Until recently, I’ve only visited Geneva for business reasons and got used to see this city as a financial center rather than a place for a weekend escape. After spending two days at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva and attending the Nutcracker ballet at the Grand Theater I changed my opinion. Actually, this elegant city has a lot to offer for those who are passionate culture and art, appreciate refined cuisine and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Mandarin Oriental, Geneva has recently launched the offer “Opera Aficionado” (valid until 28 February 2022) for the culture and travel lovers which includes accommodation in a room or a suit, breakfast at the restaurant or room service, two category A tickets to the performance of your choice and complimentary access to the wellness area of the hotel plus some pleasant extras. Together with my friend Elena we tested this new option (available until the end of December) and honestly enjoyed every moment of our trip!
We arrived to Geneva very late, since we took a plane after the working day. Quite hungry, we were afraid we would find everything closed at midnight, but the hotel staff was very helpful and prepared a wonderful cheese plate for us. After this delicious dinner (and a couple of signature cocktails at the bar) we went to bed excited to discover Geneva next day…
We stayed at the Junior Terrace Suite overlooking the river, city, and Alps. Even if the weather was cloudy, the view was like a postcard!
I really loved the design of our suite, classy and modern at the same time, with enormous mirrors, dark wooden panels, and luxurious marble bathroom. There was even a fireplace which we didn’t use because of lack of time but I can imagine how pleasant staying by fire during cold winter evenings should be… King size bed was super comfy, and we very much appreciated the walk-in dressing (you can’t imagine how many outfits two fashion lovers can bring for a two days trip!:) We also enjoyed a bubble bath, it was a perfect moment of relaxation.
We had two breakfasts at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, one of them at the restaurant Yakumanka and another one in the room. It’s hard to choose which one I preferred, both options have their advantages. At the restaurant there were some choices hardly available in the room, for example, the guests were proposed to make their own fait minute dessert with blueberries, whipped cream and meringue. Large selection of Suisse cheeses, including the famous Tête de Moine, made you discover the taste of Switzerland in your plate. Smoked salmon was of the highest quality and perfectly accompanied egg dishes which you could order at the table.
Breakfast served in the room was epic, too: we got a basket of viennoiserie, pancakes and freshly baked waffles with an assortment of toppings, eggs and salmon, Suisse yoghurts and typical bircher musli, everything accompanied by freshly squeezed juice and excellent coffee. Obviously, what I love the most about in room service is a possibility to have breakfast in pajama!
Without any doubt the highlight of our trip was The Nutcracker at the Grand Theater of Geneva! Mandarin Oriental got for us two A category tickets to the LAST (after seven years on stage) performance of this ballet created by the Belgian choreographer Jeroen Verbruggen. His version of the Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece is breathtaking, full of passion, contrasts, emotions… The costumes created by the Parisian couture team reminded me Thierry Mugler and the exquisite gothic decorations immersed the public into the magical world of Huffman’s fairytale, with a touch of Tim Burton’s madness. It was fresh, surprising and absolutely fascinating ! We couldn’t get our eyes from the scene from the first til the last minute, with a short break for a glass of champagne at the magnificent hall of the Grand Theater…
What a night! We turned back to the hotel after the performance (Mandarin Oriental is just a short walk away from the Grand Theater of Geneva), got a couple of excellent cocktails at the bar and couldn’t stop talking of this exceptional experience.
The last day we had a stroll in Geneva admiring beautiful autumn colors and had lunch at Yakumanka restaurant which turned out to be a culinary journey to… Peru ! The chefs Gaston Acurio and Cesar Bellido are ambassadors of the Peruvian gastronomy based on the raw fish ingredients of the highest quality. We tasted traditional pisco sour and started by different types of ceviche, the most popular dish of the Peruvian cuisine, followed by tiraditos, fine slices of raw fish slightly seasoned before serving. We also tasted classical arroz con mariskoz, Peruvian version of paella, and finished by the creative desserts made with typically Peruvian ingredients such as dulce di lece.
It was nice to feel those Latin American vibes in Geneva, we loved both food and ambience at Yakumanka. A special Thanks to the members of the staff who took time to explain us the origins and ingredients of each dish !
The most incredible story happened to us on our way back to Nice. During one hour flight we couldn’t stop discussing The Nutcracker while flipping through the brochures we got at the theater and rewatching the photos of the ballet on our phones. Fifteen minutes after getting off the plane we discovered that the person who was sitting next to us was… Jeroen Verbruggen!! We found it out from his Story in Instagram and felt that this coincidence was a cherry on the top the cake of our trip. Honestly this cultural escape exceeded all our expectations and we’re very grateful to Mandarin Oriental, Geneva for its hospitality.
What is included in the Opera Aficionado offer:
– Overnight accommodation in one of the luxurious rooms or suites.
– Welcome amenity.
– Breakfast for two at the restaurant or in the privacy of your room.
– 2 category A* tickets to the Opera of your choice, subject to availability.
– Opera program booklet in your room upon arrival.
– Complimentary access to the hotel’s wellness area (fitness, sauna, hammam).
Price: From 755CHF per night (approximately 730€).
Quai Turrettini 1, 1201 Genève, Switzerland