Monday, November 1, 2010

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO: La Reserve, Geneva





GENEVA HOTSPOT, LA RESERVE…

Select discovers a hotel with a cool and playful difference in a city sometimes called “stuffy”. La Reserve Geneve is a resort hotel with great dining, health spa and light-hearted mood, only 5 minutes taxi from the airport, 10 minutes from the central station – and 15 minutes by boat.
We arrived by boat – an option from March to October. It is a short walk along the ravishing Geneva waterfront to the moorings of La Reserve’s own speedboat. Mt Blanc appeared like a vision behind the foothills and seemed to float along with us, far off in the French-Italian Alps (4810m high).

We landed at the hotel’s own jetty on the lake (view from jetty shown above). In the summer water sports are offered here. A few steps took us under Route de Lausanne into the hotel park – where an outdoor swimming pool and kid’s area with tree house give an instant resort feelLa Reserve radiates a relaxed atmosphere. In Geneva, a centre of diplomacy and huge international organizations, one expects a lot of formality. But La Reserve, a five star design hotel, is in no way uptight or would-be “posh”, perhaps because of the young clientele and playful designer decor.The lounges spill out to wide terraces facing the pool, lake and mountains. In the daytime the extrovert individuality of the public areas emerges with reds and purples, elephant sculptures and glass parrots hanging from lamps. But in the evenings the lamps bathe all in the most inviting glow. Deep leather chairs are filled with beautiful young people speaking lively French. The hotel is a magnet for “Le beau Monde”, attracted by Geneva’s probably best Chinese restaurant, along with a gourmet restaurant, DJ … gym and spa.




CITY RESORT OR DESTINATION SPA?

La Reserve is proud to call itself Geneva’s only five-star city resort and destination spa. With a 2000 sqm spa area in a separate wing, this is the place for health treatments also featured at La Réserve Ramatuelle on the Riviera. Signature treatments are given under the guidance of a physiotherapist and medical doctor who boasts an additional homeopathy diploma. At the moment they are offering 4-day, 7-day and 14-day courses of treatment which can be booked through Select Collection. The spa features 17 treatment rooms, indoor pool, and health restaurant. A nice touch is a table full of mystical glass containers holding different concoctions for different health purposes.



All-weather pool (above) complements the outdoor pool (open June-October)


On the sporty side, the resort offers gym with six trainers and two tennis courts with two instructors. Our evening was enjoyed in the warm ambiance of the endless lounges and the Loti fine dining restaurant.


Director of Sales Alexia Beugnon in the warm glow of the lamplight



Pumpkin soup in a pumpkin shell (with truffles waiting to delight on the bottom) and grilled John Dory with a side dish of Swiss chard were among five culinary masterpieces served with wine produced by La Reserve´s owner at his French and Hungarian wine estates.


Fresh and gleaming, take your pick of three different fish

There are two wings at La Reserve, one with garden view, and the other with garden and lake view, together housing 85 rooms (30-40 sqm) and 17 suites (50-130 sqm), most with terraces or balconies.

We were shown a Deluxe room with a lake-view terrace (above) – the Deluxe rooms with park views offer greater space. Superior rooms and Executive rooms are smaller and all have park views. Our Lake suite offered a separate salon opening onto a French balcony with lake view, and bedroom opening onto a roomy balcony with park view (as below). The salon was on the sunrise side, and the bedroom and balcony on the sunset side.


View from suite of wooded park, and Lake Geneva beyond



A comfy bed brings peaceful night enclosed in rich curtaining
Salon of a Lake suite – all are different


Before our departure, the concierge gave some tips for Geneva visitors.

• Take a boat from Quai du Mont Blanc to the pier of the famous fountain (Jet d’eau) squirting high out of the lake.

Jet d’eau with Mt Blanc in the distance

• Walk or take a taxi to the beautiful old town (Vieille Ville) on the hill. Get the taxi to drop you off at Place-de-Bourg-de-Four – a popular square high at the “back” of the hill. The whole area is full of restaurants and cafes. Then walk back towards the water, through the quaint narrow streets – a downhill walk.

• On the way back visit St Peter’s Cathedral at the crown of the hill and see the archaeological findings underneath it.

• Indulge in world-class window shopping at the foot of the old town. Designer stores are a special feature of Geneva, serving a very discerning population – not forgetting top brand watches and lavish gold jewellery. Rue du Rhone and Rue du Marche are premier window-shopping streets, both on the “Rive Gauche”.

• Walk over the bridge Pont du Mont Blanc…and see the crystal waters of Lake Geneva running out into the Rhone (our snapshot taken this October)…

Final note: time to the airport from La Reserve – our transfer took, as advertised, only 5 minutes…




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