During my Swiss Tour last month I had the pleasure of returning to my old hood in Montreux. I used to study here for a brief period when I was young(er) and ever since that time I’ve had a fling with the city. Its beauty and location will take your breath away and it’s also very easy to reach from Geneva. One of the main attractions here, apart from the statue of Freddie Mercury (!) is the Hotel Suisse Majestic. With its unique interior decoration and impressive size it’s a true reminder of past glories - and the view from the restaurant is unbeatable! Here’s my review.
Old Hollywood glamour
The city of Montreux is small and you can walk from one end to another in approximately 20 minutes. However, if you do find yourself in this stunning place, it’s definitely recommendable that you take your time and explore what this place has to offer! As mentioned before I used to live here for 6 months when I was younger and so I was absolutely thrilled to be back. As boring as Montreux might seem during winter time, as charming and lively it is during summer. The world famous Montreux Jazz Festival has definitely something to do with that, but Montreux is a place you visit to experience a bit of old Hollywood glamour. Come here on a hot summer’s day and you’ll immediately think of Cannes as it used to be, Brigitte Bardot and rooftop parties. Not a bad thought.
Old-fashioned meets modern
In the midst of it all lies the 4 star Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic. It was built in 1870 and through all this time it has continued to captivate guests with its unique location. In 2010 the hotel was completely renovated meaning that the restaurant ’45’ received a much needed makeover. The view from the restaurant, however, is still the same; facing the lake and the beautiful mountains.
The restaurant offers tables both inside and outside, but since it was quite chilly we decided to stay in. A quick glance at the menu revealed that the food here is inspired by the French brasserie style and so we could order both duck foie gras (32 EUR), beuf tartare (32 EUR) and beuf bernaise (37 EUR). We went for the two last ones accompanied by a bottle of local Valais wine (the wine list at ’45’ is quite well-assorted and offers a wide range of both national and international wines).
Room for everyone
A basket of bread and olive oil was served and within 20 minutes our dinner appeared. Unfortunately, it wasn’t beyond expectations, as I’d hoped for higher quality. The meat was fine, but the vegetables boring and tasteless, however, that didn’t stop me from having dessert. I went for the Creme Brulée and a cup of coffee. All in all a quite neutral experience, but definitely worth it due to the view and the settings.
Restaurant ’45’ has room for everyone; the business man just passing through, the young lovers in search of a beautiful sunset and the families looking for spacious settings and food, which isn’t too expensive. I don’t belong to either of those categories, but I can surely say that Suisse Majestic is a place I will look forward to visit again soon. If not for the food, then for the spectacular view and old-fashioned settings.
Montreux is located approximately one hour from Geneva. It’s easy to go by car, but the train will take you directly to Montreux station, which is located just opposite of the hotel. For more information about Hotel Suisse Majestic and Restaurant ’45’ go to www.suisse-majestic.com.