Situated right beside the Rhine River stands one of the oldest city hotels in Europe and a hugely integral part of Basel history – the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois. Having been awarded the 2018 Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards Best Hotel in Europe, this Hotel is in a league of its own. Originally founded in 1681 as an inn for gentleman, it was rebuilt into a Hotel in 1844 and has now been restored to its original magnificence. It has a rather illustrious history, to say the least, having accommodated the likes of Casanova, Napoleon Bonaparte, Pablo Picasso, Hans Christian Andersen, Bob Dylan and the icon of Switzerland himself, Roger Federer, amongst many others. It has long been regarded as the most exclusive address in the city.
Whilst first impressions may be that it is ostentatiously grand; you’ll discover that it’s character is in fact warm, intimate and sophisticated. With ornate wooden pillars that were hand painted to create a marble-like effect, vast chandeliers and impressive tapestries, and an ambience that reflects the views of the glaucous-blue Rhine that pour through the windows, the hotel has now been styled in an authentic and timeless manner.
As soon as you step foot into the hotel, you can’t help but be enchanted by all the exquisite floral displays created by the in-house floral team, Fleurs des Rois. As the daughter of a florist, I was completely captivated by the craftsmanship of the arrangements and by the diverse array of flowers used throughout the Hotel. If your appreciation for sublime floristry is as vigorous as mine, make sure you stroll over to Fleur des Rois’ boutique shop which is a mere couple of minutes’ walk from the Hotel.
SUITES & ACCOMMODATIONS
We spent a September autumn weekend in one of the luxurious and spacious Suites; with its high ceilings, blue and gold silk wall coverings, drapes made from superb fabrics and parquet floors, it truly felt like I had stepped back in time. The Suite combined history with the latest comforts and was equipped with everything guests could possibly ask for; from a flat screen television, Wi-Fi, complimentary mini bar, a state of the art Art Deco-styled bathroom (with underfloor heating and a TV above the bathtub), a pillow menu and a private balcony with the most remarkable views overlooking the Rhine.
After we settled in, we were taken on a tour of the Hotel, including the gorgeous Suite dedicated to General Napoleon Bonaparte who lodged here in 1797, and the jaw-dropping Art-Deco Suite Les Trois Rois, which consists of a huge 250msq of living space, 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a fireplace, remarkable woodwork, and a private roof top with a jacuzzi and sauna which overlook the extensive landscapes of Switzerland, France and Germany. This Suite is the absolute epitome of luxury.
With 101 guestrooms and suites to choose from, you truly are spoilt for choice here. Each of the rooms and suites are wonderfully decorated with impeccably elegant furnishings, and are adorned with different flairs and styles, symbolising the various periods that have spanned the lifetime of the Hotel.
For those connoisseurs of cigars and whisky, the Salon du Cigare is a late-night haven. It puts a high-tech spin on a cosy, old world-lounge and is the ideal setting to unwind.
Do not leave the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois without experiencing a meal at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant run by Head Chef, Peter Knogl (considered one of the best chefs in Europe) as he temps you with French haute cuisine. If this isn’t to your taste, there are a range of dining options available, including the Brasserie Les Trois Rois which serves fresh market ingredients into French and Swiss specialties. This is where we enjoyed the breakfast buffet, sitting amongst the fast-flowing Rhine as we sipped French champagne and immersed ourselves in the exotic fruit and delicious pain au chocolates. The third dining option is the restaurant Chez Donati, which is a mere five-minute walk away from the hotel and truly encapsulates the essence of classic Italian cooking.
WHY WE LOVED IT
LOCATION - The Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois lies in the epicentre of Basel, with landmarks such as the Rathaus, Basel Minster, Museum der Kulturen and the Natural History Museum, all within a ten-minute walk from the Hotel. You could not ask for a better location.
STAFF – One of the many incredible things that add to the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois’ five-star opulence are its staff. They are trained to anticipate their guests needs and wants, and are filled with knowledge on the unique history of the Hotel to ensure they can answer any questions put to them by guests.
TRANSPORT – Just when you thought it can’t get any better, you discover that public transport is free in Basel! When you stay anywhere in the city you are automatically eligible for a free travel pass, which includes the bus to and from the airport. As a guest of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, you will be provided with your Basel Card, which also includes a 50% discount on cultural and leisure activities!
Visit https://www.lestroisrois.com/en to check their availability or visit their Instagram page @grandhotellestroisrois.
I was hosted as a guest of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, but all the opinions expressed in this article are, as always, my own.