chateau de divonnePhotos courtesy of Château de Divonne








A fortified house existed on this site since the beginning of the 11th to the 15th century when it was burned down and demolished during the Bernese occupation. A postern near the entrance of today’s château is all that remains. Another structure was soon built, but it too was destroyed by the Genevese in 1590.

Another château was built and passed from the lords of Divonne into the La-Forest family by marriage in 1650. A descendant of this union, Claude-Antoine, restored the property from 1765-1770, just in time for the French Revolution. The château was then declared “public property.” Thanks to the efforts of King Charles X during the Restoration, the La-Forest family were able to buy it back in 1825. The portrait of the king in the entry hall is in acknowledgement of his assistance.

Pamela’s Perspective

The Château de Divonne is well located if you’re flying into or out of Geneva. Hotels in Geneva can be expensive; come to France instead! If you’re driving into Switzerland, don’t forget to buy a sticker (vignette) to drive on the Swiss motorways. These are available at the border.


Château de Divonne

An 18th-century château


115, rue des Bains
01220 Divonne-les-Bains
Tel: ++33 (0)4 50 20 00 32
Fax:++33 (0)4 50 20 03 73
Hotel website
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Fast facts

34 rooms

Double rooms: 165–335 euros
Suites: from 420 euros
Breakfast extra

Open: all year

Getting there

Divonne-les-Bains is 20 km north of the city of Geneva. The nearest train station is in Geneva.

What to do

On site: seasonal swimming pool; library; bicycling
Nearby: golf; casino; skiing; cruises on Lake Geneva; Ferney-Voltaire Castle (Voltaire’s former home); Geneva


Yes, chapel on site.


Because of a fire and subsequent water damage, the Château will be closed for approximately 18 months. Here's hoping the reconstruction goes well!

Divonne-les-Bains is a delightful 19th-century spa town right on the Swiss border near Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). Perched on a small hill just above the town, the Château de Divonne is set in a park filled with oak and chestnut trees. And in keeping with the charm of the village, an overnight stay at the château will give you a glimpse into a long-ago aristocratic world.

The atmosphere here is very much Old World with just enough modern touches. Gilt-edged mirrors and centuries-old artwork grace the walls, while a grand sweeping staircase (don’t worry; there’s an elevator) leads to the guestrooms.

Guest room decor is traditional with floral wallpaper that coordinates with the bedspread, comfy beds, and occasional furnishings that reflect the château’s heritage. Rooms vary in size, and a few have fine wood-beamed ceilings. The best rooms to book are those in the rear of the hotel. It’s worth it to wake up in the morning with a fantastic view of Mont Blanc out your window! Bathrooms are completely modernized.

If the weather is good, by all means take a drink or enjoy a gourmet meal on the outside terrace. The setting is lovely.

Something special

curlicue Panoramic view of Mont Blanc