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Where to Stay in Geneva
As one of the most significant international political and financial center, Geneva, Switzerland attracts thousands of business travelers every year. To accommodate these traveling professionals, the metropolis boasts numerous four- and five-star hotels that provide guests with an array of business services. Many of these luxury boutiques can be found along Quai du Mont Blanc along the shoreline of Lake Geneva. With its many historic and cultural attractions, the city is also a hub for pleasure seekers. Tourists can compare hotel rates in the centrally located Old Town district. This historic part of town is the home to several major landmarks, including an underground archeological site that dates back to the Roman Empire. Located on the southern side of the Rhone River, the charming district also provides guests with easy access to shops and restaurants. Those looking to stay in Geneva's artsy bohemian district can book reservations in Carouge. Filled with skilled artisans, cafes and clubs, the vibrant neighborhood is located just south of Geneva's other major river, the Arve. Another popular destination is Place Neuve. Located near Bastions Park just west of the Old Town district, this cultural hub boasts the Grand Theatre, one of Switzerland's most important performance spaces. It's also home to the Musee Rath, an art museum that features rotating exhibits. Those looking to souvenir shop can stay near Plaine de Plainpalais. The neighborhood features a large flea market where vendors sell everything from antiques to vintage clothing. The district is also home to a handful of budget hotels and claims one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the city.
Geneva Hotel Tips
Geneva plays host to several large annual festivals, which often attract masses of attendees from around the world. Car lovers will appreciate the International Geneva Motor Show. Held in March, the large-scale show is considered one of the most significant auto events of its kind in the world. The Bol d'Or Race is a heavily attended yacht race on Lake Geneva. The June festival welcomes more than 600 boats. Another major June event is the Fete de la Musique. This three-day festival celebrates music with approximately 40 stages scattered throughout the city. However, the largest citywide event is the Fete de Geneve. Considered the largest tourist event in Switzerland, the weeklong celebration is famous for its spectacular fireworks display. If you plan to attend any of these festivals, you will need to search for flight deals to Geneva and hotel rooms months in advance to ensure availability.
Budget travelers looking to bypass the peak tourist season in favor of more affordable hotel reservations should consider a trip during the months of November through February. Temperatures during these winter months range from the high 20s to the mid 40s, so pack a jacket. Make sure to plan your trip around the winter holidays, when hotel prices temporarily increase.
Geneva Hotel Recommendations
Located in the heart of Geneva, right along the shoreline of the lake, is the famous Des Bergues Hotel. The exclusive boutique, which is now owned by Four Seasons Hotels, has been a Swiss landmark since 1834. The richly appointed hotel boasts 115 guestrooms suites, each elegantly furnished with a mix of classic and contemporary styles. Adding to the ambiance are the guestroom's deluxe marble bathrooms, which feature large vanities, steam-resistant mirrors and heated towel racks. The hotel also caters to guests with a list of in-room spa services, while business travelers can take advantage of the 24-hour business center. There is also a 24-hour gym located on-site, which includes complimentary fruit and juice. The Des Bergues Hotel also offers a range of amenities targeted specifically to younger guests, including coloring books and chocolate treats.
Or book reservations at the five-star Swissotel Metropole. With its prime location on the south side of the Rhine River, adjacent to a beautiful garden, the luxury hotel provides guests with easy access to the city's financial district and the historic Old Town neighborhood. The establishment offers 111 deluxe guestrooms and 16 spacious suites. Rooms are outfitted in a cozy Italian aesthetic and include such amenities as satellite television, a hands-free bathroom phone and elegant bathrobes. Rooms that overlook either the lake or the city are available. There is also a full-service business center, two rooftop terraces, a fitness center, seven meeting rooms, a restaurant and a bar on-site.
If you're looking for a mid-range accommodation, consider the Hotel Bernina. The boutique occupies a beautiful 19th-century building that is centrally located near the Les Grottes district and only a short walk to the Quai du Mont Blanc and Old Town. Rooms are simple, clean and comfortable. All are soundproofed and feature private bathrooms. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning and free wireless Internet service is provided throughout the establishment. Additionally, the Hotel Bernina is located just outside a major train station, making it convenient for guests to explore the outer regions of the city.
Geneva boasts a remarkably efficient public transportation system. Visitors have a choice of traveling by bus, trolley or tram. All forms of transportation run regularly throughout the city during the day, and some, including a dozen bus routes, run throughout the night. Depending on where you are, you may be able to explore Geneva on foot. The Old Town district, for example, is especially easy to walk around. The city is also known to be very bike friendly. Local bike rental organizations allow visitors to rent bikes free of charge for periods of up to four hours. Commuter rail line service to Geneva's outer suburbs is available, too. Visitors who want to explore the Swiss or French countryside can rent a car from one of the city's many major rental agencies.