|Les Trois Rois Suite has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sitting room, a fireplace and an open-air Jacuzzi and sauna.|
The grande dame hotels of Europe are as common as Chanel handbags at a yachting gala. Choosing one is far from simple, but we say there is one leading the pack that ought not be overlooked—Les Trois Rois. Sitting regally (as its name, The Three Kings, suggests) on the banks of the River Rhine in Basel, Switzerland, this five-star European jewel has played host to some of history’s most important figures (think Napoleon, Picasso and Elizabeth II). Today, the hotel is considered one of the oldest and most elegant in Europe, dating to around 1681, and, we think, a top sell for your most discerning clients.
The hotel’s most requested accommodations are the Deluxe Double River Side Rooms, of which there are 21. These come with sweeping views of the River Rhine. Note: All Junior Suites and Deluxe Suites also face the river. While the hotel is steeped in history, its modern amenities, from Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TVs to 24-hour room service and complimentary minibar, have attracted the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Bryan Adams.
VIPs will feel most at home in the Les Trois Rois Suite, which has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a sitting room with two dining tables and a seating group in front of an open fireplace. There is also a TV and work corner, and a private open-air Jacuzzi and sauna that look down on the Old Town. Tip: The hotel does not offer permanent butler service, but it can be arranged for guests upon request. Luxury travel advisors should direct questions and requests to Dominik Kaiser ([email protected]; 011-41-61-260-5031), associate director of sales.
|Les Trois Rois Suite looks out over the Old Town of Basel.|
Cool Fact: We hear that Les Trois Rois is home to one of the only remaining bellhops in Europe. Oldemar, originally from Ecuador, is one of the most beloved members of the staff and is still on hand operating the hotel’s elevator.
The traveling gourmet has, perhaps, already heard of the on-site restaurant, Cheval Blanc, which is one of the highest ranked hotel restaurants in Switzerland (two Michelin Stars and 18 Gault Millau points). Head Chef Peter Knogl has also been named Chef of the Year in Switzerland for 2011. The intimate dining room seats just 30 and we hear that the restaurant terrace is a must-see. For all restaurant queries, reach out to Verena Feist ([email protected]; 011-41-61-260-5007). Note: The restaurant is open to the public and reservations should be made six to eight weeks in advance.
Other dining options include Chez Donati, just a few steps from the hotel, which serves classic Italian fare; and Brasserie, where guests can dine on French and Swiss specialties in a relaxed setting. Les Trois Rois Bar is also available for a digestif and cigar.
|Cheval Blanc, from Chef Peter Knogl, has a large selection of wines from the Château Cheval Blanc.|
While Les Trois Rois does not have a dedicated spa, it does offer a fully equipped gym with views of the River Rhine. There is also a sauna area and massage service. Guests seeking massage services should book at least one day in advance. However, the hotel can accommodate short-term requests. Special requests should be addressed to Head Concierge Cristina Bally ([email protected]; 011-41-61-260-5050).
Speaking of special requests, Bally is on hand to accommodate anything and everything. Luxury Travel Advisor learned that she once had to order a plane for a guest. No, not a plane to rent—a plane to buy!
But if your clients prefer more traditional shopping excursions, Les Trois Rois is positioned among some of Basel’s premier retail real estate, such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton. The city of Basel also specializes in the production of watches, jewelry and chocolate. Note: The city is home to the world’s largest watch and jewelry fair, Baselworld, as well as the world’s largest contemporary art fair, ArtBasel. Solitude-seeking clients ought to know that these are very busy times for both the city and the hotel.
Getting There: Just five miles from the hotel is EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse, which happens to be the biggest hub for private aviation in the world. Translation: The hotel is in a prime location for clients flying in on their personal jets or helicopters. International Airport Zurich is about 50 miles from the hotel.