Le Richemond

Located across from the Square des Alpes, Le Richemond sits in pride of place on the banks of Lake Geneva.

We arrived on a quiet Saturday evening, sat-nav fully deployed in the DB9. If, like me, Geneva is a mere stop-off destination before heading for the alps, it really should be given the respect it deserves.

Now, I cannot work out if we arrived slightly off centre in regards to which side of the road we should be on, or if we went down a one-way street. Either way, anyone coming face-to-face with an Aston Martin DB9 tends to give way, especially in Geneva. It turns out we needn’t have used the sat-nav; you can spot Le Richemond by its beautiful red floral arrangements that adorn the outside of the hotel.

Le Richemond first opened its doors in 1875 and was run under the name Le-Riche-Mont. This quartermaster of the lake has 109 spacious rooms and 22 suits, all decorated in the hotel’s signature elegant style.

Le Richemond has a global reputation for offering the sort of service that landed gentry would expect in a well-staffed home. Need your jacket pressed just before dinner? Decide to invite everyone to your suite at 2am for steak and cigars? Nothing is a drama at Le Richmonde. The staff are attentive and engaging, whilst being extremely discrete.

Once we had checked in, we were shown to our executive room on the top floor. Le Richemond has an old world art deco style. Of course, if you are thinking of spending a while at the hotel, why not use your own furniture.

The hotel can move your personal furniture in and keep it in storage for you. Although, with a view as good as we had, little time was spent in the room. The view of the lake was magnificent. It has a real romantic lustre that is key to its charm.

The hotel houses three meetings rooms and a ballroom, which can welcome up to 200 guests. The restaurant, Le Jardin, offers carefully-crafted menus in a stylish setting on the hotel’s terrace.

Yes, people, break out the pearls and the smoking jacket. If Le Richemond had a soundtrack, it would be Dizzy Gillespie playing ‘I Can’t Get Started’. Chic and understated, it is no wonder that the hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection. The combination of old-money opulence and private-club intimacy is what has made Le Richemond famous over the years. Next time you are flying into Geneva en-route to Zermatt, spend a few days in the warm company of the team at Le Richmonde.

Peter Robinson

Rebel without a cause. Robinson has spent the past five years working in luxury print and publishing. This we feel may have jaded him slightly. When he isn't heading up the magazines publishing team, he can be found on piste, on track or off road.

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