Geneva is classed as the gateway to the Alps, but it is so much more. Characterised by its gorgeous alpine lake and its famous Jet d’Eau fountain, Geneva is backed by the snowy peaks that lead to the alpine region and has its own special charm.
Switzerland’s second city is a financial centre and home to the World Trade Organisation and World Bank. To own a Swiss bank account is to join an elite club and Business Class looks at the abundance of luxury hotels in this millionaire’s paradise in the land of chocolate, cheese and watches.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the Best Hotels in Geneva:
Hotel d'Angleterre - 9/10
Built in 1872 on the right bank of Lake Geneva, Hotel d’Angleterre is just one of many great iconic hotels constructed by Anthony Krafft. It has 45 rooms - 39 luxury guest rooms and six elegant suites filled with antiques and art. Find marble and onyx bathrooms, raw silk curtains and rich, fabric-lined walls and fine art lithographs by Miró, Calder and Picasso. The average room size is 37 square metres, each is decorated to a Baroque or African theme and features Savoir beds. The bathrooms have luxury amenities and the rooms are turned down each night with staff leaving handmade chocolates, mineral water and fresh fruit for guests. The Angleterre’s Presidential Suite was a favourite of both Michael Jackson and Mikhail Gorbachev and features splendid lake views.
Indulge in fine dining at Windows Restaurant helmed by Alexandre Cardiga. Meanwhile, the Leopard Bar is a wild place to hang out with animal print covering the ceilings and floor, find wingback armchairs and vintage Louis Vuitton trunks for tables. The hotel does not have a spa but is surrounded by natural beauty to restore your mind, body and soul.
The Woodward - 9/10
Originally constructed in 1901 by French architect François Durel as the grand Hôtel Bellevue, this became the headquarters of a Swiss bank for a time before being transformed back into a hotel. There are just 26 suites, and 21 look out onto the lake. The junior suite is 55 square metres and overlooks a courtyard. Inside the rooms find silk wallpaper, parquet floors and Atelier Ann Midavaine lacquered doors and 'experience bars' with mother of pearl inserts and a vast living area. The marble bathrooms include Japanese toilets and huge tubs and generous showers with a choice of Guerlain or Bamford amenities.
Le Jardinier restaurant serves local speciality cuisine with lakeside views, while L'Atelier Joel Robuchon Gastronomic restaurant serves international cuisine. The Spa Guerlain at The Woodward has a Hammam, sauna, Jacuzzi, indoor pool and fitness centre.
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Beau-Rivage Geneva - 9/10
Founded in 1865 by the Mayer family, Beau-Rivage Geneva is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, boasting 90 rooms including 18 suites, two restaurants and a bar. The premier lake view rooms overlook the water and Brunswick Park. The 35 square metre rooms have soaring ceilings and contain king or twin-size beds, a workspace area, a bathroom with a rain shower and beauty amenities by Clarins. Guests will also find complimentary mineral water and soft drinks and Nespresso coffee.
Furthermore, diners will be wowed by the food at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Chat-Botté, helmed by Dominique Gauthier, which also has an 18 out of 20 rating by Gault & Millau. La Suite Beauté by Bellafontaine is sanctuary for the senses located on the fourth floor of the hotel. Choose the luxury caviar treatment for the ultimate pampering experience.
Mandarin Oriental Geneva - 9/10
The Mandarin Oriental Geneva oozes class and luxury. The hotel’s 178 elegant and spacious guest rooms and suites have stunning terraces facing the River Rhône, Old Town and snow-capped mountains. Of these, there are 143 spacious, timeless rooms overlooking the river or the garden, 35 suites 505 square metres in size, including eight with private terraces and panoramic views, and four signature suites. Choose from the two-bedroomed junior suite, with king-sized master bedroom, living room, fireplace and two large, enclosed bathrooms with a walk-in shower plus standalone bath.
The 20 square metre terrace overlooks the top floor of the hotel for superb views over the city, river and Alps. Yakumanka is the hotel’s Peruvian restaurant, helmed by Daniel Galvez Estrada. Les Suites Beauté is the hotel’s spa and it is a haven of tranquillity offering views over the river Rhône. Indulge in the Bellefontaine products as well as massages and anti-ageing treatments.
Le Richemond - 9/10
Founded in 1875, this elegant hotel is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, with 109 rooms and suites to choose from in five categories - superior room, deluxe room, executive room, executive garden room or premium lake view room. The 30 square metre superior room is decorated in hues of blue and cream with a king-size bed. In the spacious marble bathroom, you’ll discover a rainforest shower and toiletries from L'Occitane en Provence. Enjoy the city or countryside views or the one-bedroom premium lake view suite has a striking contemporary style and features a balcony overlooking Brunswick Gardens, Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau and the French Alps.
A grand entrance hall divides the spacious master bedroom and luxurious living room, whilst the dining area accommodates up to six guests. In the elegant marble bathroom, you’ll find a deep bath and a rainforest shower as well as a guest restroom and additional bathroom. Experience French cuisine by Philippe Bourrel who champions local products. Surrender your senses to the Sisley Spa and work out in the state-of-the-art fitness studio.
La Reserve Hotel and spa is a haven set within 10 acres of landscaped parkland. At entry-level, the superior room is 30 square metres and contains a king-size bed and a bathroom, complete with a tub, decorated in warm, glowing tones. At the other end of the scale are exclusive suites. The executive suite has a parquet floor measuring 72 square metres. Inside find a convertible sofa and a comfortable armchair. This spacious family room contains a king-size bed, desk, a dressing table, bathroom with tub and shower as well as an additional one with another shower and guest toilet.
Alternatively, stay in a magnificent villa on the shores of Lake Geneva at the heart of La Réserve Genève. The contemporary glass Villa du Lac is graced with interior design by Rémi Tessier with daily personalised housekeeper service. Experience an exclusive stay whether you are in Geneva for business or leisure and the Spa Nescens has a hammam and sauna as well as an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, while La Petite Réserve provides complimentary daycare for children aged six months to 12 years.
Four Seasons’ neoclassical facade and extravagant style reveals its origins of 1834, yet the entire hotel is luxuriously modern. Inside you’ll find 115 rooms and suites designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, each taking a classical theme on the lower floor with antiques and marble flooring and a contemporary design upstairs. From the standard room to the presidential suite, each are exquisitely designed. Suite Mont Blanc, spanning 61 to 64 square metres is lavishly furnished with a king-sized bed, rollaway, sofa bed and crib. Inside find tones of raspberry and beige or light green, reflecting French design.
Enjoy a pre-dinner beverage in Le Bar des Burges before eating at the Michelin-star Il Lago restaurant where chef Sena serves specialities like Brittany Lobster Pappardelle and Swiss rack of lamb accompanied by the best wines from the region. If you fancy a taste of the orient why not try Izumi for delectable Japanese cuisine savoured on the roof. The rooftop Mont Blanc spa also has an infinity pool with a splendid view, a sauna and a hammam.
The jewel of downtown Geneva, the Ritz Carlton is a place where old and new combine. The hotel was created in 1865 and retains its original glamour. Step into the theatrical lobby onto checkerboard floors surrounded by columns and into its soaring atrium to enter a world of luxury. With just 75 guest rooms a stay here is an intimate affair. The Grace Kelly Suite is simply stunning and encapsulates The Princess of Monaco’s timeless style, while the living area looks across Lake Geneva and the Alps.
Enjoy a meal at the Nordic-inspired Fiskebar restaurant, the first of its type in Geneva, while the sophisticated Living Room Bar and Kitchen helmed by Rosario Abramo presents a refined lakeside dining experience. It is also the place where, in 1872, a banquet was held to mark the peaceful resolution of a potentially explosive dispute between Britain and America. Enjoy a creative cocktail at FRED by Fiskebar, while those with a sweet tooth can also sample the delights of the Philippe Pascoët chocolate shop. While there is no spa, the lake is on the doorstep for ultimate relaxation.
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Tiffany Hotel - 9/10
Be transported back to the grand old age of jazz at this gorgeous 19th-century hotel infused with art nouveau influences. Just 65 rooms and suites make this a cosy place to stay. Whether you stay in an entry-level classic room with a queen-size bed, or an upper room, you will be surrounded by relics inspired by the 1920s era. The studio suite is enclosed within a luxury apartment complete with terrace allowing guests to a birds-eye view of Geneva. The space is bright and spacious and surrounded by plants and has an open plan living area and kitchenette.
When it comes to dining, the restaurant L'iode will transport you to a marine universe conjured up by Chef Pagnot where every dish is inspired by fish and seafood. Alternatively, The Tiffany restaurant has an a la carte menu and serves a delicious brunch. Meanwhile, the spa is a place to recharge the batteries and relax. The fitness area equipped with Technogym equipment opens onto a sauna, a hammam and a massage room as well as an Alphasphere multisensory armchair.
Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva - 9/10
Located at Quai du Mont-Blanc, Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva is idyllically positioned by Lake Geneva. Find 412 rooms and suites inside across six categories. The standout option are the signature lake view rooms which span 30 square feet and floor-to-ceiling windows inviting in views of the lake, the Jet d'Eau fountain and the Mont-Blanc panorama. The 110 square metre Presidential Suite has a panoramic vista over the beautiful lake. Step inside and find soft, warm tones bathed in light from the large full-length windows and a balcony. Each suite has a master bedroom and a marble bathroom. There’s also a sitting and dining room with an adjacent guest bathroom, equipped with its own private shower. The suite can also be converted from one-bedroom to three-bedrooms.
Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants. There’s Il Vero where Giancarlo Pagano is master of Italian cuisine, Le Grill serving fresh market produce in an open style kitchen or Floor Two Lounge which is an ideal venue for business lunches. Spa Valmont boasts the largest private pool in Geneva and is spread across 1400 square metres with 12 treatment cabins.
BusinessClass.com searches hundreds of travel sites at once to help you find the best premium travel offers for both flights to and from the island and accommodation in Geneve.Geneva is classed as the gateway to the Alps, but it is so much more.