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Hotel Arbez: Lets You Sleep In Two Countries At One Time

The Hotel Arbez offers guests a unique experience
The Hotel Arbez offers guests a unique experience. (Image courtesy: Google)

Usually, when we plan a trip, we choose the destination first, and then a hotel. But when it is the alpine village of La Cure, it happens opposite.

In this case people first choose Hotel Arbez. But what’s in the hotel that people pick La Cure to stay here? Let’s explore.

Hotel Arbez:

Welcome to the Hotel Arbez. Here you can enjoy your French vacation as well as your Swiss vacation at the same time.

Image courtesy: Google
Image courtesy: Google

Numerous cross-country skiers and also the regular travellers enjoy the rustic, two-star accommodation at the Hotel Arbez these days.

The restaurant serves cuisines from both cultures Image courtesy: Google
The restaurant serves cuisines from both cultures. (Image courtesy: Google)

The dining room is divided by the French-Swiss border, and the two respective flags hang at opposite ends of the room.

This hotel lets you sleep in two countries at the same time Image courtesy: Google
This hotel lets you sleep in two countries at the same time. (Image courtesy: Google)

Not only the dining place, but this hotel lets you sleep in these two countries at a time. In some rooms, guests sleep with their heads in France and their feet in Switzerland.

The honeymoon Suite Image courtesy: Google
The honeymoon Suite. (Image courtesy: Google)

The bed in the honeymoon suite is neatly bisected as well.

Another room is entirely in Switzerland, except for the bathroom, which is French.

A Century-Old Building: The History Behind

The hotel building date backs in 1862-’63. It was built shortly after France and Switzerland came to an agreement in 1862 to redraw the border in the area.

France and Switzerland had already been internal trouble over the two-mile Dappes Valley, just north of Geneva, for generations.

The controversy began when Napoleon annexed it in 1802. His defeat at Waterloo returned it to the Swiss, but the French wanted it back.

Finally, the Swiss agreed to let Dappes go to France in return of a few square miles of French land in the northeast.

The handoff was scheduled for February 20, 1863.

A shot of the store of Monsieur Ponthus at the end of the 19th century Image courtesy :- Google
A shot of the store of Monsieur Ponthus at the end of the 19th-century. (Image courtesy: Google)

But within the process of the contract, a local property owner named M. Ponthus built a building at the new to-be border area.

And there made a bar on the French side and grocery store in the Swiss part. He has had a thought to make a huge profit on a quasi-legal cross-border trade in alcohol, tobacco, and chocolate.

Hotel Arbez Franco-Suisse Image courtesy :- Google
Hotel Arbez Franco-Suisse. (Image courtesy: Google)

By 1921 Ponthus’ heirs had fallen on hard times, and the building was sold to Jules-Jean Arbeze, who remodelled it and reopened it as a hotel. This hotel is also known as Hotel Franco-Suisse.

Hotel Arbez Obstructed the Nazi Soldiers:

It may sound unexpected, but it’s true. The floor plan of Hotel Arbez obstructed Nazi soldiers during the World War II.

Staircase to Upper-floors Image courtesy: Google

The staircase to the hotel’s upper floors crossed the Swiss border halfway up. Just because the German soldiers in occupied France couldn’t enter the neutral Switzerland, the entire upstairs became a safe haven for the escapees and members of the French Resistance.

For the same reason, Algerian freedom fighters stayed upstairs in 1962 while the Evian Accords were being conferred to end the civil war in Algeria.

Schengen Area Countries List Image courtesy :- Google
Schengen area countries list. (Image courtesy: Google)

Thanks to both the countries Switzerland and France for being part of the Schengen Agreement.

This contract lets the travellers, as well as EU and Swiss citizens to move between the two countries (and through the hotel) without showing a passport.

As long as they have a valid passport to enter into any one of those Schengen area countries can enter the other.

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