Discover a gastronomic paradise in Geneva that European royalty have known about for years
To wake up at the palatial Beau-Rivage, the last family owned hotel in Geneva, is to draw the heavy silk curtains and just stand at the window a moment as sunlight gleams from the snow-peaked Mont-Blanc mountain range, to the sparkling water of Lake Geneva, flooding into your room, bouncing off of the glistening damask sheets, highlighting the marble columns, and reflecting into a miniature panorama on every facet of the crystalline chandeliers before splintering in a thousand different directions around you. To wake up at the Beau-Rivage is to realize that the sunlight has done this every morning since 1865 for royalty, heads of state, and movie stars. To wake up at the Beau-Rivage is to know that the best part of the day is yet to come.
The Beau-Rivage was opened in 1865 by Jean Jacques MAYER and has since been recognized as one of the best hotels in Switzerland. Coinciding with its 125th anniversary in 1990, the Beau-Rivage featured a retrospective display of historical souvenirs highlighting some of the more fascinating events at the hotel since its opening, including the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the assassination of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1898. The 79 rooms and 14 suites have all been renovated during the last decade, including a full restoration of the ground floor lobby and Atrium, revealing original Pompeian frescoes. Not a single detail of the hotel has been overlooked, from the cream moldings to the exquisite antique furniture, to the contemporary luxuries blended seamlessly into the Victorian glamour. The Beau-Rivage holds sacred the belief that “it is just as much a privilege for those who are being served as for those who serve,” says current owner Jacques MAYER. The expertly trained staff anticipates your needs to satisfy your every whim.
Getting The Royal Treatment at Geneva’s Hotel Beau-Rivage
The Dramatic Atrium of the Beau-Rivage
In a country well known for its neutrality amongst warring nations, Geneva has long been a peaceful sanctuary for religious refugees and a meeting ground for political leaders. But don’t be fooled, although you are more likely to hear mention of Geneva in a history textbook than a travel guide, this city knows how to please a sophisticated palate.
The Beau-Rivage is home to the award winning Chat-Botté (“Puss in Boots”), featuring the extraordinary cuisine of the talented executive chef Dominique Gauthier. Here you can sample some of the world’s finest wines and magnificent cheeses. The menu offers an array of imaginative French delicacies that will have you yearning for dinnertime from the moment the sunlight filters through the drapes.
Below: A Dominique Gauthier Specialty at the revered “Chef’s Table.”
To really experience chef Gauthier’s extraordinary touch, reserve space in the marvelous room with a view of the kitchen and an eye-full of antique kitchen memorabilia known as the Chef’s Table. Chef Gauthier will not only select your menu, but the knowledgeable sommelier will organize a compatible selection of wines. While the cellar offers a superb selection of vintage Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italian wine, don’t neglect to sample some of the delightful Swiss regional wines that may be unavailable in the United States. Swiss wines have come a long way and, especially the whites, are lovely with food.
The Coveted Chef’s Table
While the menu may be different when you dine at Chat-Botté (the chef bases it on seasonal ingredients), some of our joys at dinner with Administrateur Délégué, Jacques MAYER, included a Seared Duck Liver
Trussed and Roasted, with Candied Black Olives; Frogs From Vallorbe,
Gigot and Tempura, Mousseline of Spinach Sprouts, Garlic Cream; “Petits Gris” Snails Candies of Wood Mushrooms, Parsley Espuma; Steamed Pike-Perch from Meuse Artichokes Noisettes, Sweet potatoes; Fillet of Veal from Simmental Espuma of Charlottes Potatoes with Ceps; Young Wild Boar from the woods of Jussy Roasted in Square with Black Pepper, Small Pears with Spices. This was followed by a Selection of Fresh and Matured cheeses; Palette of Sorbets and Fresh Fruits; Macaroon and Biscuit Pear and Ginger Ice-cream Caramel and Ginger; Roasted Apples Mikado Style Cinnamon Soufflé, Curd Cheese Sorbet and accompanied by Glasses of Champagne William Deutz. A dazzling array of candies and cookies followed, many of which we allowed to please the eye, rather than the tummy.
Chat-Botté, with its spacious seating, silky service and ravishing food remains one of Geneva’s best fine-dining experiences and world-class restaurants and, with the Hotel Beau-Rivage, rates A Major on The Walman Report .
A table For Two at The Elegant Chat-Botté
Executive Chef Dominique Gauthier
The Chef’s Table diner costs CHF 250.- per person, it is based on a surprise-meal created and prepared by Dominique Gauthier.
Served right in the heart of the Beau-Rivage kitchens and accompanied by fine wines.
For 8 guests maximum and only on reservation.
13, Quai du Mont-Blanc
1201 Genève – Suisse
Tel: +41 (0)22 716 66 66 – Fax: +41 (0)22 716 60 60
Rates 2008 CHF
Executive Room, city side,
approximately 35 m2 (single or double) CHF 790.- ou 890.- € 510.- ou 575.-
Executive Luxury Room, city side,
approximately 50 m2, with lounge area in the room
CHF 990.- € 640.-
Deluxe room, lake view,
approximately 40 m2, with lounge area in the room (single or double) CHF 1’100.- ou 1’200.- € 710.- ou 775.-
Junior Suite, lake view,
approximately 45 m2, with separate lounge and two bathrooms CHF 1’600.- € 1’030.-
lake view, approximately 50m2, with lounge area in the room CHF 1’900.- à 2’300.- € 1’230.- à 1’485.-
approximately 90 m2, with a large separate lounge CHF 4’500.- à 9’000.- € 2’900.- à 5’800.-
Additional bed CHF 110.- € 70.-
Cot/child’s bed, no supplement
Breakfasts: Continental CHF 33 (€ 22) and Buffet CHF 43 (€ 28)
Tourist tax: CHF 4.25 (€ 2.80) per person, per day
Service and VAT inclusive
Prices in euros may vary with the exchange rate.
Bank: UBS S.A. – Post code 2600 – 1211 Geneva 2
Swift code/BIC: UBSWCHZH80A IBAN: CH32 0024 0240 3295 1200 B
Account No: 329.512.00B / 240
Thanks to the constant watch of Managing Director Mr Jacques Mayer, The Beau-Rivage is forever reinventing itself. It never closes, and the next restoration will be in the main lobby. The glorious bedrooms and suites retain the elegance of the past, peppered with every modern amenity, from flat-screen TVs, high-speed internet connection and state of the art lighting control. It will always be a personal favorite in our special book of world-class hotels and rates A Major on the Walman Report.
Getting There & Other Tips
Continental & Swiss (The former Swiss Air) offer frequent service from the States. From within Europe. Both Paris and Lyon make excellent Gateways and provide the opportunity to extend your holiday, in a different country.
Eurail TEE (trans-Europe-Express) service is dependable from Paris. The trip takes a bit over three hours, non-stop. Seats require reservations and can be purchases online at the American Rail Europe’s Excellent Website. (Senior Fares are available).
While cabs in Geneva are expensive, they are also clean, spacious and honest. The ride to the airport (about $30 to $40) is a bargain.
For snacks, don’t miss the many excellent Arabic restaurants, in the narrow streets above the Beau-Rivage, a colorful area in its own right.
For elegant shopping, stroll across the lake and you’ll find department stores and designer boutiques to your hearts content. Just about any cafe serves good pastries and wonderful coffee. Don’t omit a visit to the old section. Contrast this with a look-see at some of the hot clubs that will remind you that despite Geneva’s laid-back feeling, it is firmly rooted in the 21st century.
The fantastic terrace overlooking the emblematic and impressive “Jet d’Eau” Fountain of Geneva.