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Mostly known for its world-famous
month-long Jazz Festival (a bit of a misnomer: you're just as likely to
catch David Bowie or Beck as, say Steve Coleman), Montreux is well worth
a wander through, if only to get to the scenic Château de Chillon
or to get to Hauts de Montreux.
Hauts de Montreux
|Less than 20 kilometers
away from and 800 meters above the swanky Swiss Riviera, Hauts de Montreux
is a hiker's dream. On a good day you can see to Geneva in the west and
Bern in the east. If you look hard, you can even see the sparkle of all
those flashy watches and dripping diamonds on the rich old people shuffling
around the muggy lakefront.
Château de Chillon
21 966 89 10. Open every day until 6pm. A historic castle, the country's
most visited say the Tourist Board, on a small island in Lake Geneva only
a few meters from the shore. It was built originally to allow the occupants
to extract a toll from people and goods passing between Italy and the rest
of Europe on the road north from the St. Bernard pass.
The roadway here is wedged
between the lake and the cliffs, so there was no way to get around Chillon.
The Castle is more famous in modern times for having inspired Lord Byron's
poem, The Prisoner of Chillon, based on the true story of François
Bonivard, a political prisoner from Geneva who was released in 1536. Byron
is said to have carved his name in one of the columns in the dungeon where
Bonivard was detained during a few years.
The mountains around Hauts de Montreux are threaded with forest trails,
suddenly isolated villages, caves, grottos, and wildlife. Rochers-De-Naye
itself is home to an odd little compound called "Marmots' Paradise" where
marmots from all over the world live in an observable system of underground
burrows. Kind of a rodent UN or something. Any of the train stops will
lead to several hiking options. For a real hiker's hike, tackle the four
hour, 1000 metre climb from Caux to Rochers-De-Naye. Saner folks might
want to get off at Dent-De-Jaman, just below the peak, where you can enjoy
the views and fresh air with out the huffing and puffing.
The Golden Award of Montreux,
which takes place annually in April in Montreux, is traditionally, since
1989, the first international advertising and multimedia competition in
Europe- starting the global season for awarding creative excellence.
The object of this competition
is to honor creative achievements within the cultural surroundings of television
and music festivals, reflecting in this way the advertising is part of
the global world of creativity.
/ Montreux Featured Hotels
- Smoke On The Water by Michael Russell
/ Montreux Featured Hotels
In this article we're going
to tell the true behind the scenes story of one of the most famous songs
in rock history that was actually the result of an incident at a concert.
|Everyone knows the song
"Smoke On The Water". Every kid who ever picked up a guitar for the first
time plunked out that four chord blues riff. For many kids, it's the only
thing they were ever able to play. And many of these kids think they know
the story of how that song was recorded. Yes, there was a fire, a bad one.
But what most, if not all of them, don't realize is that the fire that
broke out that day was during a Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention
The date was December 7,
1971. It was thirty years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Maybe that
should have been an omen. Certainly this was not an insignificant date
Anyway, Deep Purple, the
band who recorded "Smoke On The Water" was setting up their camp in Montreux,
Switzerland to record their next album.
were going to use a mobile recording studio to do this which they rented
from The Rolling Stones, known as their Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. They
set up at the Montreux Entertainment Complex which was part of their casino.
This is referred to as the "gambling house" in the lyrics of the song.
|Well, on the eve of their
recording session Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention were performing
live in concert at the casino's theater. They were to perform a number
of their popular songs including the epic "The Nancy & Mary Music",
"Sharleena", "Duke Of Prunes", and "Hungry Freaks Daddy". Frank Zappa was
strange to say the least. However, before they could really get into the
meat of their performance a fire broke out during the concert. It was said
to have been caused by a Swiss fan shooting a flare gun at the ceiling,
as was stated in the "some stupid with a flare gun" line that ultimately
destroyed the entire casino complex, along with all of Frank Zappa and
The Mother's equipment.
The smoke on the water that
was talked about in the song was the smoke from the fire that spread over
all of Lake Geneva. From their hotel across the way from the casino, the
members of Deep Purple watched the fire burn and the smoke cover the lake.
In the lyrics they mention a "funky Claude" running in and out. This was
actually the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival running in and out
of the casino trying to get people to safety. The aftermath of all this
was that Deep Purple had no place to record and Frank Zappa and the Mothers
were part of the most famous concert in history to get cancelled mid way
Deep Purple eventually found
another place to record, using a near empty Montreux Grand Hotel. They
converted its hallways into a makeshift recording studio.
As for Frank Zappa, the concert
was cancelled and never rescheduled. But he had become a part of history
that little kids with electric guitars will be thankful for, for a very
/ Montreux Featured Hotels
About the Author - Michael
Russell - Your Independent guide to Concerts
for hotels in Montreux
HOTELS IN MONTREUX, LAKE GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
browsing hotels in Montreux and surrounding areas
Le Montreux Palace
Built in 1906 and famously
known as Jewel of Belle-Epoque architecture, this Fairmont Palace Hotel
offers a traditional, elegant atmosphere as well as personalised service
in true Swiss style to make your stay memorable one. Situated on
the shores of Lake Geneva, the Fairmont Palace Hotel Montreux is at the
foot of Alps and a kilometre from the Montreux Train Station. The
hotel offers 235 well-appointed accommodation units that are luxuriously
furnished, offering both comfort and the latest technology for your pleasant
stay. Set in a cosy ambience, the La Brasserie du Palace Restaurant
offers a typical cuisine of a Parisian brasserie for you to feast on. The
Harry's New York Bar serves delicious a la carte, tapas, Thai-style dishes
as well as a fine drink for you to enjoy.
Hotel du Lac Vevey Montreux
Grand Hotel du Lac, where
the charm of the last century is united with today’s comfort and taste.
Faithful to the tradition of welcome of a region which is known for its
climate and scenery, the Grand Hotel du Lac offers an atmosphere of calmness
and pleasure, where the service and naturalness create a climate of well-being.
Discover one of the region most renowned dining experiences in either “Seasons”
fine dining restaurant or “La Veranda” casual dining, overlooking Lake
Geneva and the Majestic French Alps.The Bar is original and unique. Its
style of far away origins with a traditional fireplace, Chinese tapestries
and furniture, takes you late into the night.
Hotel Suisse Majestic Montreux
Offering an utmost comfort,
convenience and quality service, this property makes you to feel at home.
Majestically overlooking the Lake Geneva and Alps, the Grand Hotel is in
the in the heart of Montreux. Offering beautiful views of lake and
mountains, the 140 well-appointed accommodation units are equipped with
all the essential amenities to ensure you utmost comfort. The Grand
Cafe serves delicious traditional cuisine for you to feast on. You can
also sip your favourite drink at the cosy bar. This property offers
well-equipped meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 90 guests for organising
various important events. During leisure, you can relax at the lobby, which
is also an ideal place to meet friends.
De Famille Montreux
Enjoy the tranquil ambience
and luxurious accommodation at the De Famille Hotel, where holiday at Montreux
becomes an unforgettable one for any kind of visitors. The De Famille
Hotel is conveniently located in the city centre. All public services,
including the train station and shopping centre are a few steps away and
just a short 5-minute walk will take you to the lakeside. This property
offers 60 beautifully decorated guests rooms that are equipped with modern
in-room amenities to ensure you a comfortable and pleasant stay.
Being one of the best restaurants in Vevey, the hotel's restaurant with
a romantic and sophisticated decor make it a wonderful setting to enjoy
delicious regional cuisine and selected local products prepared with love
Eden Palace Au Lac Montreux
Being one of the jewels
of the Victorian architecture on the Swiss Riviera, the Eden Palace Au
Lac Hotel offers the best tradition of the Swiss hospitality and invites
you to an oasis of warmth, convenience and well being. Situated in
one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world, the Eden Palace Au Lac
Hotel offers splendid view over the Lake of Geneva and the Savoyan Alps.
This hotel has a wide choice of luxurious accommodation units that offer
a sublime touch of aesthetic, discreet comfort and a warm welcome. The
rooms will makes you to remember each stay at the Eden Palace Au Lac Hotel
as an unforgettable moment. Offering French cuisine, the onsite restaurants
welcome you for an unforgettable pleasure of dining in perfect relaxation.
Offering friendly atmosphere,
warm welcome, personalized service, this property prides itself as an ideal
location for business and leisure travellers. Situated in the centre
of Montreux, the Helvetie Hotel is opposite to the casino and 200 metres
from the lake. This property is close to the main shopping area and a kilometre
from the Montreux Train Station. This hotel offers well-appointed
accommodation units that have been elegantly furnished with an array of
in-room amenities to ensure you a pleasurable stay. The Helvetie
Restaurant serves delicious French cuisine for you to enjoy.
Positioned directly on the
shores of lake Geneva, this hotel is an hour's drive from the Geneva International
Airport and just minutes from the railway station in Montreux as well as
the town centre. The Royal Plaza offers 146 air-conditioned and well-decorated
guestrooms that are provided with all the modern facilities that ensure
utmost ease and luxury. Facilities and services for the disabled are also
offered at this hotel. Guests at this hotel can relish delicious
food at the onsite restaurants in elegant settings. The onsite bar is the
perfect place to enjoy a fine drink and unwind or meet up with friends
for a chat.
Toscane Swiss Q Hotel Montreux
A art nouveau villa, built
at the turn of the century Villa Toscane Swiss Quality Hotel is a very
nice hotel with a very friendly atmosphere close to the centre of Montreux.
The hotel is in an ideal location in Montreux, close to the conference
centre and the Stravinski auditorium. Many pleasant restaurants are located
close by for you to try out different dishes. All guestrooms vary
is size and colour scheme and all are in very good condition. The
onsite restaurant offers breakfast for the guests to start their day energetically.
A garden terrace and a flat roof is provide for sunbathing. Convenient
parking facilities are also provided for the guests who arrive by their
own mode of transport.