Wanderlust Dream Come True: The Hotel that Straddles Two Nations

Experience a truly unique hotel stay like no other at Hotel Arbez, where you can literally sleep with one foot in France and the other in Switzerland. With its “binational” rooms, including the renowned room nine, this extraordinary establishment offers an opportunity to visit two countries in one night.

The hotel’s fascinating location can be traced back to the Treaty of Dappes in 1862, which led to a small territorial swap between France and Switzerland. Situated on a triangular plot of land between the two nations, Hotel Arbez has become a symbol of border-crossing hospitality. Join us as we delve into the intriguing history and memorable experiences awaiting you at this remarkable hotel.

Hotel Arbez: Where Two Nations Meet

The Binational Rooms of Hotel Arbez

Hotel Arbez, also known as Hôtel Arbez Franco-Suisse or l’Arbézie, is a unique establishment that sits directly on the international border between France and Switzerland. What sets this hotel apart is that it is not just located near the border, but it straddles the line itself. In fact, the hotel’s dining room, kitchen, and several rooms are bisected by the boundary.

Imagine staying in a hotel room where you can sleep with your head in Switzerland and your feet in France. The binational rooms at Hotel Arbez offer exactly that experience. These rooms have their own peculiar charm, as guests can literally cross from one country to another within the confines of their accommodation. This concept is not only intriguing but also provides a truly unique and memorable experience for travelers with a sense of wanderlust.

The History of Hotel Arbez

The fascinating history of Hotel Arbez adds to its allure. The hotel was originally built by a private landowner and businessman who had the foresight to capitalize on an impending border adjustment between France and Switzerland. The structure started as a grocery store on the Swiss side and a pub on the French side.

The peculiar situation of Hotel Arbez arose from a territorial dispute between France and Switzerland over the Vallée des Dappes. This valley, although not particularly valuable in terms of territory, served as a crucial military route between France and Savoy. After unsuccessful attempts by France to acquire the area, a treaty was finally signed in Bern in 1862. As part of the agreement, a section of French territory was exchanged for the disputed valley.

Due to the treaty’s stipulation that existing structures bisected by the newly established border should remain intact, the village of La Cure ended up divided. This division included several buildings, among them the future Hotel Arbez. Today, the entire building serves as a hotel, with its historical significance and unique binational character attracting visitors from around the world.

Hotel Arbez stands as a testament to the meeting of nations, both literally and metaphorically. It offers its guests an extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves in the intertwined histories and cultures of France and Switzerland while enjoying the comfort and hospitality for which the hotel is renowned.

Hotel Arbez in La Cure. The border runs lengthwise through the two buildings, passing just to the left of the mural. The mural and everything to the right of it lies in Switzerland; France lies to the left.

Crossing Borders

The Hotel Arbez, a unique establishment located in the village of La Cure, straddles the border between France and Switzerland. This unconventional positioning has given rise to a myriad of fascinating stories and incidents over the years. Let’s explore some of the intriguing aspects of crossing borders at Hotel Arbez.

Unusual Incidents at Hotel Arbez

Being situated directly on the border has led to some peculiar incidents at Hotel Arbez. One such incident occurred when a guest accidentally wandered into the wrong room and unknowingly crossed from one country to the other. Imagine the surprise when they stepped out of the bathroom and found themselves in a different nation!

Another incident involved a pair of lovers who decided to meet at the hotel, each coming from a different country. They chose to rendezvous in the hotel’s unique “no man’s land” room, a room that straddles the border itself. This symbolic act of love, crossing the border to be together, represents the allure and romance that Hotel Arbez embodies.

Hotel Arbez as a Neutral Ground for Negotiations

Hotel Arbez has gained a reputation as a neutral ground for diplomatic negotiations and discussions. Its location on the border makes it an ideal meeting place for individuals from both countries to come together and find common ground. The hotel has hosted numerous important talks, fostering dialogue and facilitating peaceful resolutions.

Leaders from various nations have recognized the symbolic significance of this establishment, using it as a platform to bridge gaps and work towards understanding. Hotel Arbez’s unique position has transformed it into a place where borders dissolve, allowing for open communication and cooperation.

Hotel Arbez’s Connection to WWII and 9/11

During World War II, when the border between France and Switzerland was heavily guarded, the Hotel Arbez served as a safe haven for refugees seeking escape from the horrors of war. The hotel provided shelter and assistance to those fleeing persecution, becoming a symbol of hope amidst the chaos.

In a more recent historical event, following the tragic events of 9/11, Hotel Arbez played an unexpected role. Due to airspace closures, several flights were diverted, leaving passengers stranded. The hotel opened its doors to these displaced travelers, offering them a place to stay and helping them cope with the uncertainty surrounding their journeys.

Hotel Arbez’s connection to these significant events highlights its role as a sanctuary in times of turmoil, where borders become less relevant, and compassion takes precedence.

The unique stories and incidents surrounding crossing borders at Hotel Arbez add a layer of intrigue and fascination to this remarkable establishment. Whether it’s the unusual incidents that have occurred, the role it plays as a neutral ground for negotiations, or its connection to historical events, Hotel Arbez continues to captivate visitors with its extraordinary location and rich history.

The Challenges and Charm of Hotel Arbez

Hotel Arbez is a unique establishment that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers. Situated between France and Switzerland, this hotel literally straddles the border, allowing guests the opportunity to sleep in two different countries at the same time. However, there are certain challenges and charms that come with staying at Hotel Arbez, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Border Control Issues During COVID-19

One of the challenges faced by Hotel Arbez, like many other establishments located near international borders, is the impact of border control measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions and varying entry requirements have made it more complicated for guests to cross the border and experience the unique nature of this hotel. Visitors must stay updated on the latest travel advisories and ensure they have the necessary documentation to enter both France and Switzerland.

Booking a Room at Hotel Arbez

Despite the challenges posed by border control during these unprecedented times, booking a room at Hotel Arbez can still be an exciting opportunity for adventurous travelers. The hotel offers a range of rooms and suites that cater to different preferences and budgets. From cozy single rooms to spacious family suites, guests have the option to choose the perfect accommodation for their needs.

To make a reservation at Hotel Arbez, potential guests can visit the hotel’s official website or contact their reservations department directly. It is advisable to book well in advance, as the popularity of this unique establishment often results in high demand for rooms. By planning ahead, travelers can secure their spot and look forward to a truly memorable stay at Hotel Arbez.

When staying at Hotel Arbez, visitors not only get to experience the charm of sleeping in two countries, but they can also enjoy a range of amenities and activities offered by the hotel. From exploring the surrounding beautiful landscapes to savoring delicious cuisine that blends French and Swiss flavors, there is no shortage of experiences to indulge in during your stay.

while border control issues during COVID-19 may present some challenges, the opportunity to stay at Hotel Arbez and straddle two nations is an adventure worth pursuing. By staying informed, planning ahead, and embracing the unique charm of this remarkable hotel, travelers can create memories that will last a lifetime.

Other Unique Cross-Border Locations

When it comes to experiencing the thrill of crossing borders, there are certain locations around the world that truly stand out. These places offer a unique perspective on the concept of borders, blurring the lines between two nations in fascinating ways. In this section, we will explore a couple of remarkable cross-border locations that will leave you in awe of the possibilities.

Haskell Free Library

Located on the border between the United States and Canada, the Haskell Free Library is a true testament to cross-border collaboration. Built in 1904, the library’s entrance is split between the towns of Derby Line, Vermont (USA), and Stanstead, Quebec (Canada). Visitors have the rare opportunity to pass freely between the two countries within the library itself.

Inside, the library has an impressive collection of books and resources, serving both American and Canadian readers. The line that separates the countries runs right through the center of the building, marked by a black line on the floor. It’s a surreal experience to browse books in one country while standing in another, symbolizing the unity of knowledge and the power of shared spaces.

Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog

Nestled within the Netherlands and Belgium, the towns of Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog offer a fascinating display of international borders. What makes these towns truly extraordinary is the intricate patchwork of enclaves and counter-enclaves that divide them. In fact, there are a total of 22 Belgian enclaves scattered throughout Baarle-Nassau and seven Dutch enclaves within BaaWanderlust Dream Come True: The Hotel that Straddles Two Nationsrle-Hertog.

Walking through the streets of Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog can feel like an exploration of a geographical maze. Border lines zigzag through buildings, and it’s not uncommon for a single house to straddle both countries. Each enclave is marked by small symbolic markers embedded in the pavement, allowing residents and visitors to know exactly where they are at any given moment.

This unique situation presents an intriguing blend of cultures, legal systems, and even languages. Locals have learned to navigate the complexities of living in two countries simultaneously, with certain shops and houses falling under different jurisdictions. It’s a truly captivating experience that highlights the fluidity and coexistence of international boundaries.

These examples of cross-border locations showcase the fascinating and sometimes perplexing nature of borders. They remind us that boundaries can be much more than just lines on a map. They can serve as catalysts for cultural exchange, cooperation, and a sense of shared identity. So, next time you find yourself yearning for an adventure, consider exploring these remarkable places that straddle two nations.

Explore Unique Hotels in the UK

If you’re seeking an extraordinary hotel experience in the United Kingdom, look no further. From historical castles to whimsical treehouses, the UK offers a diverse selection of unique accommodations. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery as we explore some of the most fascinating and unconventional hotels in the country.

Amberley Castle, Arundel, West Sussex

Amberley Castle

Step into a piece of history at Amberley Castle, a quirky hotel situated in Arundel, West Sussex. Dating back to the 12th century, this castle-turned-hotel offers a taste of royal living. Immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance created by suits of armor and grand fireplaces.

While the castle exudes an ancient charm, the luxurious rooms and modern restaurant ensure your comfort and satisfaction. As a Relais & Chateaux hotel, Amberley Castle caters to foodies with its award-winning gourmet offerings. The hotel also boasts 12 acres of stunning grounds, featuring tennis courts, a croquet lawn, and an 18-hole putting course.

Want to experience the regal charm of Amberley Castle for yourself? Read our review and book now.

Treehouse Hotel London, London

Treehouse Hotel London

Escape the hustle and bustle of central London at the Treehouse Hotel. Despite its urban backdrop, this leafy retreat transports you to a world of greenery and tranquility. The hotel’s treehouse theme is brought to life through repurposed objects, snacks that can be packed away in your backpack or lunchbox, and nostalgic music.

For breathtaking views of the city, head up to the Nest, a rooftop bar and terrace offering a 360-degree panorama. Located within walking distance of Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, Treehouse Hotel is a fantastic choice for pet owners who want to travel with their furry friends.

Ready to experience the enchantment of the Treehouse Hotel London? Book now.

The Harrison Chambers of Distinction, Belfast, Antrim

The Harrison Chambers of Distinction

Embrace the unique charms of The Harrison Chambers of Distinction, a captivating hotel located in Belfast, Antrim. This restored Victorian merchants’ residence, dating back to 1879, is tailor-made for the culturally curious traveler.

Experience the perfect blend of heritage and personality in this quirky and fun hotel. Owner Melanie Harrison has masterfully curated an environment that celebrates the past while providing modern comforts. For an unforgettable stay in Belfast, look no further than The Harrison Chambers of Distinction. Book now.


In conclusion, Hotel Arbez is a unique destination that allows guests to experience the thrill of staying in two nations at once. With its location on the border of France and Switzerland, some of the hotel’s rooms straddle both countries. This unusual arrangement is a result of the Treaty of Dappes signed in 1862.

The hotel has a rich history, serving as a neutral ground for negotiations and even being investigated after 9/11. Despite its intriguing past, Hotel Arbez now offers a comfortable and affordable stay, with rooms available for less than £100 a night. So, if you’re looking to satisfy your wanderlust and experience a truly one-of-a-kind hotel, don’t forget to bring your passport and book your stay at Hotel Arbez.

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