My wife and I visit Geneva reasonably often for family business along with other members of her family and, because it makes the logistics easier with relatives coming in from various points on the globe, opt for accommodation near the airport rather than in town. Previously we have used the Holiday Inn Express, which is absolutely fine for a short stay but suffers from not having any dining facilities in the evening. Because of this and because members of our group have in the past been royally fleeced when eating at other airport hotels on the Swiss side we decided to take a punt last weekend on the Novotel at Ferney-Voltaire, and were delighted with our choice.
The hotel is in a much quieter location than thise on the other side of the airport. The building is set back from the rather busy road, but apart from the Leclerc supermarket (handy if you've forgotten your toothpaste or want to stock up on good value French wine or other goodies) and small retail park opposite it is surrounded by open country.
Secondly, and despite the hotel playing host to coach parties in on both nights we were there, the general atmosphere is much more quiet and relaxing than in the Swiss hotels, which are apt to resemble Waterloo station in the rush hour at the best of times.
Most importantly of all, though, the overall standards of accommodation, food and service are very high and represent excellent value for money. Our room was spotlessly clean with an in-room fridge (containing a couple of small bottles of complimentary water) and a small safe. The bed was comfortable and the provision of extra pillows, towels, toiletries, tea-making and other amenities was more than adequate.
We ate in the hotel's restaurant on both nights. The menu offered reasonable choice and the food, whilst generally straightforward in style, was of a very high quality and came in generous portions including unlimited sides with the main course, which I don't think I've ever seen before.
All the staff were efficient, welcoming and professional, but I would like to give a special mention to Stephane on Reception, always courteous, friendly and helpful, and to Jerome in the restaurant, a real character who looked after us very well. Some reviewers have suggested that the airport shuttle drivers can be surly, but we saw none of that at all: it doesn't take any more than a simple "Bonjour" to engage with them, for those who can be bothered to make the effort.
Even though situated some way out of the city and indeed over the border, the hotel works as a base to visit the Geneva. Many people use the shuttle bus to the airport and then take public transport into town, but another alternative - cheaper and possibly quicker - if you need to work off the substantial hotel buffet breakfast and the rain looks like keeping off is to walk the 15 minutes or so across the border into Meyrin and catch the No 14 tram from the terminus there, which will see you in town within 40 minutes after leaving the hotel and a mere CHF3.50 per person each way lighter in pocket.
On the subject of money, do remember if you're using the hotel as a base to visit the city that because you're in France the currency used in the hotel is the Euro. They will let you pay for food and drink in CHF but at a slightly punitive exchange rate.
Getting to and from the airport using the shuttle is fine, but one thing to note is that the Shuttle does pick up and drop off at and from the Swiss and French sectors and not merely the latter, as the hotel website seems to imply.
In summary, this is a most pleasant, relaxing, well appointed and welcoming hotel representing excellent value for money. Even though an airport hotel it's ideal as a quiet base when visiting Geneva, and will certainly be our first choice for future visits.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Novotel Ferney-Voltaire Geneve Aeroport is located in France, 10 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the heart of Geneva. This 4-star hotel is ideal for both business trips (CERN, UN, UNHCR) and vacations in the Geneva region as a couple or with family (Jura, Mont Blanc, Lake Geneva, Voltaire's chateau). This hotel has a restaurant with terrace, outdoor swimming pool, garden, bar and 4 meeting rooms, as well as a shuttle service to Geneva International Airport and Palexpo/Arena from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Geneve Aeroport Hotel Ferney-Voltaire
- Novotel Ferney Voltaire
- Ferney-Voltaire Novotel