Well, I must admit, I'm pretty impressed by Geneva's Hotel President Wilson, which is a SPG Luxury Collection property (and an encouraging sign of things to come for longtime Marriott high rollers).
Full disclosure: I've stayed in an number of (surprisingly) modest (or, um, disappointing/mediocre) hotels in Geneva that were NOT priced like budget hotels, so maybe I'm over-reacting, but I don't think so.
First impressions (and some images - sorry, phone pics only):
- Nice location - on Lake Geneva - an easy walk from the central train station.
- Warmly welcomed as a loyal (Marriott) Platinum member - permitted to check-in (without begging) before 10 am;
- Upgraded to a (very) nice room - not a suite, but with a great view, plenty of room, and comfortable seating options.
- Coffee geeks will notice the Nespresso pods (see, lower, left-hand corner) - and the machine is out of the picture frame.
- And, yes, the view - standing at the window - is out over Lake Geneva to the right and, to the left, the Palais Wilson (and the Memorial to Woodrow Wilson) - here's a better look at the view, among other things, overlooking the splendid pool deck:
- Offered a number of options at check-in, and I chose breakfast (over extra points, a food credit, or ... a Swiss Army Knife!) - and it was worth it - very nice breakfast (including omelettes to order, smoked salmon, and plenty of attractive options)....
- The property is not cheap - OK, it's quite expensive - which is no surprise because it feels more like a Ritz Carlton (in terms of service - excellent, fast, responsive, precise, efficient) than a full-service Marriott. (Quick example: my shoes were returned shined - free of charge - less than 15 minutes after I called the concierge to inquire about the service.) Tidbits:
- Dining in Geneva is expensive, but the restaurants on property are (gorgeous, but) very/extremely expensive. (Granted, one is a Michelin starred restaurant, so it is what it is. The full tasting menu with wine pairing was a nice round $250, without cheese ... maybe I'll try that next time.)
- This evening, a colleague and I shared a late evening chat on the pool deck, and coffee and tea were $12 apiece (yup, $24 for one coffee and one tea, which, admittedly, was served in a nice pot, and the glasses were quite nice too ... and they gave us each a cookie, but neither of us tried them ... alas).
- The bathroom was nicely appointed, and the Hermes toiletries are quite nice. I expect that some American guest will be taken aback by the modest Euro tub, but hey, it's Geneva...
- Robes (surprisingly, nothing special) and slippers - indeed two sizes of slippers, including a comfortable size (significantly larger than found in most hotels).
- Foam pillows available on demand - worth asking for.
- Bonus points for the in-room, free-of-charge, oh-so-handy (no pun intended), handy smart phone.
FREE, no hassle, grab and go - Google Maps on demand (and, again, free of charge). International calls (including to the US (again, free of charge). I expect we'll be seeing more of these in hotels in the future. It's a wonderful service.
Assuming it's within your price range, I'd recommend the property (and the staff) without hesitation.