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Lounging in Lausanne

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Story and Photos by Chris Cooper
 
Switzerland, with spectacular mountain scenery at every turn, is the place to be. Geneva, its big international city, is actually lower on the list of Swiss hot spots. So make like the locals and head for Lausanne -- an absurdly short train ride away -- where the dreary drone of Geneva's U.N. bureaucrats is replaced by the beat of house music at MAD.

Located in the Flon district, MAD and its long-running Sunday night gay party rule the scene amid several edgy clubs and restaurants tucked into a valley running through the middle of the city. Look for the giant pink condom on the side of the building…
 
To lay one’s head at the end of the night, two five-star options brighten things considerably. The Beau-Rivage Palace in Ouchy, Lausanne’s port area on Lake Geneva, caters to a leisure crowd that craves Old World décor and doesn’t mind the schlep up the hill to the town center.

The Hotel Lausanne Palace and Spa perches on high in the center of the action, with panoramic views. It makes up for the more business-like clientele by offering a tremendous spa and proximity to Avenue Tivoli, Lausanne’s gay street, a short walk out the hotel’s front door. Just around the corner of Tivoli, Swiss francs stretch further at the Rainbow Inn, an expansive top-floor apartment converted into a gay guesthouse where facilities are shared (only the Blue Room has a private bath). A stay there gets guys free access to the largest gay sauna in Switzerland, the Pink Beach , on Avenue Tivoli; the rest is up to you.
 
The small but vibrant gay scene on Tivoli isn’t the town’s only attraction, however: seek absolution for last night’s sins in the beautiful cathedral in the old city; or if Beijing didn’t satisfy the hunger for athletic flesh, the Olympic Museum, with its tales of the original Olympians oiling each other up for nude wrestling, might do the trick.

For more mundane hunger, a lunch cruise on Lake Geneva is serene, and both Ma Mère M’a Dit on Tivoli and Les Alliés present satisfying local fare. But for true local color (with a rainbow twist), a quick trip by train, car, or free bike rental to the neighboring village of Rolle for a wine tasting at Cave La Muscadelle is a must. Here openly gay proprietor Jean-Daniel Gallay (who speaks only French, but arrangements can be made by e-mail in English) continues his family’s century-old traditions on the vineyard-covered slopes of Lake Geneva, distilling the simple splendors of Lausanne to perfection.


Story and Photos by Chris Cooper
 
Switzerland, with spectacular mountain scenery at every turn, is the place to be. Geneva, its big international city, is actually lower on the list of Swiss hot spots. So make like the locals and head for Lausanne -- an absurdly short train ride away -- where the dreary drone of Geneva's U.N. bureaucrats is replaced by the beat of house music at MAD.

Located in the Flon district, MAD and its long-running Sunday night gay party rule the scene amid several edgy clubs and restaurants tucked into a valley running through the middle of the city. Look for the giant pink condom on the side of the building…
 
To lay one’s head at the end of the night, two five-star options brighten things considerably. The Beau-Rivage Palace in Ouchy, Lausanne’s port area on Lake Geneva, caters to a leisure crowd that craves Old World décor and doesn’t mind the schlep up the hill to the town center.

The Hotel Lausanne Palace and Spa perches on high in the center of the action, with panoramic views. It makes up for the more business-like clientele by offering a tremendous spa and proximity to Avenue Tivoli, Lausanne’s gay street, a short walk out the hotel’s front door. Just around the corner of Tivoli, Swiss francs stretch further at the Rainbow Inn, an expansive top-floor apartment converted into a gay guesthouse where facilities are shared (only the Blue Room has a private bath). A stay there gets guys free access to the largest gay sauna in Switzerland, the Pink Beach , on Avenue Tivoli; the rest is up to you.
 
The small but vibrant gay scene on Tivoli isn’t the town’s only attraction, however: seek absolution for last night’s sins in the beautiful cathedral in the old city; or if Beijing didn’t satisfy the hunger for athletic flesh, the Olympic Museum, with its tales of the original Olympians oiling each other up for nude wrestling, might do the trick.

For more mundane hunger, a lunch cruise on Lake Geneva is serene, and both Ma Mère M’a Dit on Tivoli and Les Alliés present satisfying local fare. But for true local color (with a rainbow twist), a quick trip by train, car, or free bike rental to the neighboring village of Rolle for a wine tasting at Cave La Muscadelle is a must. Here openly gay proprietor Jean-Daniel Gallay (who speaks only French, but arrangements can be made by e-mail in English) continues his family’s century-old traditions on the vineyard-covered slopes of Lake Geneva, distilling the simple splendors of Lausanne to perfection.

Story and Photos by Chris Cooper
 
Switzerland, with spectacular mountain scenery at every turn, is the place to be. Geneva, its big international city, is actually lower on the list of Swiss hot spots. So make like the locals and head for Lausanne -- an absurdly short train ride away -- where the dreary drone of Geneva's U.N. bureaucrats is replaced by the beat of house music at MAD.

Located in the Flon district, MAD and its long-running Sunday night gay party rule the scene amid several edgy clubs and restaurants tucked into a valley running through the middle of the city. Look for the giant pink condom on the side of the building…
 
To lay one’s head at the end of the night, two five-star options brighten things considerably. The Beau-Rivage Palace in Ouchy, Lausanne’s port area on Lake Geneva, caters to a leisure crowd that craves Old World décor and doesn’t mind the schlep up the hill to the town center.

The Hotel Lausanne Palace and Spa perches on high in the center of the action, with panoramic views. It makes up for the more business-like clientele by offering a tremendous spa and proximity to Avenue Tivoli, Lausanne’s gay street, a short walk out the hotel’s front door. Just around the corner of Tivoli, Swiss francs stretch further at the Rainbow Inn, an expansive top-floor apartment converted into a gay guesthouse where facilities are shared (only the Blue Room has a private bath). A stay there gets guys free access to the largest gay sauna in Switzerland, the Pink Beach , on Avenue Tivoli; the rest is up to you.
 
The small but vibrant gay scene on Tivoli isn’t the town’s only attraction, however: seek absolution for last night’s sins in the beautiful cathedral in the old city; or if Beijing didn’t satisfy the hunger for athletic flesh, the Olympic Museum, with its tales of the original Olympians oiling each other up for nude wrestling, might do the trick.

For more mundane hunger, a lunch cruise on Lake Geneva is serene, and both Ma Mère M’a Dit on Tivoli and Les Alliés present satisfying local fare. But for true local color (with a rainbow twist), a quick trip by train, car, or free bike rental to the neighboring village of Rolle for a wine tasting at Cave La Muscadelle is a must. Here openly gay proprietor Jean-Daniel Gallay (who speaks only French, but arrangements can be made by e-mail in English) continues his family’s century-old traditions on the vineyard-covered slopes of Lake Geneva, distilling the simple splendors of Lausanne to perfection.
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