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“a charming place”

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hotel brasserie au violon
Ranked #36 of 51 Hotels in Basel
Reviewed 22 August 2010

I stayed a few nights in this hotel while visiting Switzerland.

The hotel is very quite, but you have a direct access to the city thanks to a efficient elevator.
Our standard room was not so big, but large enough for 2. It was very clean, and bed were comfortable.

I will definitely come back to Au Violon hotel while in Basel.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank manywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 - 47 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2010

First I must say that I truely enjoyed our stay at au Violon. The place oozes character and the proprietors have assembled a great staff. We stayed in one of the larger rooms and were very comfortable. I really consider this place to be a fantastic value.

Now for the bad...I will never book a room here on a Fri or Sat during open window season again. The Barfi (the square below) is a major nightime hangout for every teenager and early twenty something in Basel. I mean hundreds of kids just milling about and having fun...loud fun. au Violon sits high above The Barfi and, in effect, constitutes the top rows of an amphi-theater with perfect acoustics.

The only word I can use to describe the effect is "din". No music, just people...an amazing rumble of people uninterrupted from arounf 10:00PM until 2:00AM or later. I am a HEAVY sleeper and I doze off easily (I fall asleep during take-off on planes) and I COULD NOT GET TO SLEEP. With the windows closed, no problem but I wouldn't recommend this in the summer months.

Of course, this is by no means any fault of the good folks at au Violon and it is a shame.

I'd stay again during the week or even on the weekends in cooler weather (closed windows) but never again on a weekend during the summer.

Great setting at the Brasserie but could not finish our appetizers. Tremendously oversauced shrimp cocktail and mealy, crunchy sushi rice. Entrees were good.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2010

You cannot fault this hotel, it is beautiful. The tram (forgotten which number) stops right outside and you walk into the pretty courtyard and then into the most amazing small hotel you could imagine.

First you notice the wonderful smells coming from their ground floor restaurant - which must be one of the most famous and poshest restaurants in Switzerland. We checked in and were given our keys and free travel card and then up into the see through glass lift we went, which is built into the walls.

We had a former police office as a room and had a view of the pretty Christmas market and could see the top of Munster Cathedral.

The rooms are very clean with lovely comfy beds, a TV, immaculatley clean bathroom, and even a hairdryer.

Beautiful bits of furniture and lovely clean wooden floors fill the room.

The staff are very helpful and friendly and you are across the road from the main market square and to your left you will see the Des Arts winebar, where we nearly fainted with join when we realised people still smoke indoors (sorry non-smokers). There are however lovely padded outdoor seats, heaters and even blankets.

The hotel is minutes walks from everywhere and Basel is very compact. We walked around and around for hours and always came back to the Square. You couldnt get lost even if you tried!

The food choice isn't great in Basel and we found Switzerland to be the most expensive place we have ever been to - even more than Paris, Rome, Milan, Venice etc. £12 for a cocktail, £23 for a bowl of pasta, £8 for famous coffee chain's hot chocolate and muffin.

I lived on chocolates and pastries - they have wonderful patisseries. The hotel is also minutes walk from a supermarket (around the corner from Des Arts winebar) and they stock lots of goodies too.

A must see is the musuem with the oldest art collection in the world (forgot it's name already). Free entrance on first Sunday of the month! It is full with Rodin statues, Monets, Picassos, Van Gogh's etc. - very impressive for a small town.

Also a must is a visit to the Radison Hotel in the financial district (again trams stop right outside & this is on the other side of the Rhine). Head to their 28th floor Rouge Wine Bar. Amazing cocktails, amazing views and great atmosphere. We turned up at 5:30pm in Uggs and jeans with our shopping and so did everyone else.

All in all a great trip, very friendly people, didnt feel scared at night (female travellers) and cute Christmas market.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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3  Thank christobaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2009

My husband and I went on a trip across 4 countries in Europe, and our favorite was Basel and staying at the Hotel Brasserie au Violon. We loved this hotel! The staff was very friendly and helpful. They really spent a lot of time with us and went out of their way to assist us with our travels.

I thought the hotel was lovely and located in a great part of town. We decided to take a cab from the station instead of dealing with luggage on the inner city train, but it was not far from the station at all. We stayed in one of the old police office rooms and it was a wonderfully large size with a nice little sitting area. We had a spectacular view from our room, in fact my husband kept taking pictures from the window (day and night). The bathroom was small, but adequate. There was only a shower available, but the bathroom was very clean. Having had hardwood floors I was amazed at how spotlessly clean the floors were.

Close to the hotel is close to a lovely shopping area and we had the most wonderful time walking around at night. The shops close in the early evening and the street traffic is only the other pedestrians walking around looking at the shop windows, and these were some of the most well decorated windows I have ever seen. Very artistic.

The only negative comment I have is that in the morning when the breakfast is served we could hear quite a bit of noise. Old wood floors creak. The breakfast was buffet style with different breads, meats, cereal and all kinds of jellies and cheeses for the bread. Too much to choose from!

We had drinks in the restaurant one evening and the menu looked great, we chose to eat out in the town however.

If you do go to this hotel, please check out the interesting elevator that goes down to the street below. The elevator is made of glass and you can see the original structure of the building and some of the renovations made over the centuries. Very cool!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jennifer Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2008

My husband, daughter and her husband and I stayed at this hotel and found it to be so interesting, comfortable, convenient to the town, and we loved taking the elevator to the street, which is in the downtown at Barfusserplatz. Otherwise, you can go out the door that goes to a church yard with trees and benches, which leads through a gate to a back street.

The restaurant has a lovely menu, and the dinners were so well presented. Very nice waitresses also.

I look forward to staying there again.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bobbie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2007

Switzerland is expensive and we wanted to find a centrally situated, reasonably priced, small hotel in Basel .
As far as we were concerned this fitted the bill although it works out to be quite expensive when the local taxes are added in.The prices are in Swiss francs which are slightly less than half in English pounds.Ours worked out at about £80 a night not including breakfast, which was an extra £3 each for coffee , a nice choice of bread, orange juice, yoghurt and fruit.Cooked eggs were extra.
The hotel rooms seem to vary in size as it has been converted from an old prison.Our room was pleasant and a reasonable size with a new looking shower room.The dining room is attractive and the Brasserie leads off the reception area.We had a good meal there and there is quite a buzzy atmosphere. It seems popular and we needed to book in advance on a Wednesday night .
Finding it in the dark late at night when we arrived was quite a problem but in fact there is a bus from the railway station to the square below the hotel and a lift from the street that brings you out in reception, which we discovered eventually.This square has buses to all areas and makes this hotel very convenient. Many places, like the cathedral and the art gallery, can be reached on foot and there is good shopping in the area.The hotel provided us with a free transport pass for the duration of our stay that included getting back to the airport.We used it to visit the wonderful Beyeler Foundation and the Design museum
It poured with rain the whole time we were there but we could imagine that the courtyard and surroundings would be very attractive in good weather.
It is fairly basic in some ways and does not provide toiletries or a hair dryer although there may have been one available and we got two smallish single beds put together with individual duvets rather than a kingsize double but the other rooms may have bigger beds.There seems to be no lounge and the bar is the only sitting area so it is somewhere to stay if you are intending to be out and about rather than lazing in the hotel, in winter anyway.
All in all we found the staff very helpful and the hotel pleasant , clean , tasteful and very well situated.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rosecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2007

This wonderful hotel is actually a converted prison! We stayed here for 3 nights in June 2007 in a Kat A room with a great view of the town for $161/night. Breakfast was extra. The Kat A rooms are converted warden offices. The regular rooms seem to be two jail cells joined together. We never ate lunch or dinner at the hotel. It has an elevator that drops down to the old part of the city - a wonderful location. The front desk was very helpful.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Crayon755
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about hotel brasserie au violon

Address: Im Lohnhof 4, Basel 4051, Switzerland
Region: Switzerland > Canton of Basel > Basel > Altstadt
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #36 of 51 Hotels in Basel
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monsieur Philippe Maire and his team are happy to welcome you into the small, history rich and elegant hotel brasserie au violon. You’ll love the unique character of this former jailhouse, which has been converted into a charming hotel and lively brasserie. Thanks to its superb location in the heart of the old town, welcoming staff and good value for money, au violon is a special place to stay that offers its guests a wonderful culinary experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Brasserie Au Violon Basel
Brasserie Au Violon Hotel

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