The Hotel That’s Half in One Country and Half in Another



Hotel Arbez is an unusual place. That’s because half of it is in France and the other half is in Switzerland. When a new border between the two countries was drawn in 1862, it happened to run down the middle of a field owned by a French citizen named Ponthus. He built a shop that straddled the border, allowing him to conduct business in two countries simultaneously. In 1822, the shop became a hotel. Things got stranger during World War II, when the hotel rented rooms to occupying Nazi troops on the French side and rooms to the French Resistance, who stayed on the Swiss side. Today, the hotel is a perfect rest stop for skiers and other adventurous types who want to access the Alps. There are two restaurants. On the French side they serve the elegant multiple courses favored by the French and on the Swiss side is the lighter fare favored by the Swiss. Whatever side you choose, you’ll have a schizophrenic time in this unique hotel. Rooms rent from $122 a night.