On Location at the Beau Rivage and the Hotel Guarda Golf

Beau Rivage // Photo by Meagan Drillinger

Travel Agent spent the weekend living in luxury at one of Geneva's most exclusive hotels - the Beau Rivage. A historic property that dates back to 1865, Beau Rivage continues to be a Swiss landmark as far as high society goes in Europe.

The 90-room hotel recently underwent a major renovation that involved the guest suites, public areas and facade. It has emerged high-tech, yet decidedly elegant, and is without a doubt one of our favorite hotels in Europe.

We stayed in suite 218, a room with a view of Lake Geneva, a Jacuzzi with LED lighting and a hammam in our shower, which we certainly put to good use.

The hotel is also home to two restaurants, Patara (a famous Thai restaurant), and Le Chat-Botte, the property's French restaurant. We were lucky enough to dine at Patara for lunch and found it to be incredibly fresh and authentic. Tip: Be sure to have a cup of tea after your meal, as it comes with dark chocolate-covered ginger candy.

Monday we we were taken about two hours outside Geneva to the famous Valais region in Switzerland, home to world-class skiing and equally impressive hotels. There we stayed at the Hotel Guarda Golf, a ski-, golf-, and spa-resort with Alpine vistas. It’s an intimate hotel with just 25 rooms and another 25 residences. The property is pure luxury, judging from the Bvlgari bath products, the high-tech touches and the amazing five-course meal with wine pairings we enjoyed last night.

The property is located in Crans-Montana, a small ski village at the top of a twisting road, making it just isolated enough for you to really feel that you are on top of the world.

After waking to a lovely breakfast, our group was taken out to the terrace where we were face to face with a massive hot air balloon, sponsored by Parmigiani watches. Although we didn't actually take the balloon sailing, we were able to go up about 30 feet and get a more eye-level view with the Alps that surround the property.

The next few hours were devoted to a snow-shoeing trek on the snow-covered grounds and a special visit up the Plaine Morte, a 3,000-meter peak. From this vista were able to see all of the famous mountains in Switzerland, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

We returned to the hotel for a gorgeous lunch of raclette and local wines followed by a facial in the Spa. Travel Agent also explored the spa's hammam, pool, whirlpool and sauna.

Owner of the hotel Nati Felli was on hand to see to our every need, which is exactly what she provides her guests. "Everyone is a VIP here," she tells us. That rings true loud and clear. We were told that a guest once requested 40 bottles of Evian to be pumped into her shower so that she could bathe with the purest water. Of course, her wish was Felli's command.

This is a very special and intimate property and we would highly recommend it to your Switzerland-bound clients.