Hôtel des Horlogers Review

Visiting a Swiss manufacture in the Vallée de Joux? Book a stay at Hôtel des Horlogers, a contemporary marvel in the midst of the idyllic countryside.

Hôtel des Horlogers Review

The small towns where Swiss watch manufactures are located are known for their charming streets and picturesque surroundings. However, finding a luxury hotel can be challenging. Audemars Piguet decided to change this when it opened the stunning Hôtel des Horlogers in its hometown of Le Brassus in 2022 on the site of the former Hôtel de France. The name means “the watchmakers’ hotel,” and all brands and their clients are welcome. I stayed at Hôtel des Horlogers Le Brassus in January 2023 on a trip with Audemars Piguet, and I was delighted as both a watch aficionado and a seasoned travel writer. Read on for my Hôtel des Horlogers review. 

Hôtel des Horlogers Review

Hôtel des Horlogers Review
The unique architectural design of Hôtel des Horlogers

The hotel’s modern architecture is unlike any other. It’s located atop a hill overlooking lush or snowy meadows (depending on the season), the Orbe river, and the Risoud Forest. The building zigzags in staggered layers from the road at the apex of the hill down to the meadow. Hôtel des Horlogers is a collaboration between designers BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group – and CCHE, a Swiss architecture firm. These two companies were also behind the neighboring Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, creating an avant-garde paradise on a historic street. This zigzag building is a natural geometric follow-up to the museum, which has an award-winning spiral design. 

The boutique hotel has 50 rooms, including several suites. Each one has large glass windows overlooking the meadow below. Instead of stairs, the building has gently sloping hallways that connect all of the rooms. This staggered design also means that no room is atop another, so it’s even more tranquil than a usual countryside retreat. 

Hôtel des Horlogers room
All rooms at Hôtel des Horlogers overlook the nearby meadow

Hôtel des Horlogers has a crisp neutral color palette, with grays, whites, and light-toned woods throughout. The interiors are inspired by the nearby Risoud Forest and feature local stone and wood. The beds are very comfortable and have fluffy duvets and pillows. A sleek desk is incorporated into one wall below a large smart television. The contemporary, minimalist bathrooms are a bit short on storage but quite spacious. Guest rooms have armchairs along the wall of windows so you can admire the view, while suites have separate sitting areas. 

The hotel’s surroundings are great for outdoor activities, including downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer. A visit to the spa is great for soothing sore muscles after activities — or after a red-eye flight. There’s also a small but well-equipped fitness center full of bright natural light. 

The hotel’s eco-friendly efforts include heating and cooling, plastic-free amenities, sustainable building materials and practices, and plenty of charging stations for electric vehicles. The hotel achieved the prestigious Minergie-ECO certification.

The Restaurants

Hôtel des Horlogers restaurant
The restaurant at Hôtel des Horlogers serves Swiss cuisine in a refined space

Hôtel des Horlogers has two main dining options, both with menus designed by Chef Emmanuel Renaut, a French chef with three Michelin stars. 

The more casual Bar des Horlogers is great for cocktails and a relaxed dinner. You can order local cheese and charcuterie, sandwiches, and other snacks. Many of the cocktails feature herbs sourced from the nearby Risoud Forest. 

Brasserie Le Gogant hosts breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is a typical Swiss buffet, while lunch and dinner have à la carte menus. Every dish is seasonal, and the menu features 70% locally sourced produce. While the cuisine is delicious, the menu is quite Swiss and can be a bit heavy. It does have a wonderful selection of wine, including local Swiss wine. Chasselas is a La Patiala favorite. 

Which Watch Brands Are Near Hôtel des Horlogers? 

The hotel is located next door to Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet and one of its manufactures. Blancpain, Breguet, and Jaeger-LeCoultre are all nearby, although you will need a car to visit them. There’s also a museum, Espace Horloger, dedicated to Swiss watchmaking nearby. 

How to Get to Hôtel des Horlogers

Hôtel des Horlogers is located in Le Brassus, Switzerland, a village in La Vallée de Joux that is about an hour away from Geneva. If you plan on exploring the region, rent a car and enjoy the picturesque journey through winding roads and unspoiled hillsides. If you are only coming to visit the Audemars Piguet museum and returning to Geneva, you can book a driver or take the train. A car is more convenient, as you will have to transfer to a bus or another train if you opt for public transportation, and the hotel can arrange a car for you. The hotel is less than a five-minute walk from the train station.

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