If you are looking for a beauty salon, Geneva has some of the best in Switzerland. It’s not hard to feel occasionally under-coiffed when stood next to the manicured, elegant ladies (and gents) of Geneva, particularly those with equally groomed small dogs poking out of designer bags. But luckily there are plenty of places in the city to get yourself plucked, waxed and scrubbed into shape.
On the gentle end of the price scale, several city centre day spas such as Urban Mirage are ideal for a quick mid-shop mani-pedi, holistic massage or facial. While bods in need of more serious attention can check in to a high-end beauty salon like Forever Laser for cosmetic improvements including fillers, Botox, peels and laser treatments.
The Forever Laser Institut is the epitome of discreet luxury. It’s a vast (600sqm) swish, stylish space with 19 treatment rooms each filled with contemporary artworks and flooded with natural daylight. This is a family business and the family head is Dr Luigi Polla, well known as the Swiss authority on Botox and fillers. Book well in advance and join the throngs of Geneva ladies investing in age-defying treatments, from the signature Botox to cosmetic surgery options. Laser treatments are extensive too, with options including Fraxel Laser and specialist tattoo removal. New to their range is an advanced new laser called Picosure which promises revolutionary results. The central location makes it easy to pop in for a quick treatment, and the brightening peels and express facials could make for a lunchtime lift. Be prepared to invest: this kind of high-end beauty luxury doesn't come cheap, and it’s worth checking their website for regular promotions.
This upmarket French beauty chain is a one-stop solution for glamorous grooming including luxury brand perfumes, hip beauty products such as those from Rodial, cute gifts and travel accessories. Their onsite professional make up artists offer up two-hour make us sessions (book in advance as these are very popular at weekends) using cult brand Smashbox and this Geneva flagship store also has its very own skin spa, the Clarins Institute de Beauté.
Right in the centre of town, this is an urban day spa with a holistic and escapist approach. Don’t be fooled by the unimpressive shopfront and waiting area - the Tardis-like spa spreads out far beyond. White flowing curtains billow between candlelit rooms with soft relaxing chairs while therapists pad around speaking with hushed voices. The concept is centred around escaping the stress of daily life and the menu offers plenty of ideas. With a strong belief in Chinese rhythms and oriental treatments, the massage menu is an impressive journey around the world, including styles for men, women and couples. This is also a great mid-shop stop-off for a stressed out mum-to-be, with a huge range of massages and facials tailored to pregnant women and new mums. For those without time to escape to another continent there is a special ‘30-minute menu’ with quick fix beauty treatments of all types. But it would be a shame not to have the chance to lie back on a lounger surrounded by those billowing curtains. It’s also worth checking out the private jacuzzi and steam room area, which can be booked for parties.
This recent addition to the Geneva beauty scene is likely to cause quite a storm, not least because of the treatments on offer. For starters, how about a lunchtime facelift including ‘needling’, Botox and a facial including free food, drink and wi-fi? The stylish 200m2 space, which is also an art gallery, is nestled in the centre of the old town and is the brainchild of Vesna Leroux who made her name with Swiss Nail Spa. Her vision is to create a social hub where you can eat, drink and get your beauty needs sorted, inspired by the services of an airline business lounge. Other unique features include a loyalty card system, iPads and magazines. There’s a full range of mani-pedi options, with or without appointment, as well as classic facials, lunchtime lifts and beauty treatments. Check the website for events and offers.
Aussie born entrepreneur Vesna Leroux brought a little slice of big city beauty into Geneva in 2009 with the city’s first drop-in nail spa. The company’s best-selling treatment is the New York express mani-pedi and they are known to be slick, speedy and affordable. Having fast become the local authority for nails, Vesna started the Nail Academy of Geneva in 2010, so you know your technician will be newly trained and have all the skills to keep your hands and feet looking sharp with no-chip semi-permanent polish, gel and acrylic. The place is handy in more ways than one: location-wise, it’s directly next to Rive, one stop from Place du Molard on the tram line, so it’s easy to join the steady flow of locals sorting out their hands and feet at all times of the day. For those with time on (and for) their hands the Signature Hand Spa includes paraffin and a luxurious scrub and massage. They also have an eyelash extension bar for natural or party lashes to go with your new nails.
Ask any local where the best place for men’s grooming is in town and, bar a few complaints about the price, this old-school barbershop always comes out on top. Seven trained Italian barbers in uniform offer neat, stylish, precision cuts with plenty of banter thrown in. The boss, Orlando, has a thing for Ferraris so vintage signs are dotted around the place to add to the retro Italian atmosphere. You can sit back on the soft leather chairs and knock back a strong expresso while you have your shave, cut and manicure. The luxury vibe is reflected in the price list. If you’re after basic and cheap this place may not be for you, with shave/haircut prices starting at around CHF40 and cut and shave combos at CHF85 with an extra CHF38 for a manicure.