The Definitive Girls’ Guide to Geneva
Hidden in Switzerland, there is a new shopping capital. Better known for its corporate offerings than its retail options, Geneva’s brisk business façade masks a beautiful city with many options for a relaxing girly weekend away. Luckily, girls in the know can refer to the Geneva Girls’ Guide, handily provided by the Geneva Tourist Board.
The fact that Geneva lies one very short flight away makes the decision to visit that much easier. Start your luxurious journey in Heathrow’s departure lounge, and take the time to browse in shops such as Cartier, Harrods and Bulgari. SwissAir offers frequent flights to Geneva, so you can choose your flights to fit your schedule.
For those looking to stay in style, look no further than the gorgeous Swissotel Metropole. Located on the banks of Lake Geneva and only 15 minutes by taxi from the central train station, this 5* luxury establishment has a history – make sure to take a look at the beautiful murals in the lobby. We recommend staying in the fabulous Signature Lakeside rooms, as they offer a spectacular view across the lake and the Jet d’Eau, one of the largest fountains in the world.
The Signature style rooms offer a multitude of chic details that make your stay more special. A television screen is embedded invisibly in a nearly floor-to-ceiling freestanding mirror, whilst a spa-like experience is available in the shower, which seals to form a hammam-style steam area.
The Swissotel Metropole also offers high end drinking and dining experiences in The Mirror Bar and Le Grand Quai, its restaurant. Don’t miss the luminous blue SkyFive cocktail – it’s certain to get you ready for a night out in the city!
In certain circles, Geneva is known as a fantastic source for luxury vintage pieces, sourced by the best in the business. Our favourites are Julia’s Dressing and Flair No.3, which both offer one-of-a-kind vintage items. Julia travels the globe searching for designer garments (we spotted a 1950s vintage Chanel gown), with a treasure trove of unique items stored in her shop’s basement. She also has several vintage children’s pieces, so make sure to stop by to spruce up your little one’s wardrobe. Flair No.3 is run by Marisa Da Silva, whose infectious charm means that you will likely come away with a garment or two (we certainly did!). Visit the back room for the more whimsical gowns in her collection.
Of course, if you’re looking for more modern fare, there are plenty of boutiques to visit. For those looking for quirky homeware, we recommend Les Enfants Terribles, which features artisan pieces galore. For luxury fashion, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent are but a few of the stores to be found on Geneva’s lovely streets.
In the true spirit of the Swiss being efficient, Geneva’s beauty parlours have perfected the art of the quick beauty makeover. Shopping haven Bongénie offers a quick nail colour change at their nail bar, perfect for a mid-shop stop. If you’re planning to go out for the night, there’s nowhere more expert and delightful than Bal des Créateurs, which provides a beauty “Apero” with a drink before your night out. Choose from hair or makeup and have a quick 30 minute makeover to get you started for the evening. We recommend a stunning braid for a subtle transformation from day beauty to night glam.
Though there are a plethora of beautiful spots for eating and drinking in Geneva, for a perfect girls’ night out there’s nowhere better than Rooftop 42. This chic restaurant and bar features absolutely spectacular cuisine (the foie gras starter is a must-try), bountiful drinks and a stunning view over the city and the lake. Dinner turns into dancing as the hours turn late, making it the perfect place for a night out with the girls.
Of course, after a tough day of shopping, drinking and dancing, a girl needs her beauty rest and replenishment. Thankfully, Geneva also provides the solution for worn bodies and souls in the form of La Réserve, a glorious spa and wellbeing centre just across the lake. The spa restaurant Le Café Lauren features only the purest forms of food with absolutely no fats except from olive oil in the dishes, making it a guilt-free experience. The spa itself features a fitness centre, but for those looking for a relaxing break, the anti-aging massage therapies are second to none. La Réserve offers wonderful signature treatments (such as the 50 minute better-aging body massage), and also uses the exclusive La Prairie products in its roster of available therapies.
After seeing the best of Geneva’s sights and shopping until you drop, there’s only one thing left to do: purchase chocolate and fly home. Geneva is a destination worth visiting for a luxurious weekend away with the girls – pick up a copy of the Geneva Girls’ Guide for everything you need!
The Geneva Girl’s Guide is available from geneva-tourism.ch. Flights were with Swiss Air; visit www.swissotel.com/hotels/geneva/ for details on the Swissotel Metropole. Visit http://www.juliasdressing.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/flairN3 for vintage shopping. Details of the beauty “Apero” at Bal des Créateurs can be found here: http://www.lebaldescreateurs.com/evenements/2014/apero-beaute.php. For details on Rooftop 42, visit http://www.rooftop42.com/; for La Réserve Hotel & Spa, visit http://www.lareserve.ch/en/.