So one immediate tip is ‘do book early’. Failing to do that, you are then left to chance, which is why we ended up at Le Capitole Hotel. All other hotels that we searched for on eGuide Travel were full.
One good thing about Le Capitole is that it is near the main railway station, Caravan. With a very late arrival after a long flight from Sydney, having the nearby train connection was a plus, as it is only a few streets down from the station. This central location is good for all of the United Nations organisational headquarters, which are within walking distance.
The hotel provided us with a free travel pass, which is standard for all Geneva hotels, so not a perk of this particular place. However, it was only needed for the train to the airport and to use the small ferry boats that cross Lake Geneva. It was so central that walking was very easy.
On arrival, we were a little surprised to find the streets shared by such a big mix of nationalities and many African men hanging around. Apparently this part of town is very popular with Africans.
A further surprise was to see the prostitutes standing openly on the streets. The Rue de Berne is one of the streets to find a prostitute, if that is your thing, although very quiet and calm, and not in any way threatening. However, it is wise to take care in Geneva, as crime, particularly pick-pocketing, has increased in recent years.
Check-in was easy in this three-star hotel. Everything was very compact, with one small lift to take us to our fourth floor room. We were hot happy with the room as it did not have a writing desk, but a quick trip to the reception and new room was easily arranged. Each room was very different and the newly allocated one was much better having a desk, safe, hair dryer and television. Everything was clean and well presented.
A plus was the free wi-fi that worked well. For those who do not have a laptop, two free computers were provided for guest use in the reception.
Breakfast was a simple, Swiss buffet. That meant lots of bread, a few hot dishes, some cheese and ham and very good coffee, all served in the main restaurant and bar on the ground floor. The breakfast room was not at all Swiss in looks, but was made to feel more like an American diner … well sort of. However it appears that this is supposed to be a ‘Californian café’ style.
Being a small city hotel, no other facilities were available, so it was really just a room to use, totally devoid of any frills. Apparently, about 50 metres down the road, there is a covered parking area and a fitness centre with an indoor swimming pool and saunas, but we weren’t made aware of this at the time of staying.
Dining in this part of Geneva provides plenty of choice. Immediately next to the hotel were Indian, Thai, Italian and Swiss restaurants. Prices varied from high to reasonable. Look around a bit and you’ll be surprised at the variance in price.
Overall a good value hotel for those on a low budget. It ticked all of the boxes for basics and its very central location made Le Capitole a sensible choice.
15 Rue de Berne, 1201, GenevaWrite a Review
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