beat.

4-star Hotel Eden Palace au Lac -- right on the lake smack in the center of town. I suspect you looked, and they were sold out?

Anyway, hope you find a great spot.


joannyc Jun 19th, 2016 10:04 PM

I very much liked the Suisse Majestic in Montreux. Have not stayed at the hotels you mention.

LadyInRed Jun 26th, 2016 10:40 AM

Thank you both! Swandav, I will look into all those options - thanks so much!

cdc Jun 27th, 2016 02:45 AM

In terms of Vevey vs. Montreux, I think you are fine in either town. They are not far from each other. Most hotels provide a transit pass that works on buses and trains along the Swiss Riviera - so basically from Montreaux to Lausane. You could even walk from Vevey to Montreux, but there is a piece that does not have a promenade, so you have to go up to the road and it is not as pretty.
The area by the lake is flat, so you can also rent bikes and bike around the towns. I find Montreux quite hilly - so if you are not right on the lake road it is a steep climb if that factors into your decision. Both have main train stations. The Bon Rivage is close to the La Tour de Peilz train station, but La Tour is more of a Swiss town, not a tourist stop, so the trains don't stop at that station as often. There is however a frequent bus along the lake road connecting all of the towns along the lake.
Chillon is very pretty but I would recommend Gruyere. It is a castle and the preserved walled city. There is a chocolate facotry and cheese factory that do tours if you are into that sort of thing. Nearby Gruyere is a place called Moleson - which has a spectacular funicurlar to a cable car up to the top - OR - you could hike all or part of it up/down.
I am not sure when Des Alpes occurs, but if it is happening at the end of September it is a MUST SEE in my opinion. Every summer the farmers take their cows up the mountain to graze and every September/ October, the cows are marched down the mountain - and they do it in a spectacular fashion. The cows are dressed up in flowers and with fancy large bells, the farmers wear traditional clothing - people line the streets and pass drinks to the herders. The local towns have festivals with music, food and wine. I know there is one near Gruyere in october, but there may be one closer to vevey in St. Legier in September.
To go to Yvorie, I would recomend taking the train to Nyon (or maybe Lausane) and then taking the boat across. You may be able to take the boat from Montreaux of Vevey, but that is a long boat ride.
If you like Queen, I have heard there is an interesting, yet small, museum honoring Freddie Mercury and Queen in the casino in Montreux. I have not been but heard it was worth the trip.
If you enjoy wine and wine tasting, you should look into Lavaux and the wine train. There are a few options. There area also hikes/walks you can do through the vineyards, from one to the next. The ones I know of tend to be above Cully, so about fifteen/ twenty minutes to the west/ north west of Vevey.
As for your hotels, I think Lac Leman is quite pretty, but I don't know if I would pay extra to have my window open up to the lake. The hotels you suggested are lake front, so you walk out the door and you are there. Both Vevey and Montreaux have expansive public promenades, so you will have full access to the lake. I think Trois Croines is looked at as the nicest hotel in Vevey. Hotel Du Lac would be second. I have only stayed at the Hotel du Lac when my husband came here for work. Both are on one of the two main streets in Vevey and in the 'old city'. The main part of Vevey and Montreaux are both really small and quaint. Vevey is pretty sleepy (and La Tour de Peilz even more so) - I don't think you will have a problem with noise.
I have heard that AirBnB has become more popular in Vevey as hotels are quite expensive. That might be another option as there are many lake front residential properites in Vevey (and La Tour de Peilz).
Happy travels!

NorCal_Jo Jun 29th, 2016 10:51 AM

We've stayed at the Hotel de Trois Couronnes in Vevey but have not stayed at Eurotel (we stayed at the Fairmont in Montreux which was also beautiful but similar price to Trois Couronnes).

We loved Trois Couronnes but we did have a lake view and I agree with Swandav that getting a lake view, even if at a slightly less fancy hotel is worth strongly investigating. You can't go wrong with either Vevey or Montreux. If I had to choose for a honeymoon, I'd likely choose Vevey for more peaceful lakeside strolls.

LadyInRed Jun 30th, 2016 09:58 AM

Thanks everyone for your help. We have narrowed the options to the Au Fil de l'Eau B&B in Clarens (superior room and balcony with lake view - hopefully weather at that time of year would allow us to use it) or the 5-star Hotel de Trois Couronnes (standard room) in Vevey.

There are not many reviews about the B&B or Clarens. It seems Clarens is very quiet and the B&B is almost empty for those dates. Are there any restaurants in the area besides the B&B one or places to walk around in the evening close by? For anyone who has stayed there, how was the atmosphere and service of the B&B (it's been harder for us to gauge since our French is limited and they do not speak English)?

Are there any other pros/cons between Clarens and Vevey? I imagine their lakefronts are likely similar.

Thanks for the tip about desalpes too! There is one near Gruyere on Sept 24 and in mid-October but not all of the dates and locations have been announced yet. We will keep an eye out for announcements about new dates and locations.

suze Jun 30th, 2016 10:21 AM

I *love* Vevey best. Montreux is nice too but to me feels more "international" and less "Swiss" traditional. Sorry don't know Clarens but the B&B does look charming. But certainly there would be more "to do" when you step out of the hotel in Vevey right at your doorstep.

I understand and prices and not having a lake view would not be a deal-breaker for me (I can never afford one) -lol!

One of my favorite things to do is the morning street markets. In Vevey on Tuesday and Saturday and Montreux on Fridays. Definitely check those out. It's a great place to mix & mingle with locals (and eat great food).

swandav2000 Jun 30th, 2016 11:21 AM

Hi again,

Yes, I've stayed at the Au Fil de l'Eau -- or rather I stayed at that location when the hotel had other owners and another name.

Saying the hotel is in Clarens is a bit misleading. There are several communities that line the lake, but the average person doesn't realize that they are in different towns as they walk along. For instance, you walk from Clarens to Montreux to Vextaux to Territet all along the lake, and there is really an unbroken series of cafes, restaurants, and hotels all along the way. So, yes, there is a lot of life and many restaurants just 10 or 15 minutes' walk along the lake. The first one would be the thai restaurant Mai Thai, which would be about a 5-minute walk, and then there will be the lakeside cafe at the 5-star Hotel Royal Plaza (where I usually get my welcome-to-Montreux glass of champagne), about 11 minutes. They continue onward from there.

If you don't want to walk along the lake, you can just cross the main road (Rue du Lac), and there is a shopping center with grocery stores and restaurants right there.

The lakefronts are actually pretty different. As suze notes, Vevey has more of an air of a residential town to it, and the visitors you're likely to meet might be folks who are there for 3 months or longer. The lakefront is more old-Europe and sedate, planted with stately trees and of course the Chaplin statue.

Montreux is more of a resort, and it has that feel. The town's gardeners really decorate the lakefront with flowers and sometimes with fanciful sculptures (dragons or sea creatures or insects, etc) made out of branches and tree limbs. The promenade will be full of folks from all over the world -- you'll see the Swiss matron in her Chanel walking with her blue-punked-haired nephew or grandson; you'll see families from Australia and China and Japan and the USA; you'll see millionaire-magnates strolling with their thin-as-death girlfriends, glued to their cell phones; you'll see backpackers from Sweden and Germany; you'll see French models and Hollywood producers. To me, the lakeside promenade is the best part about Montreux. And instead of Chaplin, you get a statue of Freddie Mercury.

I can't imagine that the folks at the Au Fil don't speak English. Have you contacted them by email?

One thing was a problem for me when I stayed at the former hotel that is now the Au Fil -- its restaurant is very well known and very popular. If it's warm, you'll want to open the windows of your room, and the dining terrace will be somewhere just below you. I was kept awake until past midnight with the sounds of the diners -- murmuring conversation, clinking of silverware, clattering of plates.

Having said all that, I will repeat that having a view of the lake would be a deal-breaker for me. Again, if I'm not looking at the lake and the promenade, there's no reason for me to even be there.

Good luck!!


LadyInRed Jul 2nd, 2016 06:26 AM

Thank you all so much! Yes, I did contact Au Fil by email and the person who responded (whose title was listed as Directeur, Hotel Restaurant) said they did not speak English. Perhaps that was specific to the management/restaurant though rather than front desk. We had a couple follow-up emails in French with the help of google translate :) I will let you know what we decide!

swandav2000 Jul 2nd, 2016 07:18 AM

Oh dear. That does sound surprising to me. Under the old management, everyone spoke English to me & my mom.

Did you try the Golf Hotel or the Eden Palace au Lac? Both are 4 stars and right on the lake. Ok, they're not luxurious, but if they have rooms with views of the lake, it would be worth it to me.

Anyway, yes, please let us know what happens!


suec1 Jul 2nd, 2016 08:37 AM

Did you look at Hotel Masson on the outskirts of Montreux? I don't know what price point your other options are but we loved Hotel Masson. Restaurant hotel is good - the breakfasts have wonderful homemade jams, very convenient to Chilean and when we stayed the gave us cards to ride the local busses into Montreux for free. Very charming hotel - some rooms have lake views.

swandav2000 Jul 2nd, 2016 09:21 PM

Hi again,

I'm sorry to put up doubt on someone else's post & comments . . . but I truly don't think that the Masson is a special hotel, as you seem to be looking for for the honeymoon.

It's not lakeside at all, though some rooms do have lake views. It sits a few blocks inland and uphill from the lake in the suburb of Territet. The decor doesn't look very inviting from the photos, and a friend of mine wasn't happy with his stay there, at all. He said the decor was tired and the views were not wonderful and the food was not great.

I do have to add that it gets pretty good reviews at Trip Advisor -- it's #2 as a B&B. Yet I still don't think it's special enough for a honeymoon.

Every hotel or B&B will give you the Riviera Card, making all the local trains, busses, & funiculars free.


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