In Switzerland (and Europe), Diamond Elite Models is introducing you to Europe’s most “date travel” destinations. Perfect for city breaks over the weekend. To forget about all the stress everyday life brings and great ways to surprise your partner or travel companion with a lovely hustle free trip. If you have a personal favorite and would like to introduce it to all our readers, feel free to get in touch or send us an email. We would love to publish your favorite romantic weekend destination in Europe and of course mostly in Switzerland.
Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. Geneva is a global city, a financial center, and worldwide center for diplomacy due to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva is the city that hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world. It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.
The city perhaps not the biggest, nonetheless there are are many things to see and do in this vibrant and incredibly beautiful city. It is also home to a decidedly haute-couture collection of hotels. Although not cheap, they are certainly one of the most stunning hotels and worth every penny if you can afford to stay in a pricy room. Let us take you on a trip to Geneva and explore the city in style.
Jet d’Eau and Jardin Anglais
Switzerland’s sleekest, most cosmopolitan city lies on the edge of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Jura Mountains. Famous for the United Nations HQ, watchmaking and beautiful lake, we discovered the French-speaking city has loads more to offer visitors, from world-class spas and restaurants to pretty parks and fashion-forward shops.
Handily, the Diamond Elite Models Geneva Guide (DEMG) is packed full of ideas and the first thing we ticked off the must-see list was a Beautiful Shores of Geneva cruise. We caught the boat at Jardin Anglais jetty and climbed up to the sun-soaked terrace for the hour-long trip, which took us so close to the famous Jet d’Eau (a 140-metre fountain) we could feel the spray, then circled the edge of the lake, passing the UN buildings and celebrity mansions, Geneva’s equivalent of the Hollywood Hills.
This is the home of Rolex, so naturally there’s an enormous store, plus dozens more luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Patek Philippe and Louis Vuitton on Rue du Rhône, Geneva’s answer to Bond Street.
Eat & Drink
Eating out in Geneva restaurants is part of the fabric of the city and for local office workers and businesspeople a long lunch in a local restaurant is an essential part of their working day, forging fruitful partnerships over a filet de perch and a glass of local chasselas. Given the amount of money swirling around the shores of Lake Geneva, this isn’t a city with a dearth of high-end restaurants, and at the five-star hotels, such as the Four Seasons restaurant Izumi, you’ll find haute-cuisine of all flavours. Those with less fulsome budgets are better catered for in the Old Town where modern Swiss and European food is easy to come by and usually good quality. Likewise in Carouge, Geneva’s pretty Italianate suburb which is packed with classy restaurants like Café des Négociants and bars and sees fewer tourists than the Old Town. While little in Geneva is cheap, the city’s recent predilection for food trucks and burger joints means there are more budget options than ever.
Best restaurants in Geneva
Indulge your mind, body and soul at some of the best restaurants in the city.
CUISINE: ITALIAN / MEDITERRANEAN
Style / Ambiance: Il Lago, the main restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Des Bergues, is a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.
Subtlety is not part of Il Lago’s repertoire. The bold and grand interior featuring intricate brocades, French doors and chandeliers is reminiscent of the lavish imperial era. Magnificently decorated with Italian frescoes the living room is elegant yet welcoming, while the blue room, though somewhat more formal, is a great destination for business lunches. The menu is a perfect marriage of traditional Italian specialties and the best of Mediterranean gastronomy. The arrival of Two-Michelinstarred Chef Philippe Jourdin will ensure that Il Lago remains one of the top restaurants in Geneva. Surrounded by centennial olive trees, the terrace is a wonderful place to dine. Combined with the legendary Four Seasons service, guests are ensured a flawless and memorable dining experience.
DOMAINE DE CHATEAUVIEUX
CUISINE: CONTEMPORARY FRENCH
Style / Ambiance: Only 15 minutes west of central Geneva, Château de Peney (part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux group) stands proudly among Satigny’s vineyards.
Its outbuildings now house one of the best restaurants in Geneva, headed by Magali and Chef Philippe Chevrier. The menu is extravagant, with a price tag to match, but it’s thanks to the chef’s creativity and insistence on selecting the best seasonal products that Domaine de Châteauvieux remains at the top of its game. The ambiance created by the original beams and paneling, cobbled walls, a period fireplace and solid wood furniture invokes an atmosphere of calm and tranquility; the perfect setting to enjoy gourmet dining at its very best.
(VIP FACILITY: For a more dramatic entry to the estate, why not arrive by helicopter?)
LE GRAND QUAI RESTAURANT
Style / Ambiance: Within the historic walls of Swissôtel Métropole Geneva, Le Grand Quai restaurant offers diners a creative menu prepared solely with selected seasonal local produce.
Though the exterior reminds one of a 19th century palazzo the restaurant within features a contemporary décor that whispers cool sophistication and complete comfort.
AUBERGE DU LION D’OR
Style / Ambiance: Thomas Byrne and Gilles Dupont have been described by Relais & Châteaux as the “tightrope walkers and choreographers of gastronomy”.
Set in a tantalizingly soothing location with views over Lake Geneva, the esthetics of their cuisine is creative and streamlined. If the mesmerizing views on city and lake are the frameworks, then the savory dishes are undoubtedly the paintings. Maintaining a smart and classical décor, the Auberge du Lion d’Or amplifies the attention towards the dishes. Sharing their ideology of creating edible masterpieces, the Auberge du Lion d’Or also hosts cooking classes for parties of between six and eight. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Style / Ambiance: Contemporary and eclectic, the Vertig’O is considered one of the most taste-engaging restaurants in Geneva, thanks to the expert direction of talented Chef Jérôme Manifacier and his team.
With emphasis on ‘simple and tasty’, the French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes draw their strength from the traditional and serve up an unforgettable gastronomic experience in comfortable surroundings. Splurge: Start your Sundays with a Champagne Brunch offered by Chef Jérôme Manifacier at the Hotel de la Paix, with choices of cold (buffet) and hot (by the plate) dishes accompanied by Laurent Perrier Champagne, a dessert buffet by Pastry Chef Emmanuel Lebled, followed by coffee or tea.
HOTEL RESTAURANT DU PARC DES EAUX-VIVES
Style / Ambiance: Dine in this 18th century mansion located among the vast greenery of the Parc des Eaux-Vives.
The restaurant is situated on the first floor of this magnificent building and serves traditional and international cuisine under the skillful direction of Chef Julien Schillaci, together with a wine list highlighting Swiss and local varieties. The restaurant includes a brasserie and four function rooms that can accommodate up to 250 guests, with interior décor comprising velvet armchairs, white porcelain and hints of Art Deco. Highly recommended.
WINE & DINE AT THE HOTEL PRESIDENT WILSON
What you can find: Three Restaurants, three bars / salons and a sumptuous wine cellar.
Style / Ambiance: Facing the magnificent panorama of the Alps and Lake Geneva, discover the new ‘Bayview‘ gastronomic restaurant, a unique culinary concept with a spectacular wine cellar overseen by award-winning Executive Chef Ulrich Behringer.
His cuisine is a fusion – and vision – of high quality products, enticing smells and pleasing colors. Alternatively, escape to L’Arabesque, and enjoy the subtle flavors of Lebanese cuisine. Glow, the new lounge area bathed in the radiant reflections of the lake, is the perfect venue for a get-together. Enjoy ‘SO’, Salon Oriental and savor the magic of the Orient in a superb contemporary setting. During summer, enjoy the exclusive Pool Garden Restaurant on the terrace overlooking spectacular Lake Geneva and the Alps.