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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Beautiful with its soft-yellow façade dressed with pretty shutters, the Grand Hotel Bella Tola is terraced on the hillside, fronted by a pretty garden and lawn, and looks out to the magnificence of the surrounding peaks and plunging valley. It is elegant and the Buchs-Favre family exude friendliness and hospitality. Bedrooms come in three categories: “historic”, smaller tailored rooms with shower; “nostalgic”, larger rooms furnished with lovely antiques accompanied by large bathrooms and balconies; and “superior”, the same as romantic but a little larger. I was able to see every room, and noted all-too-many favorites: from 301, a lovely top corner room, to 306 with its own balcony, and 308, a smaller but charming corner room, to room 307 whose bathroom window gives a peek at the Matterhorn. Three apartments in the chalet just beside the hotel are also available. The hotel also offers a lovely spa and wellness area. In summer breakfast is served in the historical dining room and for dinner you can choose between French cuisine in the conservatory or traditional Swiss fare in the cozy stubli. The village of St. Luc clings to the side of the valley, with skiing being the premier draw in winter and hiking in summer. Guests often take the funicular up the mountain to the observatory, and one of the most popular walks takes you to scale models of the planets.
It’s a long white house with several floors, reminiscent of the way they used to build in alpine regions in the old days. Rising up likea lighthouse at the entrance of the village, its blue-shutters marked with the patina of time and its romantic white balconies invite you to make a detour. Inside the house, the original decoration has been preserved and everything reflects elegant, late 19th century “art de vivre”. The hotel dates from 1883 and received the award of the “historical hotel of the year 2001”.