Europe's largest lake, separating some of Switzerland and France, this glittering ocean is more than just an impressive statistic and political boundary. It's spectacularly beautiful, with views of the alps on one side, charming rows of lush vineyards to another, and pretty chateaux and smaller towns dotted all the way around it. These offer wonderful peace and tranquility, but if you want a richer cultural experience some of the best places to stay on Lake Geneva are the lake's main cities, Geneva and Lausanne.
Largely French speaking, the Lake Geneva region has a real European flavour to it - packed with many national, but complimentary flavours. In Geneva itself you shouldn't be surprised to hear conversations taking place in up to four languages.
Geneva was originally settled because of its strategic position, straddling the Rhone at the south west end of the lake, where there's a shallow crossing point. The earliest inhabitants, the Romans, would have hopefully appreciated the spectacular views of the Alps and the Jura that it has as well. The old town is where everything began, at the highest part of the city, and now totally Heritage Listed, and full of small bars, cafes and boutiques lining winding, cobbled streets. The lakeside is pretty too. In fact Geneva is a wealthy cosmopolitan city full of pretty spots, good restaurants and interesting museums.
Lausanne also has a medieval centre, dominated by a Gothic cathedral, and an annual civic calendar dominated by arty festivals and events, but it's not quite as polished at Geneva. Smaller, and possibly trendier, Lausanne is a great place for foodies and students. If you're looking for the best lake views climb the Sauvabelin Tower.
As well as the museums and galleries of Geneva and the cellars of Lausanne, consider the beaches - and palm trees - of Montreux. As well as watersports, Montreux has always been known for its popularity with writers, artists and musicians, and it's also the closest town to the fairytale Chateau de Chillon.
And if you're here for rest and recuperation, the thermal baths of Yverdon-les-Bains will tempt.
There are plenty of challenges for walkers and hikers all around the lake, but the southeastern corner, near Aigle, is closest to the Vaud Alps and the dramatic shadow of the Diablerets glacier.
Most of the cities and towns on the lake are served by boats allowing you an extra scenic exploration route.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay on Lake Geneva, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice. Alternatively take a look at our recommendations in Geneva.
A gastronomic auberge tucked away in a village just outside Geneva. The locally renowned restaurant and its secluded setting are its main attractions, not to mention the wonderful mountain views from the terrace. Tranquility and local gourmet treats with easy access to Geneva.
A quintessentially Swiss hotel and restaurant with authentic mountain chalet décor. Wood-lined rooms with cosy furnishings and fireplaces. The restaurant offers traditional cuisine and live folk music. A great place for families with children.
A pleasure to walk into - a bright, modern and airy hotel with exotic influences. Impeccable rooms, decorated in warm saffron and pepper colours. Some hotel suites have fully fitted kitchenettes and Nespresso machines - perfect for groups or families.
Yvoire, Lake Geneva
Pretty hotel close to Lake Geneva. Contemporary rooms feature stone floors, crisp white furnishings and balconies. Outdoor pool, spa, sauna and gardens. Excellent restaurant serving regional, healthy cuisine. Great for a family holiday.
A little oasis of tranquil chic close to Lake Geneva. Elegant contemporary rooms with rich colours, dark wood floors, mood lighting, and all the high-techery. Delicious fusion cuisine and a small gym and sauna. A charming city destination.
A charming, quaint B&B set between the Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva. The ensuite rooms focus on comfort and simplicity, decorated tastefully with a different colour for each. This is a place from which to enjoy the beautiful scenery with golf courses, mountains and lakes all within easy reach.
Luxurious lakeside hotel and destination spa in the smart Montreux Riviera town of Vevey with 170-plus years of tradition behind it. Stately presence on Lake Geneva commands stunning Alpine views, combined with extreme comfort and classic Swiss five-star service ethos
Comfort and peace in this beautiful Belle Epoque inspired building. Baroque interiors - high ceilings, chandeliers, private lounges, huge mirrors, beautifully painted bedrooms. The triplex suite is outstanding with its private roof top terrace. Elegant and charming.
Vevey (Rue d'Italie 1)
A grand hotel facing Lake Geneva and the Alps. Elegant rooms blending traditional style décor with all modern comforts. Enjoy gourmet cuisine at Les Saisons, a Michelin starred restaurant or local dishes at La Véranda with an outdoor seating. A lovely spa and an outdoor pool. Super luxurious.
Family-owned and beautifully appointed hotel in Geneva's heart. Spacious rooms with carefully-chosen antiques, fireplaces, four poster beds, killim rugs, paintings, and soft colour schemes. A romantic mahogany panelled restaurant with exquisite cuisine. Understated elegance and supreme comfort.
Housed in a 17th-century building in the heart of the old town. The restaurant is a local landmark serving quintessentially Swiss cuisine - raclettes and fondues galore. Traditional rooms with oak beams and stone floors. Small and discreet - a really lovely, homely setting.
Superb hotel offering an oasis of grandeur, hospitality and unashamed luxury. Acres of private gardens and unrivalled views over Lake Geneva and the Alps. Award-winning spa, fantastic restaurants, tennis courts, and opulent rooms.
Kempinski hotels deliver and this one is no exception. No fuss, top quality, stylish and supremely comfortable. Curtain glass walls, stunning views of the lake, minimalist-chic interiors. Fantastic business facilities and indulgent pleasures - hip cocktail bar, delicious cuisine, and fab spa.
The grande dame of the Geneva lakeside palaces. Unrivalled views of the lake from private balconies and the roof-top pool. Exquisitely decorated rooms: brocade, toile de jouy in soft blues and greens, and marble bathrooms. Stunning spa, including a double suite with private hammam. Truly luxurious.
An ultra-luxurious but family-friendly hotel in a beautifully landscaped park. Rooms and suites in African safari style - rich terracotta colours, dark wooden flooring, and imaginative touches. Plenty of activities - a heavenly spa, great pools, tennis courts and a kids games lodge.