WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Built in1963, the five-star President Wilson is not the prettiest of buildings, but was renovated and extended at a cost of CHF190 million (£83.8million) and reopened in 1996, becoming a member of the Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2000.
Walking into the lobby, I was struck by the large, stunning and unusual flower display that was designed by the in-house florist. Not surprisingly, the lobby smells of flowers. More unusually, so does the rest of the hotel, including the rooms and corridors. This comes from the electric room fresheners and in some rooms – including my own – it was a little overpowering.
Where is it?
On the west side of Lake Geneva with views of the lake and Mont Blanc, and a short walk from the city centre.
How many rooms?
230 rooms including 40 suites.
I was staying in a deluxe room fitted out in woods with cream and light terracotta-coloured furnishings. It was comfortable but not large, with a king-size bed, comfortable chair, desk, fax and TV fitted with the Quadriga in-room communications system. Rooms are equipped with bathrobe and slippers, hairdryer, air conditioning, minibar and safe. Bathrooms have a combined shower and bath and toiletries by Acqua di Parma (suites have separate showers). If you are likely to be spending some time in your room, opting for a business corner suite will be more comfortable, giving you 40sqm of space.
Junior suites are more spacious at 64sqm, with upgraded facilities such as a Bang & Olufsen TV and separate sitting area. All suites have lake views and some have a private lift to the spa.
Wifi connection is available in the bedrooms (CHF40; £17.65 per day).
As in many European countries the hotel has a few smoking and non-smoking floors, so make sure you ask for your preference.
Restaurants and Bars
There is one bar, two restaurants and a lobby lounge. The T-Bar, previously known as Charlie’s due to the display of Charlie Chaplin’s books, is in the centre of the hotel next to the restaurants and has glass doors that open into the lobby lounge. Arabesque is a Lebanese restaurant and has had the same chef for over 10 years.
The most recent restaurant is Spice’s and specialises in fusion cooking. On the Monday night I was staying, both were busy so booking in advance is advisable.
The lobby lounge is the venue for buffet breakfast each day and also serves light snacks all day. It becomes an overflow area for the T-Bar with live music in the evenings. In the summer there is also the Pool Garden restaurant on the first floor terrace, open for lunch and dinner.
Business and Meeting facilities
The Wilson Room, the largest ballroom in Geneva, can accommodate 1,000 theatre-style or 800 for dinner. There are five other smaller rooms,all with natural daylight for boardroom-style meetings. Some of these can be connected for meetings of up to 100 people. Internet access is available in all rooms and wifi in the lobby. The business centre, located behind reception, is open 24 hours a day.
leisure facilities On the first floor is a small gym with a range of fitness machines. The spa has a couple of treatment rooms, sauna and spa bath.On the terrace a heated swimming pool is open in the summer. Rooms on the first floor are situated around the pool terrace and have their own private terraces with sun beds.
A modern option with good service and excellent restaurants.
Telephone rates for a midweek stay in February started at CHF614 (£272)for a deluxe room with city view, rising to CHF940 (£416) for a Business Corner suite with lake view. Best available internet rate was CHF690 (£305) for a deluxe room with city view. All rates room only.
Contact Hotel President Wilson, 47 Quai Wilson, CH-1211, Geneva 21, tel +41 22 906 66 66, hotelpresidentwilson.com/en.