143-year-old Le Richemond stays true to Swiss roots
143-year-old Le Richemond stays true to Swiss roots
20 JUNE 2018 1:10 PM

Le Richemond hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, has a history of hospitality that dates back to 1875. The hotel’s general manager talked with HNN about how it maintains its reputation of great views and excellent service.

GENEVA, Switzerland—Le Richemond hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, has a long tradition of providing guests with excellent service dating back to its opening in 1875.

The hotel’s original owner was Adolphe-Rodolphe Armleder, “a pioneer in Genevan hospitality,” according to Le Richemond GM Christophe Hilty.

Armleder “and his descendants through determination, courage and an avant-garde spirit (put) life and passion into making the hotel a legend,” Hilty said via email. “In 2004, the hotel (was) sold and then managed by different groups, becoming independent again in November 2017.”

According to the hotel’s website, Armleder rented the hotel, which was then an estate known as Pension Riche-Mont, from Genevan painter François Diday. The Pension Riche-Mont could host up to 25 guests a day when it served as a hotel in 1875, and guests were provided with a room and three meals per day for 2.75 Swiss francs ($2.76 today).

The 109-room hotel has undergone management and rate changes since then, but Hilty said Le Richemond has stayed true to the quality of service offered at the hotel, and stands out from its competitors because of “the high standards of its staff.”

Breakfast on the patio at Le Richemond in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo: Le Richemond)

Local experiences
Le Richemond, which is located in Geneva, Switzerland’s “most international city,” according to Hilty, offers guests views of alpine scenery as well as Jet d’Eau—a fountain with a 140-meter-high (459.3 feet) water jet at the periphery of Lake Geneva.

The hotel gives new meaning to a “locally-authentic experience,” Hilty said, by offering special packages to accompany the breathtaking views. This summer, guests can book a two-night stay that includes a sunset boat cruise and a watch-making workshop in tribute to Geneva’s reputation as the birthplace of watchmaking.

“We also give the opportunity to our guests to meet the local producers we work with: our truffle hunter or our beekeeper,” the GM said. “They can spend the day with them to discover behind-the-scenes details about how the finest products we serve in our restaurant Le Jardin are made.”

The hotel aims to create lifetime guests, which is why Le Richemond has a concierge available to help guests discover the best experiences around the city, Hilty said.

“The concierge services are made to focus on exceeding guest expectations as well as creating a personal relationship through interactive experiences,” he said.

About the GM
Hilty started his hospitality career at a resort in Seattle, where he worked for 18 months and which gave him “an insight into the role of hotelier,” he said.

“I arrived from London where I was managing 45 Park Lane from (the) Dorchester Collection, (and) I was asked to take the reins at Le Richemond,” he said. “My Franco-German roots and the bond my father had with Switzerland (he lived here for years), drew me to the offer, and I was made general manager.”

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