Elaine and Scott Harris
Our journalistic path has taken us on a journey to many countries over the years. Switzerland, however, has to be at the top of the list. With direct flights from Las Vegas to this enchanted country, we were all on board with discovering the country that Charlie Chaplin called home. Switzerland is diverse and never disappoints in its majestic grandeur and superb offerings. Once again, Switzerland amazed us with a hotel that has quite a surprising theme.
Canton Vaud is located on the north shore of Lake Geneva not far from Lausanne. There have been settlements here as early as the 2nd millennium B.C.E. Under Rome; it was known as Viviscus or Vibiscum. This part of Switzerland is the French-speaking region and lives up to it in all aspects of daily life.
The town of Vevey is noted for being the final home of comedy legend Charlie Chaplin and his family from 1952 to 1977 and now showcases the newly-opened museum honoring Chaplin’s work, called Chaplin’s World. It is also known as the world headquarters of the food giant Nestlé, founded in 1867. And why do you ask? There is a long sweet history in this city. Milk chocolate was invented in Vevey by Daniel Peter in 1875.
Arriving at the train station, we were whisked away by our driver to the new Modern Times Hotel. As you enter, you can’t help but be drawn to its sleek contemporary design and original décor. The Modern Times is conveniently located between the lake and mountains at the heart of the Vaudois Riviera.
Enjoy your room with a magnificent view of mountains and sweeping green while sheep graze upon the outside pastures. The Times Bar just off the lobby is a great way to spend some time and indulge in an array of snacks with a libation of your choice.
After a day of exploring Lake Geneva’s offerings and beauty or the nearby Chaplin’s World museum, you work up an appetite, and you don’t have to go further than Times Grill in the hotel for satiety. This venue features a modern chic décor honoring Chaplin with panoramic windows and whimsical depictions of the “Tramp” character, bringing a spirit of frivolity and fun to the dining experience. The huge outdoor patio offers world class vista views and unmatched tableside service. Our attention was drawn to the show-grill where guests can enjoy the open kitchen and dine on quality local products prepared right in front of them.
The team of executive chef Fabien Thomas and director of food & beverage Cyril Dederding provide excellent cuisine, wine, and hospitality. First off, enjoy the plat du jour; no matter what day it may be, it will be excellent. The grilled slice of foie gras, Jerusalem artichokes, hazelnuts, and chips of artichoke is not to be passed up (for a similar recipe, in soup form, click here). For a tasty side, the green and white asparagus cream and cow milk cheese with pepper is the perfect complement to most of the dishes. For a big finish, share and slice into a 28.2-ounce Swiss T-bone chop, which is suitable for two people.
The Modern Times Hotel and its tribute to the iconic Charlie Chaplin is special. Whether you are there for business in historic Vevey, or a vacation, the hotel’s excellent dining and lounge options and attentive staff will provide a comfortable experience with a Chaplin touch.