BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS AND LUXURY APARTMENTS IN GENEVA
by Alexandra Belz and Chené Koscielny
Yes, Geneva has amazing and well-known hotels such as Hotel l’Angleterre, The Four Seasons, Beau Rivage and Grand Kempinski but what about the smaller boutique hotels that offer something a bit different and more authentic or the city’s luxury guest apartments which offer you a home from home with some pretty amazing personal touches?
If you’re looking for an authentic experience or need recommendations for visiting family and friends or if your work takes you to Geneva for a few days, weeks or months – these hotels and apartments need to be on your radar.
HOTEL LES ARMURES – for historical charm and comfort
A favourite with celebrities such as Pippa Middleton and Bill Clinton, this exclusive boutique hotel oozes old-time elegance in the most historical part of the city. It is located in a 17th century residence situated in the old town and is a short walk to the shops, the business district and to the lake.
What makes this hotel unique is the old, traditional stonework. Amédée Granges, the proprietor as of 1957, started the process of very extensive renovations in the late 1970’s and was able to transform the well-worn building into its original glory with many original decorative details. The ceilings in some of the rooms and in the lounge area have been beautifully renovated to their previous glory.
No stuffiness and stiffness
What we appreciate about this hotel, is the historical charm but without the stuffiness and stiffness. The 32 rooms and suites are all styled differently, but they all offer a mix of cosiness and elegance, as well as luxury finishes, including stone and wood. Think upmarket ski chalet – cosy, but plush. The bathrooms are luxurious and offer Omnisens products.
Exposed stone walls, wooden floors
There are 5 different types of rooms from standard to the most luxurious – like the one on the top floor occupied previously by George Clooney, which is simply beautiful with its exposed stone walls, wooden floors and plush trimmings.
You won’t want for anything with the hotel’s room service, valet service, full buffet breakfast or express breakfast in your room or in the on-site restaurant.
The restaurant is one of Geneva’s oldest and is known for its typical Swiss cuisine, including their famous fondues, in a historic setting. In summer the terrace makes for a lovely spot outside to eat and have coffee.
Prices start from CHF 395 for two in a Deluxe room
SWISS LUXURY APARTMENTS – for unusual extras and outstanding facilities
Beautifully renovated contemporary apartments housed in a historically interesting building, offering the latest high-tech facilities and some pretty unusual luxuries to make your stay almost better than home!
Facial sauna and foot spas in every bathroom
The suites are perfect for clients seeking luxurious accommodation, space and extraordinary facilities. Apart from interactive HD TV, free high-speed internet, air conditioning, adjustable LED lighting, power shower and bath tub, you’ll be wowed by little touches such as the wine chiller, hair straightener in the bathroom, not to mention facial sauna and foot spas in every bathroom.
Stay connected with family and friends with a dedicated smartphone in every apartment – free with unlimited mobile internet, local and international calls.
Unlimited washing offer every day – big plus for families
A major plus, especially for families, is the offer of ‘unlimited’ washing every day. If you’re travelling with young children this has to be a deal breaker, no? My personal favourite? A quality yoga mat in every apartment! I also like the ‘lady kit’ with everything a woman may need, including nail polish remover and make-up remover – I certainly could have done with this on occasion.
Located in the heart of the right-bank-business district, the hotel gives you access to plenty of restaurants, the lake and its beautiful promenade is a stone throw away, as is the train station, the UN, the Red Cross Museum etc.
Greater privacy and independence
Swiss Luxury Apartments invite short-and long-term stays for business or a family holiday as it promotes cost efficiency, greater privacy and independence as well as spacious accommodation.
Choose between a superior one bedroom (50 square metres) for up to four people, a deluxe one bedroom (60 square metres) or a family (two bedrooms (100 square metres) or family three bedrooms (150 square metres)
There is no restaurant, but the apartments offer two luxury lounges complete with coffee corner, children’s corner and soon to be added candy bar!
A Swiss continental breakfast with finest quality ingredients can be delivered to the rooms at CHF39 per person. Customers are encouraged to cook, order food from local food delivery service Smood.ch or try surrounding restaurants.
There is no room service, but the hotel offers a reception desk which is open 24/7, where staff give advice and can organise day trips and transport.
Get the best price on their website and enjoy free breakfasts with the promo-code BKFT
Next time you’re walking down Rue Rive near the department store Bon Genie, look up and you’ll notice the sign for Fraser Suites – a hidden gem with a fabulous location – not far from the Jet d’eau, the old town, the business district, the shops and the lakefront.
The entrance to these upmarket serviced apartments is actually tucked away in Rue de la Rotisserie (3-5) where you’ll step into an elegant lobby and reception area.
Independence and space
The emphasis is on independence and space, perfect for short or longer stays, corporate clients who come to stay for a few months, as well as for families.
There is no room service or luxury spa treatments, but your apartment is fully serviced and you choose how independent you want to be. The housekeeping staff and 24-hour reception staff are on hand to help.
Fraser suites offer 67 up-market fully furnished luxury serviced apartments, ranging from large 46-48 square meter Deluxe studio apartments fitted with separate kitchen, dining and living room areas to Premier Studios (48 – 52 square meters) with a bird’s eye view of the Place de la Fusterie. The rooms are bright and open with huge windows, some overlooking the bustle of the Rue de Marché. One and two bedroom apartments with a larger kitchen and bathroom are available on the 7th floor through a rental agency.
You’ll feel like you’re at home
Each room is equipped with a mobile phone offering 4G service outside of the hotel, meaning no struggling with sim cards.
Other facilities include hi-speed Wi-Fi and built-in entertainment systems in the room. You’ll feel like you’re at home and that’s the whole idea.
The style is classic and comfortable with modern facilities. The bathrooms have Italian showers and L’Occitane products.Enjoy a buffet breakfast in the dining room or head out to one of the nearby cafés. Cook in your room, order in or try one of the many restaurants within walking distance.
Housekeeping services, washing facilities and onsite gym
Families will appreciate the space and the housekeeping service will ensure that the apartment is spotless when you return from a day out with your little ones. A washing machine and dryer is available on the first floor, as well as a vending machine with drinks and snacks and an ice machine. An onsite gym means allows you to stay in shape during your stay.
LA COUR DES AUGUSTINS (4-star boutique hotel) – The arty, truly central one
This contemporary and arty hotel is situated in a quiet area of the city and offers a mix of single – and double hotel rooms as well as short–and long-term apartments. For our family, it was an amazing address for three months, when we first arrived in the Geneva.
The location is perfect as the tram that brings you in to town, to the lake, to Pâquis or to Carouge is only a minute away. You can walk to Plainpalais, the old town, the Grand Theatre and magnificent Victoria Hall and Geneva Comedie and you also have a variety of different shops and restaurants on your doorstep.
Contemporary and arty feel
Swiss designer Philippe Cramer was responsible for the quirky African and design interiors, which evoke a contemporary and arty feel, while retaining the heritage at the same time. We love the little work pods with Mac-books downstairs, as well as super-sized and super comfy chairs. African masks, artifacts and art add a quirky touch throughout.
Truly a boutique hotel – contemporary, different and stylish
They call themselves a boutique gallery design hotel, which sounds right to us, as La Cour des Augustins is what we’d expect of a boutique hotel, because it offers something different, contemporary, stylish – an experience in itself.There are five different types of hotel rooms ranging from standard single room to deluxe double rooms, as well as loft studios. The hotel also offers one- and two-bedroom apartments for short or longer term stays.The deluxe double room offers a kitchen area with cooking utensils, stove, small fridge, stove, dishwasher and microwave.)
Romantic loft studio
The loft studio is ideal for a romantic stay – offering an intimate attic setting (between 50 and 70 square metres) a fitted kitchen, double bed, living room with sofa, dining room table and a bathroom with bath opening onto the bedroom.The two-bedroom apartments are ideal for family holidays and longer stay and can accommodate up to four people.Facilities include a flat screen TV with satellite, Nespresso coffee machines and a free pass for the public transport system for the duration of your stay. There is a fully equipped gym, a sauna, hammam and massage room as well as a buffet breakfast for CHF15 per person.
The hotel does not have a restaurant for lunch or dinner but two restaurants (Café Jules Verne and Le Chat Gourmand) are directly across the road and take–aways for in-room dining can be ordered from there.
Prices range from CHF 170.00 ( Essential Single Room Weekend ) to CHF 500.00 Loft Suite.
Set apart from glitzy 5 * hotels or crowded high streets, nestled among the cobbled streets of the historic old town, lies an entirely unique concept to Geneva:
An 18th building dedicated to creating homes and giving experiences to the high-end traveller looking for an exclusive space to live. The family-owned business has been in the process of renovating the 18th century building over the past 3 years and will offer a total of 16 apartments by February 2019.
Iconic copper and glass building
You can choose to stay in their refurbished 18th century old town building or in the brand-new copper and glass structure known as the Maison Dumont, created by renowned Swiss architect Philippe Meyer. Once a run-down depot for coppersmiths and carpenters, it has been transformed into a contemporary, copper structure that sits harmoniously within its 18th century surroundings and now houses 3 elegant, fully-furnished NEST apartments.
The apartments in the Maison Dumont have exposed brick walls, a full façade of glass and a warm resin floor. All have gorgeous open-plan living rooms, fully equipped Boffi kitchens and indulgent walk-in Italian showers – the perfect sanctuary if you’re after privacy and exclusivity.
Contemporary living with designer touches
Each apartment is individually-designed, and peppered by iconic design pieces from Jean Prouvé, Isamu Nogochi and Charles and Ray Eames. High-end trimmings include Aesop bathroom products, WMF kitchen products and elegant Vola taps.
Guests have access to Netflix and a Bang & Olufsen or BOSE sound systems. Each apartment features handpicked design pieces and collectable classics, including books, international art and ornaments to create a stylish, yet lived in feeling. Huge built-in cupboards provide ample space for long stays. A housekeeping service cleans the apartment twice a week, including a weekly full linen and towel change.
Guests are personally welcomed by a member upon arrival at any time of the day and are provided with a welcome pack.