Whereas Zurich has a limited number of truly top end hotels, on the French side of Switzerland, Geneva has an abundance of what we think are very good hotels with diverse profiles. You have major brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons (Hotel des Bergues), Dorchester Collection (Le Richmond), Ritz-Carlton (Hotel de la Paix), Kempinski, Luxury Collection (President Wilson). InterContinental has one of its more 5-star hotels, though not in the city center, and La Reserve is part of the French group, also on the outskirts. At over 100 rooms and suites, the Beau-Rivage is part of The Leading Hotels of the World as is Hotel D’Angleterre with just 39 guest room and six suites. The latter however is unique in its position as a boutique hotel, which right away sets it apart if your preference is smaller, luxury hotels. It is also rated #1 of 105 hotels in Geneva by Trip Advisor.
D’Angleterre (not related to the Copenhagen hotel by the same name) is family owned and operated by Red Carnation, overseen by its matriarch Bea Tollman who is intimately involved in all aspects, from contributing some of her favorite dishes to the menus of the group’s more than dozen properties (London, South Africa, Palm Beach, Florida, Ashford Castle, Ireland, etc.) and overseeing the design. No two rooms in any of her hotels are the same. Really! It’s not exactly like you are staying with friends, but you get that personal touch in an elegant and refined setting. The service is friendly, formal and polished, but there are homey touches. In the suites there are decanters stocked with complimentary cognac and brandy for those chilly days.
The hotel’s location is probably the best in Geneva, right in front of the Jet d’Eau, which spouts some 460 feet into the air from Lac Leman with Mont Blanc in the background. It provides its lake facing suites and Windows restaurant stunning views, the quintessential post card when one thinks of the city.
The actual building is the work of architect Anthony Krafft, and is a heritage site dating from 1872 when it was conceived as a luxury hotel. In 1995 the hotel closed for twelve months for the most ambitious renovation in its history, in which only the listed facade, the internal staircase and the floors were preserved. This project gave birth to a new interior with modern floor plan. It joined Red Carnation in October 2001. More recently, an extensive process of renovation was undertaken, with new furnishings and the latest in-room technology including wireless broadband internet access.
From Trip Advisor of over 462 reviews, 396 are Excellent and 52 are Very Good. There are only 6 Poor/Terrible reviews, and only one from the past two years, which had to do with noise from the Leopard Room, the hotel’s hot spot nightclub in the basement where bankers crisscross with diplomats, royalty and European billionaires. We stayed there last week, but this review from Trip Advisor summed up our views: “From my arrival to departure, the staff were incredibly attentive and pleasant. Nothing is too much trouble and I was delighted when the concierge managed to get us a table at Izumi which is very sought after. Location is superb, a short walk from the train station and directly on the lakefront with Jet d’Eau in front of you. Breakfast is at the windows restaurant with panoramic view of the lake. There are beautiful fresh roses on the tables and the coffee is plentiful. Each room is decorated in a different color theme. Mine was turquoise and it was an extremely comfortable retreat at the end of each day’s work. The whole experience was faultless.”
A writer from The Straits Times of Singapore described her accommodations this way: “It is an opulent suite with a lake-facing balcony and lounge area decked out in rich earthy browns and gold trim. There is a knock on the door and we are greeted with two glasses of Ruinart champagne. This is already shaping up to be quite the deluxe lake experience.”
The 1,162 sq. ft. Presidential Suite has views of Geneva Lake, the harbor, Jet d’eau and Mont Blanc. There are two separate entrances, one through the living room, the other from the bedroom. Décor is blue themed, and there are two separate bathrooms, one with a walk-in hamman shower, bullet-proof windows, genuine art pieces, and a balcony.
An extra bedroom can be added to extend the suite to a two bedroom suite named Royale Suite. Through connecting doors, this suite can connect up to 5 different rooms without guest needing to access public areas.
With views of the Jet d’eau and Mont Blanc, the white and sand colored themed 753 sq. ft. Bellevue Suite was redecorated in January 2017 and feels larger than its stated size. There are two separate entrances, one through the living room, the other from the bedroom.
There are two separate large bathrooms, one with a walk-in harman shower. There is a large balcony spanning the bedroom and living room with a small table for two, good for a drink or coffee. An extra bedroom can be added to extend the suite to a two-bedroom suite.
There are six lake-facing Junior suites located on different floors each with its own decoration style in various color schemes. Bathrooms include shower and bath. One junior suite can be connected with deluxe rooms, to provide accommodation suitable for a family. Junior Suite on the first floor offers a very large balcony.
Restaurants and Bars
Windows combines both a fine dining experience in an intimate room with incredible lake views. The small size of the room and the all glass panoramic front means that virtually every table has picture postcard views out to Jet d’eau and the traffic of ferries and small pleasure boats on the lake.
We’ve eaten at Windows multiple times over the years and the menu focuses on well prepared dishes, including poultry, meats and fish, including Dover sole. “Dishes should be generous and delicious, exuding fresh flavor without being over-complicated. Guest satisfaction is central to everything we do,” says Executive Chef, Michael Coquelle. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are served.
Leopard Room Bar & Lounge
The Leopard Room Bar & Lounge features regular live music for dancing or lounging in the dark setting with comfortable leather chairs and couches. It’s a good place after work or after dinner or to end a late night. Tables made from vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases and numerous Leopard paintings, sculptures and prints. The library feel is enhanced by an open fire blending a chic traditional style with British elegance and colonial South African inspired furnishings.
The small fitness center is now the Cigar Lounge and is available for private functions and events to 15 people. It features wood paneling, comfortable seating and stylish furnishings.
Air conditioned and sound proofed salons Louise and Parquet come either as one large room accommodating up to 70 delegates theatre style or a cocktail reception for up to 120. It can also be divided into two rooms for smaller board meetings or private dining. L’Observatoire, a private wing of the restaurant, is available for private functions to 60 people. Afternoon Tea is popular for celebrations, especially for those hosting a baby shower, birthday or hen party.
Private Jet Catering
If you’re travelling from Geneva by private jet select the hotel will deliver it straight to the tarmac. Choose from breakfast, Afternoon Tea, a selection of sandwiches or a full main menu with a choice of starters, mains and desserts. The chef can also prepare other dishes on request, please contact us for further details.
The hotel has an affiliation that provides access to a fully equipped gym next door.
In the summer the hotel can arrange for you to windsurf or sail on the lake, or go hiking in the mountains. In the winter, the French Jura (half an hour by car) or resorts like Megève, Les Portes du Soleil or Chamonix are near enough for a day excursion. The hotel can arrange a massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, and a range of beauty treatments in your room. You can also arrange an in-room exercise bicycle.
The hotel offers a Pet Concierge service, including walks along the waterfront. An additional charge of CHF 50 per night applies.
TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards – Voted No. 25 Luxury Hotel in Switzerland – 2017
Ranked No. 3 in The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For – 2016
Readers’ Choice Awards – Awarded Best of the Best – 2016
Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards – Voted No. 10 in the Top Hotels in Switzerland – 2016
Forbes Travel Guide Awarded Four Stars – 2016
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards – Voted No. 14 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Switzerland – 2016
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards – Voted No. 16 Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Switzerland – 2016
Luxury Travel Guide Awards – listed in the Guest Judges Top Picks for Europe – 2016
Falstaff Bar & Spirits Guide – Leopard Bar voted one of the Best Bars in Switzerland – 2016
Loved by Guests Gold Awards – Awarded a 4.5 out of 5 Rating – 2016
Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards – Voted No. 1 in the Top 12 Hotels in Switzerland – 2015
Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards – Voted No. 4 in the Top 25 Hotels in Europe – 2015
Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards – Voted No. 24 in The Best Hotels and Resorts in the World – 2015
Entered in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for achieving the Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year – 2015
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards Voted Number 14 Best Hotel in Switzerland – 2015
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards Voted Number 16 Best Luxury Hotel in Switzerland – 2015
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards Voted Number 5 Top Hotels for Romance in Switzerland – 2015
Trust You Award – Awarded a Trust rating of 93 – 2015
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards Voted Number 3 Best Hotel in Switzerland – 2014
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards Voted Number 3 Best Luxury Hotel in Switzerland – 2014
TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards Voted Number 21 Best Hotel in Europe – 2014