EastWest combines European charm with Asian style to create something special. Its central location and excellent restaurant make it a great hotel in Geneva
When I hear the name Geneva I think of grand hotels, expensive watches, and well-dressed people enjoying coffee in classy cafes. Its reputation conjures up images of a rich place with sleek buildings, and a spectacular mountain backdrop. Looking at photographs just confirms the vision, and shows how elegant historic architecture blends seamlessly with modern glass-clad banks in front of the alpine lake.
Its reputation preceded it, and while on our way to do some skiing we decided we had to take a few days to see what the city was like in person. We were sure that we would have no problem finding a good place to stay, but when we discovered EastWest Hotel – a boutique hotel right in the city center – we were ecstatic! Don’t get me wrong, the large luxury hotels appealed, but I love discovering the unexpected and unique. That was exactly what happened!
EastWest Hotel is located in Geneva’s red light district. In a town as elegant as this, that’s not such a bad thing and even the less reputable neighborhoods are safe and attractive. This district also occupies a prime location, with the lake being around a minute’s walk away – the old town around ten. As you make your way there, you will pass a seemingly endless parade of the aforementioned fancy hotels, and stylish shops selling expensive timepieces made by the likes of Rolex, Blancpain, and Breiting – this is the home of timepieces after all!
It turns out that EastWest is a carefully chosen name that reflects the atmosphere of the hotel perfectly. The decoration fuses European sophistication with Asian elements to create a relaxing, yet comfortable experience for its guests. From the outside it looks just like any other of the pretty classical buildings of the area, but as soon as you reach reception you notice the Indian statuettes and the Japanese style paper doors behind the counter.
Despite its relatively small size (there are only forty-one rooms), there is a surprising amount of common space. This includes a cozy lounge space, a well-stocked bar, and my personal favorite – the garden at the back. This area is a styled like a Zen garden with bamboo plants and giant red ceramic pots flanking the entranceway. These features (as well as the high level of service provided) have earned EastWest a place in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World club – a group which only accepts the best boutique hotels around.
The common areas were nice, yet it was our room which really blew us away. We stayed in the Duplex Suite which sprawled over two floors and fifty-three square meters. It was the size of an apartment and had two bathrooms, a huge master bedroom, and a large living area. We even had our own entrance through the courtyard (instead of the hotel), further enhancing the feeling of staying in a luxury apartment rather than a hotel room.
Aesthetically our suite continued the theme of the rest of the building, with swanky western decoration being offset by Eastern design touches. Red and white were the dominant colors, and wooden features were scattered throughout. The beds were extremely comfortable – which is always important in a hotel room – and the Nespresso machine was a welcome addition. More and more hotels are offering these now, and I have to say that I am always happy to find one when we check in. Another plus were the little brown bags which were for hanging outside the door. Doing so would ensure that a light breakfast would be waiting for you when you woke up, if you didn’t feel like venturing out to the buffet.
The sheer size of the suite made it a great place to spread out and get some work done, without feeling at all cramped. Despite the entrance being on the first floor, they still managed to fit in a large floor to ceiling window. This flooded the place with light, but thanks to its tactical positioning, didn’t compromise our privacy at all. Instead it gave us a peaceful view of the bamboo plants outside.
The place where the east-meets-west theme reaches its highest expression is in the restaurant. Alongside the decoration, which transports you to the far east via the bistros of Europe, the menu is pure fusion cuisine. The chef at EastWest is certainly creating some compelling combinations of interesting flavors which draw on many different parts of the globe.
Perhaps the biggest influences are Japan and Italy, but at the end of the day what he serves – to put it simply – is just really good. To illustrate what I mean, the menu includes dishes like smoked burrata with marinated conger eel, and my favorite: Udon noodles with Chinese cabbage and Japanese broth. It was all delicious, and we will definitely be back next time we are in Geneva. Seriously...this was a gem of a restaurant!
We were loving the Eastern hints to the atmosphere of the hotel, but of course we wanted to get the Swiss experience of Geneva. Most of the city’s attractions are easily accessible from the hotel and we spent some time wandering around its streets. The lakefront makes a great place to stroll, and here you can admire the Jet d’Eau – a stream of water which shoots straight out of the lake and 140 meters into the air.
Continue over the Mont Blanc bridge, and you will reach the old town with its medieval buildings and narrow streets. As in most European old towns, there are several important edifices here including the cathedral of St Pierre and the house in which the philosopher Rousseau was born. Geneva is a glamorous place which feels modern, functional, and clean. As you take it in, you will find yourself passing bankers, diplomats, and other important people going about their business.
If business is what brings you here, you will find EastWest to be a welcome resting place, and conveniently located. If, like us, you are in Geneva for pleasure then this hotel is also a great choice of accommodation thanks to its quirky style and comfortable atmosphere. If you like boutique hotels, or are just looking for something a little different, you should consider giving EastWest a go.
For more information about this hotel, please visit the link below