The Geneva Auto Show, one of the most important events on the motoring calendar, opens to the public March 4.
Geneva's tourism authority is using the event to try to get people to experience more of its city, Switzerland's second largest. Long seen as prohibitively expensive, tourism in Switzerland has been hit by the economy - the number of overnight stays fell 4.7 percent between 2008 and 2009, after three years of consecutive growth. According to the most recent Hotel Price Index report from hotels.com, Geneva is the world's third most expensive city to stay in, at approximately €163 per night.
Nonetheless, Tourism Switzerland is keen to point out that Switzerland remains an attractive destination for adventure tourism, shopping and cultural experiences. And it's a popular one - more than one million people cross the Alps every day into Switzerland, the vast majority of them German, followed by Britons, then Americans, French and Italians.
Zurich's gleaming exterior and polished finesse aren't seen anywhere better than the city's luxury hotels. Three of Zurich's most popular five hotels have five stars, topped by the boutique, 22-room Alden Hotel.
1. Alden Hotel Splugenschloss
2. Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport
3. Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich
4. Park Hyatt Zurich
5. Ema House
Average Price of top five: $508/€370
Geneva's most popular hotels are slightly cheaper than Zurich's, driven by the absence of any extremely expensive properties. The most popular destination is the four-star Eastwest Hotel, praised for its friendly staff and location.
1. Eastwest Hotel
2. Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva
3. Hotel Kipling
4. Hotel De La Paix
5. Hotel d'Angleterre
Average Price of top five: $441/€321
Basel's top five were the cheapest in Switzerland and often business-oriented. Travelers commented that many of the top five were a little out of the center, although Switzerland's ruthlessly efficient public transport system makes getting anywhere a breeze.
2. Best Western Hotel Stuecki
3. Dorint Hotel An der Messe / Basel
4. Airport Hotel Basel
5. Ramada Plaza Basel And Conference Center
Average Price of top five: $178/€178
Lausanne is popular for its natural beauty, perched on the edge of Lake Geneva with a stunning view of the Alps. The top two hotels were five-star properties, with the famous Beau-Rivage in top place, helped no doubt by Michelin-starred Anne-Marie Pic's direction of the restaurant.
1. Beau-Rivage Palace
2. Lausanne Palace & Spa
3. Angleterre & Residence Hotel
4. Le Chateau d'Ouchy
5. Ibis Lausanne Centre
Average Price of top five: $350/€255
The Swiss capital's Bellevue Palace is the most popular hotel, with guests praising the stunning views across the river and the Alps. The imposing five-star property, situated right next to the Swiss parliament, promises guests that can afford the bills "statesmanlike discretion."
1. Bellevue Palace Bern
2. Hotel Allegro Bern
3. Novotel Bern Expo
4. Holiday Inn Bern-Westside
5. Savoy Hotel
Average Price of top five: $245/€178
Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken at 10 AM GMT on March 3, 2010.