Le Richemond: Inside Geneva’s Five-Star Iconic Hotel

“Le Richemond features the only urban Sisley Spa in Switzerland. Sisley’s renown face and body treatments are based on aromachology, which is the science of relaxing the body and mind through the use of fragrance,” explained Christophe Hilty, General Manager of Le Richemond in Geneva, in an interview about the hotel, signature suites, dining and more.

The iconic five-star hotel is celebrating this year 140 years of history. In 1875, the hotel was a small family hotel with only 25 beds owned by Adolphe-Rodolphe Armleder. For over a century, Le Richemond has welcomed distinguished guests, from Hollywood icons and artists to international dignitaries and authors, all enjoying the unique cosmopolitan atmosphere and alpine scenery. The clientele has included some of the greatest names of the 20th century: from Charlie Chaplin and Louis Armstrong to Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth and Marc Chagall. 

Tell us a little bit about the founding, history and location of Le Richemond.
Le Richemond was founded in 1875 by the Armleder family. Every Genevan has a story with Le Richemond: a memorable banquet, a family party or a stay on the 7th floor. They have the impression that Le Richemond is fully part of the city life. The iconic hotel has an ideal location because it’s situated in the heart of Geneva facing the lake and the Jet d’Eau, and offers a breathtaking view on the Jardin Brunswick and the snowcapped top of Mont-Blanc.

How do some of the most luxurious, signature accommodations such as the Royal Armleder, Ambassador, and Presidential suites, differ from one another in terms of space and style?
The Armleder suite was named after the founder of the hotel, Adolphe Rodolphe Armleder. Located on the 7th floor, it offers one of the best views in Geneva. From the large terrace, you can see the Jet d’Eau, the Alps, the Mont-Blanc, the old town and the cathedral.

The Ambassador suite has similar views which can be enjoyed from the wide windows or the balcony. This suite is decorated in touches of blue, cream and tan, has a dining area for six and a spacious living room to relax and enjoy the sight of the Alps.

The Presidential suite is also located on the 7th floor and decorated in a very contemporary fashion. It is accessed through a beautiful hallway which leads to a circular living room and dining area. The bedroom area of this suite features a sitting area, workspace, walk-in wardrobe, and the luxury marble bathroom features a double rainforest shower.




With regard to the spa and health facilities, what kinds of offerings are available to guests, and what specific treatments might you recommend?
Le Richemond features the only urban Sisley Spa in Switzerland. Sisley’s renown face and body treatments are based on aromachology, which is the science of relaxing the body and mind through the use of fragrance. Sisley’s skincare products are made from the finest plant extracts and essential oils, and are applied to the skin using a variety of different massage rituals from around the world to create impressive results and a deep sense of calm.

Our guests really appreciate the fact that our spa is a stress-free zone in which everything is taken care of including free valet parking and sports clothes (for members). Privacy, too, is important and our guests can discuss their questions or concerns with our therapists in the intimacy of a treatment room. And finally, well-being. Guests can choose everything about their experience, down to the music and oil the prefer for each treatment.

Famous treatments include anti-aging Sisley treatments, four-hand massages, and a Thai massage, for which we have a dedicated Thai massage specialist.

Le Richemond Geneva, Dorchester Collection


Le Richemond Geneva, Dorchester Collection


How would you describe the atmosphere and cuisine of Le Jardin restaurant?
Le Jardin offers a refined atmosphere from well known and highly appreciated terraces overlooking the Brunswick Gardens. Chef Philippe Bourrel offers a simple and modern cuisine highlighting local, seasonal and fresh products. Le Jardin is the ideal place for guests who would like to enjoy a simple summer salad or a special creation from our chef like his delicious slowly cooked pollack fish and bourride sauce with pack choï.




Finally, for guests looking to experience the best of Geneva while staying at Le Richemond, what would be your top 5 list for enjoying the city?
My top 5 list would include visiting the Cathedral Saint-Pierre to admire the view of all the city; visit the Favergé chocolate factory and taste their creations; visit the Patek Philippe museum to discover horology history and unique watch pieces; experience paddling on the lake among other water-sports; and take a walk in the Swiss vineyards in Geneva’s countryside.

Rahim Kanani is the author of critically-acclaimed hotel management book and hospitality management book A Wealth of Insight: The World’s Best Luxury Hoteliers on Leadership, Management and the Future of 5-Star Hospitality.