I was recently invited to visit the Intercontinental Geneva in Switzerland, a true luxury hotel that wholeheartedly merits its five-star rating providing excellent value for money and exemplary customer service.
With the United Nations based a mere 10 minutes away, the hotel regularly receives VIP guests. During our visit, the conference regarding Syrian chemical weapons was underway, therefore security was high however this didn’t interfere with our stay at all.
First things first. The hotel is very accessible via public transport, more-so than it initially appears on Google Maps. I had used the site to check out whether the hotel would be easy to get to due to an early arrival after the short flight. Google Maps anticipated a 45-50 minute journey. In actuality, it took just 15 minutes to get to the Intercontinental Hotel via bus #5 which travels directly from the airport to less than 5 mins from the hotel (appropriately named the ‘Intercontinental’ stop). Honestly, it was that easy.
A recent refurbishment of the Intercontinental Geneva by Tony Chi amounted to £14 million for an overhaul of the exterior and public areas; having learnt of this, my expectations were naturally high.
My first impressions of the hotel were well met. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted and welcomed by Irene; before being escorted to room 1128 on the 11th floor overlooking the pool. Immediately we noted that the room was clean, spacious and furnished to a very high standard with neutral decor and plenty of in-room storage space.
The bathroom featured a beautiful shower and a total of eight mirrors (yes, I counted) as well as quality toiletries and soft, thick towels and dressing gowns, ideal for use at the onsite spa.
Every detail of the room appeared to have been considered to ensure a comfortable and relaxing stay. The bedroom and bathroom are completely separated by a dressing and storage area and internal door for increased privacy. It also minimises noise around the hotel; we slept incredibly well on both nights of our stay.
In addition to the hotel’s excellent rooms, the heated outdoor swimming pool and well-equipped 24-hour gym are excellent facilities for any stay and we wasted absolutely no time at all in making use of these.
The gym is excellent but the clean, heated outdoor swimming pool is the real treat. I rarely get a chance to use gym facilities lately due to an existing injury so a hotel with a pool is always well received. When it’s an unusually large pool accompanying a well-located city hotel, it’s just that bit better. Note that the pool is open from roughly 15th May to 15th September each year – we just about timed our visit to make some use of the pool before it closes for the cooler season.
The swimming pool starts from 0.9m depth to over 2.5m at the other side, therefore suitable for swimmers of all levels. I’m developing my confidence in the water, so a shallow depth with plenty of space to cover a few metres of swimming worked well for me.
Fortunately breakfast was included with our stay – and very much a welcome part of the package. The Intercontinental Geneva offers a staggering range of options for the breakfast buffet, more varied than any I’ve encountered previously!
With a selection that offers continental or cooked food with a range of cereals, salads and of course freshly prepared fruit juices, guests are completely and utterly spoilt for choice.
On our final evening we opted to try the hotel bar which offers a set range of drinks as well as cocktails, however again there is some flexibility here. I commented to Louise, our server that I didn’t actually like any of the drinks on the cocktail menu. She made no hesitation of offering to create a drink for me that suited my taste… and it was beautiful.
The prices are a little steep at roughly 25 CHF per drink, but this appears to be the going rate in Geneva. The quality of service makes it an exceptional experience and we received complimentary snacks with our drinks, perfect for ending our visit on a high.
Despite having such excellent facilities and rooms, the real attraction of the hotel is its staff. Naturally courteous in their approach and with a polite and friendly demeanour, they’re happy to attend to every need without hesitation and we witnessed the same for other guests.
Each member of the Concierge behaved in a charming and helpful manner. We had contact with Romain and Nicholas, both of whom provided support with directions, suggestions for dining around Geneva and recommendations of things to do in the city. They also remembered us each time we returned to the hotel and made certain to ask how our day had been and whether we needed assistance with bookings or other arrangements. Nothing was too much trouble.
The management really understand how to create a meaningful experience for guests and have done an excellent job of training staff to the highest standards; an unforgettable stay is guaranteed.
This was my first stay at an Intercontinental hotel and I’m so pleased that this was the destination. Have you visited any of their hotels around the world? Thoughts?
Many thanks to the team at Intercontinental Geneva for providing an excellent complimentary stay in the city.