The Four Seasons in Geneva is one of the best hotels in the city, so no wonder Les Bar des Bergues on the ground floor is where the local high society types and the world’s rich and famous mingle. If weather permits, La Terrace is where to lounge and contemplate life over an exquisite cocktail. It’s by far one of the most chic places in town.
When we visited Geneva in September, we came to Les Bar des Bergues on a couple of occasions and sat both inside and outside for a quick lunch. Now, this is Four Seasons, so no reason to write about excellent service and so on, that’s pretty much clear.
However, even though this is technically a bar, the food here is absolutely fantastic. They have a reasonably light menu with plenty of salads to chose from (though our favorite pick was the hamburger, not exactly what one would refer to as light fare but trust us, it was irresistible).
If you are on a tight travel budget than avoid Les Bar des Bergues like the plague, but if cash is not an issue, this is the place to mingle and nestle in with the crème de la crème of Geneva.
Hanna’s latest blog post published today by the National Geographic Traveler: History Lessons in Geneva
The headline is actually an old slogan which means “fondue creates a good mood.” It sounded very promising so when we visited Geneva a couple of weeks ago we were of course curious to try this traditional Swiss dish.
A restaurant called Auberge de Savièse was highly recommended by the concierge at our hotel. It is located on 20 rue des Pâquis, and has a robust and friendly atmosphere with small tables, wooden paneling and (of course) a cuckoo clock on the wall.
The cheese fondue originates from the Swiss Alps and is a blend of hard and semi-hard cheeses (for example Emmenthaler and Gruyère), dry wine (we also tried one with Champagne which was excellent) and Kirsch. You get white bread, potatoes and pickled onions to dip into the pot of melted cheese.
So why not put yourself into a good mood and dip into a pot of steaming hot cheese fondue. (Just remember: no double-dipping.)
Next time you get a chance to visit Geneva, the beautiful city on the lake, why not make your stay as comfortable as possible? Check-in at the centrally located Beau Rivage, a five star luxury hotel established and still owned by the Mayer family since 1865.
The hotel is not only luxury, good service and excellent dining but a historical landmark that has witnessed events that have shaped politics over the past two centuries. For example, in 1898, the Empress Élisabeth of Wittelsbach was killed by an anarchist just as she left the hotel; and in 1918 the “birth” of Czechoslovakia was signed on its premises. The atmosphere whispers historical references, many we didn’t know, but were happy to listen to.
Beau Rivage is basically a legend among connoisseurs who come here for the ambience but also the gastronomy offered by the two restaurants – the Le Chat-Botté and Patara (fine Thai cuisine). The bar L’Atrium is known as a top meeting point for local dignitaries and international financiers.
Our stay here was very pleasant. The location next to the Geneva lake is unbeatable and the service at the reception impeccable. The room is well planned and offered everything we could ask for. The only drawback we could find was the WiFi, it was way too slow.
In 2008, Beau Rivage became the first and only luxury hotel in Geneva to get an ISO 9001-200 quality certificate from the International Organization for Standardization. In 2009, it became a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Not bad, not bad at all.
It didn’t start on the best of terms when we arrived at the Intercontinental, Geneva. As usual we checked in, got our keys, went up to the room, opened the door and…SURPRISE! somebody was sitting on our bed, in our room (well, at least it was supposed to be ours for a couple of days). After an embarrassing exchange of glances (staring might be a more proper word), we quietly closed the door and went back to the reception. After explaining this weird incident, a red-faced manager immediately apologized and decided to personally escort us to a nice suite that we later found out was almost four times the price of what we paid for. Wow, and this was one suite! (Intercontinental, we forgive you!)
We had a panoramic view of the Geneva Lake, a marble bathroom, lots of space and an exceptionally comfy bed. Some of the gadgets on offer required serious research on what exactly they can be used for and we’re sorry to say but we couldn’t figure out the purpose of four strange looking buttons in the bathroom. There are no surprises once service is concerned. If you want coffee delivered in ten minutes, it will be done so. Sharp. Exactly on the dot. (There must be a reason why all the best watches are being produced in this country).
One thing for sure, in Geneva the prices will scare the living daylights out of you. A beer at the hotel bar is about 16 dollars and pasta with your choice of sauce is 40 (yes, dollars!!). A five minute taxi ride downtown clocks 25 green ones. However, you will be amazed by the attention lavished at the bar, restaurant, reception, concierge, etc. All your requests are attended to as promptly as possible. The staff are fluent in 4-5 languages, so no worries here.
The food is first rate and the atmosphere in the lobby is one of calmness and efficiency. The Intercontinental looks a bit bizarre from outside (it’s a 60s type new architecture building), but if one can live with that, then you will understand why more than 150 heads of state have chosen to stay here over the past 50 years.