InterContinental Geneva sets new luxury standards for the IHG Group

Following a multi-million dollar renovation and redesign, the 50 years old InterContinental Geneva emerges not only as a flagship of the InterContinental chain in Switzerland but on a global scale. Under the guidance of luxury hospitality industry veteran, Jurgen Baumhoff, the InterContinental Geneva marks its 50th anniversary with a stunning new look, overseen by celebrated interior designer Tony Chi.

With the utmost attention to detail and quality of finishes, the interiors have been redesigned and remodelled to reflect a luxurious, yet understated feel – warm, welcoming and glamorous. Carefully studying the flow of guests and the allocation of spaces has enabled the creation of a grand lobby, probably the most impressive at any luxury hotel in Switzerland.

The Nations Bar saw the addition of Le Fumoir Lounge Bar, which also includes a cigar room – both enhancing their already unique offering of spirits and cocktails, in an eclectic atmosphere. Expect to be pleasantly surprised by the crowd (a great mix of in-house residents and locals), the expert skills of the bar tenders and the menu of cocktails, each with its very own original story, in most cases inspired by a famous international bar or a particular region.

The open lobby is adorned with fireplaces on each side of the entrance and the upper level Coffee Louge and Cigar Lounge feature overlooking windows allowing for further transparency and visibility. Exquisit Italian limestone dominate most of the public spaces, both floors and walls.  Interior designer Tony Chi personally selected most of the design features including, for instance, the giant coffe minibars in the coffee break lounge on the mezzanine level, as well as the impressive lacqured wooden doors of The Residence, a private residence within the hotel occupying the entire 18th floor, the top floor of the hotel, and the heavy Cristofle silver decorated doors of the Grand Ball Room.

Most of the wooden furnishings are Swiss inspired, equally in finishes, colour and type of chosen wood. Furnishings are custom made by reputed Italian luxury interior design brands such as Poltrona Frau (most of the leather chairs and couches), Minotti, Cassina and lighting by Artemide. Details such as flowers, cutlery (all Cristofle), porcelaine (all Bernardaud), natural bathroom amenities (Korres) and carpets have not been overlooked. Woods, the main restaurant of the hotel overlooks a newly redesigned green area with a pool, in warmer months, sliding floor to ceiling glass doors opening on to a wooden deck terrace.

Situated within the diplomatic district (15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the centre) the InterContinental Geneve is also probably one of the most safe hotels in Europe. The famous Lake Side, including the heart of luxury shopping Rue du Rhone are within a 10 minute car ride from the hotel. The area also has selection of very good local and international cuisine restaurants.

Rooms and suites are large by any luxury standard and are beautifully appointed. I was mostly impressed by the higher category suites as well as the bathrooms in all suites, which feature top quality marble and showers enclosed in a large glass enclosed area. Over two thirds of the hotel’s rooms and suites command spectacular views of Lake Leman and the Mont Blanc mountains, enhancing yet again the luxury experience of this well established hotel. Other essential facilities include a Technogym equipped gym, sauna, hammam, an outdoor pool (open in summer) and a Spa by Clarins with facial and body treatments.

Despite its inventory of over 300 rooms and lavish conferences and conventions spaces, the InterContinental Geneva provides a consistent and attentive service, throughout all departments. Even during major event wich gathered over 500 guests (one was taking place during my stay), service was under control and one would not feel ignored. The InterContinental Geneva has welcomed countless ambassadors and heads of state and has played an important role in modern history. As early as December, the new treaty on Iran was signed at the hotel. Actress Sophia Loren spent 7 months in the hotel, before giving birth to her first child in 1968.

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Oliver Petcu in Geneva