Promenade Charles Martin 17, Geneva, Switzerland
Doubles from: $117 to $180
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
“Sister Act” is back on Broadway and we keep catching Sister Wendy on late night PBS (don’t judge). Is the Catholic Church back in vogue? If it is, count the Le Cénacle Hotel as the “Next Big Thing in Geneva.” This sweet retreat in a leafy suburb is run by a Catholic foundation. But before you write it off as just another nunnery, consider a few things that Le Cénacle offers: a serene setting, lush terrace, free parking and affordable accommodations.
Located out of the way (about a 10-minute walk from the nearest tram stop) in a well-to-do section of leafy Eaux-Vives, this place is a bit of an oddity. Though the ground floor is dominated by conference rooms, Le Cénacle is a proper inn that offers 66 rooms of various sizes and quality. All feature basic furnishings: a bed, table, dresser and mini-fridge.
The former convent has an old wing and a renovated one, and room quality varies accordingly. Updated rooms are done up in a light wood that sparkles in natural light, while the old wing has drab, gray rooms (we’re guessing these are where the naughty nuns must have been quarantined). Two noticeably missing amenities are television and Internet, purposely omitted by the church (“So you can meditate,” the receptionist explained).
Some rooms have private bathrooms, while others share hallway facilities. All bathrooms are simple and spartan.
And the included breakfast is served only until 9 a.m.. But before you take your depraved habits and head for the hills, take note: Mother Superior won’t be patrolling the hallways with a ruler. In fact, Le Cénacle’s spiritual orientation extends only as far as its chapel. (We were assured that unmarried couples or gay people would be welcome.)
Though Geneva has plenty of parks, Le Cénacle offers private greenery just outside its doors. Guests young and old congregate on the sunny terrace to read newspapers. Or, if you’re athletically inclined, you may opt for a pleasant jog around the property. Another plus is the center’s unlimited free parking.
The hotel is located about a 15-minute tram ride from the city center, but given its reasonable rates, we think it should be a serious contender for any budget stay in Geneva.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor. This review is based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Breakfast Included
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Bathroom: Private
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About the Le Cénacle neighborhood
On the south side of town, Eaux-Vives, considered Geneva's city center, is home to Jet d'Eau, Geneva's iconic water fountain. The area offers easy access to the cobbled Rue de la Cite where visitors can find Rousseau's birthplace. Up a steep hill tourists can visit Cathedrale St Pierre (home of John Calvin's pulpit).