Where to Go Next – The Hotel Aquatis has just opened in Lausanne, Switzerland, in a complex with an aquarium and water museum. It’s an interesting combination, but not so unusual considering snow-covered Swiss Alps melt into picturesque lakes, such as the one Lausanne sits alongside. That would be Lake Geneva.
The complex is called Aquatis City of Water.
The Hotel Aquatis features 143 rooms, conference areas, a spa and restaurants, overlooking the lake. It is the largest hotel in Lausanne. The decor is sleek and modern, with lots of splashes of turquoise, the color of the Caribbean.
The aquarium and water museum feature more than 10,000 fish species and other living organisms from fresh water systems around the world, including catfish from the Rhone River and piranhas from the Amazon. There are some 20 water environments among the interactive displays.
Lausanne, Switzerland, also is home to the Olympic Museum, the largest archive of the Olympic Games in the world, with more than 10,000 artifacts on display. It’s one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
My own personal favorite spot is the Alimentarium, in the Lausanne suburb of Vevey. It’s a history of food, housed in the Beaux Arts chateau that used to be the headquarters of one of the world’s largest food companies, founded by Henri Nestlé. He invented a method of producing milk powder in 1867, and changed the way we all eat and drink.
As I wrote on AOL MapQuest, in an article on the world’s best food museums, modern interactive exhibits explore farming, nutrition and food preparation from prehistoric times to the present. And a 3-D movie takes you on a trip through the digestive system. A huge collection of food-related artifacts includes ancient wooden molds, pressure cookers and modern pasta machines, and very little Nestle advertising propaganda.
The garden contains a sculpture of another famous international brand: longtime Vevey resident Charlie Chaplin.