Bunny’s Review of La Reserve Hotel & Spa in Geneva
Bunny recently spent some time in Switzerland and needed a luxury spa hotel for a weekend. She was looking for something fabulous, near Geneva, not priced too otherworldly and not aimed at the spoiled offspring of Central Asian dictators. One hotel kept coming up in her Google search results: La Reserve in Geneva.
La Reserve seemed to easily fulfil Bunny’s first two criteria but she was not convinced about the third one. However, it was a special occasion (sort of) and Mr. Bunny would be picking up the bill so Bunny decided to give it a go.
When Bunny pulled up in a taxi and saw all the luxury cars lined up at the hotel entrance, the first doubts about the hotel crossed her mind. To the credit of La Reserve staff, no-one bat an eyelid when Bunny marched in wearing her tatty hiking boots and oversized sweater. It was painfully clear that everyone, down to the janitors and the kitchen help, was better dressed than her.
The reception staff was graceful and friendly nevertheless, escorting Bunny to the room where her luggage already lay in waiting (how did they manage this hocus-pocus, she wonders).
The room was beautiful! The staff informed Bunny that she had been upgraded to a newly-renovated Executive Room (thanks to Classic Travel through which Bunny had made her booking).
The first thing that drew Bunny’s attention was the absolutely enormous flat-screen TV in the room. She is not a big fan of TV, but that thing was definitely cool.
There was plenty of space in the room, beautiful dark wooden floors and black and white marble bathroom with a bathtub. There was also lots of wardrobe space, a Nespresso machine and minibar where soft drinks were included in the room price.
In addition, the room was located on the first floor and Bunny actually had (a distant) view of Lake Geneva from her window!
After poking around in the room for a while, Bunny was convinced that she had made the right hotel choice after all. The room was beautiful, elegant, comfortable and soothing.
Bunny Loved the Gym
Next, Bunny headed to check out the hotel gym. She had chosen La Reserve to spend a healthy and relaxing weekend with Mr. Bunny (who had not arrived yet at this point) and one of the major attractions were the facilities the hotel offered. Thankfully, they did not disappoint.
The gym was excellent. It had a big selection of ellipticals, weight machines, free weights and a big airy room for yoga and pilates, with mats and other props readily available. All the equipment was state-of-the-art and Bunny was very impressed.
Water and towels were also provided and, best of all, there was a lot of privacy because the gym was practically empty every time Bunny used it during the weekend.
The Nescens Spa was perhaps the one decisive factor for Bunny choosing La Reserve for her weekend getaway. And it was beautiful! The gorgeous 16-metre indoor pool was the highlight for Bunny. At 29 degrees, the pool felt a bit chilly at first but was perfect for doing laps. And there were no kids in sight, thank god, as the spa area is reserved for over-14s only. Hurrah!
There were separate facilities for men and women so Bunny couldn’t enjoy the sauna and steam room together with Mr. Bunny but somehow she still survived… The spa was almost empty at all times when Bunny visited, perhaps because the Bunnies travelled off-season. Bunny also liked the opening times, from 6am to 10pm, which were convenient and generous.
All in all, top scores to the beautiful and elegant Nescens Spa facilities from Bunny-the-spa-critic.
Pedicure for Bunny Paws
Bunny’s room rate at La Reserve included some spa credit which she decided to use for an express pedicure. Her paws were in definite need of some love and care after all the hiking she had done earlier in the week in Switzerland and France.
The start of the treatment was not very promising as the therapist was 10 minutes late. She only appeared after Bunny enquired at the spa reception.
The pedicure itself was nice enough, although it would have been very expensive if Bunny hadn’t had the credit at her disposal.
In general, the Nescens Spa seems to specialise in anti-ageing treatments but Bunny cannot really comment on those, as she has no need for such gimmicks. Her skin is always glowing (if a bit hairy).
Bunny’s Minor Gripes
Bunny is not normally the complaining type. As long as she gets what she paid for, she is usually happy with her surroundings. However, when she pays exceptionally big bucks, she excepts everything to run smoothly, with a smile and even perhaps with a nice surprise or two thrown in.
This is why Bunny applied extra scrutiny in La Reserve. For the money she paid, she expected everything to be perfect. It almost was. However, Bunny observed the following mishaps:
- The scales in the women’s dressing room at the spa did not work. Most likely the battery had run out. Luckily the scales in the room worked just fine and informed Bunny that she was, indeed, still fat.
- In the room, although wardrobe space was plenty, there were only a few precious hangers. That is not something the hotel should skimp on, Bunny says.
- (Mr. Bunny weighs in:) There was no milk for the Nespresso machine in the room. Plenty of coffee capsules but no milk. After the first day, Mr. Bunny left a little note to the cleaning staff requesting milk and the next day a big pile of milk capsules was waiting.
- The coffee at breakfast was exceptionally bad. Thank god for the Nespresso machine in the room.
- All the toiletries in La Reserve (Bunny admits she is nitpicking here) were heavily scented. It was somehow very French and headache-inducing at the same time.
When Things Go Wrong
On the first night of their stay, the fancy TV in the room managed to malfunction. Somehow it got completely stuck and wouldn’t react to the remote at all. There was no way to switch it off manually either. This meant an annoying welcome screen and accompanying music kept repeating at a high volume. The Bunnies had to call reception who promptly sent in a repair man. Only the repair man was at a loss too. After further calls, more repairmen were sent in, somewhat ruining the evening’s flow for the Bunnies, particularly as none of them were able to fix the problem.
At 10pm, the only solution remained to change rooms for the night. The Bunnies were reluctant to pack and unpack again, so the reception staff just offered them a room across the hall to sleep in. This was an OK solution in the bad situation but it definitely ruined the first night experience at La Reserve.
"Switch off the damn TV! Please."
The next day, Bunny and Mr. Bunny headed out for a walk and the staff informed them that the TV would be fixed in the meanwhile. However, upon returning, the Bunnies learned that the TV was, in fact, unfixable for now and that they would have to change rooms.
The situation was not ideal but La Reserve staff handled it admirably. The Bunnies were escorted to their new room, another upgrade, a beautiful Junior Suite, where a bottle of Michel Reybier champagne on ice was waiting for them with a note of apology. Bunny took one look at the champagne and all was forgiven.
The Bunnies quickly packed their suitcases, had them transferred to the new room and popped open the champagne. Everything was starting to look much brighter afterwards.
Breakfast Highs and Lows
Bunny hadn’t been overly impressed with La Reserve breakfast on the first day. A la carte prices were sky high and the tables were very tiny, making the space cramped even though there were only a few people at breakfast. Admittedly, the service was very good but the coffee was not.
So for Sunday morning, Bunny decided to order room service breakfast. Sunday morning room service breakfast is usually one of Bunny’s favourite things in any luxury hotel so her expectations were high.
Luckily the breakfast was lovely! It was delivered promptly at the requested time and everything was exactly to the order. There was a delicious omelette, freshly-squeezed orange juice, yogurt, fruit and a bread basket. And unlimited good coffee thanks to the Nespresso machine in the room…
What’s not to like, Bunny asks, when you are enjoying a delicious breakfast in your beautiful suite at a leisurely pace on a Sunday morning,
The BUT: La Reserve Is Damn Expensive
Some hotels raise their prices just to keep out the riffraff (looking at you, hotel Kämp in Helsinki). Maybe La Reserve is trying to do the same.
What other conclusions could you draw about the following: in La Reserve’s a la carte breakfast menu one cappuccino sets you back 12CHF (10 euros)! It would be somehow understandable if a) you were on a tiny sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and/or b) the cappuccino was exceptionally good.
Neither criteria applies to La Reserve. In fact, Mr. Bunny simply described the cappuccino as “awful”. This was his assessment even though he didn’t have to pay for the coffee as breakfast was included in Bunny’s room rate.
The prices all over La Reserve were bordering on the outrageous. Thankfully, Bunny came fully briefed and prepared: her suitcase on arrival was stuffed with food and drinks!
By doing so, the Bunnies enjoyed two lovely in-room picnics without having to resort to room service or the in-house and very vegetarian unfriendly Michelin star restaurant. In-room picnics are sometimes the Bunnies’ preferred way of dining when staying in expensive hotels. Bunny enjoys luxury, and understands that you have to pay for the privilege, but there is no need to pay for overpriced food or drinks even if you are staying in a sublime establishment. Particularly if vegetarians are not that well catered for, which is often the case.
Bunny very much enjoyed her weekend at La Reserve. It may not have been perfect but it was exactly what she needed at that point: luxurious and quiet with an excellent spa. Some of the facilities (outdoor pool, boat service to central Geneva) were not available because it was off-season but the other side of that coin was that the hotel was blissfully quiet.
Bunny got to experience two different room types during her stay, the executive room and the junior suite. Both were absolutely lovely. There probably isn’t a single bad room in the entire hotel.
The main problem with La Reserve for Bunny was that she was not refined enough for their clientele. She doesn’t have heaps of money, dress well or walk around with a superior attitude. She enjoys luxury hotels, for sure, but she is usually a fan of a more laid-back luxury. Barefooted Maldivian kind of luxury is more Bunny’s style than the heavily-fragranced French chic that La Reserve offers.
That said, she‘d be more than happy to go back tomorrow, as long as someone else picks up the bill again.