The five-star Hotel de la Paix must have one of the best settings in Geneva. It’s right on the lakeside opposite the famous Jet d’Eau. It has views across the water to a snow-capped Mont Blanc on the horizon and it’s within easy walking distance of all the smart shops and the old city.
Built in 1865 in Italian Renaissance style and recently refurbished, it now calls itself a boutique hotel. But I found it a bit grander than that description suggests.
It may only have 84 rooms and 15 suites, but it has an imposing central staircase, a massive chandelier, a six-storey-high lobby, a Michelin-starred restaurant and its best suite is named after former regular visitor, Princess Grace.
On the first day I’d thrown open the french doors to my little balcony to enjoy the sun sparkling on the lake. The next day I could only look through them to the rain lashing the prom and be glad I had a comfy sofa, a deep bath to look forward to and an in-room coffee machine.
My deluxe category room had good natural light, effective sound-proofing against the traffic outside, a firm but comfortable bed and perfectly pleasant if rather bland decor.
It had fallen victim to the current hotel fad for banning chests of drawers, offering only wardrobe shelves instead, which might be fine for a weekend but would be irksome for a longer stay.
And I did find it slightly unnerving to have a sizeable gap in the wall between the bathroom and the bedroom, with no door. The loo was separate but nonetheless I’ve always thought privacy a key element in any bathroom.
The hot and cold buffet breakfast offered lots of choices and managed to pull off the tough trick of keeping scrambled eggs soft and creamy. Service was attentive and efficient, with the doorman especially being both elegant and ebullient — a welcome sight in all that rain.
RATES: Doubles from £316
Tel: 0800 028 9880