Geneva: Turning on the Jet d’Eau and Gourmet Chocolate

Feel the thrill of turning on the famous fountain in the centre of Lake Geneva, and learn to make the most exquisite Swiss chocolates at Favarger.

Jan 4, 2012
Geneva's Stunning Jet D'Eau
Be sure to visit the icon of the city and one of the world’s largest fountains, the Jet d’Eau, while in Geneva.
Photography Tomislav Medak

There has never been a better time to experience Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva.

First opened in 1834, this landmark at the edge of Lake Geneva has recently undergone a metamorphosis, with 40 restyled guest rooms—including 12 new suites crafted by esteemed French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. Dining features the Northern Italian cuisine of Il Lago and the club-like feel of the wood-panelled Bar des Bergues.

Ingenious Four Seasons experts are ready to show you the best of Geneva.

Turning on the Jet D’Eau

The icon of the city and one of the world’s largest fountains, the Jet d’Eau is a majestic column of water in the centre of Lake Geneva.

First installed in 1886, the fountain propels 500 litres (132 gallons) of water per second to a height of 140 metres (459 feet) at a speed of 200 km (124 miles) per hour.

With this exclusive Four Seasons experience, you and your children can share the thrill of pushing the button to start the engine and turning on the fountain first thing in the morning (starting times vary, based on the season). The fountain will seem like your very own for the rest of the day.

About a 10-minute walk from Four Seasons, the fountain is reached by a stone jetty from the left bank of the lake. Be sure to wear a waterproof jacket, because with even a slight change in wind direction, you might find yourself drenched!

A guide can accompany you to give background for the experience, which takes about 30 minutes in all.  Four Seasons can also arrange for a photographer to capture the moment.

The fountain may then be admired from your Four Seasons guest room or suite, as well as any of several restaurants along the lakeside. For an extra-special view, Four Seasons can arrange a hot-air balloon ride or, in warmer months, a lunch or dinner cruise aboard a steamboat.

Experience Geneva’s Chocolate Artistry at Favarger

Switzerland is famous for chocolates, and the signature chocolate of Geneva is Favarger, with its original shop located just a three-minute walk from Four Seasons. Established in 1826, Favarger first made its products on the premises, but in 1875 a factory was built in Versoix, about 15 minutes outside Geneva.

In addition to the classic bars, there are three must-try Favarger specialities:

• Les Avelines de Genève, created in 1922, are an exquisite blend of chocolate and hazelnuts with a soft yet crunchy texture.

• Les Nougalines de Genève, invented in the 1930s, feature a milk chocolate hazelnut praline, flavoured with walnut, clasped in a nougatine shell with a silky coating of extra-fine milk chocolate.

• Fondues by Favarger are a make-at-home luxury, perfect for dipping fruits, marshmallows, biscuits or meringues. The three recipes feature Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Coconut and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon.

Four Seasons can arrange your exclusive tour of Favarger in a variety of formats, according to your interest. Private tours of the shop are typically conducted on Wednesday mornings and afternoons, but may be arranged at different hours by appointment, with an introduction by top management from Favarger.

To make your own chocolates, creating your own favourite flavour combinations, workshops may be arranged at the factory on Saturdays. When you return to Four Seasons, the chef can prepare a Favarger-inspired meal—complete with a chocolate fondue dessert.

To help you plan your winter escape to Geneva, these exclusive Four Seasons opportunities are available in easy-to-arrange packages.

Or, read more about the European Capitals of Culture.


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