Ever since Audrey Tautou played Mademoiselle C. in Coco Before Chanel and then starred in the best travel porn commercial ever (for Chanel parfum on the Orient Express, no less), I’ve been fascinated by Coco and her travels.
In the last years of her life, Coco preferred the cooler climes of Lausanne to her native Paris. Her lengthy stay at the legendary Beau Rivage Palace was in Junior Suite 460, a room that was even featured in the last scenes of that other lush Chanel film, Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.
So in love was Coco with this delightful lakeside hotel that when her beloved dog died, she had him buried on the property.
Chanel fanatics can now include a ride on the 100-year old Lake Geneva steamboat, La Suisse as part of their “Sunset Cruise” package (book until August 27th). The package includes dinner aboard La Suisse, two nights accommodations and amenities Coco herself would have insisted upon: champagne on arrival and in room flowers and fruit basket.
And if a visit to the on-property grave of Coco’s pooch is not enough, you can go to the actual site of Chanel’s last resting place at Bois de Vaux cemetery just outside of town.
She’s buried under two interlocking topiary C’s, which show that even after death, good marketing never dies.
GRETCHEN KELLY writes about hotels, destinations and unique travel experience for the New York Post, Luxury Travel Advisor, Frommers.com, Executive Travel, Interior Design, The Travel Channel.com and many other publications and websites. She has been to over 80 countries in the past ten years. Her areas of expertise include travel and culture, art, design and film-related travel. She has been interviewed as a travel expert on the Fox Network, BBC TV and BBC radio, among others. You can reach her at Twitter @gretchenkelly or on her website, www.gretchenkelly.com.