Prior to arriving at the Swissôtel Métropole I had already been in Geneva for a few days but I had been staying on the ‘other’ side of the lake. Walking across the bridge it was pretty clear this was the flashier side of Geneva with tons of designer shops, jewellery stores and incredibly luxurious cars lining the pavement. During my time in Geneva it certainly hadn’t escaped my notice that Geneva is an expensive city: you can’t really escape it (unless you spend all of your time hanging around the central train station). If you want to enjoy Geneva you simply have to embrace the extravagance and loosen your purse strings. This is the frame of mind I had adopted when I entered the foyer of the Swissôtel Métropole, a hotel that prides itself on 5 star luxury.
I must say my first impressions were positive. The foyer certainly has that imposing five star feel with a deep red carpet and lots of marble and mahogany. The reception staff were courteous, helpfully and offered to call me when my room was ready. After a few hours of sightseeing I got the phone call and headed back to the hotel to check out my room. My signature lakeside room was stunningly as was the view of Lake Geneva from the window. Everything about the room was well designed from the open plan bathroom with jacuzzi bathtub to the complementary in room Swiss-bar. The bed was lovely and comfortable, the climate control and pillow selection ensured a good night sleep and I loved the massive 42 inch TV tucked behind the floor to ceiling mirror. The complimentary WiFi and desk was ideal for those that need to get a little work done. I really was impressed with the room, one of the nicest I have ever stayed in. That unfortunately is where the positives end.
The hotel had invited me up to their new roof top terrace – the 5 lounge bar-restaurant – to sample their cocktails and new bar menu. I ordered a mojito and my partner in crime ordered a Bloody Mary. You can’t really go wrong with a mojito, it was fine although a little watery. The Bloody Mary on the other hand was sent back because it was simply a tomato juice with a splash of vodka. While waiting for our next round of drinks we enjoyed the view, which is beautiful particularly as the sun sets over the lake and we were pleasantly surprised with some barbecued chicken skewers which would have gone well with a beer or two. Owing to the disappointment of the first round of cocktails we next ordered a glass of rosé for me and the signature cocktail for my boyfriend. Oh dear. The wine tasted like a Blossom Hill Grenache and the signature cocktail looked and tasted like a WKD Blue. Now, don’t get me wrong I have had many an enjoyable night drinking Blossom Hill and bottles of WKD Blue. The problem was that these cocktails cost upwards of €25 each and they were awful. The roof top bar is lovely and as I said the view is great, perhaps because it is new we can excuse the terrible cocktails the price however can not be excused. Style over substance some might say.
I do hate being negative so I must reiterate I had a lovely night sleep and the signature bedroom was fantastic. I loved all the mod-cons and I had a brilliantly colourful and bubbly bath in the jacuzzi tub prior to breakfast. But where do I start with breakfast? The service was non-existent. I had to find a table myself (outside on the terrace), the buffet was mediocre and apparently I could have ordered a hot breakfast but without a menu or anyone to order from the options were limited. To top off my not so wonderful breakfast experience it started to rain quite heavily. Unbelievably staff appeared out of nowhere to clear the tables of plates and cups. How helpful you might think, except they were not clearing our tables – oh no. They were clearing the tables that were unoccupied. We had to run inside, cups and plates in hand. Quite simply breakfast at the Swissôtel Métropole was some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced.
It was such a shame because the hotel was beautiful, the location was absolutely perfect and the bedroom was gorgeous. I had spent three days in Geneva and was well aware that everything is ridiculously expensive. The problem is at a 5 star hotel you expect more for your money, or at the very least you expect good service and top quality produce. Unfortunately the Swissôtel Métropole were only able to offer a really nice room and that is just not good enough.
Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at the Swissôtel Métropole. Our opinions are entirely our own. Advertised minimum rate per night is 425 CHF (October 2014).