A good hotel is far more than just a place to stay, but is a destination in itself. Hotel de la Cigogne in Geneve, Switzerland is the perfect example of a destination hotel.
I just love historical buildings, and nothing excites me more than staying in a hotel that has a story of its own. And during a recent trip to Geneva, I was over the moon when I stayed at Hotel de la Cigogne, whose story dates back over a century to 1901.
The entire hotel, from the lobby to the hallways, gives you a sense of being in a house. The singing sound of the fountain, the fresco representing the main monuments of the town, and the large fireplace all combine for a serene and luxurious feeling.
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Hotel de la Cigogne is its 50 rooms and suites, each one unique. The originality of the place emerges from the seven floors, each sporting a different colour theme.
Lucky me, I stayed in Chambre 68, which is filled with dark woods and a huge painting adorning the wall opposite the fireplace, adding to the already warm ambience of the room. The warmth and comfort of the room harks back to a simpler time, but there is still all the modern technology travellers expect. Staying at Hotel de la Cigogne, you really can get the best of both worlds.
Looking around other rooms in the hotel, I was amazed just how different each room is, and how each room has its own character and story to tell. Each element is charged with emotion: beds, cupboards, paintings, Eastern carpets, lamps, Chinese silks, sculptures. All these pieces of different styles and times coexist in a space where the concern for the details is constant. I believe that there is a room that will suit every taste and personality. It is also a good excuse to keep coming back and staying at Hotel de la Cigogne, so you can experience a different room every time you stay.
Ideally located in one of the most prized districts of Geneva, close to the Old Town and in the heart of the business and trade district, Hotel de la Cigogne is a unique destination. The hotel’s rich history starts in 1901, when construction began. It opened its doors the following year in 1902.
According to the founding story, a wine grower in Dardagny, a village in the Genevan countryside about 15 kilometres from downtown, designed and planned the project. Indeed, it took one whole day for this wine grower to make the trip from his cellar to the city, so he had the idea to open a restaurant where he could more easily store and sell his wines.
Sold on several occasions since 1919, the hotel lost some of its gloss. In 1980, Mr. Rene Favre, a local architect, bought the hotel and undertook a five-year restoration project with only the façade being preserved. He is also a forerunner in using daring colours, introducing in-room pink, blue and green tones. In addition to the many pieces of period furniture and works of art, Rene also makes use of completely original materials such as flagstones made from disused Burgundian wine exploitations.
I have never stayed in a hotel as unique and interesting as Hotel de la Cigogne, which is not only rich in history but also very strong in character. A stay at Hotel de la Cigogne will be an experience that you will never forget.
Text by Melani Semuel | Photos courtesy of Hotel de la Cigogne
Hotel de la Cigogne
17, Place Longemalle
Phone. +41 (0) 22 818 4040