By Beverly Stephen
Couples visiting Switzerland on a honeymoon or romantic getaway will find that the Mandarin Oriental Geneva offers thoroughly modern sophistication and embraces the spirit of internationalism that defines the city.
Accommodations at the Mandarin Oriental Geneva
As soon as the bellman discreetly closed the door behind himself, we flung open the windows of our junior suite overlooking the Rhone River, the old town, and the distant Jura mountains. Some of the 189 guest rooms and suites here also have private terraces. Contemporary furnishings are upholstered in fuchsia and silver or creamy brown and gold color schemes. The king size bed with its plush duvet, cloud-like pillows, and pure cotton Italian sheets is as inviting for romance as it is for sleep.
The sleek contemporary bathrooms (suites have two) are spacious with tubs built for two, heated towel racks, double sinks, walk-in rain showers, and bidets with linen towels. Amenities are by Shanghai Tang. When you wrap yourself in a plush bathrobe, you’d be perfectly happy not to ever bother getting dressed.
Dining at Mandarin Oriental Geneva
Rasoi by Vineet was the first Indian fine dining spot in Geneva and takes its Michelin one-star status seriously. Modern interpretations of classic Indian style are present in both the dramatic red and black décor and in the contemporary culinary presentations.
The setting is exotic and romantic, a popular choice for dates especially on Saturday nights and even proposals. The sommelier reports hiding rings in cakes and even inside curry dishes (still in the box, needless to say).
The tasting menu is the best way to truly experience the cuisine. A cavalcade of dishes arrive: street “chaats” (snacks), tomato soup with lemon foam, tandoori chili scallops, grilled curry leaf-ginger lobster. Some sleight of hand with dry ice creates a foggy palate cleanser, a molecular mojito.
Calla Cafe offers a more casual dining option, with modern Swiss/French cuisine. The venue shines in the morning with a lavish breakfast buffet, which is included in the room price.
Weddings & Honeymoons at Mandarin Oriental Geneva
Couples who marry at Mandarin Oriental Geneva are primarily international professionals living and working in the city. For example, a bride might be from India and a groom from England. Or, there was an Iranian couple who required a religious ceremony and a year of advance preparation. Whatever the nationality or gender(s), partners can avail themselves of the services of the hotel’s dedicated wedding coordinator who plans an average of ten weddings annually.
The couple will spend their wedding night in a junior terrace suite generously supplied with monogrammed bathrobes, an engraved bottle of Champagne, more flowers, and other special amenities such as a cake inscribed with their names. Honeymoon couples can also avail themselves of a similar package.
Activities at Mandarin Oriental Geneva
This city hotel contains a fitness center fully equipped with Techno Gym machines. A Beauty Studio that performs facials and massages and a Hair Salon that offers a range of services are available as well. Couples massages can be arranged by appointment.
Nearby Mandarin Oriental Geneva
The city of Geneva is literally outside the front door of Mandarin Oriental Geneva. Romantic cruises on the lake or strolls through the old town are steps away. Geneva’s iconic jet d’eau is within walking distance. The international area, with the United Nations and the fascinating Red Cross Museum, is a short bus or taxi ride away. The hotel gives all guests a free bus pass as part of a promotion offered by Swiss Tourism. For shoppers, there are chocolates, watches, and Victorinox Swiss army knives aplenty.
The prestigious watchmaker Patek Philippe maintains a museum of magnificent timepieces here.
Vibe of the Mandarin Oriental Geneva
Mandarin Oriental Geneva attracts a sophisticated, well-heeled international clientele who appreciate good food, flawless service without pretension, and luxury accommodations.
Somehow the staff found out it was my husband’s birthday—probably they took note of the date on his passport. Regardless, we were bowled over when room service arrived with a molten chocolate cake inscribed with a Happy Birthday wish. And, unexpectedly on our departure, a personal gift of a Swiss Army Knife. Talk about service!