The Hotel Brasserie Au Violin is a beautiful hotel in central Basel, Switzerland right on the edge of what is called the “old city”. Mike had a meeting with clients that were located centrally and they suggested that we stay here.
We were intrigued as soon as we heard the words “converted prison.”
Ghosts? Hauntings? Lonely, unjustly wronged souls wandering the hallways in search of peace and a restful afterlife?
Perhaps, though spectral visitors didn't make an appearance when we were there. Nevertheless, this hotel is so beautiful and so unique that we would gladly stay again in a heartbeat.
From the road you can access the hotel by the side of a beautiful old Church, the archway allowing you entry to a beautiful courtyard.
The hotel is very typical for a small boutique type hotel. A small sitting room with a TV was all that was available for TV viewing on our prison block. We didn't stay in the larger cells that had TV's in them and to be honest, we didn't miss TV at all.
As soon as we entered our hallway, the though of ghosts popped into my head immediately.
That dark space in the middle.
Haunted. I guarantee it. That's where the ghosts live. Waiting for you to step into the shadows..and then you are theirs!
I watch too much television when I'm not travelling. Anyone remember that Doctor Who episode with River and the shadows?
The fact that Mike had to duck to enter our room spoke volumes about the conversion. The rooms might have been two prison cells joined together to make one room, but those low doorways were left alone. Short, prison cell doorways.
Our room was small, but beautiful. The windows open to the courtyard to get a lovely breeze if needed. The bed was comfortable (two twins side by side which could have been moved apart) and there was just enough space for us.
The bathroom was small but entirely functional.
The breakfast room was a cheery place to head first thing in the morning, with those lovely buttery walls, wooden tables and homespun feel to it. It was my favorite room there!
Oh, did I mention the creepy jailer in the breakfast room?
We really hoped everyone else could see him too… we were a bit afraid to ask.
I mean, what do you DO if no one else sees him other than you?
Breakfast is simple and very European continental. Breads of many types, cheese, juices, jams and yogurt. The croissants were baked downstairs, were glazed with sugar and were warm from the oven every morning.
I've never had a better croissant.
The courtyard may have been beautiful in the day..
..but it was gorgeous at night. The lights strung across and reflecting on the stilled fountain in the middle were a sight to behold. It's one of those moments when you are taken aback and realize that wow. Yes. I am here. In Switzerland.
I know it sounds silly, but sometimes when travelling you are so in the moment that you don't step OUT of the moment to look at what's really going on in the big picture.
This was big picture. This was a wow moment.
We were only two short days in Basel then had to take the train back to Paris. This hotel was so perfectly located, close to the trolley (two heading in different directions) and within 2 minutes walking distance to amazing stores, restaurants and more. I loved it so much that I have to stay here again next time. We adored it.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek! I'll be writing about the one restaurant we loved in Basel soon!