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Special feature: Evian Royal Resort, Evian, France

Evian Royal PalaceIt’s hard to know where to start with the Evian Royal Resort. Within the resort there are two hotels (the Evian Royal Palace and the Evian Royal Ermitage), with two spas (the Evian Royal Spa and the Spa Maison respectively), the Grange au Lac auditorium, the Evian Royal Kids Resort, a rose garden, a vegetable garden, a tranquil lake, pitch and putt, several tennis courts, squash, a football pitch, a climbing wall, archery, a horse riding centre, a helipad, an aviary… the list goes on and on! Masters golf courseAs if that wasn’t enough, further afield there is the Evian Masters Golf Club (the resort was voted Europe’s Leading Golf Resort in the  latest World Travel Awards) just 2 kms away and the Evian Masters Training Centre (3 kms).   In the centre of Evian itself (which can be accessed directly from the resort via a funicular in season), the resort runs the Evian Royal Casino. ViewWe stayed in the Evian Royal Palace, in a suite with a stunning view  across Lake Geneva (or Lake Léman as it is known on the French side) towards Lausanne, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.   The room was extremely spacious, equipped with all the amenities you might expect and a beautifully marbled bathroom. Café RoyalAs far as dining is concerned, you are again spoilt for choice here.   At the Evian Royal Palace, there is the formal, Michelin-starred  Le Café Royal (pictured) and the rather more relaxed Le Café Sud just opposite.   There’s also buffets and grilled dishes at L’Oliveraie, and unique, ‘synergetic cuisine’ at Le Jardin des Lys with dishes that aim to prolong well-being. ScallopsThe Evian Royal Ermitage Hotel also has a number of dining options and there I tried seared scallops, cooked to perfection  on a bed of  squid ink linguine, at La Toscane which specialises in the flavours and aromas of Italy.    Alternatively,  within this hotel  you can savour the  contemporary cuisine offered by Le Gourmandin.     Red snapperStill further dining options can be enjoyed at the Evian Royal Casino and the Evian Masters Golf Club.   We tried Le Liberté brasserie at the casino where I had succulent red snapper.   In all, the resort offers no fewer than eleven very varied dining experiences.  Couple this with the regularly changing menus and the choice is staggering. Fuji massageAt the Evian Royal Spa, my wife was treated to a Fuji Massage and an Abhyanga Massage. The first consisted of hot stones placed on specific parts of the body and used to give a deep, relaxing massage and both were equally invigorating.   The spa is not affiliated with any particular brand and so has free use the best product for any given treatment. SpaIt’s also strictly for the use of the  resort’s guests only, and not open to the public – a wise move to ensure exclusivity. It has an indoor pool and an outdoor hydro-contact trail where you can go from one hot pool to another and be massaged by a variety of jets. Once again, they’ve thought of everything here… there’s even a hairdressers among the facilities offered. Infinity pool Outside there’s  one of the most stunning outdoor swimming pools I’ve seen – a beautiful infinity pool  overlooking  Lake Geneva and the spectacular mountains beyond.  Sadly it wasn’t the right time of year for us to be using  it, but I imagine it’s a great place to relax in the summer. For younger guests, there’s an indoor pool at the Evian Royal Kids Resort. Kids ResortThe Kids Resort is superbly equipped, making the Evian Royal Resort a great place for a family holiday, and giving tired parents an opportunity to unwind.   Our two-year-old son enjoyed running around with anything with wheels, but there’s also craft-oriented facilities and a playground.  For older children, there’s a Dreamcast or the opportunity to  burn off some energy with  activities away from the resort. At the end of our three night stay, we felt totally refreshed and had thoroughly enjoyed our time at Evian Royal Resort. We had  reached Evian by private vehicle from Geneva which is just 45 kilometres away, but there are also daily train connections from Paris  by TGV. Alternatively you could come by boat from Lausanne or arrive in style by helicopter to the resort’s private helipad (N 46 ° 23 min 792s,  E 6 ° 35 min 729s). If you are ever in the vicinity, it’s definitely worth looking up.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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