Let happiness find you here.
Geneva simply has it all: a lake on its doorstep so large that on foggy winter days, you could mistake it for the sea. A backdrop of mountain peaks glistening white with snow even in summer. More than a dozen de luxe hotels with restaurants run by cosmopolitan top chefs competing for Michelin stars. And a prestigious shopping street where flagship stores of the world’s most famous brands are lined up like pearls on a string.
The luxury boutiques are engaged in sweet competition with jewellers and chocolatiers – who has the most lavish display? The crooked alleys of the Old Town, too, make for a delightful stroll. However, the main feature of this bustling beauty at the south-western tip of the Lac Léman, as the French-speaking Swiss call Lake Geneva, is its international character. The city – let’s be frank – may be tiny in geographical terms, yet about 150 nationalities and numerous international organisations rub shoulders in this minuscule space. CERN, ICRC, UN, UNHCR, WHO and WTO arebeauty at the south-western tip of the Lac Léman, as the French-speaking Swiss call Lake Geneva, is its international character. The city – let’s be frank – may be tiny in geographical terms, yet about 150 nationalities and numerous international organisations rub shoulders in this minuscule space. CERN, ICRC, UN, UNHCR, WHO and WTO are all gathered here.
HAVING A CHAT WITH...FAWAZ GRUOSI
Mr Gruosi, where have you just come back from?
I am just back from New York – one of my favourite and frequent business trip destinations. On my schedule: clients and press meetings, as well as our yearly private de GRISOGONO dinner for our clients in celebration of our New York boutique. Last but not least, I had the pleasure to meet with an eminent GIA (Gemological Institute of America) expert regarding the final polishing of a soon to become historical flawless diamond. I cannot say more at the present time, but you will hear more about it in 2017.
Which is your favourite city?
London for its international crowd, galleries, restaurants and my children.
The two most wonderful hotels you have stayed in?
The Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and The Lowell in New York.
Do you remember your very first flight?
1961 Beirut to Rome. Extremely frightened. I have always been a little scared ever since!
Please name your favourite restaurants …
In Switzerland, I would say Il Mirtillo and the
Auberge d’Onex in Geneva. Harry’s Bar and Scott’s in London, Cipriani in New York. All for the staff, service, quality and ambience. For me, they are “home away from home”.
Your favourite place for holidays?
With no hesitation, Sardinia. The Hotel Cala di Volpe is where I like to stay when I am not at our family residence; a place that perfectly symbolises the Porto Cervo spirit: majestic and intimate, simple and sophisticated. A place which is a reminder of the origins of the Costa Smeralda, its fishing villages and their picturesque, romantic accents, a place of sculpted architecture.
Your favourite airport in the world?
The SWISS VIP Service at JFK is exceptional.
“Happiness is a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion,” remarked the great philosopher and educationalist Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), one of the city’s most famous sons, along with reformer John Calvin (1509–1564) and Red Cross founder Henry Dunant (1828–1910). Quite true – happiness finds you here. In Geneva, pleasure and joie de vivre are celebrated. A fondue by the waterfront? Mais oui. A glass of good wine served inside century-old walls? Why not? Geneva has everything to offer – servez-vous!
Five questions for Lorenzo Stoll, Head of Western Switzerland at Swiss International Air Lines
Who could possibly clothe frequent travellers better than someone who travels frequently herself?
Ao Yun – from the vineyards of Shangri-La presented by famous wine writer Chandra Kurt.