A Word From The King on Four Seasons Hotel Des Berges, Geneva
The quick read: Four Seasons Hotel Des Berges Geneva – built in 1834 as the first hotel in the city – makes a great place for a spa weekend, with its rooftop Spa Mont Blanc, two restaurants (the elegant Il Lago offers Northern Italian fare, or the more intimate Izumi offers Japanese-Peruvian fusion fare) intuitive service and Geneva’s lakeside setting and clean air.
More on the spa: Taking its inspiration from its natural surroundings, the spa offers both signature and locally inspired therapies from ESPA, Swiss Perfection and Biologique Recherche. Changing rooms are luxurious dark marble affairs. There’s a good steam room, hot and cold shower experiences, and a small but beautiful infinity pool with an adjacent Jacuzzi.
How was it for us: I’m a sucker for three things in life… a spa weekend, Japanese food and a Four Seasons hotel. So that was three good reasons for me to visit this hotel – or four, if you count Swiss chocolate – which I did, more than once.
As spa junkies my partner and I opted for one of the 6th floor contemporary ‘loft’ rooms, which are all on the same level as the spa and come with working fireplaces (great for a post massage curl up and snooze) and oversized bathrooms with huge walk-in rainfall showers that at a press of a button transform into a hamman complete with seating for two – a lovely way to prepare for a treatment in the privacy of your own room.
At the spa I opted for a facial – it’s been my default choice over the years and I’ve had enough to know what I’m talking about. I can happily report that this was, hands down, the best I’ve had anywhere. It wasn’t just an indulgent and deeply relaxing experience, but it genuinely reduced puffiness, fine lines and improved my skin tone.
Meeting up with my partner in the dark and rather sexy relaxation lounge, he also reported a first class massage with a therapist who was also a qualified osteopath, so he received an expert assessment of a nagging back pain issue that melted away in her skilled hands.
Back in the comfort of our suite we slept like babies in front of the fire for a good few hours, before a refreshing steam shower in our hamman pepped us up suitably for dinner at the Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant. Here we sat by a warming fire and indulged in a truly memorable Menu Degustation with the likes of sea bass sashimi with yazu juice, lobster and baby spinach salad, Wagu beef with seasonal vegetables and deserts such as coffee cappuccino cup topped with a whiskey foam and an obscenely moreish cheesecake.
What’s queenly: The hotel is set at the point where Lake Geneva empties into the Rhone and has sweeping views of Jet d’Eau, the old town and on a clear day, Mont Blanc – the tallest mountain in the Alps. The spa is instantly calming and staffed by caring and skilled therapists too.
What’s lowly: The pool is small (albeit beautiful).
Insider tip: Make sure you book a hotel airport transfer – it’s the same price as a local taxi but you’ll be greeted at arrivals and whisked to the hotel in around 20 minutes.
Book it: Rooms from 750 Swiss Francs per night, treatments from 175 Swiss Francs, go to www.fourseasons.com.
Reviewed by Andy Whiteside
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