Novotel Genève Centre: experience for money largely perfectible

I had the opportunity to test the Novotel Genève Centre during a business trip last month. It is well known that Geneva is an expensive city and neither IHG nor Starwood offer a wide choice of rates in the city center (only luxury hotels in the city center or affordable hotels at the airport). Only AccorHotels offers a wide range of products at different prices in the city and after some hesitation I ended up at the Novotel Geneva Centre.

The hotel is a few minutes walk from the train station which is a definite advantage when arriving by train or plane in the morning. The area is not exceptional but for a station area we have already seen much more disturbing. Especially in Paris.

Novotel Genève Centre


He is one of those who started to implement the “Online Check-in / Fast Check-out” program that I was eager to try because it is a service that I consider indispensable for any hotel today even if in reality we are still far from it.

48 hours before my arrival I was able to register online giving all the information required during check-in (ID, credit card etc) so that when I arrived there were no formalities to complete and my key was ready.

Mixed Online Checkin Experience

I go to the hotel as soon as I arrive in town. It is around 10am so no surprise…neither my key nor my room are ready. I was offered to leave my luggage in the baggage room (which I accepted with pleasure) and to do the checkin i formalities n the evening to save time. “Uh…but I did the online check-in.” “Ah let me check…indeed”. The same question will be asked to me in the evening which makes me say that either the staff cannot know directly that you followed this procedure by looking at the list of the customers and must go in a separate online check in list, or they don’t pay attention but finally it’s quite annoying to do the work beforehand and to have to put the staff back on track each time they start the standard check in procedure as if nothing had happened.

I won’t go into more detail on the subject because this new service will soon be the subject of a specific article.

Je reviens donc le soir prendre possession de ma chambre. As in the morning, I find the lobby quite noisy, crowded, rather like a train station lobby on the day of a big departures. People are shouting, crying and running in the corridor, reminding me of some negative reviews I read on tripadvisor about the “low level” atmosphere of the establishment. The “favorite guest” counter is monopolized by a customer who seems to request multiple room changes for himself and his family. In short, after 15 minutes of waiting, they finally took care of me and gave me my key which was waiting for me…without having forgotten to try to make me redo the registration procedure done online.

A spacious room but a little worn

I then take possession of my room. A “superior” room which is in fact only the standard room of the hotel, knowing that there is nothing below.


The good news is that the room looks very spacious and, indeed, is. There are two reasons for this: first, it is indeed a very respectable size, and second, it is far from being overloaded with furniture.


Novotel Genève Centre

The bathroom is not huge but functional. We are at Novotel, you should not expect either a profusion of toiletries provided.

Novotel Genève Centre

Novotel Genève Centre


On the other hand, the room is starting to look “worn out” although I don’t think it’s that old. Scratches on the furniture, traces of failed drilling …

Novotel Genève Centre

Novotel Genève Centre

Minibar and a very decent supply of tea and coffee. But I find it more and more difficult to understand why at this price we don’t get a free bottle of water.

Novotel Genève Centre


On my arrival the hotel gave me :

– a voucher for a free drink at the bar (benefit of the loyalty program)

– a public transport card valid for 24 hours (this is usual in Geneva)

Novotel Genève Centre

By the way, it’s time to go to dinner.

I go to the bar to enjoy my free drink. The place is nice, the barman very friendly. On the other hand, the choice is average and the red wine that I tasted was rather ordinary.

Novotel Genève Centre

Novotel Genève Centre

I hadn’t planned to have dinner at the hotel and it’s a good thing: the restaurant is inexplicably closed, already in configuration for the breakfast service the next day.

Back to my room after dinner.

A recurring remark at Novotel: the reading lights are totally useless except for reading on the bedside table.

Novotel Genève Centre

As for the bedding, if comforter and pillows are very pleasant the mattress / bed base is low not comfortable enough for my taste. You sleep but you don’t have an excellent night.

The next morning breakfast at the restaurant which this time is open. The offer is very acceptable, everything goes well and the room is airy and well decorated.


Novotel Genève Centre

Novotel Genève Centre

Novotel Genève Centre


Thanks to the fast checkout I put my room key in an adhoc receptacle while leaving without any other formality. My stay is over.

Ah…one last point. We salute the Geek spirit of the hotel’s designers which is reflected in the names of the meeting rooms…


Novotel Genève Centre

Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Larry Paige (Google)…

In conclusion: an experience for money ratio that can be improved

What to remember in the end? A performance that can be described as good but whose best qualifier is “almost”.

– an almost successful check in

– pleasant staff but not really caring or attentive

– a room of a rare size but with signs of age and a mattress a little “light” for me.

– an almost open restaurant

– a spacious lobby with many service points (computer corner etc) but the crowded and noisy station hall side makes it almost bearable.

All this is largely acceptable but not at 360 euros per night. For a few dozen euros more in the same city you have an Intercontinental, for half the price an Ibis Styles with a lesser promise but which is usually kept.

It’s a matter of details but every time the coin falls on the wrong side. Shame.



Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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