A retreat on the shores of Lake Geneva
39 Rooms / 6 Suites
Located with postcard-perfect views of Geneva’s iconic Jet d’Eau and the French Alps glimmering across Lake Geneva, Hotel d’Angleterre is one of the most unusual properties in the city. This intimate boutique hotel is replete with top-notch personal touches that rarely happen are larger hotels. That it reduced the number of rooms in 1995 from 60 to 45 speaks volumes of the hotel’s commitment to meeting the needs and desires of its guests, as does the two-to-one staff-to-guest ratio.
Built in 1872, Hotel d'Angleterre retains the feel on an old-school private club with its dark-walled hallways and decadent ornate furnishings, but it is decidedly unfussy. Before arriving, you will receive a welcome letter to assess what your specific needs may be, a practice that is indicative of the selling point of d’Angleterre is intimacy — the feel of a private house over a hotel.
While the property isn’t grand in size, it does have all the amenities you’d want at a luxury hotel in Geneva, including a cigar lounge, a fine-dining restaurant with wow-factor views, two modest meeting rooms and a sexy little lounge for cocktails. Strategically situated, the hotel is an easy walk to the Old Town of Geneva, or hop on a boat to tour the lake or to transport you to nearby towns like Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee headquarters.
The moody green and wood corridors belie what is on the other side of the door — the juxtaposition of exterior to interior is dramatic, unexpected and entertaining. No two rooms are alike and nothing is replicated. The rooms strive for a Bohemian, playful feel and may contain a zebra rug, silk-covered walls, elaborate chandeliers, patterned wallpapers, original Miró sketches, a Picasso or funky urban pottery.
You will also find decanters with port, cognac and whiskey at the ready. Beds are handmade by Elite in Switzerland and all pillow-top mattresses can be removed if desired. The bathrooms are outfitted with Penhaligon’s British luxury bath products.
The Presidential Suite can be expanded from one to five bedrooms (1,184 to 2,691 square feet in size) and given the nature of the celebrity and political guests who have stayed here, thick bulletproof glass and soundproofed walls and doors are standard here.
The Exclusive Lake rooms are most desired, and each has its own wide-ranging theme (think Baroque or African). The Junior Suite Courtyard Rooms look out to the Emmanuel Episcopal church and its bell tower through large picture windows. While the view might not be as grand as the lake and mountains, it’s still quite pleasant.
Windows, the onsite restaurant, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea in a smartly designed, cozy interior of black, white and gray. As the name suggests, the large panoramic windows open to views of the lake and mountains in the distance.
The cuisine is international and meticulous — classic favorites include roasted scallops, slow-cooked lamb shank, risotto with white truffle and, of course, foie gras.
For drinks, head to the Geneva hotel's sumptuous Leopard Lounge, a swanky clubroom that has a long list of cocktails and whiskeys (more than 50) and live music almost every night of the week.