Geneva Guide: VIP Trip
Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel spent several years of their lives in this part of Switzerland, giving it style pedigree, and Geneva boasts a reputation for being a little city with a big heart. Its planet-saving peace-keeping message is loud and clear with installations and institutes all over the city that promote ideas for a better world. Celebs from Angelina Jolie to Diane Kruger come here, and there are a growing number of quirky bars and restaurants too. Check it out…
1. Stay at Geneva’s Intercontinental
We love the pool – it’s huge and heated and such a rare find in a Geneva hotel. The pool’s bar and restaurant are popular hangouts too, and locals often come and book loungers at weekends and stay for drinks. The suites are the epitome of sleek Swiss design, and the window-framed views of iconic Jet d’Eau could have been painted they’re so perfect. Located next to the UN’s famous Place du Nations and the brilliant International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, there’s also a stop right outside for buses going into town and the hotel give guests get complimentary travel passes.
INFO: Rooms/suites start from CHF330-3,600, check the site for Eid deals, www.intercontinental.com/geneva
2. Take your Jet d’Eau Selfie
Geneva’s most famous landmark is Jet d’Eau, a 140m shot of water that spikes from the city’s ginormous lake, which spans both Switzerland and France. You can see the Jet from just about everywhere in Geneva, even from your plane window, and during October you may even witness it turn pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
3. Do Brunch at Woods
A more sedate Sunday affair when compared to Dubai’s Friday afternoon feast, the brunch at Woods is a good place to sample several local dishes in this nature-inspired nook at the InterContinental.
INFO: CHF85, 12noon-3.30pm Sun
4. Seat of Civilisation
Broken Chair by Daniel Berset is a sculpture commissioned by Handicap International, installed in 1997 in Place du Nations in front of Geneva’s UN building, designed to provoke the leaders of all countries to sign the Mine Ban Treaty and help landmine victims.
5. Have a Clarins Makeover
Get a bespoke facial at Clarins Skin Spa, one of Geneva’s most famous pampering parlours; once your treatment is complete, your therapist can apply the latest Clarins make-up, so you’ll leave ready to hit the city.
INFO: CHF160 for one-hour facial, CHF90 for Make-up To Go 45-minute application, firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Where the Web Was Invented
It’s 8km out of Geneva, but worth the journey if you’re interested in particle physics and the Big Bang. Brit Sir Tim Berners-Lee was working here when he invented the internet – what a clever chap!
7. Geneva’s Best Museum
Peacekeeping Switzerland is best seen through the moving exhibits at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.
INFO: CHF10, www.redcrossmuseum.ch
8. Get Choc-a-block!
From the commonplace Toblerone to the luxury of Favarger, in Geneva Swiss chocs are obviously wildly available (read: impossible to avoid or resist). Have your fill.
9. Dine at Omnibus
This industrial riverside restaurant doesn’t look that welcoming from the outside, but inside it’s cosy with a series of connecting rooms full of antiques, tapestry, topiary and stuffed toys!
10. Want to be a Part of the Art Scene?
MAMCO is Geneva’s Museum d’Art Moderne at Contemporain. With no English translations your guess is as good as it gets when trying to work out what the exhibits represent, but there are some quirky pieces worth pondering, like the circle of dice on the floor.
INFO: CHF10, www.mamco.ch
11. Clock It!
Geneva’s most famous timepiece (of which there are many) is the Flower Clock in the English Garden – the floral beds and hands are changed with the seasons, and a trip to this city wouldn’t be complete without snapping a pic in front of it for your Facebook page.
12. Check out Yvette de Marseille’s Place
This erstwhile mechanics workshop was owned by a lady called Yvette. Now it’s a gorgeously grungy urban tapas bar with a garage door that opens onto an al fresco terrace.
INFO: Rue Henri Blanvalet 13