You arrive via a driveway that cuts through a garden of tall sculptured hedges, each about 20 feet high. The exterior lines of La Reserve channel Frank Lloyd Wright, while interiors feature dark woods, plush carpets, deep brown leather and dark red walls. Views from the restaurants and suites feature Lake Leman with the Alps and Montblanc in the distance. There is a unique stand alone villa once the private residence of the owner, with its own private driveway set right on the lake. There is a private dock and complimentary water shuttle into the center of Geneva. In a city that has a full array of excellent 5-star hotels (Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, President Wilson, D’Angleterre, Le Richmond, and Kempinski not to name all), La Reserve is unique in that it’s a city resort, set about 15 to 25 minutes by car from the center, but convenient, less than 10 minutes from the private jet terminals at the Geneva Cointrin Airport. There is a house Tesla to drop guests nearby on a complimentary basis and during the summer the hotel runs a water taxi to and from the city.
With an extensive spa focused on anti-aging, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, the same for its two heated pools and the parklike grounds, it is a good choice if you are traveling on business with your partner, providing he or she a nice environment to spend the days while you are off on meetings. It is also convenient if you have business with the United Nations and the headquarters of luxury goods maker Richemont. It’s also a good choice if you are spending the weekend between meetings and don’t want to be in the middle of the city, but don’t want to make the trek up to the mountains. If you are attending or exhibiting a trade show at Palexpo (Geneva Auto Show, EBACE, etc.) La Reserve is a convenient and impressive place to host an after show reception.
Michael Holtz, CEO of luxury travel agency SmartFlyer, says, “It’s a great hideaway, slightly outside the city center like The Carlyle in New York. It has a terrific wellness program, and Geneva is a great city, compact with great food.”
From Trip Advisor, 499 reviewers rate La Reserve excellent or very good with 27 poor or terrible reviews, although there have been none in the lowest latter category since July 2016. The negative reviews surround three areas: High prices (They are not cheap. My dinner of two Grey Goose martinis and a decent portion of white asparagus was 99 Swiss Francs), design (Dark woods, cherry, red walls are common throughout the suites, except the villa. Hallways are dark. If you don’t like that vibe, you won’t like the hotel), and some service letdowns (The General Manager Laurent Branover, whose background includes Raffles Singapore and Monte Carlo’s Metropole, responds to each one and invites a direct dialogue to provide more details). Expedia only has 25 reviews, with 100% of reviewers recommending La Reserve. No reviews were less than 4 stars.
There are two buildings connected a glass enclosed walkway from the lobby. I’ve noted which wings the various suites are in below. The villa, as previously mentioned, is separate from the hotel, accessed by walking through the garden and pool and a walkway underneath the road that separates the hotel grounds from its lake frontage where the villa is located. The hotel will also drive you to and from the villa, a two-minute drive. In total, there are 29 suites, including junior suites, 73 rooms and the villa.
Villa du Lac
The contemporary glass Villa du Lac (click on the above image for a video tour) with interior design by Rémi Tessier offers access to all the facilities of La Réserve, including its spa, its restaurant and its swimming pools, although you have your own small L-shaped pool as well. Still, you are staying in a 4,000 sq. ft. home spread over two floors, with panoramic views over the garden and lake facing southeast.
On the upper floor, where you arrive by car, there’s a master bedroom with a large bathroom and huge tub, dressing room, fitness area with its own separate shower and balcony. There is second bedroom with balcony and full bathroom that can be adapted to a study if you wish, and a third bedroom on the ground floor for a nanny or security.
You descend stairs to the lake level main floor or take the elevator. The 1,760 sq. ft. living room has two large lounge areas, a video room, study area a dining room. There is a modern, fully-equipped kitchen perfect if you are traveling with your personal chef, or want the hotel to handle food prep on-site. Included is continental breakfast served by a housekeeper, wifi and round-the-clock security.
Villa du Lac is popular with long-term guests, including relocating executives, families and also for the events. It is in high-demand during things like the Geneva Auto Show or EBACE for both parties and private dinners.
Presidential Suites (2)
There are two Presidential Suites (422 and 522) with the 4th floor, actually the ground floor in the spa wing, offering a patio onto the open lawn between the main wing and spa wing where it located. On the opposite side it has a small private terrace facing the tennis courts. Its cousin on the next floor up doesn’t have any balcony or terrace, which if the weather is nice or you like to go out for a smoke is a negative.
The suite includes living, dining room and bedroom in just under 1,400 sq. feet, however it has a larger feel with a dining room that seats 10, making it good for families and entertaining. A further enhancement is the ability to connect two additional rooms making it into a 3-bedroom suite with a single locked entrance.
Royale Suite (1)
The Royal Suite two large terraces: a 1,076 sq. ft. terrace with a view of the lake and Mont-Blanc, and another 624 sq. ft. terrace on the park side.
This 1,420 sq. ft. suite comprises a bedroom with a king bed, a desk, a large walk-in closet, a dining room (seating eight), a large lounge, guest toilet, as well as a bathroom with shower and whirlpool-bathtub. You can have a connecting room to add a second bedroom.
Papyrus Suite (1)
The 915 sq. ft. Papyrus Suite features a separate spacious living room area with dining table for four and two terraces on the park side with lake views.
The bedroom is with king-size bed, desk/dressing table unit, large walk-in closet, bathroom with shower and whirlpool-bathtub, guest toilet. You can book a connecting room to make it into a 2-bedroom configuration.
Reserve Suite (1)
Located in the main building the 770 sq. ft. Reserve Suite is a duplex with a stairway from the door on the second floor taking you up a flight to a living room and bedroom, and at 630 sq. ft., the largest terrace of any suite. Decorated in champagne and chocolate tones, it features a king-size bed, large walk-in closet, living room with sofa and table seating four, guest toilet, bathroom with shower and whirlpool tub.
Executive Suite (1)
The 720 sq. ft. Executive Suite reflects room renovations that begun last year with exposed wood floors and a slightly lighter, more modern aesthetic. It has two full bathrooms, so if sharing a bathroom can be a challenge, you will like this suite, although it doesn’t have a balcony. Located in the spa wing, you can connect a second bedroom. There is no balcony or terrace.
Lake Suites (7)
There are seven Lake Suites spread across all three floors of the main building. Suites 110, 112 and 114 instead of terraces walk out into the gardens, which you will either like for its easy access or not for lack of privacy, not that there are many if any people who wander in the area where these suites are located. Suite 304 has the largest terrace (above), and next to the villa is one of the most preferred suites at La Reserve. Its oversize terrace has both a dining area, seating area and lounge chairs to enjoy the sun. It is large enough to host 20 or more people for drinks and the views of the lake and mountains behind are quintessential Geneva.
Décor in the Lake Suites is an African inspired mix of dark woods, red walls and plush furniture. The marble bathroom, like others, features a walk-in shower and deep whirlpool tub. It has 1.5 baths with the guest bath near the entrance. Adjacent terraces are separated by a combination of a high wall and dense shrubbery in pots.
Leman Suites (2)
Located at the end of the hall of the main building on the first and second floors the Leman Suites at 600 sq. ft. are well laid out with an entry hall, right turn to the living room, left turn to the bedroom. Splitting the living room and bedroom make it a good choice for business meetings or if you will be having phone calls in the middle of the night that might wake your partner.
Restaurants and Bars
Bringing Virginie Basselot to The Loti last year signified La Reserve wants to up its game when it comes to fine dining. The 2015 winner of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) award in the cuisine-gastronomy category has brought her view on haute cuisine with uber fresh ingredients. Examples are pumpkin and chestnut ravioli, watercress coulis, white Alba truffle shavings, spider crab rolled in a green apple and wasabi remoulade, and red lentil coulis. Her philosophy is “unexpected associations, sophisticated presentation and impeccable execution.” In the good weather, there are outdoor tables. There is a private dining room that seats up to 25 and a private terrace for pre-dinner drinks or after-dinner aperitif and cigars. Opening hours are Lunch from noon to 2 pm from Monday to Saturday; Dinner from 7 pm to 10 pm from Monday to Saturday.
Elevated Cantonese cuisine in the French part of Switzerland might seem a bit out of place, but Tse Fung has always been one of my favorite spots in Geneva, particularly as a fun place to entertain clients in a luxury setting that is a bit different. It too has outdoor seating on the patio during the nice weather offering views of the Alps and Lake Leman. It’s open every day from noon to 2 pm and from 7 pm to 10 pm.
The Café Lauren
The Café Lauren is the restaurant situated within the spa with just 25 seats to maintain the quiet serenity of the setting. The teak terrace is open during the good weather. At the Café Lauren, fats are banned – only olive oil is used. For desserts, refined sugar is replaced by raw sugar. A unique meal at Le Café Lauren is its special breakfast entirely tailored to your well-being: whole wheat bread, seasonal fruit jam with no added sugar, tea-infused prune, a smoothy different each day. All dishes display their calories on the menu. Opening hours are daily for breakfast from 7 am to 11am and Lunch from noon to 3 pm with the bar from 7 am to 7 pm.
Deep armchairs and couches with views out to the lake and outdoor seating in the summer make The Bar, just up a half flight of steps from the lobby, a good place to relax after work. In the evenings there is a live DJ every evening although the music does not impact the guest rooms. Open every day from 7 am to midnight. There is also a smoking lounge which can be hired for private events.
The Summer Lodge
In the resort’s park near the swimming pool, a white canopy provides a cool, chic atmosphere for summer dining, including a prawn and lobster tank, sushi bar, and grill that offers roast fish and meat accompanied by fresh salads, and desserts to share. There is a resident DJ each evening that goes to midnight during the summer.
Spa and Fitness
The spa concept, new since last year, is all about anti-aging. Nescens, created by Professor Jacques Proust, a pioneer in the realm of biology of cellular aging and anti-aging medicine, brings his insights to the treatments at the spa here. The Nescens Spa is a comprehensive spa offering a unique range of services in an elegant, lush green setting have been developed and approved by the Nescens brand scientific committee. Services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team of therapists, coaches and medical specialists with expertise in the realms of preventive and antiaging medicine, as well as aesthetic medicine. There is an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hammam, tennis courts and fitness center. The gym has free weights with dumbbells up to 45 lbs., cardio machines, Technogym and Kinesis machines (It stores your personal data for evaluation if you want) new since last year, and TRX straps. Hours for spa and gym are everyday from 6 am to 10 pm. Treatments are daily between 8 am and 9 pm upon reservation. Hair Salon is from 8 am to 8 pm everyday. The spa is reserved for clients aged 14 and over. The outdoor pool is heated and open daily.
You can arrange supervision of your children from the age of 6 months to 13 years old for the duration of your treatment or your time in the hotel, at La Petite Réserve, inside and outside, daily from 9 am to 6 pm. There are extensive play areas, including outside a tree house. They may not want to come back to you at night.
Meetings and Incentives
There are four meetings rooms with a number of different configurations depending on requirements. Basic equipment includes: screen, projector, Blu-ray DVD player, plasma screen, integrated surround sound, free high-speed wireless or cable Internet access. Other additional equipment is available on request. The Tsé Fung and Loti restaurants can be completely privatized, as can the Winter and Summer Lodges.
The hotel also offers several off-the-shelf fun incentive activities, such as Introduction to Polo and Regatta on the lake where three teams of up to five people can take the spirit of competition to the waters if you don’t get enough adrenaline rush from your daily business. There are also activities such as towed sports (wake surf, wakeboard, water skiing, etc.) to make your meeting memorable.
Food and Beverage
Michelin: Tse Fung = 1 star + 3 forks; Loti = 3 forks
Gault et Millau: Tse Fung = 14/20 ; Loti = 15/20
Wine Spectator: Best of Award of Excellence 2016 (Tse Fung’s wine list)
M.O.F 2015 = Virginie Basselot
World Luxury Hotel Award 2016 (Prize for Luxury Hideaway Resort – Western Europe)
Nomination Virtuoso Best of the Best Spa 2016
Laurent Branover, General Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or +41.22.959.5910