We had the pleasure of being invited out to the Lake Geneva region across the weekend for a FAM trip. It was a two location stay beginning with Lausanne and ending across the lake at Evian. Not only is it one of the most beautiful regions we have had the fortune to experience. We also were taken aback with the history and opportunities there are on offer.
A stay here offers so much for corporate and private groups looking to experience business and pleasure led events.
Where to Stay:
Beau Rivage Palace Hotel - Our first stay was here at the stunning renowned 5 Star historic hotel. A natural beauty spot just a stone’s throw away from the centre of Lausanne. With a nearby harbour, four hectare large garden and splendid terrace. It's no wonder it has boasted some of the world's most famous as well as an amazing event venue. The view onto Lake Geneva and the Alps cannot be understated.
Evian Resort: - Across the lake under the French Alps sits Evian. Most know for their world leading mineral water, it is a offers so much and is just 15 minutes away from skiing and less to play golf.
Our second night had us stay at the 5 Star Hotel Royal. What can we say...this place has everything! On site Michelin star restaurant, first class Spa, outdoor heated infinity pool overlooking the lake and a multitude of possibility with their event space. What impressed most though and something we look out for with 5 Star venues is the little added extras. You are made to feel welcome at every step, by every member of staff. They don't have to push on you they are 5 Star..they know it. But more importantly they want you to feel at ease with it to enjoy the experience even more.
So, yes this all comes at a cost. It's not a place to come on a budget. But if you have a slightly more adventurous budget, looking for a real reward incentive or treat for a special occasion. Then seriously consider this resort, you wont regret where that extra budget will go. If you still want to have the location and experience, you also have the Hotel Ermitage (4 Star +) set back from the Hotel Royal. Still luxury and boasting an amazing brunch..allowing you to still have the experience at a slightly less cost.
Swiss Wine - Little is known about Swiss wine outside of the country. In typically Swiss fashion their best exports are kept under lock and key, and so just two per cent of the country’s entire wine production gets shipped abroad despite it being home to viticultural treasures that would be the envy of most countries in the world. But thankfully wine tourism offers a way in, and we were fortunate enough to be shown around the Domaine Bovey vineyard which has been producing some of the finest Swiss wine since 1766.
Among the ten Wine capitals of the world Lausanne is the latest and perhaps lesser known destination. Last year the centre of the vineyards of the Swiss canton of Vaud was named as the newest member of the prestigious Great Wine Capitals Global Network, which comprises of ten major global cities in both the northern and southern hemisphere boasting internationally renowned wine regions.
This small region that packs a punch, with some 200 varieties of wine produced across 300 vineyards that sit within an jaw dropping (dare we say Instagram-able) backdrop. For those who are really into their wines, it needs to be on your list of places to experience.
Swiss Chocolate - The Swiss are often considered to be the European master of chocolate and hold chocolate making as a high art. Milk chocolate was founded in 1875 by the Swiss, followed closely by “melt in the mouth chocolate”. Cows produce a more dense less aerated milk due to the fact they are at altitude and the milk they produce is officially known as Alpine milk. This clearly plays a big part in the reason why Swiss chocolate is so famous.
We visited La Chocolatiere founded by Jean-Claude Currat, Master Chocolatier. Who has forged a reputation over 45 years through his rigorous work, his mastery of chocolate and his talent. The moment you walk through the boutique shop door, you are hit with a luxurious rich smell of chocolate that whets your appetite. The variety and combination of quality chocolate on offer here makes it a must visit for both lovers and even those with a slightly less sweet tooth.
We haven't even mentioned the cheese! (Sadly the schedule didn't allow for an actual specific cheese tasting). But from what we experienced with dining out across the trip, it would make for a fine addition to any event, incentive or visit.
Lake Geneva boasts a myriad of opportunities for those looking for a more active incentive for their group. Surrounded by the Alps you are never far away from the regions ski resorts. So those looking to ski but the choice stay below the mountains it suits perfectly. Then of course you have the lake and the vast array of water sports experience.
We took full advantage of the new Evian One which makes you feel every part celebrity, mixed with the thrills of a Bond Film. This small luxury Catamaran can take you across the lake at high speed. It also offers up as a transfer option able to take you from Evian to Geneva in under 45 minutes. It can be booked for small groups or couples as well as fro private hire. It certainly adds a real wow factor to your trip.
Then you have Golf, boasting the Evian Championship and the David Leadbetter academy within the region. It certainly ticks boxes for golfers looking to play championship courses and to improve their handicap.
Or maybe you simply want to connect with nature, slow down, unplug by walking around the beautiful countryside. Here you will experience a backdrop of fresh air with some of the most picturesque trees and hills you will see.
For culture vultures, Lausanne offers so much. The cathedral is over 700 years old and is linked with Notre Dame. The chocolate box style town with it's boutique shutter clad shops and houses, along with fountains and of course clocks makes for a great tour. (We discovered that the cathedral can be hired for a private concert event...something we would so like to have an opportunity to organise and manage!!)
We found so many reasons why you should consider Lake Geneva region as a potential MICE destination. Why not find out more and discuss with our team your options here or at other locations. You can get in touch directly or comment below and across our social pages.