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A Hotel That Floats Above Water in Switzerland

This month’s Destination Design takes you to Switzerland’s Lake Neuchâtel, home to Europe’s only hotel built on stilts, Hotel Palafitte. Hovering over the majestic waters, the wood-clad guest pavilions offer visitors jaw-dropping views from every spot in the room, making it the perfect modern, lakeside getaway.

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The 5 star hotel features 40 private guest pavilions that house 120 beds and a full-service restaurant, all within a peaceful setting.

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Each pavilion has its own terrace and you can choose between a lake pavilion or a shore pavilion.

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The hotel’s design came about as part of a collaboration between architect Kurt Hoffman and his students at the Lausanne Hotel School and it came to fruition about 13 years ago as part of the Swiss National Expo in 2002. It was only supposed to be open for six months, but clearly it was built to stick around.

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Each of the 24 lake pavilions are built on stilts and have individual bedrooms, a bathroom with a movable partition wall allowing you to view the lake from the tub, an office, and a large terrace with views of the Alps in the distance. There’s even a ladder letting you access the lake directly from your private terrace.

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The shore pavilions are built on stilts as well, but they sit just on the edge of the lake. All 16 of these come with views of the tranquil lake.

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Reception

Reception

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What: Hotel Palafitte
Where: Route des Gouttes-d’Or 2, 2000 Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland
How much? From approx. 90 € per night
Highlights: A 5 star luxury hotel with tranquil views of Lake Neuchâtel and the Alps.
Design draw: Individual guest pavilions, each with their own terrace, with beautiful wooden tubs where the view can be enjoyed as well.
Book it: Call +41 32 723 02 02 or email [email protected]

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.