The hospitality industry is slowly rising from the proverbial ashes, having been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. Many hotels had to quickly adapt and innovate while others had their luck run out, but the optimistic amongst us calls this ‘the great hospitality reset’.
EHL Insights outlines some measures hoteliers can adopt to navigate through the new reality and what the hospitality market may look like in years to come. It’s absolutely imperative to remain optimistic, because better days are approaching.
There are so many hotels around the world undergoing full-scale reopening and some are opening their doors to welcome guests for the first time. Case in point: The Woodward, hailed as a Swiss masterpiece that will elevate the hospitality offering in Geneva. The city’s first all-suite hotel under Oetker Collection was opened on September 1, 2021 and what a beauty it is! The palatial accommodation enjoys a scenic location on the shoreline of Lake Geneva with Mont Blanc peeking in a distance. And that’s only the start.
Immerse yourself in an exquisite 19th century Belle Époque architecture accentuated by designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, a leader in luxury interior design and whose works speak for itself. The man is the mastermind behind The Savoy Hotel in London and Domaine Les Crayères in Reims, among others. His mastery of the mix stands out with an uber-luxe flair and he brilliantly balances the classic with contemporary, and discreet with vibrant to enhance guest experience.
“What makes this hotel so unique is its location, with the unobstructed view of the lake, its 19th century architecture and the spaciousness of its suites. The Woodward is very different from most contemporary hotels. I would sooner call it a prestigious residence than a boutique hotel,” he proclaims.
At the entrance, a massive wrought iron door (covered entirely with hand-laid gold leaf, no less) swings open to welcome guests to the reception desk and main lounge area where Rochon’s plush velvet sofas and hand-knotted Nepalese rug await. The French designer cleverly metamorphosed the reception area with the right touches to make it appear like private mansion.
DOWN TO THE LAST DETAIL
There are 26 spacious suites housed within the five floors of this hotel, and no two suites are the same. All guest rooms are underlined by soothing beige with touches of blue, and it’s said that the colours in the suites change throughout the day according to the sunlight’s reflection on Lake Geneva.
No detail is spared by Rochon and his team of brilliant ID collaborators, from straw marquetry sliding doors and wardrobes, to handmade wallpaper, Lalique door handles, majestic marble fireplaces and beautiful bookcases. The furniture is a beautiful blend of the classicism of a Taillardat chest of drawers with the clean lines of Christian Liaigre tables and armchairs. What a place to bed down, post-pandemic.
“In the living rooms of the suites, guests can simply open the door of a lacquered cabinet, decorated with hand-painted spring flowers and mother-of-pearl inlay, to discover a dazzling ‘Experience Bar’ crafted by Atelier Anne Midavaine in five unique colour schemes,” he says. Lighting designed by Japanese firm, Akari- Lisa Ishii, enhances the artwork chosen for each suite and throughout the hotel.
GASTRONOMY, THE GREATEST THERAPY
The Woodward Geneva harnesses on world-class dining experience by top chefs that have received the prestigious Michelin stars at their New York outposts. Enter L’Atelier Robuchon and Le Jardinier, two exquisite culinary venues that will satisfy the most discerning gourmand.
Helming the kitchens is Chef Olivier Jean, who is fresh from serving seven years as Executive Chef of L’Atelier in Taipei (1* Michelin) and leading the restaurant’s openings in Miami, New York and Montreal. “Genevans have an educated and demanding palate. They travel extensively and like to be surprised, but above all, they are looking for exceptional quality. To exceed their expectations, I’ve prepared a menu that highlights the very best local ingredients presented in a surprising way with innovative combinations and textures. I hope The Woodward becomes a must-visit for all epicureans,” he says.
Restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon will feature many of Joël Robuchon’s classics, including Caviar Jelly and Cream of Cauliflower, the famous Beef Rossini, Lobster with Black Pepper, Scampi Ravioli, and one of his newest creations, Lemongrass Sea Bass. All alongside dishes specially crafted for The Woodward by Chef Olivier using the finest, freshest local produce from cardoons and leeks obtained within Geneva, fish from the lake, vegetables from Gaia in Hermance and more artisanal bounty from the countryside.
And then there’s Le Jardinier, where innovative vegetarian dishes take centrestage, many of which are vegan, dairy- and gluten-free. Michelin-starred Chef and Founder, Alain Verzeroli presents a delicate display of his perfect mastery of French cooking techniques like the maitre jardinier that he is. Staying true to its nature philosophy, the chic dining outlet features two glass walled verandas overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps.
Wellness is another highlight at this spanking new hotel that’s already soaring above the competition. We hear that Club Woodward, spread over two floors, is set to become Geneva’s most exclusive fitness and wellness address. The first floor will house Switzerland’s very first Guerlain Spa, comprising 6 treatment rooms in coats of calming tones and fitted with the finest furnishings – white onyx sinks, marble Italian showers and more.
On the second floor, Geneva’s longest indoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and extensive thermal experiences await guests. We can assure you that you will be blown away by the specially created massages and treatments that befits this sophisticated space. Truly an indulgent spa escape for those seeking a more balanced vacation.
More than jaw-dropping vistas and luxe sophistication, The Woodward is just the place to spend a long week once borders reopen. There’s also plenty to see and do beyond the boundaries of the hotel – sailing 72km from Geneva to Montreux, a wine escape to Switzerland’s two most prestigious Grand Cru appelations, a visit to the Patek Philippe Museum, and cheese fondue in the sky on a hot air balloon.
Book your well-deserved holiday here.
(Photos: The Woodward Geneva)