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A travel guide to Geneva

By Sophie Demetriades on 17th September 2016

Nestled in the foothills of the Alps with views overlooking Lake Geneva and stretching as far as Mont Blanc, Geneva promises to deliver a city experience like no other.

STAY

Atop the list of hotels to stay are certainly La Reserve and The Kempinski. Both overlook the lake, with a view of the Alps soaring above; the Kempinski is in the city and faces the Jet d’Eau, whilst La Reserve is a sumptuously luxurious resort with a more relaxed feel to it. Le Beau-Rivage and Le Richemond are both fantastic alternatives, whilst the Hotel Bristol is an excellent, centrally-located choice on a slightly smaller budget. Hotel Bristol have just introduced a new Ladies First offer, a floor dedicated entirely to women.

The beautiful Geneva featuring the magnificent Jet d'Eau fountain.
The beautiful Geneva featuring the magnificent Jet d’Eau fountain.

EAT

Geneva is a food lover’s paradise; it has everything from international gastronomic delights to incredible local cuisine as well as the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants in Europe. For top spots in the centre of Geneva, head over to the Le Beau-Rivage to find Dominique Gauthier’s Le Chat Botté; this Michelin-starred restaurant boasts modern French cuisine and a wonderful selection of wines, presided over by sommelier Vincent Debergé. Michelin-starred Il Lago sits in the Four Seasons Hotel Des Bergues; a lavishly decorated Northern-Italian restaurant with Saverio Sbaragli at its helm, it is near impossible to find fault with the experience here.

The highlights of the other fantastic Michelin-starred restaurants in town include Michael Roth’s Bayview (creative French) in the Hotel President Wilson; Paulo Airaudo and Francesco Gasbarro’s La Bottega.

The Mallete Cathedrale in Geneva.
The Mallete Cathedrale in Geneva.

For Geneva’s truly world-renowned gastronomy, head slightly out of the centre of town to the Auberge du Lion d’Or, in Cologny; run by Gilles Dupont and Tommy Byrne it offers sublime, classic French dishes. Le Floris, Claude Legras’s 2 Michelin-starred restaurant, is another popular choice; overlooking Lake Geneva it offers French haute cuisine. To the west of Geneva is Philippe Chevrier’s Domaine Châteauvieux, another 2 Michelin-starred restaurant, set in the outbuildings of Chateau de Peney. Dining here is truly unique; both in terms of the setting and the inventive seasonal menu. Additionally, if you are after something truly special, getting up close to the kitchen at the Chef’s Table is highly recommended.

For more relaxed dining and traditional cuisine, Brasserie Lipp or Café du Centre are favourites. Everyone knows Brasserie Lipp, and for good reason; the décor is classic Parisian and the food is excellent – the steak tartare is the pick of the menu. Café du Centre is another bustling cornerstone of Geneva’s dining scene. Set in an old brewery building on Place du Molard; the food is beautifully presented and you’ll never find it empty; it also does an excellent Sunday brunch. Beyond these, Les Armures, in the Old Town, is a truly traditional hotspot with a menu boasting many Swiss specialities such as raclette and fondue, the best of its kind in town.

The charmingly quaint streets of Geneva.
The charmingly quaint streets of Geneva.

DRINK

Geneva’s bustling bar scene is great fun to explore and, best of all, the bars stay open until late. On Rue du Rhône, Rooftop 42 has a wonderful modern ambiance and spectacular view of the city; it’s open until 2am. For a cocktail bar with a more intimate yet lively feel, try Barbershop or L’Atelier Cocktail Club. In le Quartier des Bains, the discerning eye will find La Verre à Monique; a speakeasy-style cocktail bar, it’s a great little spot that feels very different from anywhere else in Geneva. La Clemence, particularly in the summer months, is another popular option.

To find out more, visit geneve-tourisme.ch/en/home/

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