Route des Gouttes d'Or 2, Neuchatel, Switzerland
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Perfect for those with no taste for the tropics, or anyone who appreciates an inventive and inspiring hotel, Hôtel Palafitte is a South Pacific-style overwater bungalow hotel, located not in the Maldives but on the waters of Switzerland’s Lake Neuchâtel, at the foot of the Jura mountains, with a stunning view of the Alps across the lake. Completed just in time for the Swiss Expo.02, this is an utterly futuristic execution of a timeless concept. After all, farmers lived in houses on stilts above the waters of this very lake some five thousand years ago — but never quite like this.
Interiors are sleek and modern, with hardwood floors and contemporary furnishings, and the bathrooms look like showrooms, with bowl-shaped sinks on wooden countertops and glass-walled showers. All suites come with plasma-screen TVs, but the lake is the main attraction, whether viewed through glass plates in the floors or from the balcony, where a ladder swings down into the water. And you’d be hard pressed to find a more technologically advanced hotel — built by the German technology giant Siemens, Hôtel Palafitte is something of a high-tech showcase, with gigabit Ethernet throughout, and everything from the entertainment systems to the lighting and the window blinds controlled from the room’s tablet PC.
All the technology can be a bit disconcerting, as when you’re fingerprinted upon check-in — guest suite doors are unlocked using fingerprint scans rather than room keys — but it’s never intrusive or overwhelming. As always, the focus is on the environment, whether the masterful interior design or the magnificent surroundings. Even the slightly more modest on-land suites are worth seeing, and from May to September everyone has an up-close view of the lake from the restaurant’s terrace.
How to get there:
Hotel Palafitte is approximately a 1 hour and 40 minute drive from Zurich-Kloten Airport and 1 hour from Geneva-Cointrin Airport. By train, the hotel is approximately 4 hours from Paris, 1 1/2 hours from Zurich, and 30 minutes from Bern.
- Complimentary upgrade upon hotel check-in, based upon availability
- Guaranteed 4pm check-out
- Welcome cocktail (valued at 23 CHF per glass)
- Welcome fruit plate (valued at 25 CHF)
- 40 Rooms
- Style: Modern Design
- Atmosphere: Secluded
- 4 Guest Reviews
- Hotel Palafitte
- Route des Gouttes d'Or 2
- Neuchatel, Switzerland
Hotel amenities and services
- 24 hour room service
- Free wi-fi
- Golf nearby