Hotel Palafitte, Europe’s Only Over-Water Hotel Celebrates Anniversary
Designed to only be open for 6 months for the Swiss National Expo in 2002, the Hotel Palafitte is still gracing the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Neuchatel 13 years later.
Set in an exceptional area of natural beauty with breathtaking views, the hotel was designed to be a discreet escape from the world.
Built on stilts above the lake, the hotel’s design concept was meant to be a reminder of the lake’s ancient inhabitants who lived in stilt dwellings 6,000 years ago. The design was the result of a collaboration between architect Kurt Hoffmann and students from the Lausanne Hotel School. Built over the water, forty individual rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces with views of the Alps and the lake. Guests can enter the lake for a swim by a ladder from their private terraces. Public spaces include a lobby, reception area, bar, smoking room and a restaurant with a large terrace.
Encased in French windows, “La Table de Palafitte,” the restaurant under the direction of Chef David Sauvignet, is an homage to local market produce and its menus are tailored to the seasons. Its classic dishes are complimented by an extensive selection of rare Swiss wines.
In the hotel bar, guests can experience the rituals of absinthe or the “Green Fairy,” a world-famous spirit first created in the canton of Neuchatel in 1798 as a medicinal beverage by a local healer named Henriette Henriod. Banned in the 19th century after becoming the libation of choice among Bohemian artists and writers, like Vincent Van Gogh and Emile Zola, absinthe has been legally produced in Switzerland since 2005.
Operating under the same management team as the Beau-Rivage Palace and the Hotel Angleterre & Residence in Lausanne, the Hotel Palafitte in Neuchatel offers exceptional service, stunning surroundings and easy access to an urban center. Located only ten minutes from the center of Neuchatel by free shuttlebus, the hotel is convenient for many activities – swimming, boating, waterskiing, picnicking, cycling, wine and absinthe tastings, and visits to clock making factories and museums.
Visit website: www.palafitte.ch
More information and photos: Hotel Palafitte