Welcome to the Hôtel de la Cigogne, 5-star hotel and Relais & Châteaux member: experience being centre of attention from all the staff in this real haven of peace and tranquillity in the lively centre of Geneva.
I first stayed at the Hotel de la Cigogne when I came to Geneva for a job interview in 2010 and I remember thinking then that it was easily the nicest place I had ever stayed.
It was wonderful to be back again ten years later to experience the splendour of the hotel again with my family, and it was even more beautiful than I remembered.
We had been invited to stay on Friday night so we arrived in Geneva towards the end of the afternoon and were stunned to be shown to the lavish family suite which was enormous with two separate bedrooms arranged over two floors, two bathrooms and two living areas. It was incredible!
Jude and Alba soon found the delicious sweet treats which greeted us along with colouring equipment and a soft toy each.
We were having dinner that evening at the Lebanese restaurant Balila which is in the Hotel Longemalle next door, and when we checked in we were told that the maitre d’hôtel would come and speak to us before dinner to discuss what they might be able to prepare for Elio who is only able to eat puréed food. As promised, Baptiste came to talk to us while we enjoyed a drink on the terrace and had some suggestions for the kind of meal they could organise for Elio. The children really loved that Baptiste greeted them by name as it made them feel really special and important and Jean and I really appreciated him taking the time to speak to us because it meant Elio was more included in the meal by eating similar food to us, and that I didn’t have to mess around with food I had prepared myself at the table.
In fact Elio LOVED his special meal and polished off his potato, aubergine and houmous in record time and was soon ready for ice cream. For the rest of us, Baptiste suggested a tasting menu of lots of small hot and cold dishes which we thought was a great idea. The food was all delicious and we were happy to see the children trying new things and giving their opinions.
The restaurant is beautifully decorated with a really nice atmosphere and the special attention shown to the children really helped us all to relax. At the end of the meal, Baptiste invited Jude to visit the kitchen which was a great honour for our budding chef!
We took a short stroll after dinner to stretch our legs and I was reminded of how much I love beautiful Geneva where my Swiss adventure began.
Back in the room and the children were all asleep within minutes (after eating the Toblerone chocolates they found on their beds) and we didn’t hear a peep out of them until Alba appeared in the morning to tell us she was hungry :-).
Since the weather was warm, we ate breakfast on the terrace and it was lovely to see the city waking up around us. Breakfast was wonderful and we were soon tucking in to delicious pastries and fresh juice. We would be coming back to the hotel for lunch so during breakfast, Isabel who was looking after us, asked about Elio’s requirements for lunch and she suggested a nice mix of purées which sounded perfect.
After breakfast we went for a walk around Geneva and did a bit of shopping before heading back to the room to pack up our suitcase. The hotel is in such a great location in the heart of the city so it’s easy to access the old town, the lake and the main shopping area within minutes.
We returned to the lovely terrace restaurant for lunch and soon Elio’s meal appeared. The team had done the most spectacular job for him in preparing lots of little vegetable purées and some finely ground chicken so that he could try a bit of everything. This was absolutely wonderful and Jean and I were speechless when his plate arrived. Elio was very happy as he really loves his food and was excited to try everything.
Again, this really made life easier for us as we knew he had eaten a good meal and had enjoyed his lunch as much as the rest of us. Jude and Alba shared a delicious burger and Jean and I tried the fillet steak which was beautifully presented and delicious.
We had such a wonderful stay at La Cigogne and can thoroughly recommend it for families. The welcome and thought that went into receiving us, and the special attention paid to Elio’s requirements, really touched us. This is certainly a hotel with impeccable service and a team which understands the joy guests feel when their needs have been not only anticipated, but surpassed.
HOTEL DE LA CIGOGNE
17 Place Longemalle – 1204 Geneva