GVA: Geneva Swiss Senator Lounge
Swissair say that passengers experience a clear sense of Swissness when they enter the lounges: which can really only mean overcrowded with tired and expensive facilities - but a very good bar - if they are talking about the new Senator Lounge. The Senator lounge opened a couple of years back, and it is already worn out, thanks to the amount of traffic this very small lounge gets.
The problem is that when Swiss dumped oneworld and were bought out by Lufthansa, it joined the same theme as the German lounges. As such, the Senator lounges were originally designed for the elite who had peak status with Miles&More: a hard ask. However they now welcome anyone with Star Alliance Gold status, and as such virtually anyone can now enter. Before the main transatlantic flights leave mid-morning, the Geneva Senator Lounge can have them sitting on the floor - and then some.
To enter the lounge, after security control (but before passport control if you are extra-Schengen), go up the stairs (or escalator) to the upper Mezzanine floor, and it is right in front of you.
The reception desk and the distinctive stone wall along the entrance is startling. Apparently, it was designed to be reminiscent of building exteriors commonly found in Ticino and the Engadine region, and it is created by renowned British designer Jasper Morrison.
The Geneva Senator lounge claims it boasts a bistro zone, relaxation zone, entertainment zone and Internet corner. Hmmm. From the door you can see it all - what this really means is a food counter on the left, a total of 18 squashy armchairs at the far end, a TV on the wall, and three old slow computers back by the door, arranged rather like a circle, with the paper rack in the middle.
The Swiss Senator lounge Geneva also likes to boast that another noteworthy feature is the subtle lighting provided by the 'lounge lamps', which have been especially designed for Swiss and can be adapted in line with the time of day. They need them: the windows are so poor and view so lacking, it needs better lighting.
FoodFood in the Geneva Senator Lounge is better than you would expect. It is arranged on the odd square like counter opposite the bar.
At breakfast time there are lots of croissants and pastries, with butter and jam, or cold cuts and cheese if you prefer the continental style breakfast. There is also yoghurt and cereal.
At 11am the selection changes, and there is the usual Lufthansa lard&herb mix, plus more ham and cheese. At lunch and dinner times there is a heated cabinet with meatballs, sausages, and rice or pasta.
BarThe bar in the Miles&More Senator Lounge Geneva is open from early morning, and surprisingly good.
The wine selection is much better than usual Senator lounges. There are three bottles of white in a bucket, and three of red. Champagne is available if you ask. Wine is almost invariably French.
Beer is Becks in bottles.
Spirits are OK: the variety isn't great, but the quality is good. There are 13 bottles high up on the top shelf, with Smirnoff vodka, red label, and Gordon's Gin.
Business FacilitiesThe much acclaimed Internet corner in the Senator lounge is very poor. There are just three internet computers, shoved up against the far wall. These are very slow, and use the outdated iceweasel internet browser, which invariably fails on many websites. Also, beware of the wacky Swiss keyboards. You may have to think hard to find the keys, particularly the Z and Y.
There is no printer. However, there is free wifi.
Newspapers are good: they are arranged on a long shelf down the middle of the lounge.
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