Deadly Hotels

by Ralph Martin


Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni could not have chosen a more pristine murder spot than Geneva's white-wedding-cake Beau Rivage Hotel (see slideshow). On September 10, 1898, Empress Elizabeth of Austria was leaving the hotel to catch a boat on Lake Geneva when Lucheni repeatedly stabbed her with a file that penetrated her heart and lungs. When aid was administered, the empress did not allow her corset to be undone until she had reached the relative privacy of the boat; when the stays came off, she was revealed to be bleeding to death. The assassination gave Geneva's reputation for pampering the rich and famous an extra frisson of danger. Today, most visitors to this ostentatious palace on Lake Geneva are ignorant of the more recent passing of prominent German politician Uwe Barschel, who was found dead, fully dressed in a bathtub full of water following an overdose of prescription drugs, on October 11, 1987. Barschel had recently been involved in a Watergate-style scandal and his career was over. The breezes off Lake Geneva seem to inspire the darkest deeds—there's definitely something in the water.

Beau Rivage
Tel: 41 22 716 66 66

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