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Looking for a hotel in Evian, France? The French spa town of Evian on the shores of beautiful Lake Geneva is well worth a visit, but where do you sleep? After much online searching I chose to stay at the Hilton, so here’s my nuts and bolts Hilton Evian-les-Bains review.
Stars in my eyes
For the life of me I can’t figure out why the 4-star Hilton hotel in Evian-les-Bains, France, isn’t a 5-star. (Conversely, I can’t figure out why the 4-star hotel I stayed at in Avignon isn’t a 3-star, but that’s another story). The Hilton Evian-les-Bains has panoramic views of Lake Geneva, a sleek and sexy Buddha Bar Spa with an indoor and outdoor pool, and a fabulous central location close to all the sightseeing spots in Evian. What’s not to like?
That pretty much sums up this Hilton Evian-les-Bains review, but for details, price tips, highlights, lowlights and my social
failures experiences at the hotel, read on.
Evian sightseeing tip: Read What to do in Evian-les-Bains for the town’s top attractions and sights.
Modern and Sleek
I’m not saying the Hilton Evian-les-Bains is a total looker, its red brick exterior is pretty blah, but your first impression when you step in the lobby is ‘Wow! For once I picked the right hotel.’ A waterfall of LED lights hangs over the dark wood reception desk like a curtain of white butterflies, and the overall feeling is chic and contemporary.
Don’t judge a hotel by its lobby (except I usually do)
I’m a fan of big lobbies. They add a sense of grandeur to a hotel, not to mention that if your room sucks you can hang out there. (My room didn’t suck). The Hilton lobby has a bar off to the side, lofty ceilings and seating clusters with sexy pops of purple and a fun mix of textures and designs. I give the interior designer an ‘A.’
Patio love at the Hilton Evians-les-Bains
Beyond the lobby past the reception desk is a vast patio where, weather permitting, you can sit outside, drink a cafe au lait (or a glass of Evian water) and look out at Lake Geneva. Sadly, the weather did not ‘permit’ when I was there, at least not very often, and when it was nice, I hung out on the rooftop terrace of the executive lounge instead as I was upgraded and had access.
The Hilton Evian’s Executive Lounge
If you’re on the executive floor of the Hilton, you have 24-hour access to the 6th-floor lounge. It’s quite a social place as all the privileged few stop by for free canapés and drinks between 6 and 8. They all seem happy and quick to establish immediate friendships, just not with me. For some reason I didn’t meet anyone at all. (I swear I took a shower! Maybe I just have bitchy resting face, like Kristen Stewart.)
Luckily, the Hilton Evian staff are so friendly, constantly stopping by your table to see if you might want a wee bit more sparkling brut that you forget you have no friends, or at least you no longer care, and instead decide to adopt a ‘mysterious stranger’ persona. Honestly, there are endless ways you can amuse yourself when you have executive lounge access, no friends and are spending 10 days in Evian-les-Bains!
A terrace with a view of Lake Geneva
Attached to the executive lounge is a rooftop terrace where you can sit and watch the sunset. On weekends breakfast is served in the executive lounge for those with access, but I liked the big buffet breakfast downstairs and always ate there instead. (Where I also didn’t make any friends.)
The Hilton Evian’s buffet is excellent, with regional Savoyard cheeses, fresh fruit, pastries, sausage, bacon, eggs, a small selection of Chinese dim sum, juice, sliced meat, etc. etc etc. As I’m a Hilton Gold member breakfast was included in my stay. Whoot!
The Buddha Bar Spa
The Buddha Bar Spa is a highlight of the hotel (second only to the sparkly lights over the reception desk in the lobby). Befitting the Buddha Bar brand, the spa decor is hip and Zen-like, with dim lighting (good for hiding cellulite), dark wood, red accents, 1800 square metres of space and a great hulking Buddha statue in the reception area.
Group activities at the Hilton Evian-les-Bains
In addition to the indoor and outdoor pools and full menu of spa treatments, the Buddha Bar Spa at the Evian Hilton has a large sauna, a steam room and a full schedule of free fitness classes. I made full use of the amenities, taking part in the last 15 minutes of at least one aqua aerobics class – which clearly puts me in a category of elite athletes.
I’m proud to say that I actually met people in the spa (in case you were thinking I’m a total pariah). In the pool I talked to two young Chinese men travelling around Europe and in the sauna I met a woman who owns a chic clothing store on Rue Nationale, Evian’s main shopping street.
Central location in Evian
If you’re taking the ferry over from Lausanne, the Hilton Evian-les-Bains is handy because it’s just a five-minute walk to the ferry terminal. As the hotel is maybe a two-minute walk to both the Evian-les-Bains Thermes Spa and the lakefront, not to mention the boutiques on Rue Nationale, the Hilton is definitely in the heart of the action, although to be clear, the action in Evian-les-Bains is pretty tame.
Before you accuse me of making this Hilton-Evian-les-Bains review too flowery and positive, let me advise you that a number of tour groups stay in the hotel. As I never went down to breakfast early, however, the only time I saw them is when I passed a few stragglers waiting with suitcases in the lobby. The moral of the story here is that the early bird gets the worm, but the sleepy bird gets the tranquility.
Summing up my Hilton Evian-les-Bains review
Ultimately, I realize this Hilton Evian-les-Bains review is pretty ‘glowy’ but I can’t help it if I liked it. For amenities, location and decor, I say the Evian Hilton is a 5-star – at least in my heart, if not on TripAdvisor and Booking.com.
Price for the Hilton Evian-les-Bains, France
Well. Let me tell you, trying to get the best price at the Hilton in Evian is like playing roulette in Monaco. First I saw a price online on the Hilton website for 153 Euros, but hesitated too long and the next day the price had shot up to 183 Euros. I gave up, then randomly tried it more than a week later and got it for 136 Euros per night. The next day I checked out of curiosity and it had gone up to 199!
Usually playing the wait-and-hesitate-before-booking-a-rate game means I end up paying the worst price ever, but in this rare case it worked in my favour. My advice to you is to check repeatedly, and when you see a deal you’re comfortable with, pounce.
Tips for booking the Hilton Evian-les-Bains
While I check all the discount booking sites such as tripadvisor, booking.com and hotels.com, I always check the hotel website, too. In this case the Hilton website gave me the cheapest option. The other perks of booking on the hotel website itself are that you collect points in their loyalty program.
Seasonal pricing: Expect to pay more for a hotel in France in the summer and during French school holidays (which unexpectedly includes two weeks every April and October).
Note: Sign up for the Hilton loyalty program to get free wifi.
Important note about spa access at the Buddha Bar Spa: If you book a standard room at the Hilton Evian you’ll need to pay 20 Euros per person to visit the spa. Any room category above standard includes spa access. You can also get access if you book a spa treatment, whether you’re staying at the hotel or not.
Hilton Evian address: Quai Paul Léger, 74500 Évian-les-Bains, France. Hilton website.
Which is better, the Royal Hotel Evian or Hilton Evian-les-Bains?
There aren’t a lot of luxury hotels in Evian-les-Bains. The only 5-star hotel is the Royal Hotel Evian. It sits up on a hill overlooking the town and is undoubtedly grander and more old world than the Hilton. Both the Hilton and the Royal have terrific spas and outdoor pools. The Royal is more expensive, which is why I didn’t stay there, plus the location isn’t as handy. Bottom line: If you want modern, contemporary and convenient opt for the Hilton. If you want elegance, romance and historical charm, choose the Royal Hotel Evian. And there you have it, my Hilton Evian-les-Bains review. Hopefully it will help you plan your trip.
Planning your trip to Europe? Read more What to see in Europe or What to do in the South of France.
If anyone knows luxury hotels it’s you, Jacqueline, and I agree the Royal Hotel in Evian is pretty amazing. I also made good use of the free Evian water in town!
I loved the Evian Royal, but also the town. And the fountain where locals refilled their plastic bottles – for free.
Thanks for adding to the conversation, Phyllis.
Dear All, Yes Evian is beautiful; I went to high school in Territet near there. A bit of history: Evian was the site of the 1938 international conference on what to do about Jewish Refugees from Germany. Roosevelt sent only a low level businessman and all the countries turned their backs on the problem. Do not wish to dis the conversation but Evian has been the site of many important international issues and is important for those also.
A Taste for Travel (@atastefortravel)
I’ve stayed at Hilton Evian-les-Bains and can vouch for its ideal location and great amenities. I’m also a big fan of hotels with balconies so I also appreciated the views. I didn’t know about the spa access so good to know for next time!
Buddy The Traveling Monkey
This hotel looks amazing! And that lobby… gorgeous! I loved the pops of purple too. You can tell a lot of thought was put in to the design. So that paired with the amenities and great location should make this hotel a 5 star!
What a gorgeous Hilton property in such a beautiful location! I’d happily use some of my Hilton points to earn a stay during a visit to Evian les Bains! I’m with you on the lobby. When I see a good one, my heart swoons. It can totally make or break a stay in my opinion.
Love this post. Visiting Evian les Bains was one of my favorite experiences. Did you go to the Evian water source? We stopped by the hotel for drinks and were really curious what the experience was like. From your post, it looks like an amazing place. Will need to stay there on our next trip to the area. Great post.
Maybe next time, Globe Guide. Evian is well worth a visit.
Globe Guide (@Globe_Guide)
Oh my goodness, that looks incredible! I actually drove by Evian once but didn’t have time to stop :-(
I’m a big fan of luxury hotels and I make every effort to get comfortable accommodations when I travel. For me, the hotel makes half of the impression of the trip. I’ve never been in Lake Geneva, but Switzerland is not short of beautiful hotels like Hilton Evian-les-Bains. The location is excellent and so is the lobby, the grounds and the pool area. Great choice!
Wow, this seems like a lovely hotel! The view over the lake is stunning and the Buddha Bar Spa looks like an excellent place to relax. I love extensive breakfast buffets, particularly if a hotel offers multiple cuisines. Chinese dim sum paired with Savoyard cheese and a bit of fresh fruit sounds divine…
The Lake Geneva area in both France and Switzerland were both great for travelling solo I found, Elaine.
Oh, I wish I had enough Hilton points for another stay, LeAnna – I’m saving up!
I also sometimes do not understand the rating of a hotel (though I try to read what the expectations of a certain category is in a country) but it looks lovely. I am also a biiiiig fan of beautiful (and big) lobbies :)
Wow! Looks amazing! That pool and Spa is definitely somewhere I would love to spend a couple of hours relaxing.
Elaine J Masters
Lovely and I’m glad you made some friends. I like beautiful lobbies but when traveling find it’s not a necessity as I’m spending so much time out and about. I was on a ten day solo trip in Switzerland and found that people didn’t quite know what to do with that boomer lady at the bar (or restaurant, or cafe, or store…) Not unfriendly just mystified, I assume. I’d still do it all in a heartbeat.
Lake Geneva is a stunning place! We travel hack and therefore stay for free on points when we travel. We have tons of Hilton points right now, so if we are in the Geneva area, I’ll have to use them up on this location!