Capital of a new canton
The Beau-Rivage is a symbol of the beginning of the luxury hotel industry in Lausanne. Construction was started in 1857, a year after the opening of the railway station. The inauguration took place in 1861. Originally the hotel had 150 beds. The architects were François Gindroz, Jean-Baptiste Bertolini and Achille de La Harpe.
The hotel is located on the edge of the lake and makes the most of the quality of the Lausanne landscape. It has an imposing appearance, with three levels over a ground floor and a set-back top storey. The neo-Renaissance décor is simple but elegant, while the invisibility of the roof evokes Italian architecture. The central façade is more marked. It bears a grand columned portico capped with spiral-ornamented capitals, while the top is decorated with a row of sculpted pillars.
The relative restraint of the overall look contrasts with Beau-Rivage Palace, the work of the architects Eugène Jost, Maurice Schnell and Louis Bezencenet. Built between 1906 and 1908, this construction is representative of a second generation of Lausanne hotels which were contemporary with the historicist and eclectic styles, here dominated by a neo-baroque influence. The two buildings are linked by a vast rotunda.