La Réserve — Geneva, Switzerland
It’s often said to be the luxury hotel group with the small portfolio and a big reputation. Owned by low-profile businessman Michel Reybier, the La Réserve collection now comprises five properties: four in France - including Reybier’s personal home, at the heart of a 200-acre vineyard in Bordeaux; and a Parisian gem within a former hôtel particulier - and the flagship in Geneva where it all began.
A sprawling low-slung hotel set over 10-acres of land on the shores of lac Léman, the 102-room hotel is a peaceful bolthole that feels as though it’s far from the madding crowd but is within striking distance of the city centre’s bustling shops, restaurants, museums and historic sights.
Inside, the Paris-based designer Jacques Garcia has taken his cues from the chichi side of African lodges: hues of royal reds and gold surface in rich leathers, bold leopard and zebra print carpets; and animal-themed artwork, such as a wall of framed butterflies, bird-shaped light fittings and a giant elephant that presides over the stairs in the lobby.
The guestrooms - led by shades of orange, pale blue and silky taupe - continue the theme with leather-topped desks, velvet safari chairs and original photos depicting scenes of historical expeditions to the far and distant lands of India and Africa.
In the 14 years since opening its doors, a sleek glass-walled shoreside villa has been added and more recently, the hotel has appointed award-winning chef Virginie Basselot, who sends out exquisitely prepared seasonal and locally sourced modern French dishes at Le Loti. We suggest the sea bass and oyster tartar drizzled with lemon cream and topped with caviar; or the expertly cooked cod served with Basselot’s signature lemon balm butter sauce.
Along with Le Tsé Fung, the Chinese restaurant and a sprawling spa from Swiss anti-ageing clinic Nescens, La Réserve Genève is the perfect bolthole for both locals on a weekend getaway or visitors wanting to experience the best of both worlds.