Eric said it the other day. He has actually said it before. It is an expression he uses in such occasions. Everytime it has the same effect on me. This time to the point that I am dedicating a post to it. “A view to a kill”. When Alice or I say a simple “nice view”, Eric usually says with a twinkle in the eye: “A view to a kill!”. I can actually picture him rehearsing this line in front of the mirror. I am sure he rehearses his favorite lines to see how they come out.
Geneva from above looks great, no? Try this. Post a photo of the Jet d’eau every day. See how many “Likes” you get. Everyday! Very LOL for the everyday. But it is true. Anyway this post will summarize all the places in Geneva, where Eric has said his favorite line, “A view to a kill”. In simpler words all the places with a great view, mostly of the lake. From different angles. Now, in order to make it to my list, the angle has to be from above. Even if it is a few meters, ie on the first floor. As long as it is above the ground, then it’s good to go for me.
For your eyes only, I am adding the kill. Every time Eric says “A view to a kill”, exactly at the “kill”, I start thinking of what/who would be killed right there. Why? Because. Because that’s what I do. I imagine things. Then I write them. Then I share them. Some of them. My imagination is too much for this city…
Where? Not far from Belair. Not the easiest to spot. But hey it is a rooftop, what did you expect? The guys downstairs are polite and smiling. The exact address: 42 Rue du Rhône, 1204 Genève. Tel. +41 22 346 77 00
Who? Pretty much everybody. Sooner or later you’ll be there too. More popular than pope in summer (literally; pope is not that popular as of June, when sinners sin more on vacation). During the weekend it is crowded. Mid 30’s, Internationals, and the entire office. A Zoe Barnes favorite.
Why? Because the view is good, the music is really good, the energy is high and most of all… you want to see and you want to be seen. Plus you don’t have that many options for a lively rooftop.
Why not? It can get really crowded and then it does not feel very spacious. I don’t know, I avoid it on Saturday night.
The kill? Your dignity. If you fall at the hidden steps here and there. Or without the steps, thanx to your own brand new stilettos. If you fall, the entire city will be there to witness it. Yes, I imagined that. As I almost tripped last summer on a Saturday night.
Where? At the 4 Seasons Hotel. Near the Mont Blanc bridge. Where the ducks sleep, ie. in front of Ile Rousseau. The exact address: 33, Quai des Bergues, 1201 Geneva. Tel. +41 (22) 908 70 00
Who? Bigger wallets. Much bigger than average. A scent of oil in the air (not the one from Sicily, but that from Middle East), a veil here and there, and the average millionaire in linen.
Why? Because you can afford it. Because you can be sure that I will not be there. (I’m lying; I’ve made it there a few times). Because it is quite intimate and exclusive. You feel it up there. And of course, because the sushi is just divine.
Why not? Because for what you will pay for dinner, you can actually buy a TV, a pair of shoes, a bag or a roundtrip flight to a Mediterranean destination. And most importantly, because they do two servings and they are notorious about stressing their clients to free up the table before the second one. Not nice, guys…
The kill? Once I was having dinner with a very boring friend and I spent most of the time listening to the table behind us. She was an heiress, he was her dad. They were here because it was too hot in Texas, they told the waiter. I did not imagine a kill this time. My mind was too busy with existential questions of how my life would have been if I were an heiress, a harem girl, a rich widow or at least a Cologny wife. And like that, I reached dessert, which was delicious too (I think I got a special cheesecake) and I forgot all about the uninteresting stories of my companion.
Where? At the Swisshotel. In front of Jardins Anglais. Close to Rive. Closer to Prada and some other temples. The exact address: 34 Quai General Guisan, 1204 Geneva. Tel: +41 22 318 3200
Who? My impression is that the patrons are more stylish, more elegant, more exquisite here. I hope they keep it this way. I have seen tons of Facebook advertising recently. I hope it keeps its character and does not become another Les Voiles or Rooftop 42.
Why? Because of the view of the Water Fountain of course. Because the setup reminds me of summer bars from our holidays. Because the staff is super nice.
Why not? I wish they had a proper restaurant up there. It is just fingerfood. Other than that, I’m a fan.
The kill? An Apple engineer or an architect. Let me explain. When you realize that the distant photos of iPhone are pitiful and you cannot capture a semi-decent photo of the beauty in front of you, then that Apple engineer of your 700CHF phone is a great candidate for a kill. When before the sunset, you look at the Geneva skyline and your deep blue eyes stop at some monstrous tall buildings, then their respective architects also qualify for the leading role (that of the victim) for that view to a kill.
Where? Paquis side. Don’t be scared. The good side of Paquis (is there a bad one? Not for me). At the President Wilson Hotel. The exact address: 47 Quai Wilson, 1211 Genève. Téléphone: +41 22 906 6452
Who? Mostly the hotel residents for the pool bar, but I do not see why not the rest of us. I have noticed mostly elegant couples chilling by the pool with a cocktail. But I swear that singles are welcome too. They let me in…
Why? Because there are not that many beautiful pools with a lake view in our city. It is a unique setup indeed. Plus you have the option of the Umami by Roth. The guy is a genius and you cant go wrong with his creations. For special evenings.
Why not? Because they close early. I am not ashamed to declare that 11pm is way too early for a summer night. I always felt I wanted more or that I arrived late.
The kill? I don’t know why but every time I have been there, I imagined (/hoped) that I would meet a prince. A modern prince. I also imagined that judging from my luck, eventually I would find out that he is not a real prince, but his butler pretending to be the prince. And then I would kill him.
Where? In front of Bains de Paquis. At the Kempinski hotel. Did you know that this used to be a Hilton a long time ago? The exact address: 19 Quai du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Geneva, Tel: +41 22 908 9226
Who? Everybody. In the summer everybody. Unlike the rest often quite young. Maybe some of the crowd lose their way as they are heading to Java and they end up there. But most popular with corporate crowd and the clientele that serves it (if you know what I mean).
Why? Because you are right in front of the fountain (juste en face on dit en francais) and you can take a very symmetrical 180 degrees photo of the lake. Plus there are beautiful ladies that tend to be very friendly with lonely, generous, hard-working gentlemen.
Why not? Exactly. Why not?
The kill? Pretty woman crosses Resident Evil. OK she found her prince charming now and she is quitting her old tricks. But to be insulted by his best friend with a “how much” question is a reason to kill him. Yes it is a known cliche scene from that movie.
Where? Around Stand. Close to Halles de L’ile. The exact address: Promenade des Lavandières, 1204 Genève. Tel : +41 22 321 38 78
Who? A tad more free spirits than anywhere else. OK do not expect any alternative dudes and tattooed gals. But it is not the crowd of the 5 star hotels (thank God!). Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful would choose any from my list, this would be it.
Why? Because we have so much water around us and it is a must to be finally on a boat. Even if it is not moving.
Why not? Well the energy is low. Like really low. The service is not existing. The beverage options are also limited. Overall very basic. Plus they shut down too early.
The kill? Of your romantic date. This is so not the boat to do the “king of the world” scene from Titanic. Nerdy beyond any borders, the right excuse to dump him and kill any hopes of romance with the guy.
Where? Uphill, at the end of the park. Amazing balcony with a promising view. The exact address: 82 Quai Gustave Ador, 1211 GENEVE. Tel: +41 22 849 75 75
Who? Older. Usually older. Much older. Unless there is an event. A party. Something. Then you find the usual chic crowd from the international corporations, their wives and a few well-off offspring.
Why? Because it is 3-in-1: a large terrasse, a big beautiful park and the view of the lake. What’s not to like?
Why not? Well it depends on what you are after. Great for a relaxing soothing aperitif or meal, but not a mood booster or a joint to socialize and meet new people.
The kill? This time I would go for an over-kill. An overkill that I would not mind. Imagine sipping your tea, at your usual aloof nirvana, when suddenly you are surprised with a marriage proposal, all written with rose petals at the green fields in front you. Amazing? (Plot details: You go to the restroom or something and when you come back your beau smiles widely and points to the “will you marry me” behind him at the park…)
Where? At the corner, across the street from the Brunswick monument. A very Swiss landmark. The exact address: 13 Quai du Mont Blanc, 1201 Geneva. Tel: +41 22 716 69 21
Who? People “in the know”. Old money and their kids. You’ve been there for a wedding reception and you noticed that there is this cute terrasse. I always get the “where are you going” when I take people there, before we land on the high chairs starring at the crowded Sunday lakefront catwalk.
Why? Because you want to combine class, peace, the lake view and promenade traffic. All with a good glass of wine or some exquisite tea.
Why not? Very few tables. So you might go through reception, up the stairs, through a couple of doors and then… nothing. But it is worth waiting. A bit.
The kill? The kill happened already. The unfortunate gal was Sissy. And indeed it was the hotel’s fault. In wikipedia’s words, “In 1898, despite warnings of possible assassination attempts, the sixty-year-old Elisabeth traveled incognito to Geneva, Switzerland, although someone from the Hôtel Beau-Rivage revealed that the Empress of Austria was their guest.” You do know what happened next and why the slim statue is right in front of the hotel starring the fountain…