With a unique location in the heart of Geneva with spectacular panoramic views, within a historical palace, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues has exceeded my expectations, providing a stay with many WOW factors, both from the point of view of facilities but also from the point of view of service. In my travels worldwide and having stayed at many Four Seasons hotels, I have not experienced a property which would challenge the indefinite flagship of the entire chain, the Four Seasons George V in Paris.
Meeting the General Manager, Jose Silva, a Canadian of Portuguese origin, I learned of his background in architecture which, coupled with immense passion for luxury hospitality have been the defining factors in creating the Four Seasons des Bergues in Geneva, one of those rare hotels, which although part of a chain, can be placed in a league of its own. Silva arrived in 2005, at the same time with Four Seasons taking over the management of the historic hotel, built in 1834, a landmark on its own.
Perfection, attention to detail, the pursuit of anticipating needs – define the ultimate level of the personalized service which the hotel provides to its guests, often home to celebrities and royalty from around the world. The hotel’s residential feel is instilled not only through the interior design, the unusually high proportion of suites versus rooms and the restricted access on the street of the hotel, but by the genuinely warm and attentive service.
The entire team is very young and the passion to serve has been evident throughout my entire stay – whether there were tangible or intangible gestures. Although arriving almost an hour late for my SPA treatment, from a tiring business day and a long train ride, the genuine care and welcome smile of the therapist made me feel not only pampered but mostly respected. It was so refreshing to discover a personalized service, the Personal Guest Assistant, which not only worked but was, most importantly, coherent and consistent.
Unlike most other Four Seasons city hotels, the Four Seasons Geneva features the most diverse room inventory, with 35 suites to 68 rooms. Regardless of category, all rooms and suites features some impressive basics such as: showers (walk in, separate from bathtubs) are equipped with steam; the large size of the bathrooms, most with dual entrance and the same high quality of furnishings in every detail, from bed linen to, lighting, carpets or curtains.
The flower decorations throughout the hotel, especially lobby and lobby lounge are impressive. I was fortunate to see both the Christmas decorations and the incoming Spring decorations. Listening to the GM explaining his strategic approach to flowers was again truly impressive.
Uniquely for a Four Seasons hotel, the suites feature three different interior design styles, from a sophisticated, deeply classic XVIII century, contemporary to modern. Working closely with famous interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon, the hotel’s Manager, Jose Silva has ”imposed” a bespoke approach to every single room and suite, away from any standardization ”attempts”, which could be mostly evident through furnishings. While the suites may be different in style, they retain a common classic thread! Needless to say, the choice of materials and finishes are second to none.
With such a fine selection of suites, the hotel not only caters to a larger variety of tastes but also to a wider array of consumer target, not to mention that the most discerning guests may opt for a different suite on different stays, according to a specific occasion. Or, there are suites which are preferred by some long time guests, who are able to thus enjoy the ultimate return ”home”.
Whether corporate or leisure, the hotel answers the most demanding needs. The hotel is within 3 minutes walk, across the bridge right in front of the hotel, to the city’s luxury shopping street Rue du Rhone, home to many top international luxury fashion, accessories and, of course, watches brands. Similarly, the business district can be reached with a 10 minute car drive. The bar, the restaurant and the lounge at the hotel are favorites among locals and visitors.
To reinforce its leadership position among luxury hotels in Geneva, the Four Seasons de Bergues is currently building a spectacular roof top with a lavish 2.000 SPA, which includes a swimming pool, a fitness centre with an outdoor terrace and a Japanese restaurant with a terrace too. The development is expected to be completed by July, when the brand new SPA will surely establish itself among the top SPAs in Switzerland. The development of the SPA, despite all the construction and engineering challenges and thus the considerable investment will undoubtedly serve as an example for developers and owners of properties, managed by a hotel operator such as the Four Seasons.
The opening of a Four Seasons Resort Hotel in the chic French mountain destination of Megeve in 2007, an hour and a half of Geneva will provide an ideal opportunity for travelers, especially winter sports lovers to have an entire Four Seasons experience while in Switzerland.
Oliver Petcu in Geneva
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