October 2, 2010 in France | Comments (1)


Hotel Royal: looking out on flowery terraces, extensive park and endless views

Grandiose galleries from the heyday of the Evian spa resort, frequented by high society for its glamour and reputedly health giving mineral springs

La Suite restaurant – old murals and lounge comfort (below)

My Lakeview room (below) – view to dream on, widening your 33 sqm to ínclude an inland sea, boats crossing on the peaceful blue, and the white houses of Lausanne cascading down the bank

View from my balcony below.

From near my room, there is a lift down to the spa. More about the spa http://binah.nu/orbit/?page_id=1485


in France,SWITZERLAND | Comments (41)


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Crossing to Evian

Evian lies on the southern shores of Lake Geneva. Here where the alps meet the inland sea, you have two worlds blending. Or more…

For one thing, you are in France and yet you gaze at Switzerland  just over the water. The air on a sunny October day is warm and the mood by the water is lazy Mediterranean, bursting with flowers. Yet behind you are the alps, green pastures, wooden chalets.

At the same time, the past is with you in this spa resort where royalty have “taken the waters” of Evian for over 200 years, along with the later pleasures of casino, French  dining, and world-class hotels.

The mineral-rich waters sold all over the world in bottles are still the draw at the Thermes Spa down at the water . Though other Evian hotel spas settle for more ordinary water in their pools, they do offer it to drink in various health-giving permutations.

Meanwhile glory lingers on with grandiose architecture, faded walls, art nouveau flourishes, iron trellises. Steam boats gliding over the lake from Switzerland into France.

 Ladies step off the boat and out of history in designer dresses and elegant shoes, proud coiffure. Proud and dignified walk. Along with young Japanese couples on their lifetime photoshoot. French families, British nobles, Swedish golfers,  American students…and Russian nouveau riche.

I too arrived by boat. My itinerary with train from Geneva airport, train and boat went:

12.36  Train IC727 departs from platform 1 Geneva airport station

13.18 Train arrives at Lausanne. Tramcar to Lausanne-Ouchy.

14.00 Boat BAV713 from Ouchy pier (first you walk past customs, leaving Switzerland)

14.35 Boat arrives at Evian-les-Bains CGN.

There I was met by the transfer minibus from Hotel Royal at Evian Royal Resort.


October 1, 2010 in France,SWITZERLAND | Comments (7)

The boat glides over Lake Geneva from Lausanne. The waters are like luminous silk, and mountains seem to float.

Evian. October sunshine. It feels so Mediterranean, yet so alpine.

So now and so long ago…art nouveau grandeur, in places a little faded, but still the people come.

See more images:


In the town there is a casino and the famous spa – a popular place, perhaps not as exlusive as it used to be in the days when only the elite got this far…

Up on the hill stands Hôtel Royal, staring down onto the lake and Lausanne tumbling in almost Aegean fashion down the opposite bank.

Here you have Spa Evian Source


April 5, 2010 in CROATIA,CYPRUS,France,ITALY,SOUTH AFRICA | Comments (3)

Today we are putting a little of my recent travel writing into blog format for greater interactivity.  See the articles on Croatia (sailing), South Africa (safaris), French Riviera & Cyprus (short breaks)

Most of it is informative rather than narrative – written as travel reports for my colleagues in the luxury travel business. We have a very usable definition of luxury. It’s not just marble and gold, private pools and personal butlers. It’s access to unspoiled beaches, cultural treasures, ravishing views, exuberant nature. The hotels and cruises do not all get five stars but they have something  special…

 Thanks to Binah Creative Arts for adapting a standard blog format to my needs. And thanks to Pelle (Per-Olov Broddeson) for his lovely images…

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