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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