Hôtel Ermitage Evian ****
Children’s gift in the room upon arrival
Jerome, age 37, married, father of Achille, 4 years old, from Brussels
Update: with memories of my stay in this magnificent hotel still fresh in my mind, I recently had the pleasure of talking to Laurent Roussin, general manager of the Ermitage and Royal Evian hotels, and father above all. It was an opportunity to find out a little more about this resolutely Kids-friendly establishment!
Several months ago I decided to flee the greyness of winter and go green. During a long weekend of four days, I stayed in a preserved place, lodged between lake and mountain, accompanied by my wife and my 3-year-old son. We enjoyed a parenthesis of total disconnection, in the heart of nature.
When we landed at Geneva airport, a driver from the hotel came to meet us to help us carry our luggage and put them in the trunk of his elegant black vehicle with a logo of the Evian Resort. Inside was fixed the child seat that we had ordered during our booking. An hour later, we arrived at the Ermitage Hotel.
It was my first ever visit the Ermitage Hotel, but I had heard a lot about it from my wife, who had been lucky enough to stay there twice. When our son was born, I offered her a ‘mom-baby’ trip so that she could enjoy a moment of relaxation, face to face with this little man who had just appeared in our life. During this getaway, the spa therapists gave my wife treatments to relieve her body after the delivery and taught her the art of massaging her baby. This privileged moment was unforgettable for her. She had enjoyed it so much that the following year she took advantage to escape a few days with her friends for a short ski break to return to Evian with our son. After each stay at the Ermitage, my wife returned to Brussels relaxed and with a refreshing spirit. She praised the kindness of the staff, the comfort of the hotel, the activities and the attention dedicated to the children, the surrounding nature…so much that I was curious to discover with my own eyes this place of soothing virtues.
When we entered our lovely room overlooking Lake Geneva, I immediately knew that we would enjoy a lovely stay. The housekeeper had placed in the room few tangerines, a chamber pot for my son and natural cosmetics of the Naive Mask adapted to the skin of young children. A welcome gift was waiting for my son in his bed: a nice a stuffed hedgehog, next to a nylon bag specially designed to take his belongings to the Kid’s Resort.
The wood panelling of the room, the large comfortable bed, the refined decor and the splendid view of the lake and the Hotel Royal nestled below (a splendid 5-star palace on the same site as the Ermitage Hotel) created a pleasant feeling of serenity and voluptuousness. This same feeling was reflected throughout the hotel with decorative elements chosen for warmth. For example, the majestic open fire in the lobby, where you can enjoy a tea, or the noble thick carpet that lines the corridors and restaurants of the hotel.
From the receptionist to the maid, to the concierge, valet or waiter, each member of staff is charming and willing to meet your every need.
A small detail that shows how much children are pampered in Evian – in the main toilet, there is a urinal that has been specially adapted to the height of the smallest. A detail that may seem derisory, but which reassures the young dad that I am: in this luxury hotel, no fear that children are ignored, here they are the kings! Moreover, by taking a look at the other occupants, I quickly noticed that the majority of customers were young families, like us. A chance for my son Achille to make friends during his stay.
The Ermitage has two restaurants and a cosy bar that welcomes children with a huge jar filled with ‘Fraises Tagada’ candies. La Table restaurant offers gourmet cuisine that enhances local seasonal produce. This is where a generous breakfast is served every morning, like a buffet. The other restaurant, La Bibliothèque, was our headquarters for the duration of our vacation. This place is more laid back than La Table and offers dishes more suited to our 3-year-old son. The restaurant is housed in a library filled with books for adults and children that guests can borrow. The menu varies according to the season, but still keeps great classics such as Caesar salad, beef burgers, salmon pavé or croque-monsieur. But what forms the highlight of this restaurant is undoubtedly the large adjoining playroom! Billiards, toys and wooden games allow children to have fun while Mom and Dad finish their meal. With my wife, we really felt like eating at home.
Staying at the Ermitage gives you the right to enjoy the bar and restaurants of the other hotel at the Evian resort: the Royal. A few days before our arrival, its restaurant Les Fresques had just been haloed with its first Michelin Star – we could not miss the opportunity to eat there. Therefore, we called upon the services of the babysitter who came to keep Achille in our room and we enjoyed a delicious gourmet dinner, in an exceptional setting, with the finale of the famous Top Chef cooking show. A fun little detail, the name of the restaurant is drawn from the impressive hand-painted frescoes that adorn the ceiling of the restaurant. And to better admire this work of the goldsmith, the menu of the restaurant contains a mirror that allows you to admire the frescoes without having to look up. Fun!
At the heart of the huge park that borders the Ermitage Hotel is the Kid’s Resort, a magical arena that is dedicated to children’s entertainment. To access it, you will have to take a small path that borders the pond and then cross a wooden footbridge. This 1,000 sqm venue welcomes children from 4 months to 10 years, while teenagers aged 10 to 15 have their own space: the Teen’s Resort.
The icing on the cake: The Kid’s Resort has its own pool, where children can have fun under the supervision of a lifeguard and assistants.
Over the 4 days we spent in Evian, we enrolled our son for 4 half days at Kid’s Resort. He loved it: DIY, lunch with friends, sports tournaments…and also an ice hockey game on the small ice rink installed outside!
We took full advantage of the hotel’s indoor pool, spa and gym. As our vacation fell on Valentine’s Day, my wife gave me the present of a relaxing 50-minute massage. I love massage, and I was very satisfied with the care I received. The therapist massaged me deeply to eliminate all points of tension – a vigorous massage, which I still felt the benefits from several days later.
During the day, we also loved the joys of the nearby mountain. We went to the station Bernex, located 15 minutes’ drive from the Evian Resort. Lucky for us, it had snowed a few days before and the sun had his hat on! Bernex is a small family resort that’s very nice. We sledged and ate a delicious Savoyard fondue in a high restaurant.
One night, with my son, we also had a good time playing the arcade games installed at level -1 of the Royal Hotel. Do not miss this fun spot!
I have only one wish: to return to the Ermitage in summer to enjoy the outdoor pool, the golf course and mountain biking on the many nearby courses.
Monday-Sunday: 9AM - 6PM.
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