Beautiful Spaces: My Luxury Stay Just Outside Geneva

by gigigriffis

My stay at La Reserve was complimentary.


When I imagined travel writers as a kid, the image was glamorous.

Luxury hotels, infinity pools, champagne, strawberries, pencil skirts, and pedicures. If I had known what first class was at the time, I would have pictured them in it (as it was, I flew for the first time at 14, so picturing the interiors of airplanes was beyond me before that).

Of course, now that travel writing has become my primary means of financial support, I know that the reality isn’t always so glamorous.

On the other hand, sometimes it is.

Like in late September, just before I left for Barcelona, when I spent a night in Geneva’s La Reserve Hotel and Spa.

As the friendly staff tells it, La Reserve, which is a plush labyrinth of hallways, staircases, restaurants, bars, terraces, and sweepingly large rooms, is all about feeling at home. You won’t see signposts on the staircases or crazy charges for that bottle of water in your mini-bar. Nope, the place is set up to make you feel comfortable. The staff will help you find your way. The water is included in the price.

This is how the owners want it.

And it really did work…I felt at home.

Unlike most hotels, I could actually imagine myself there for more than a few days. I could imagine myself working at the little desk or on the quiet patio. I could imagine Skype calls with my editors while I listened raptly and sipped sparkling water. I could really imagine having turn-down service after my feverish writing days. It was half luxury fantasy, half comfortable homeyness.

And so I passed a lovely evening daydreaming about being that fancy writer that 10-year-old me imagined. I stretched out in my suite, drank sparkling water, explored my private patio, took two hot bubbly baths, and had dinner at the bar restaurant, on a second-floor terrace overlooking the pool and, in the distance, Lake Geneva.

That dinner was one of the best things I’ve eaten all year: a simple plate of tart squid with herbs and tomatoes. I know I tasted lemon, among other flavors and spices, and have a sneaking suspicion that butter was involved as well. It felt light and sharply flavorful.

I sat on the patio with my glass of white wine and the last bits of squid until it got too chilly to do anything but stretch out in a second hot bath and then curl up in bed for the night.


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3 comments

GEORGE CHATER November 21, 2014 - 6:21 am

HELLO GIGI
nice post
i wanted to ask you a favour.
I HEARD YOUR INTERVIEW IN EXTRA PACK OF PEANUTS . AND I GOT INSPIRED TO GO TO Lauterbrunnen WITH MY WIFE
I AM GOING TO SWITZERLAND IN MARCH . SO IS IT A GOOD TIME TO GO THERE AND SECOND I DONT DO ANY WINTER SPORT. I AM FROM BARRANQUILLA COLOMBIA , SUMMER ALL YEAR LONG , SO I AM JUST TEHRE FOR THE SCENERY AND PHOTOGRAPHY
SECOND I GOT A RESERVATION AT A HOTEL CALLED REGINA MURREN , IS IT GOOD OR YOU RECOMMEND SOMETHING ELSE

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gigigriffis November 21, 2014 - 6:25 am

Hi George,

I don’t know any of the hotels in Murren, so I’m not sure about that (sorry!). If you can change your trip, I would not recommend March. Last year, March was when the snow melted and the mountains were very brown and muddy. Some years there’s still snow, so it would be beautiful if that’s the case, but since I can’t predict the snow conditions, I’d recommend coming earlier or later in the year. February should still be snowy and beautiful if you want to enjoy the snowy landscape. Late April or the whole month of May is usually when the green really starts popping from the spring rains. Last year, late April and May were absolutely beautiful. If you already booked your trip, don’t worry too much. It’s a beautiful place any time of year. But if you can change plans, I’d recommend making a shift.

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GEORGE CHATER November 21, 2014 - 7:11 pm

THANK YOU

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