Chocolate box charm, shimmering lakes, and a backdrop of sheer mountains capped in snow – Geneva is every bit as elegant as her name implies. Palatial hotels still hold old world glamor, Rolexes gleam behind sparkling glass windows, and international cuisine adorns gastronomical menus – Geneva is a glorious choice for a weekend of pristine luxury.
Where to Stay
Geneva is a smorgasbord of wealthy and wonderful hotels – often with airy suites boasting stupendous views out to the mountains and across the waters. At times, you can believe that this is where luxury first began, especially when you choose to stay at Le Richemond. The Royal Armleder Suite offers an immersive first class experience with its own Hamman, rainforest showers, roaring fireplace, and beautiful selection of antiques and panoramic views to Mont Blanc.
The Four Seasons was the first hotel to spring up on the banks of Lake Geneva and has welcomed wealthy guests since 1834. Classical French finesse spills over into the design, suites are a blend of soaring ceilings and lofty windows, and The Royal Suite is generous with space – offering guests a private world cloaked in silks and Parisian style. Formal dining rooms, stocked pantries, marble master bathrooms, and even a library creates a historically warm home away from home.
Take luxury to a whole new level with a sumptuous stay at the Hotel President Wilson. This famous hotel is consistently hailed as one of the most expensive hotels in the whole world, with its superior swiss heritage, exclusive La Mer Spa, and Michelin dining experiences. Royalty, presidents, celebrities, and movie stars have all passed through these doors. Book The Royal Penthouse for 12 beds, 12 baths, a grand Steinway piano, private cinema, and maximum security from the public eye.
Where to Dine
Delicate buttery chocolate truffles and gooey fondue – this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to signature swiss cuisine. The Swiss seem to take a pinch of French finesse, a dollop of German magic, and a seasoning of epicurean European fare to make up their dining habits. From glitzy cafes to castles, there is no shortage of pearl and black tie dinner affairs in Geneva.
Domaine de Chateauvieux may be perched just outside the city, but is well worth the chauffeured journey. Two Michelin stars adorn the menu, vineyards and rolling hills surround the 16th century mansion, and the chefs table is without a doubt, the most exclusive spot in the house. Winter goose with melt in the mouth confit, foie gras that resembles fudge, flaky crab, and an eye wateringly sharp and rich cheese trolley are just a few things you can expect.
Back at the Four Seasons and those wanting a break from heavyweight French flavors can brighten their soul at Izumi. The views across Lake Geneva are worth the table booking alone, and the fusion of light Japanese flavors and Mediterranean tastes bloom on the tongue. Think Dover sole with shiso sauce, seabass sashimi, and chilled apertifs. Watching the sunset over the mountains is a moment you are sure to remember.
Where to Play
From sailing a boat out on the lake to splurging on designer chocolates and watches in the squeaky clean old town, Geneva welcomes downtime with diamonds. Cobbled streets are perfect for catching a coffee, museums brim with beautiful tapestries, and the cathedral spires soar. Watch lovers will be in their element here and can pick up perfect swiss timepieces on the Rue du Rhône. You can find your very own Bucherer, or visit the Patek Philippe Museum for a dash of divine inspiration.
Geneva is also famed for its thermal baths and beautiful spas. After a day out you can sink down in sublime bliss at La Reserve. The hotel’s spa offers picture perfect views of the lake along with a generous indoor and outdoor pool, award winning ageing treatments, and visceral massages that will bring you back to the brink of vitality.
It would be a shame to be in Switzerland and not take advantage of the five-star slopes on offer. Take a private jet or a luxury drive away from the city and into the powered perfection of the Alps. Whether you choose Klosters or Gstaad, you can expect a weekend of cozy classy chalets, suave boutique lined streets, and sophisticated pistes peppered with celebrity visitors.