Explore Lausanne

Hostellerie Chez Chibrac: Best Kept Secret on Lake Geneva

Food, Hotels — By Sonja Holverson on November 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Elegant Fine Dining: image courtesy of chezchibrac.ch

Hidden in a lovely forest of calm and tranquility on the top of Mont Pelerin accessible by funicular from Vevey (near Montreux) on Lake Geneva looking down over the region’s vineyards, the Chibrac family hostellerie warmly welcomes you to their small hotel with an excellent fine dining restaurant and a view that will leave you breathless.

This small Swiss family hotel with a gastronomic but convivial restaurant has a rotisserie serving traditional cuisine and as well as their own family specialties and the area’s “appellation” wine Chardonne (not to be missed while you are there, but they also serve other Swiss such as the regional Lavaux, Chablais and Valais wines as well some French wines).

There is good variety to the menus plus seasonal and fresh market favorites. To start, I suggest the “Pate chaud sauce Gran Veneur” or the house specialty, “Escalops de foie gras poelee aux pommes vanillees”, followed by the “Confit de canard (duck) et son cassoulet”. If this trip does not include France for you, you will love the French style “Bouillabaisse Marsellaise” if there are 2 persons to share it. For a little more, they will add lobster. An excellent local wine choice would be the “Chardonne blanc la Confrary” .

In addition to fine dining, there is also the “Chef’s Room” Carte a la Pinte that serves a daily brasserie style special for very reasonable prices at lunch. The restaurant is closed Sunday and Monday.

Simple but lovely Louis Phillipe style rooms: image courtesy of chezchibrac.ch

The guest rooms are very quiet, simple but in a lovely Louis Phillipe style, all with TV (you will be too busy looking at the view) and they have wifi. Some rooms have spectacular views of the vineyards and Lake of Geneva at your feet and the others have a beautiful forest view.  Depending on the season (high season is May to October), a double is about CHF 180-200 Francs for an Alps view and about CHF 125-180 for a forest view room. They also have connecting rooms for up to 4 persons. Pets are allowed and there is a rate for children.

For chilly days the hostellerie has a cozy fireplace and a terrace full of flowers in the summer with a view of the Swiss and French Alps, the vineyards, the villages, the towns of Vevy and Montreux.

This is an excellent location for forest hikes and due to the Mont Pelerin funicular, you are a little more than 9 miles from the most popular cities in the area with museums, theater, cinema and only 1 hour from ski resorts, Bern, Italy and France for day trips.

Chez Chirac in All Seasons: image courtesy of chezchibrac.ch

Mont Pelerin (Mount Pilgrim in English which no one uses) at 800 m (2’624 ft.) overlooks the entire Lake Geneva Region including the Swiss and French Alps as well as the villages and the town of Vevey below. At the top there is a short easy hike (1 hour) to the TV and Telephone tower (called “Plein Ciel” or Mid Air) with an elevator to take you to the Swiss heavens to view the region from the sky. You can make your visit to Mont Pelerin a hiking experience enjoying many trails in the forest or you can walk a short ways (asphalt) to 5* Le Mirador Kempinski Hotel for a flute of champagne or meal from their panoramic vantage points.

Close by is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lavaux vineyards as well as the region of Chatel-saint-Denis and the ski resort of Les Paccots (great also so snow shoeing). This is the real Switzerland with all the Swiss customs, the Swiss people and the Alpine atmosphere that you have been imagining.

Chardonne vineyards of Lavaux: image courtesy of chezchibrac.ch

For details on more things to do in the region, see my GUIDE Hidden Gems of Lake Geneva.

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Tags: alpine, Chardonne, French, Lavaux, Montreux, Swiss, Switzerland, UNESCO World Heritage Site”, Valais, Vevey, “Chatel-saint-Denis”, “French Alps”, “Kempinski”, “Lake Geneva”, “Les Paccots”, “Louis Philippe”, “Mont Pelerin”, “Swiss family hotel”, “Swiss wines”
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