Venetia van Kuffeler says that as well as being a global hub for diplomacy and finance, one hotel in Geneva is hosting the ultimate festive experience
WHETHER YOU ARE considering a stop en-route to the mountains or a European city break, Geneva comes to life at Christmas time with magnificent lights and decorations, lakeside fireworks, ice-skating in the Parc des Bastions and traditional Christmas markets heaving with mulled wine and festive delicacies.
On the edge of Lake Geneva, the iconic Beau-Rivage hotel has crafted a Christmas to remember for families and couples alike. Founded in 1865 by Jean-Jacques Mayer and conveniently located in the heart of Geneva’s business and shopping district, Beau-Rivage commands incredible views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. Behind its grand façade, the hotel’s meticulously restored design blends the modern day with magical echoes of the past, from the Mayer family’s own furnishings, stained glass and objets d’art scattered throughout, to suites named after notable guests who have left their mark on history here.
Beau-Rivage’s glittering list of former guests includes the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, who quietly reflected here whilst drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to Empress Sisi of Austria who chose Beau-Rivage as her pied-à-terre in Geneva, and legendary designer Coco Chanel. Seventy-two individually-designed rooms and 23 suites, including six Lake View Loft Suites launched last year, are matched with exceptional cuisine from Michelin-starred Le Chat-Botté and the lakeside La Terrasse.
This year, Geneva’s oldest family-run luxury hotel will be celebrating with fairy-tale décor and a host of outstanding new festive experiences for their guests to enjoy. Families staying at Beau-Rivage over this Christmas and New Year season can expect a fairy-tale atmosphere with nods to Swiss tradition, the hotel’s historic hallways glittering with decorations and a sparkling Swarovski-decorated tree. Rooms and suites will be similarly resplendent with festive cheer and guests will be able to decorate their own Christmas tree for their stay. The new Family Christmas package includes a two-night stay, a Christmas tree, a chocolate buffet experience at the hotel’s Chocolate Bar and toy store voucher as well as sweet Christmas treats on arrival and a second room at half rate.
For the adults, Beau-Rivage has created an exclusive watchmaking experience in collaboration with Swiss horology specialists Initium, at the end of which guests will create their own beautiful bespoke timepiece. As Geneva is synonymous with the time-honoured craft of watchmaking, the experience includes a one-night stay and a one-day watchmaking course at the Initium workshop guided by a master watchmaker where guests will create their own timepiece, as well as two tickets to the Patek Philippe Museum and a commemorative book on watchmaking.
Mid-November will see the launch of a unique new fondue dining experience at the hotel with eye-catching, cosy ski gondolas seating up to four people each set on the hotel’s picturesque terrace overlooking Lake Geneva. Serving a series of gourmet fondues using locally-produced Swiss cheese paired with excellent wines from the hotel’s historic cellar, this is the only experience of its kind in Geneva, and the perfect way to indulge after a day exploring the city’s Christmas markets.
Dare I say it, it’s beginning to feel a lot like…
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BEAU-RIVAGE.CH OR TELEPHONE +41 22 716 66 66.