My review of the Crowne Plaza Geneva hotel

This is my review of the Crowne Plaza Geneva hotel.

I have run this an extra fourth article today because it is a bit of a niche topic.  I am only covering it at all because there is a lack of content about it elsewhere.

When I was in Geneva last year I stayed at the InterContinental Geneva which I reviewed here.  I was impressed by it, despite the slighly off-beat location and ugly exterior, because of the impressive refurbishment and lovely swimming pool.

This new trip was a quick turn-around – I didn’t land until 6.40pm – so paying a premium to stay in the city centre seemed a waste.  My IHG Rewards Club ‘Accelerate’ promotion would allow me to trigger a few different bonuses so I decided to go with IHG.  (I discussed my IHG Accelerate targets for Autumn in this article.)

The only other IHG option was a Holiday Inn Express where I stayed once about 7 years ago – and which was fine – but as the Crowne Plaza was virtually the same price I decided to try that.

Yes, it’s ugly

My Crowne Plaza Geneva experience didn’t start well.  Despite being very close to the airport – albeit not visible – I waited 20 minutes in the hotel shuttle area with no joy.  It was a pleasant evening so, armed with Google Maps, I set off to walk.  A pedestrian bridge leads from the shuttle area over the six lane motorway beside the airport, dropping you into an office park and a small housing estate!  13 minutes later I was at the hotel.

It doesn’t look great, but I knew that already.

Crowne Plaza Geneva review

It turns out that the shuttle bus runs every 20 minutes so it is possible that I just missed it.  It wasn’t a great start, but my mood improved when I walked in and saw that the hotel had clearly received a full refurbishment recently.

I had booked the cheapest possible room.  I was told I had been upgraded to a ‘deluxe’ (the difference was not clear, perhaps the coffee machine in the room and the high floor).  More importantly, as a Spire Elite member of IHG Rewards Club, I was offered the choice of a few hundred bonus points, a drink and tapas in the bar or club lounge access.

On paper, lounge access was a no-brainer.  In reality, it wasn’t.

The lounge only serves wine and tapas from 5pm to 7pm.  It was 8pm when I arrived.  All that was on offer was coffee (but I had a machine in my room), a single tray of patisseries and a fridge of cold drinks.  I made myself a capuccino, grabbed two mini pain au chocolate and immediately headed back to my room.

I did have a continental breakfast in the lounge the next day.  However, if your employer pays for breakfast but won’t pay for alcohol, and you miss the 7pm happy hour cut-off, you may prefer a free drink and tapas in the bar and an expensed restaurant breakfast.  Tourists should take lounge access.

My room

I’ve got ahead of myself though.  Here are a few shots of my room.

Crowne Plaza Geneva review bedroom

As you can see, everything looked pretty new.

Crowne Plaza Geneva review bedroom 2

There was no desk but the table did the job.  The room had exterior blinds which were activated with a switch and ensured that no light got through.

Crowne Plaza Geneva review bathroom 3

Toiletries were from Rituals.  There was no stand-alone shower, only an ‘over bath’ one.  As you can see below, the wall between the bathroom and bedroom slides back.  I’m not sure why you’d want to do this, especially as the mirror disappears!

Crowne Plaza Geneva review bathroom 2

Being on the 7th floor out of 8, I had a decent view.  This is not a pretty part of Geneva, however, and everything I could see looked pretty similar to the hotel itself – concrete and boxy.

Wi-fi was free.  I didn’t pay for the premium service but it was still pretty zippy.

Crowne Plaza Geneva club lounge

In the morning I went up to the 8th floor club lounge for breakfast.

Crowne Plaza Geneva review club lounge

It wasn’t a feast but you can’t complain.  It even had a boiled egg machine!

Crowne Plaza Geneva review club lounge 2

There were only two other people there at 7.30am.  It isn’t a large space as you can see here:

Crowne Plaza Geneva review club lounge 3

….. and I don’t think the lounge is seen as a major selling point by either the hotel or guests.  Extending the evening drinks beyond 7pm would be a good place to start improvements.

Whilst you can’t see it from the photographs, you get good views over the mountains from the lounge.

Conclusion

And that was that.  I didn’t try the bar or restaurant but they have been fully refurbished and looked pleasant.  There is also a gym but no pool.

The hotel will give you a free card for Geneva’s public transport.   With my return flight not until 3pm, I decided to head into town for a few hours.  I could have got an Uber or taken a bus from outside the hotel.  Instead, I took the shuttle bus (departs at :00, :20 and :40) for the literally 3 minute trip via the motorway to the terminal and jumped on a train for the 5-minute ride into the city centre.

Would I stay at the Crowne Plaza Geneva again?  Possibly.

There are no hotels at the airport so wherever you go will involve a shuttle ride.  Given that the hotel was only about 5% more expensive than the Holiday Inn Express on that particular night, and I did well with my Spire Elite benefits, I probably would.

Given how short the train ride is into the city centre, it wouldn’t have been a strain to do that.  The real issue is cost, with the InterContinental selling for more than double the price of the Crowne Plaza.  If I had arrived at lunchtime and was leaving later the next day I might have splurged – it was warm enough to enjoy the IC’s outdoor pool – but would have been a waste of money on this short stay.

The Crowne Plaza Geneva website is here if you want to book or find out more.

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Comments

  1. Simon Fennemore says:

    Sorry for going straight to OT…

    Currently at Gatwick and due to take off for EasyJet valencia at 0625. I’ve had a notification through app our arrival is now scheduled for 4 hrs later due to congestion at take-off runway. We’re still loading at normal time i.e. it’s setting us up to sit on plane for 4hrs and wait for our slot.

    Is this a tactic for them to avoid EU delay compensation if over 3hrs???

    • Just checked departure status, alerts and Google for you. I see no evidence of problems at Gatwick this morning so perhaps an error or an issue in Spain. Only thing for Gatwick is delays to flights heading West due to Irma.

      • Still showing as scheduled at Valencia. No evidence of a problem there either.

        • the real harry1 says:

          it’s not a tactic to avoid compo – compo is paid according to arrival times

          they just want you ready in case you can get away earlier

          • So take a photograph of the arrivals board at Valencia.
            As well as screenshot from Easyjet website after landing showing the arrival time.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      French general strike today. It will affect air traffic around France too.

      • Simon Fennemore says:

        Hi all. Thanks for the info. French air traffic control strike is the reason they’ve given for the delay. They’re hoping to bring delay down from 4hrs to 2.

        Luckily i went pretty crazy on bacon butties in Aspire Lounge before we boarded 🙂

    • LGW-ALC is 1295km, less than 1,500km, so relevant delay is 2 hours.

    • easy jet do this a lot, i have seem them announce pre boarding (i.e. queue up so we can see what hand carry you have) whilst the aircraft hasn’t taken off from the origin airport. The delays they state are often wildly wrong and i think its an attempt to keep people at the gate.

  2. Funny you should mention this hotel, we stayed here earlier this year. We didn’t bother with the shuttle bus to the airport, we just walked and got there pretty promptly. On the way back rather than shuttle bus back, we took advantage of our free travel cards from the hotel and caught one of the frequent buses to the terminal. There’s a bus stop across the road from the hotel.

    The booze and tapas was ok, but bear in mind they don’t put much food out, and it’s not topped up.

    Just a general note, all hotels in Geneva will provide guests free travel cards during their stay.

    We had originally booked a standard room via BA holidays, and were offered an upgrade to the upstairs room with club access for I think around 80 quid for the single night we stayed. Seemed reasonable as we got snacks and breakfast.

  3. “The food is not topped up”
    I think the greater concern would be the booze not being replenished!

  4. I am not sure how to contact Rob directly, so apologies for the subject change.

    If anyone is thinking of going to the Maldives in the next few weeks you can get business for £1,265 Frankfurt- Colombo-Male On Qatar then sri Lanken. 640 TP’s. Good availability in October and November.
    Qatar business class is wonderful, but I have never tried Sri Lanken. Is it any good?

    • I have just checked out of the Crowne Plaza Changi, Singapore. I was very impressed that as a Platinum Elite, I got the option of points or a welcome drink, AND Club Lounge access. And a great lounge it was. Extended hours and excellent food options, especially at breakfast!

      • CP Changi is on our list of possibles for an overnighter – be interested in your opinion of it if you would be so kind to spare the time.

      • Stayed there, excellent hotel.

        • Thanks Rob, that seals it for me.

          • I couldn’t fault it. I did book a room with runway views and got an excellent view from the 9th floor. The only thing I would say, is that if you are sensitive to noise, the upper floors may not be ideal as they are more exposed to and less insulated from noise. And you can smell the kerosine in all the outdoor areas. But then again, you are at one of the world’s busiest airports! It’s almost a signature benefit!

      • Thank you Philip for the good review. The only reason we would be stopping over is because MrCate’s an aviation geek so the fumes wouldn’t be a problem for him.

      • I liked that hotel – great being able to walk under cover from the terminal building too!

    • Reviews seem quite good on Flyertalk. Sri Lankan for the Colombo – Male leg? I think they often have long haul aircraft on this route – certainly for my honeymoon (12 days away!) we are scheduled to be on an A330, though sadly at the back so no flat bed for us.

    • Their A330s have reverse herringbone seats which is excellent. Their single aisle planes have a proper 2-2 business configuration with okay legroom. Service is good. Not polished but very charming.

    • Srilankan are pretty good. The A330 with the new-ish reverse herring bone flatbed seats are excellent and food and service are brilliant. Drinks are ok but not as good as Qatar.

  5. I even walk from the airport to the center of Geneva.

    It only takes 20 minutes more or less.

    Well of course, you may be a little bit sweaty but that’s nice… to walk.

  6. I stayed at the HIX recently, and that too is easily walkable from the terminal.

  7. So, Rob, you took a private jet to Geneva and stayed at a Crowne Plaza. Hmnn…… 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Outside the Crowne Plaza you take the no. 10 bus straight into Geneva, 15 minutes ride. Taking the shuttle to the airport then walking down to the train station is certainly the long way around, but works too.
    I can’t think of a worse walk than walking into Geneva from the airport, because there are so many, so much nicer places to walk in Switzerland. But you do realize that everyone arriving at GVA is entitled to a free transport ticket valid for 80 minutes? Pick up the ticket from the machine before leaving the baggage hall.

  9. Last time I stayed here there was quite a nice sauna in the gym.

    One thing I like about this hotel is that they lay out free apples, water bottles, little sweat towels and maps of local running routes near the lift lobby between 6am-8am. Nice touch.

  10. The sliding wall looks like a clever way to give access to water, the sink and the coffee maker at the same time.

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