The Hotel InterContinental in Geneva is first and foremost a business hotel serving the United Nations, related commissions, diplomatic entities, etc. It is far less suited to the leisure traveler. I stayed there as a tourist, while my spouse had some business in Geneva. My experience was mixed.
The hotel is located in a non-commercial neighborhood near the UN, so running out to one of Geneva's many delicious patisseries in the morning, for a coffee and croissant, is not an easy option. Those with expense accounts might not balk at the hotel's 45 CHF price-fixe breakfast (the only choice unless you go for room service), but $100 for two breakfasts is pushing it even in expensive Geneva. I opted for a roll and coffee in the rather uncomfortable lobby one very early morning, and was served what seemed to be a day-old mini-croissant with an overpriced (not vey good) espresso. I purchased breakfast supplies at the grocery store to eat in the room after that. A tea kettle is provided in the room, along with minimal coffee and tea provisions.
My "superior" room (with a view of neighboring apartment buildings) was compact, but efficiently designed, clean and comfortable (I laughed to see that the built-in closet and dresser configuration was a larger and fancier version of what I had in my college dorm decades ago!). The bathroom, though -- perhaps 6 feet by eight, and the wider dimension includes the tub -- was ridiculously cramped for this level of hotel. I could stretch my arms out and touch both walls in one direction, and in order to use the commode one had to wedge oneself in at an angle between the sink and the TP dispenser. Only one bath towel was provided per person. The bathroom was more "economy" than five-star.
A sure sign that this is a hotel designed for business and diplomatic travelers with expense accounts is the surprisingly high charge for Internet access -- approximately 39 CHF per 24 hours. Further evidence is the hotel's blatantly transparent offer to charge an all-inclusive (inclusive, that is, of the adult entertainment television channel) fee of approximately 49CHF and call it a communications package on your bill. You have to laugh.
A bus stops just outside the hotel, taking you to the city center in one direction and the airport (just a few stops) in the other, and a short walk to the UN will get you to the street car. That makes up somewhat for the non-central location. Public transport is free with a pass you can obtain at the airport or from your hotel.
A few negatives:
1. There seems to be a disconnect among hotel management, housekeeping and room service. I went through a hilarious yet really annoying kerfluffle with the hotel over something housekeeping did, and it took an entire day (involving all three branches of hotel government) to solve a simple problem. The hotel manager was nice about it. Other staff members others were not.
2. Our room cleaner must have been a bit goofy, as one day all of the rubbish was left stacked on the cabinet above the fridge, on various days either fewer or more glasses were left than we started with, and one day one of the two robes was taken and never replaced.
3. There was a pervasive and acrid, almost septic, smell around the elevators at lobby level every day of our stay. At times, the stink made you gasp. Since the entrance to the restaurant was jut steps away, it was not very appetizing. I never did find out what it was.
So would I recommend this hotel to a friend? To a business traveler -- yes. To a leisure traveler -- no. To the leisurely spouse of a business traveler? I might suggest lobbying for a hotel closer to downtown, but you take what you get when you are the "plus one"!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The InterContinental 5-star luxury hotel, newly redesigned provides amazing views of the Mont Blanc, of Lake Geneva and Geneva City. It's a 3-minute walk from the United Nations and within a 5-minute drive from the International Centre of Congress CICG and the Palexpo Exhibition Centre. The spacious and elegant 333 rooms and Suites at the InterContinental Geneva have free Wi-Fi, free tea and coffee-making facilities, are air-conditioned and feature cable TV. Dining options include modern international cuisine and seasonal specialties served in the gourmet restaurant, which features a well-stocked wine cellar and a terrace. At the bar Les Nations, guests can enjoy a wide range of drinks, listen to live piano music, and browse in books and magazines. A sophisticated urban-style bar, Le Fumoir seduces you with its original cocktails and a selection of international cigars. The 4306 ft² Spa by Clarins provides a complete set of beauty and massage treatments. The health and fitness center is open 24 hours and there's a seasonal outdoor pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Hotel Geneva
- Intercontinental Hotel Geneve