Imagine giving Andy Warhol licence to decorate a hotel. Then think of vibrant colourful Pop Art blending with head-phoned Generation Y – a demographic that prefers wellness to excess. Mix in some cardboard cut-out figures of Hollywood icons, a flock of purple cushions, a few bean bags – then you’ll just begin to get a picture of N’V’Y, Geneva.
Manotel’s N’V’Y reinvents the hotel in Geneva: reinvents language too. The ground floor is primary coloured rock ‘n roll. It’s like walking into a funky cartoon strip. Tuesday to Saturday there’s a clubby vibe with a DJ in the sophisticated bar. But don’t worry, this is deferential Geneva, civilised Switzerland, even in reception you can hardly the beat.
It’s an informal hangout where you can relax. There’s vivid art from the likes of Mr Brainwash, a collage of vinyl records on the wall and a display case of guitars once strummed by Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Even the staff’s clothing is too urban chic to be called uniform; it is styled by Diesel.
It’s a successful formula that pulls in a sophisticated cosmopolitan clientele. Not just United Nations employees but workers from the hundreds of supra-national agencies and companies that make Geneva their global Headquarters. Although Geneva boasts residents from over 150 nationalities, English is the lingua franca, so cocktail hour is the perfect place to gauge global opinion. It’s not just the broadband wi-fi that brings connectivity to N’v’Y.
Even the name N’V’Y teases. It’s designed as text-speak lingo from the French “envie” – looking to wrap up aspiration, desire and envy in one neat abbreviation.
N’v’Y, with its 153 rooms, has a perfect location. Just five minutes-walk from the trams that frequently run through the city centre, 10 minutes to the railway station that connects seamlessly to Geneva airport and a stones-throw from the shores of clear-watered Lake Geneva. Yet it is quietly nestled in peaceful back-streets, which would make parking a nightmare – if it wasn’t for the valet parking service. And in comparison with many other Genevan Hotels prices are reasonable rather than stratospheric.
N’v’Y unashamedly targets the mobile and blue-toothed Generation Y, those born between the late 1970s and 2000, who virtually live in cyberspace, demanding multiple charging points. With a veritable electrical storm of gizmos to hand you may feel as if you’re experiencing your own futuristic Dr Who episode.
Also in your room you can set the colours of your lighting to match your mood – that’s called chromotherapy – borrow touch-screen tablets from reception, connect your laptop so that you can work on the TV, plug in your Smart Phone to the audio system and of course there’s a Nespresso coffee machine with a more than acceptable range of coffees. Down in Tag’s café the touch-screen tables provide entertainment and reading matter.
Allocated an “Executive Hipster” room, as a less than hirsute baby-boomer journalist, I was flattered. But relieved too that I was alone. To ensure that light flooded the room there was merely an all-too revealing glass screen between bathroom and the rest of the room. On the plus side I watched TV from the bath and then, whilst I towelled off, looked across Lake Geneva, sailors catching a last hour of leisure before the sun set, and on to the green hills to the charming village of Cologny (worth the water-taxi trip for a walk, the views back over the lake and lunch).
Every room has an illuminated outsize head board with an inspirational quote to inspire you. There’s a healthy ambience to the place that almost persuades a jog along the lake-side, with ear-phones plugged in of course. Breakfast could have been fruit-juices-boiled-eggs-and-fruit-healthy. But not having beheaded a boiled egg since circa 1967 I decided to go easy on the healthy options and tucked onto the carnivorous range instead.
Yes, it’s a hotel but not as we know it. With five other hotels in Geneva, Manotel could experiment and take market segmentation to a new extreme. Breaking barriers and codes works for N’v’Y. Once you’ve tuned in the profusion of technology makes life easy. In the words of Generation Y it’s the perfect place to “chill out” in Geneva.
Tell me more about Hotel N’v’Y
Rue de Richemont 18,
1202 Geneva, Switzerland.
Rates per room per night usually begin from around £200.