By Sandra Iskander
Discovering new cities and villages, and shopping are some of my favourite things to do while travelling, and Switzerland is a destination that offers some of the most surprising and charming addresses.
All it takes is a quaint village, diamonds and chocolate to make a trip to Switzerland unforgettable and my three favourite things to do while visiting is staying at La Réserve Genève Hotel, discovering new villages and buying jewellery.
Nominated for the 2016 Prix Villégiature Grand Prix for Best Hotel in Europe, La Réserve Genève Hotel, Spa and Villas, is one of Geneva’s most luxurious hotels, and just like its sister hotel in Paris, the hotel is designed to resemble a home. Set on sprawling grounds overlooking Lake Geneva, the hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, The Tsé Fung, with chef Frank Xu serving haute Cantonese cuisine, and a spa with treatments that will relax even the most stressed out guests. The hotel also offers a taxi boat service that will take you from the hotel’s private harbour to the other side of the lake to enjoy the upmarket offerings the city has to offer, and of course the ride itself is quite the chic option when it comes to transportation.
High-end shopping is synonymous with flexing your credit cards in Switzerland and more often than not jewellery and watches are the ultimate in luxury purchases, after all nothing says Swiss more than elegant timepieces and diamonds. Multi-brand boutique, Mademoiselle Jeanne, brings together a hand-picked selection of designers that offer shoppers elegant with a touch of rock pieces. Amongst the brands available here is Geneva-based jewellery designer Laura Sayan’s eponymous jewellery brand. Laura designs delicate yet statement-making pieces, creating colourful jewellery with precious stones that capture a feminine essence laced with goth inspirations, perfect for every girl’s jewellery box.
If you are an avid fan of the cult movie Alien you will not want to miss visiting the HR Giger Museum. Housed in a medieval chateau in the small town of Gruyère, most famous for its cheese, the museum celebrates the works of Hans Rudolf Giger, the talented artist who worked on the special effects of the movie Alien, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. The highlight of visiting the museum, however, is the chance to enjoy a drink at the museum’s bar, Museum HR Higer Bar, which should win an award for being the most original museum bar or cafe. Unlike many bars or cafes serving visitors to neighbouring museums, this bar almost serves as an extension of the museum with the space designed with extraterrestrial skeletal detailing with arching spines covering the medieval walls.
La Réserve Genève Hotel, Spa and Villas
Route de Lausanne 301, 1293 Bellevue, Switzerland
+41 22 959 59 59
Directeur Général : Laurent Branover
Guest Experience Manager : Aesane Dony
Chef Cuisinier : Frank Xu
Décorateur : Jacques Garcia
Rue du Port 8, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland
+41 22 310 62 16
HR Giger Museum
Château St. Germain, 1663 Gruyères, Switzerland
+41 26 921 22 00
La Reserve and HR Giger Museum Photos © Sandra Iskander
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