< SWITZERLAND | GENEVA: Hôtel Beau Rivage
Beau-Rivage is the oldest hotel in private hands in Geneva. It was built in 1865 by Jean-Jacques Mayer, the great grandfather of the current owners. Since its opening, the hotel attracted royalty, artists, writers, scientists and Heads of State, as well as, it was the premier destination for international summit meetings and extraordinary special events.
In 1872, Geneva’s vocation as an international city is launched with the arbitration of the Alabama case, during which the British delegation was accommodated at the Beau-Rivage.
One year later, Duke Charles of Brunswick dies at the Beau-Rivage and bequeaths the fabulous sum of 20 million gold francs to the city, which contributed towards the construction
of several buildings, including the Grand Theatre.
The tragic events that occurred on September 10th 1898 will never be forgotten. Shortly after leaving the Beau-Rivage, the Empress Elisabeth of Austria "Sissi" was stabbed by an anarchist Luigi Lucheni. Unaware of the severity of her condition, the Empress had boarded the boat with intention of departing to Montreux. Just as she arrived on the bridge, she staggered and fainted. Eventually she was taken back to the hotel where she breathed her last breath. In 1998, Beau-Rivage and the Sissi Association commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Sissi. A statue sculpted by the British sculptor, Philip Jackson, is erected on the Mont-Blanc rotunda and a major exhibition attracts over 10,000 Sissi fans.
In 1918, Czechoslovakia is born, and its ‘birth certificate’ is signed in the Beau-Rivage.
Between the two World Wars, the stars of the stage take over from the sovereigns in exile, while 1940-1944 the hotels was closed.
Sotheby's moved in 1987, opening with its extraordinary and world-famous auction of the jewels of the Duchess of Windsor.
In 1990, the Beau-Rivage celebrated its 125th anniversary with an exhibition of souvenirs, a magnificent reception and an open-house day enjoyed by more than 4000 visitors.
During the restoration in 2000-2001, a fragment of the Pompeii fresco that decorated the hotel when it was built is rediscovered and completely restored to its original splendour. In 2009, the hotel became the member of “The Leading Hotels of the World" organization.
Beau-Rivage Golden book include names of: King Ludwig II of Bavaria, King George I of Greece, King Alphonse XIII of Spain, Grand Duke Peter of Russia, Prince Philip of Edinburgh, Prince Rainier and Princess Caroline of Monaco, Prince Damrong of Siam, the Maharajah of Patiala or Emperor Akihito of Japan, Richard Wagner, Madame Danielle Mitterand, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Catherine Deneuve, Alain Delon...
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