Fairmont Montreux Palace = Solid Hotel Without Need for Loyalty Program Benefits

100   Recommended

Signature Suite
February 12, 2019 by
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Signature Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Signature Suite

I booked a 5-night stay at Fairmont Montreux to use my very last Fairmont Platinum suite upgrade certificate ever.  Unfortunately this hotel does not have a lounge, and in addition Fairmont does not provide free breakfast for guests with elite status unlike other hotel chains.  However the fact that I could use a suite upgrade on top of a low Black Friday sale, the use 20% off gift cards, plus a couple of free night certs made it worthwhile to book there.  I had high expectations and I my expectations were exceeded.   

 

Location

The location of the hotel is excellent, within walking distance of the main train station and right on the main street by the lake, giving easy access to the nice 4km pedestrian path on the lake all the way from the hotel to the Chillon Castle.  

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Room

Not that it matters anymore now that suite upgrade certs will be dead in a couple of weeks, but as far as I know these certs would normally get the junior suite.  However the hotel was generous enough to upgrade me to the signature suite instead. That is a sign of goodwill which is not necessarily related to the certs; this behavior can create repeat customers even when certs no longer exist.  Our suite had great lake and mountain views from the bedroom and the living room, both of those rooms being separated by very large sliding doors. There is a balcony in front of each room; actually it’s just one large balcony that you can access either via the bedroom or living room.  

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Near the entrance there is a sizeable half bathroom, in addition to the full bathroom off the bedroom.  I liked that the shower was large, although I had a flooding issue because the door would not close tightly and the shower head was not very stable.  Also water temperature was changing frequently which is not unheard of in older hotels.  Most modern hotels have high ceilings, and this being an older style hotel I expected something more cramped.  The complete opposite is true here: the ceilings are very high, far more so than in regular hotels even newer ones.  The grandiose feeling is similar in the hotel public spaces such as corridors and meeting rooms.  Also I would note that compared to other chateau-style hotels, the rooms in Montreux were in great condition and obviously renovated recently.  I thought the room was considerably better than rooms at other historical Fairmonts I have been to in Canada before, such as Banff and Ottawa, and to a lesser extent Mont Tremblant, Montebello, and Charlevoix.  

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Amenities

I was a bit surprised to find Molton Brown amenities rather than the standard Le Labo.  

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Dining

Breakfast was not included in my rate but I still had some Platinum dining vouchers which were expiring soon.  The restaurant for breakfast is very nice with a window ceiling and view of the lake, however it was quite crowded when we went there so not the most peaceful and enjoyable breakfast.  Food was excellent quality for European hotel breakfast standards. Fruits were not only standard hotel fruits but also mangoes, blackberries, blueberries, etc.  For hot options in addition to regular breakfast items they also had rösti, steamed vegetables, and traditional Swiss chicken white sausages. Overall an above average breakfast but at 40 CHF per person I would probably be hesitant to spend my own money every day of a long stay for it.  I guess I am used to having free breakfast as Platinum/Diamond/Globalist with other chains; once you get used to a perk, I guess you get spoiled and you don’t enjoy not having it anymore!

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Hotel Bar

We used the Platinum welcome drink vouchers in the hotel bar.  They had a decent selection and we enjoyed our Bellini cocktails.  

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Service

Service in the hotel was what you would expect from a Fairmont, and even more so in Switzerland.  Everything was done right including housekeeping doing a perfect job, quickly and efficiently even when we asked to have it done at a very precise time while we stepped out of the hotel only for 45 minutes.  

Overall

Overall Fairmont Montreux is a solid hotel which I can recommend.  There is not much competition from other hotel chains in that area which means once there are no more Platinum certificates to use, this Fairmont should do just fine.  We won’t have the benefit of using free night certs and suite upgrades but this hotel will remain at the top of my list anyway.  This is in contrast with other excellent Fairmonts in cities with stiff competition that will be affected when there are no more suite upgrades, free breakfast, etc. while competitors give all that plus lounge access.   I wish there were more Fairmonts like the one in Montreux, in fact I am surprised it is the only one in all of Switzerland which would seem to be an ideal market for this brand with historical properties and good service at an upscale price.    

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