After our train ride through the Alps, we ended up in Montreux on the banks of Lake Geneva. We originally planned on taking a sleeper train from Montreux to Cinque Terra, Italy but it was completely booked! The sleeper trains, both the six and four to a cabin cars, and the regular train was full so we were resigned to spend the night in Montreux.
Outdated Guide Books Are Outdated
At first, we were hardly fazed because we were armed with Rick Steve’s 2004 Germany, Austria, and Switzerland guidebook. We made our way, walking uphill most of the way with all of our luggage, to a B&B listed in the book, one of the only ones listed, and discovered that it had been converted into condominiums in 2004! This was the first time we were in an area where we didn’t set up lodging ahead of time, fortunately we are adventurous and we didn’t let it get us down. 🙂
Martha picked up the 2004 guidebook because it was only a dollar or two at a used bookstore. Until Switzerland, and an unscheduled night here, the book hadn’t failed us. All the information in the book had been accurate except for prices, which were usually a couple euros higher. Outdated guidebooks can be dangerous but as long as you confirm things ahead of time, you’ll probably be OK. A castle that has been there for centuries will likely still be there… B&Bs, maybe not. 🙂
I stayed with the luggage while Martha went ahead down a street to see if there were any hotels or B&Bs around the corner. She discovered one only to find out that it was also full but did get a tourist map of the area, with hotels listed, and some leads. (we had a regular map but it didn’t list hotels, just attractions)
Hotel Parc Et Lac
While we couldn’t call any of the B&Bs because our pay as you go phone was out of minutes (and we couldn’t refill it anywhere), we settled on trying our luck at two B&Bs on the edge of Lake Geneva. We knew they’d be affordable because none of them had stars! 🙂 The first place we tried was booked but the second, Hotel Parc Et Lac, had rooms and they accepted credit cards. The credit cards part was important because Switzerland uses Swiss Francs, not Euros, so I wanted to avoid getting any cash we would be “forced” to spend.
The hotel itself was a little strange in terms of its decor, as you can see from the room itself. Sometimes it had huge paintings on the wall and nice chandeliers, as if trying to be a fancy hotel. In other instances it wasn’t, like their bath towels. The bath towels were as harsher than paper towels, think Bounty paper towels, and just as thin. If I were them, I would’ve skipped the bust of Caesar (I have no idea who it was of, but it looked Greco-Roman) and invested more in the pillows, sheets, and bath towels.
You couldn’t beat the view of Lake Geneva though:
Breakfast consisted of rolls and croissants, which were great, which paired well with their fresh coffee and tea. Considering we didn’t know we were staying, I think we ended up with a pretty good choice. I think the room itself only cost something like $150, which is pretty affordable for Switzerland.