Lying at the heart of Basel in Switzerland, Grand Hôtel Les Trois Rois is one of the oldest city hotels in Europe. In the Middle Ages, ships docked around here at the salt tower and transported produce down the Rhine and into the world.
The hotel was founded in 1681 as an inn for gentlemen and rebuilt in 1844 as a Grand Hotel. Its guests were – and are – illustrious, visiting from all around the world: Empress Michiko of Japan, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, and Thomas Mann to name a few, and also Elton John as well as Roger Federer like to come here.
Last week, the Grand Lady of Luxury Hotels received the highest accolade – “Hotel of the Year 2020” and receiving the highest accolades as the “Number 1 Gourmandise Hotel of Switzerland” holding a 19/20 score in the Swiss Gault&Millau guide.
The Signature Restaurant Cheval Blanc with Peter Knogl, Chef of the Year 2011 and 2014, made headlines by getting the third Michelin Star in 2016, which made it the third 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Switzerland.
Peter Knogl has been Chef de Cuisine of the Restaurant Cheval Blanc since the spring of 2007. The son of a Bavarian farmer, he began his epicurean journey in the charming Bavarian lakeside village of Aschau im Chiemgau where he worked under the tutelage of the Michelin 3-Star celebrity chef Heinz Winkler, not to mention the 5-Star Diamond in Beijing from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences before.
But it is not only the culinary journey that leads to Basel which is home to 40 museums, a city of culture for connoisseurs, and has the highest concentration of museums in the country.
The Kunst museum Basel houses the largest and most significant public art collection in Switzerland and is listed as a heritage site of national significance. It possesses the largest collection of works by the Holbein family and important pieces of Lukas Cranach the Elder, as well as key works of the 19th century Paul Gaugin, Paul Cezanne, and Claude Monet to name just a few.
Internationally-known museums such as the Basel Art Museum, the museum devoted to the iron sculptor Jean Tinguely; the Fondation Beyeler; and the Museum of Cultures attract many visitors from all the world. But it is not only museums.
Basel becomes a world stage when hosting the leading World Trade Fairs like Baselworld, an exhibition for watches and Jewelry, where stands seem like real fortresses and can easily cost over US$1million for 3 days and a room with AirBnB can cost up to 1,000 CHF.
ART Basel is a leading art exhibition showing the artworks of over 4,000 artists and celebrating next year its 50th anniversary in June 2020. It is the time when nearly 100,000 visitors from all the world will go to Basel, which is a city of merely 180,000 inhabitants. This mega event makes hoteliers happy but visitors desperate – who are staying as far as in Zurich, but also across the borders of France and Germany. Yes, it’s that popular.