Premier Hospitality

Hotel Royal Savoy Lausanne


Hotel Royal Savoy Lausanne


The Hotel Royal Savoy Lausanne is back to its glorious best after a complete renovation by interior design practice MKV Design. The work on the five-star establishment, part of Katara Hospitality’s Bürgenstock Selection, has now resulted in an SBID International Design Award nomination in the ‘Hotel Design’ category.

With stunning views of both Lake Geneva and the French Alps, Hotel Royal Savoy had undergone a number of makeovers over the years, but as time progressed, it took on a dated look. MKV Design had previously worked on a project in Switzerland and was approached to take on the substantial task of the redesign project. Helen Quaine, associate at MKV, talked Premier Hospitality through the brief:

“Obviously it’s a historical building and it’s been redecorated a number of times over its lifetime. The last time was in the 1970s and it had a fairly dated look. The idea was to strip it all back and try to restore or put back some of the original design features. Then the redesign would be complemented with a contemporary feel through the furnishings and finishing.”

In addition to work on the existing building, a new wing was added to increase the hotel’s capacity. Lead designer Roland Adrio explained the impact this had on the layout:

“The building is listed but we also extended it, adding a new building which is connected to the rear of property by way of a fully glazed walkway. Naturally, there were a few planning issues to deal with but the result is a new building which is modern yet nevertheless corresponds well with the old building.”

“The existing building has six floors plus the ground floor and basement, and, soon to be completed, a new rooftop bar. The substantial conference spaces are now shared between the ground and lower levels of both the existing and the new buildings with the new and largest function room opening onto the gardens”.

In addition to achieving 95 new guestrooms, the extension has also facilitated the development of a luxury spa. This includes an outdoor sunken terrace, a pool which flows from indoors into the gardens outside, eight treatment rooms, a hammam and steam room, two private treatment rooms and state-of-the-art fitness facilities. Nero Assoluto marble flooring, iroko and oak timber and mosaic tiles give the spa a modern feel.

Bedrooms in the original building have been updated with oak flooring, classic furnishings and a modern Nouveau style rug. Rooms in the new extension are more contemporary in style while sharing many of the same finishes, fittings and materials. Artwork features prominently throughout the hotel. In the lobby lounge, there is an impressive collection of original antique paintings owned by the client. Elsewhere there is vibrant abstract artwork by a Swiss artist and black and white photography depicting the old hotel. Behind the concierge desk, a backlit glass screen inlaid with gold film references the original building’s Art Nouveau beginnings.

The hotel’s restaurant, Brasserie du Royal, comprises four interconnected spaces including a new conservatory with a view of the gardens. Classic furniture has been embroidered with a Swiss motif and contrasts with the contemporary open kitchen serving traditional dishes with a modern touch. Many of the dishes have been created by Michelin-starred Chef Marc Haeberlin. A corridor that was previously disused had been inventively revamped to house chill cabinets that display regional wines, cold cuts and local cheeses.

MKV Design launched in 1999 and has offices in the UK and Switzerland. The company has worked on projects around the world, including hotels in London, Vienna, Budapest, Athens, Jo’Burg and Baku as well as a number of luxury resorts in Greece and Switzerland. It has built a reputation for intelligent, innovative and inspiring design.


Given the project had its beginnings in 2009 the award nomination had been warmly received with Helen commenting:

“Obviously it’s rewarding to be recognised for the work that we’ve done over so many years and great to be appreciated for trying to be authentic to the original design while incorporating new, contemporary features.”


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