Switzerland: Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, Geneva
Geneva is in many ways at the centre of things. This is where the river Rhone starts, where world banks meet, the Red Cross was founded and the European United Nations Headquarters is based. Lake Geneva is huge and edged with vineyards and orchards. The expanse of water is wide, bringing light, air and flocks of swans into the city centre. The Four Seasons Hotel de Bergues is elegant and beautifully restored. It’s also slap bang in the middle of Geneva with views overlooking the lake to Mont Blanc.
What’s on offer
Spa Mont Blanc is on the 6th and 7th floors with a good sized lap pool on the top floor and windows looking out over the city. There is a distinct Art Deco feel to the design and the loveliest hammam with soft grey sculptured marble walls. Even the showers have sinuous silver handles on the front. The relaxation room is dark, quiet and cocoon-like. There is also a hair salon.
Tell us about the treatments
Biologic Recherche is a French brand and I was down to try the Anti-C Slimming Treatment – something I had not tried before. It involved using a massage mitt to shift stubborn cellulite. I would have sworn there is not much you can do about that orange peel dimpling most of us have somewhere. Now I know differently. Jesome, my energetic therapist applied an exfoliating cream and then worked it in using a massage mitt with some large (but thankfully soft) spikes on it. A booster mixture was applied and then she worked the Crème Anti C Lotion into my skin using a massage mitt with smaller spikes. She massaged firmly and in specific directions – stimulating rather than rough – before taking it down a notch to a light massage.
By the end of the hour my skin was smooth and glowing. Even the bits I didn’t realise had cellulite, such as the back of my upper arms, looked and felt wonderful. I would certainly have this treatment pre-holiday and then would not have to hide my legs!
We ate in the Il Lago restaurant sitting outside in the sunshine, watching the cosmopolitan world that is Geneva go by. A host of languages and cultures can all be seen and heard here. The food was modern, light and intensively flavoured. We had several amuse bouche to tantalise the taste buds. I tried roasted kid goat which tasted like a very tender beef – much better than the curried goat I’ve tried in India. My partner had sea bass served in a foam which was light, delicate and very healthy. As it got dark, we sneaked up to the Japanese restaurant on the rooftop where we could look out over the lights of the city.
An evening swim in the rooftop pool at sunset when you can watch as the mountains are gilded with warm sunlight.
The painted floor-to-ceiling panels in the main dining room which tell the history of Geneva in pale pastels.
The chance to dodge into the Jet d’Eau fountain on the bridge over Lake Geneva. We were cowards and just watched as others took it in turns to try to get past without getting wet, and failed amid much hilarity.
Who would like it?
Weekend spa goers. Geneva is small enough to explore on foot, buzzy enough to make a memorable trip, and the Four Seasons is central, so makes a great base.
Beach babes who want to reveal peach smooth skin on holiday. This treatment works! Sybarites who like luxury, glorious surroundings, good food and a small but perfect spa.