The Grand Hôtel du Lac in Vevey is an elegant place, its guests are sophisticated, its staff very obliging and helpful. Mara (12) and Ella (7) share their views on their luxury hotel experience in Vevey.
My mother, my little sister, and I went to Vevey. The trip from Zurich takes about two hours, so that was fine. My sister and I would be getting a chance to interview the head chef of the hotel later in the day. We were prepared, of course. We had come up with some questions in the car.
We had booked the junior suite. Very beautiful, homely, cheerful. I liked the furniture, even though there were too many floral designs for my taste. My sister loved the balloons that someone had put up just for us. But the best was that there were small cakes, sweets, fruit, and a welcome card, just for us kids.
We had an appointment with the head chef, after all. His name is Thomas Neeser, and he has been working at the hotel for 10 years already. He was waiting for us in front of the ballroom, dressed in a chef’s uniform. In the kitchen, we sat at a bar.
Thomas Neeser: They were here on «Bring your Child to Work Day». That was ok, but usually, things are just too hectic around here. So, on normal days, I cannot bring them.
Thomas Neeser: Two of my children eat almost anything. I guess we were lucky there. But one always has been and always will be picky. We have tried everything to motivate him to try new things. No luck so far. He insists on having pasta and no sauce. And as little vegetables as possible. No experiments for him. But by now, we are relaxed about it. He does eat enough food. And at some point, we accepted when he would eat two apples instead of vegetables every once in a while.
Thomas Neeser: Yes, that happens from time to time. But, I don’t like everything either. Liver, for instance. But if such things fit well into the concept of the menu, and if guests like it, I will prepare them. Even if I am not a fan myself.
Thomas Neeser: That’s true. Sometimes, I can, and sometimes, one of my colleagues will taste and season the dish.
He told us many things about how he and his team work in this kitchen. I believe, their job can be quite stressful. He works up to 12 hours. And he can never sit down while working. But he said, that it was his absolute dream job. He has been doing it for 32 years! Even when he was a child, he liked to dress up as a chef.
The kitchen includes several rooms, actually. They are a little less glamourous than the areas of the hotels guests usually get to see, and some of them are in the basement. But then, we got to a room where all the desserts are made. There was a dish full of chocolate shoes! SHOES ENTIRELY MADE OF CHOCOLATE! They looked absolutely delicious. And beautiful. Heavenly!
A little later, I took some nice photographs of the view from our room. In the evening, we changed and got ready for dinner. I always look forward to having «Apéros», pre-dinner drinks. It’s nice to sit together for a while, talk and nibble a little something. We found seats at the bar and ordered virgin mojitos. There is no alcohol in them, just tons of peppermint and sugar. We sat right next to the fire place.
The next morning, we went to check out the breakfast buffet. Everything looked delicious. Especially the little fruit salads in glasses looked great. So did the pancakes.
After brunch, it was time to leave. But we did not go home yet. Instead, we visited Chaplin’s World, the Charlie Chaplin museum. A 15-minutes’ drive from the hotel maybe. We had talked about Charlie Chaplin in an English class once, so I knew who he was.
We started our tour at a cinema, watching film clips for about 15 minutes. Then, the curtain lifted and revealed a film set. We all got up and walked straight into it. We just kept walking through various film sets and past many wax figures. It is not one of those museums where you are not allowed to touch anything or take photographs. We actually had fun.
The home where Charlie Chaplin had lived with his family is right next to the museum. It is a large, beautiful house. The rooms have been left unchanged, the entire interior looks old-fashioned. Cute, somehow. I liked the studios best, though. Everything was extremely well done.
We had been in Vevey only for two days, but to me, it seemed much longer. I thought it was great to go someplace else for the weekend. Somewhere totally different, but not too far away.
A person checks into a hotel for the first time in his life, and goes up to his room. Five minutes later he calls the desk and say, “You’ve given me a room with no exit. How do I leave?” The desk clerk says, “Sir, that’s absurd. Have you looked for the door?” The person says, ” Well, there’s one door that leads to the bathroom. There’s a second door that goes into the closet. And there’s a door I haven’t tried, but it has a ‘do not disturb’ sign on it.”
In the company of others:
No matter how important a concern may be (except in the event of a fire), try not to interrupt two people – adults or children –in a conversation. Wait until it is your turn to speak.
At the table:
In a small group, everyone around a table waits until all guests have received their food before they start eating. If there are many guests, sophisticated children wait until the guests sitting to their left, their right, and opposite them have their food.
The sophisticated child always disposes of waste properly. Do not throw things on the floor.
At the buffet:
Even if everything at the breakfast or brunch buffet looks delicious, the sophisticated child does not pile heaps of food onto its plate. Help yourself to as much food as you will be able to eat. If you are still hungry later, you can always go back and get some more.
A sophisticated child is always friendly and says ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. Treat members of staff with respect, look into people’s eyes while taking to them, and be cheerful.