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“Nice staff, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone”
Review of Des Tourelles

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Des Tourelles
Ranked #68 of 105 Hotels in Geneva
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
115 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Nice staff, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone”
Reviewed 7 October 2010

I hate to beat up on this hotel so badly, because the front desk staff were rather pleasant, but it just put a bad taste in my mouth. Walking from the main train station should have been easy, but I messed it up. I knew it was next to the Mandarin Oriental but didn't realize it was up some stairs at the end of a bridge.
Upon entering, the place reminded me of a Bronx housing project. There is a number pad at entry, because, after 7pm, there may or may not be anyone at reception (they said they definitely close by 10pm). Check-in was easy and I went to my room. My housing project image continued as I walked up some tired looking stairs into a bank of rooms. I opened my room and was a bit further let down. The room just seemed barren. It wasn't small, but the walls were old looking and basically empty. There was a card table along one wall with a few brochures. The sink looked newer, but the mirror area also looked old and crackling. I almost didn't notice the bathroom, which is a roughly 5x5 room hidden away by a wooden board that you roll back and forth, open and close. Nothing wrong with the bathroom, and they do provide separate soap and shampoo.
I felt a bit odd there at night. The rooms are kind of like rooms in an old house (which is kind of the vibe you get in your bank of rooms) and noise travels. A few people were coming or going late at night, and one night I was woken up and a bit freaked out. I just felt a bit unsecure. I don't think that was a legitimate concern, but the whole place gave me an odd feeling.

My advice is, if you're going to Geneva, spend the extra money and do it right. I would not recommend someone stay at this hotel. Considering the Four Seasons was going for CHF1000 the nights of my stay, maybe I got a good deal, but I would have rather paid a bit extra somewhere else. The location is halfway decent, although there's only one direction to walk, really (towards town; the other direction seems dead and a bit seedy). The neighborhood felt safe at night as there is a luxury hotel just next door.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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91 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
my town
Level Contributor
9 reviews
Reviewed 10 March 2009

The Hotel is located right on the Rhone river and next to a bridge, making it easy to get to the old town across the river. There is a lack of adequate free parking. We ended up parking in the grage for the Mandarin Hotel, next door for 30 CHF per night. Street parking is free until 8AM each morning.

The Hotel Des Tourelles is easy to miss while driving because of the small sign. It is quick to get to from the airport and the train station. The train station is about a 10 minute walk. The Jet D'eau fountain is about a 15 min walk.

We stayed in room 10 which overlooked the river from the first floor (two flights of stairs up from reception). An elevator is available. The room was fairly quiet. The windows were not exactly soundproof, like the hotel website states. We still heard some traffic noise. The walls let some loud noises in from the surrounding rooms. The floors creaked every so often. Our room included a shower, sink, and mirror in one corner of the room (see pics) The toilet was in a small enclosed space just to the right of the room's main door.

The reception staff spoke English while the housekeeping staff spoke French. I was able to use limited French to let the housekeeper know not to clean our room because our dog was there.

The breakfast provided by the hotel was a basic European breakfast. Coffee, juice, milk, cereal, yogurt, bread, croissants, and tea. The only thing missing was the sof-boiled eggs.

Overall, the hotel was slightly overpriced. I would expect to pay under 100 CHF for this hotel if it were not located in central Geneva. The staff was friendly and helpful. Most points of interest were easy to reach from this hotel. I would recommend this hotel to friends and family especially if it were cheaper.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kuhlguy71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
730 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,434 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2008

What you see is what you get with this hotel. It's an excellent value with a very friendly staff. The rooms are certainly not luxurious but very clean and housekeeping keeps them that way. The location is excellent and within walking distance of pretty much everything you need to see in Geneva.

  • Stayed August 2005, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank midway42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2008

Yes it is true that this hotel is not much to look at but the experience i gained from the hotel was absolutely amazing. The hotel staff are very friendly and they are even willing to let you use their kitchen to prepare simple meals from the grocery store. This is a plus for those who are trying to keep their trip low budget, because the meals in Geneva can get quite expensive. The hotel gives you free bus passes, which let you use the bus whenever you need during your entire trip. I was in room 34, and the view from the balcony was breath taking. A perfect vision of the river and the mountains beyond. There were two double beds and a single, and there was still enough room to fool around. Geneva is a small city, so it is convenient to walk from place to place. The hotel is very clean and cozy. The charm that this little hotel has to offer goes far beyond 5 star hotels. I would stay here again for sure, it was absolutely lovely!

  • Liked — View, Service
  • Disliked — Small Washroom
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank diyac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andover
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 May 2007

Had my Reservation and checked in. The place is absolutely terrible. The foyer smelled bad. The rroms were stuffy. You can open the window but then you cannot sleep. Lots of noise; many people stumbling in early in the morning. There is absolutely no reason to stay at this hotel.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Everything - - No redeeming qualities
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AndoverGladdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Geneva hotels

West Grove, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
298 reviews
156 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2005

Hotel des Tourelles is a convenient, comfortable French style hotel very near the main Geneva train station. We had asked a friend who resides in Geneva where to find a cozy, economical B & B and this was his recommendation. We stayed one night and were pleased to find a cube refrigerator, 20-plus channel cable television/radio, teapot (with only camomile “tea” and sugar provided, however), and an adequately furnished toilet/shower. Des Tourelles was walking distance from the central railroad/bus terminal, itself conveniently connected to the airport by frequent free trains, and we thought the hotel was easy to find. (Even and odd building numbers are on opposite sides of the street but not necessarily directly across from a consecutive counterpart.)

The bed we had was typical of Switzerland (not very luxurious; low to the floor) as the bathroom was as well (small, utilitarian, rubber floor) but over the years we have stayed in three or four Geneva “economy” hotels (nothing is inexpensive in Geneva) and this was the best we have found so far. Things were a bit rag-tag (insufficient electrical outlets, a missing baseboard, some chipped paint, nowhere for the refrigerator but the floor) but the room was clean, a small fold-away suitcase platform was provided, and there were individual table lamps beside the bed with a convenient switch there for the overhead light there as well.

The elevator was more spacious than in most phone-booth style French hotel lifts but steps still intervene blocking wheel-chair access. Desk staff was very friendly and cheerful and the breakfast area was bright and comfortable. We found the “left luggage” services of the hotel more convenient than storage lockers at the train station and the tram/bus service nearby was frequent.

This birthplace of Presbyterianism and home of Rousseau seems always to be the same. The historic district is a steep climb without public transit (unless you hire a taxi to take you part of the way to a specific destination) and the commercial zone seems less gilt-edged than Zurich and less quaint than Basel. However, Lac Leman always is a feast for the eyes, the climate is superior, and the room faucet dispenses Evian water with no price tag--the best tasting public water in the world! Tourist suggestions: if at all possible, when in Geneva get to the Bodmer Museum, one of the world’s finest private collections of literary antiquities and relatively unknown. Also, ask folks which local bus to take to the nearby cable car to ascend the top of Mount Saleve on a clear day. (Take along your passport since you must cross into France to get there!)

  • Stayed December 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Awarely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2005

Stayed here just for the night in Sept 2005. We got more than we expected. We had a fantastic room with its own little enclave with table and chairs looking over the river. The bed and bathroom were fine.

This is not the Hilton but it is a good budget hotel. The floor is quite creaky and it could do with a renovation for sure.

Location was good, only a 5 minute walk from the train station.

Breakfast was typically European fare and was adequate enough.

The big positives were that you had a bar fridge, fan and alarm clock. These are basic in hotels anywhere else in the world, but in Europe that's like 4 star. This was a big winner for us so we could enjoy some cheap COLD beers overlooking the river.

The traffic noise was kept out by double glazed windows, although we were the furtherest room away from it. There was a room that virtually overhung the 4 lane bridge - that may have been a different story.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hawker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Des Tourelles

Property: Des Tourelles
Address: boulevard James- Fazy 2, Geneva 1201, Switzerland
Region: Switzerland > Canton of Geneva > Geneva > Saint-Gervais Temple
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Geneva
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Des Tourelles 2*
Number of rooms: 23
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Des Tourelles Hotel Geneva
Des Tourelles Geneva

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