Review: Mandarin Oriental, Geneva
November 09, 2021 | Hollie-Rae Brader
Hotel brand's Swiss outpost holds court on the banks of the Rhône
Location: You'll find Mandarin Oriental's Swiss outpost a 20-minute drive from the airport in the centre of Geneva, on the banks of the Rhone. The property is a short amble away from the Old Town, with a nearby footbridge linking the hotel and its high-end neighbours (Four Seasons and The RitzCarlton) to the quaint, historic area.
First impressions: With dark walls and marble flooring, the sultry design of the lobby is in complete contrast to the light and fresh decor of the rooms and suites. I arrived late and the friendly staff whizzed me through check-in to ensure I had time to freshen up in my suite before heading to trendy Peruvian ceviche venue Yakumanka. I settled in perfectly thanks to the winning combination of exceptional service, yummy food and a sumptuous bed. I'm sure the divine pisco sours I enjoyed over dinner helped too.
The facts: The property, originally the Hotel du Rhone, was the first luxury hotel to be built in Europe after the Second World War. It was taken over by luxury chain MO in 2000, however, many of the art deco features and touches were maintained despite an extensive renovation. The hotel has 143 rooms and 35 suites. All room options feature a marble bathroom and many of the suites have terraces. As well as Yakumanka (open for lunch and dinner), guests can enjoy Mediterranean fare in the MO Bar, the hotel's all-day culinary option. There's also a small gym and spa area offering beauty treatments.
Explore: I wasn't blown away by Geneva as a city break option, but enjoyed paddleboarding on pretty Lake Geneva and exploring the city's historic centre. An added benefit of Geneva is its proximity to stunning mountain locations. It makes an ideal twin-centre destination, combining the city with ski or walking holidays in Megeve, Courchevel and Chamonix.
Wow: The Royal Penthouse is incredible. Located on the seventh floor, the three-bed suite features a huge panoramic terrace with views across the Rhone, the slated rooftops of the Old Town and the surrounding snow-capped mountains of the Alps. The suite is sound-proofed and features a dining area for 12 guests.
Book it: Rates for Mandarin Oriental, Geneva start from £313 per room per night. Mandarinoriental.com/geneva
Hollie is editor of Aspire’s print and online products. She is responsible for the running of the club and ensuring the content produced and the events organised are relevant to the Aspire audience. She was previously deputy news editor and cruise writer for sister title Travel Weekly. She loves exploring new destinations and is gradually ticking new countries off her list. She most enjoys writing about cruise, South America and Japan. Before working in the travel industry she held news reporting roles at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.