WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Founded in 1834, the Hotel des Bergues is Geneva’s oldest hotel, a magnificent example of neoclassical Belle Epoque architecture. Recently reopened after a CHF45 million (£19.9 million) renovation, the number of staff (150 in low season, 180 in high season) ensures that it has immediately returned as one of the top hotel addresses in Geneva.
Where is it?
A 10-minute walk from Geneva’s old town on the Left Bank.
How many rooms?
81 rooms and 22 suites. Room categories are superior, deluxe, Four Seasons rooms, executive suites, deluxe suites and then a presidential and royal suite.
All rooms have a variety of lake, courtyard (internal) and city views. Colour schemes vary between pale blue and pale green. Each has a good desk for work and high-speed internet access (CHF30; £13). The smallest room is the superior room number 503 (25sqm), which is internal facing.
Restaurants and Bars
There are two main options. Le Bar des Bergues is a ground floor bar looking out onto the lake with alfresco dining in the summer on La Terrace (the road outside the hotel is private and largely free of traffic). There is also a lobby-style bar. Restaurant Il Lago is a fine-dining Italian experience. The four-course business lunch menu,which can also be taken in the bar, is CHF75 (£33); starter choices included pumpkin risotto nutmeg and pecorino, or ricotta and pestognocchi with calamari sauce. Mains included roast venison fillet,braised lettuce and szechuan pepper sauce, or angler fish fricassée with seasonal mushrooms and a Noilly Prat sauce. At lunch the hotel is often fully booked, but evenings are quieter in Geneva as the working population heads home, and it’s a lovely place to while away a few hours.
Business and Meeting facilities
Like most Four Seasons hotels, Hotel des Bergues is too small to cater for the largest conferences, but it excels where smaller spaces are needed. Its main room, Salle des Nations, was specially created for the first meeting of the League of Nations in 1920. Able to accommodate up to 450, it has windows overlooking Lake Geneva. One of the smallest rooms, called Financier, has red leather seats, dark wood and a fireplace, and is definitely a room to impress.
There is a small spa on the top (6th floor), with gym equipment and treatment rooms.
A superb hotel, almost boutique in size and feel, right in the centre of Geneva.
Telephone rates for a midweek stay in February started at CHF503 (£223) for a superior room including American breakfast, rising to CHF1,355(£600) for a junior suite, including American breakfast. Best available internet rate was CHF603 (£267) for a superior room, room only.
Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, 33 Quai des Bergues, 1201 Geneva +41 22 908 7000; fourseasons.com.