THE HOTEL: A hotel since construction in 1854 and a five-star Swissôtel since 1998, the Metropole is one of the few on the left bank of Lake Geneva. It is is in the heart of the city’s financial (and shopping) districts and has 127-rooms/suites. Twelve rooms have been converted to ‘Signature Rooms’ with a further 19 to undergo the same upgrade.
THE CHECK-IN:Welcoming and efficient with that perfect blend of formality and friendliness that typifies Swiss hoteliers.
THE ROOM: One of the initial 12 ‘Signature Rooms’ where ‘design and comfort take first priority’, and overlooking the lake. Floors are parquet and the colourful wallpapers have been specially designed. The mosaic bathrooms are open (although can be curtained off) and provide guests with steam showers or Jacuzzi baths with Pürovel toiletries. All lights and electronic instruments are navigated via a central control panel and the 150-channel 42-inch TV is integrated into a room-high mirror with a media connection panel. Rooms also include a desk (with three-pin UK socket), minibar, ironing service on arrival, Nespresso machine, free wifi and small balcony.
THE BUSINESS: Swissôtel Métropole features seven meeting rooms that can accommodate from five to 350 people and all include high-speed wireless internet access and natural daylight. The hotel also has a business centre. A fifth floor terrace with stunning lakeside views is due to open in May, available for private hire. Delegate costs range from 130 CHF (approx. £92).
THE FACILITIES: Meals are served in Le Grand Quai. The new fifth floor terrace will also serve drinks and dinner. Adjacent to the hotel lobby is the Mirror Bar. There’s a fitness centre and, across the road, a 6km lakeside promenade for jogging. The Swissôtel Métropole also has a partnership with the nearby 43 Spa by Valmont.
THE VERDICT: An outstanding combination of the luxury Swissôtel product and exemplary Swiss hotel-keeping offering an ideal and attractive base for senior business travellers.
THE DETAILS: Swissôtel Métropole, 34 Quai Général-Guisan, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland. Rates are from 690 CHF (£486) or from 950 CHF (£669) for one of the new lakeside Signature Rooms. For more information, see: www.metropole.ch.
Reviewed by Alan Orbell (2013)