The palace-style hotel continues to be the defining image of the city’s hospitality. There is something quintessentially Geneva about the wealth these places ooze, and the waterfront ones on the Right Bank give you sweeping views of the city's other iconic features: the Jet d'Eau, Old Town, La Rade (the waterfront), river, lake, and mountains. They're also near parks—another of the city's points
of pride—for that early-morning jog as the sun rises across the water.
Overall, the hospitality sector has seen an overhaul in Geneva these past years, as owners recognize that decor matters and that updates (and upkeep) are essential. Genuinely gracious, go-the-extra-mile-with-a-smile service remains vexingly confined to the professionally trained top and family-run bottom of the rate structure, but the good news is that the concept of gracious service is making across-the-board inroads.
Geneva hotels do err on the expensive side, and the practice of massively hiking up rates during events like the annual car show in March persists. Speaking of which, large events can suddenly fill entire hotels, so book as early as you can. And, because this is a conference-and-convention-driven town, leisure visitors will find lower prices on weekend stays.
As for breakfast (if not included), you won't readily find places outside the big hotels that do bacon and eggs, but if you're happy with croissants and coffee, head for the nearest café. As for practicalities, many places accept children up to a certain age for free, or another bed can be put in your room for a low extra. Wi-Fi is now common (often at an added cost). Depending on the category of hotel, there is a "taxe de séjour" between 1.50 SF and 6 SF per person and per night. Check when you are booking if they are including this in the quoted rate or not.