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The Mandarin Oriental, Geneva is a conveniently located modern luxury hotel on the right bank of the river Rhône. As you enter the hotel, there is a spacious lobby and welcoming bar. The elegant and comfortable rooms have all been recently renovated and offer all modern amenities. The bathrooms are in marble with large bathtubs and separate showers. The health club offers an array of exercise machines as well as a sauna, steam bath solarium and massage cabins. There are two popular restaurants; Rasoi by Vineet is the hotel's gourmet Indian restaurant whereas the Mo Bar is more informal. Check website for more details.
Beautiful pastries and chocolates invite you to A. Pougnier, a bakery on Rue de la Confédération 5. The different confections are delicious and beautiful in their presentation. Among the variety are biscuits like the Amber, Raspberry Mousse, Bel Helena, Dijonais, Douchka and Pacific; and pastries like Dijonais, Moccara and Savas. Treat yourself to some of these right away.
Along the famous Geneva shopping street is Franz Carl Weber, a three-floor store that is definitely a favorite among the young and the young at heart. From the bottom up, each floor holds different treasures. The lower ground floor of this vast toy store holds a large selection of construction toys, the ground floor plush toys, the mezzanine Barbies, and the top floor is filled with doll houses, clothing, children's computers, and toys for outdoor play. With such a big selection you are sure to fall in love with something that will make the trip here worth it.
A living tribute to Switzerland's most venerated industry, this colorful clock was built in 1955 despite a number of technical difficulties. It has a diameter of five meters (16 feet) and a circumference of 16 meters (52 feet) and its 2.5 meter (eight feet), second hand is the longest in the world. The clock is painstakingly designed, encompassing 6500 plants and is set in the Jardin Anglais on the lakeside promenade. A new design is created every season, each one as tasteful as the last. It is one of Geneva's most photographed sites.
The Smurfs Buildings is a residential complex located in central Geneva. Planned by three architects, the buildings were erected between 1982 and 1984. Reflecting vibrant shades from the color chart and wavy lines, the designs for these structures were inspired by works of Antoni Gaudí, a famous Spanish artist. This chrome-colored housing complex resembles the colorful mushroom houses of the Smurf Village, from the Belgian animation, Smurfs. Take a break from the historical ambience of the city and revel in a funky world at The Smurfs Buildings.
The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History) is Geneva's prime museum, which houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Its permanent art collection is particularly centered around Alpine and lake scenes, portraits by Ferdinand Hodler, and works by some of the most famous artists associated with Switzerland, including Giacometti. The fine arts wing also contains works by Rodin, Cézanne and others. Other areas of the museum comprise an applied arts area (silverware and furniture) and the museum expands its show area to an elegant courtyard in the summer. There's also a bookshop, filled with research material on related subjects. Check website to know more about exhibitions and upcoming events to be held here. Entry to the permanent exhibits is free, but you will be charged for touring the temporary collection.
Built in 1872, Hôtel d'Angleterre is mere steps away from the center of Geneva. The rooms are decorated with attention to detail, and some have private balconies overlooking the lake and the Alps. Enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Geneva while savoring a typical English tea, a quick snack or a gourmet meal at their tea room. The Leopold Bar, one of the best in the city, beckons to guests to enjoy an entertaining evening. Relish delicious French flavors at the Windows Restaurant.
Parc de Beaulieu is a pretty public garden, located right opposite Parc des Cropettes. Belonging to the de Sellon family in the 18th century, the property changed hands many times before being bought by the city of Geneva in 1939. Also to be noted is Napolean's stay in May 1880 when he was preparing for the Italian Campaign. A large area is given over to growing plants both under glass and in the open earth. Other natural beauties are the magnificent cedars, the line of chestnuts leading to the house and the bushes trimmed in the conical French style.
Les Corsaires offers visitors an opportunity of exploring Geneva by sailing on the calm waters of the Lake Geneva. This company offers various types of boats, from a two-seat one for couples to a six-seat one for groups. You can choose from a pedal boat, sail boat, motor boat or a jet ski. Les Corsaires also offers training sessions in mastering the skill of sailing; if you have knowledge of sailing, you can sign up for their advanced course and hone your skills.
Natural History Museum of Geneva is one of the largest of its kind in Switzerland and has become very popular with an average of 250,000 visitors a year. The permanent exhibition covers an enormous area with regional wildlife, including mammals and species of nesting birds), exotic wildlife, the history of the Earth (with dinosaur and extinct giant mammal skeletons) and a beautifully presented section of minerals. There is a café, a museum shop and a team of attendants ready to answer all your questions.
Baby Plage is the only free beach in the city of Geneva. With patches of grass and some sand by the lake, it provides a nice stopping place for a quick dip. The beach is open all year round, but is particularly nice for a lazy day by the lake in the summer. At Baby Plage, children can enjoy the swings, climbing on the special tree attractions, and other beach activities. There is a snack bar in the vicinity providing ice cream and refreshments. Also, public toilets and showers are available. A popular spot, Baby Plage can get quite crowded at times.
Situated on the site of the former horticultural school of French-speaking Switzerland, Parc des Franchises is an expansive park that was established in the 1970s. There is a beautiful rose garden and the wooden and wrought iron benches allow you to sit back, enjoy the roses and a pleasant moment of peace. There are several play areas for children, including a large paddling pool with a fountain and a ramp for rollerblading and skateboarding.