Where to go for a luxury winter wellness incentive

Lara Owen Reporter, C&IT

Nestled in the French alps on the edge of Lake Geneva lies the Evian Resort; a grand mansion offering complete MICE amenities in an atmosphere of privacy and tranquillity. 

As delegates fly into Geneva Airport, catering to over 140 destinations, it's only a stone's throw away to this winter wonderland. Tunnel past terracotta tiled lodges preceding a dramatic backdrop of the rugged Swiss mountains, and within an hour, you’ll arrive at the tranquil Evian Resort. Through swirling wrought iron gates, guests will wind up the drive to the 150-room palace hotel.


The Evian Resort is made up of two hotels: the five star Hotel Royal and the four star Hotel Ermitage. The Hotel Royal is perched on the lip of the Lake providing breathtaking views from any room in the property. Built in honour of King Edward VII, inaugurated in 1909, the hotel epitomises French-style luxury closely tied to the evian natural mineral water spring: it is a high end property drawing health-minded royals and riches for over 100 years.

Throughout 118 rooms and 32 suites, the Hotel Royal focuses on the eclectic French art of living: floral frescoes sprawl the ceilings whilst mid century modern fixtures punctuate innately Belle Epoque spaces. Each room has an encyclopaedic bricolage of styles that compliment each other through tone and palette. 

The suites are positioned in a rotonde at the centre of the building, all with the opportunity to interconnect for group conferences and meetings. All rooms are virtually paper free, aside from a map of the grounds guests can take for wandering around the kitchen garden and lawns, with all other information on a tablet provided. The decor is harmonious throughout each category of room, as well as each having a private balcony, so delegates can make the most out of their tranquil surroundings. 

The fifth and sixth floor house the most exclusive suites, basking in blue light from the lake, the suites are over 200 square metres with an additional 60 of terrace. These suites can be used for private meetings and events with astonishing views of the alps. Each floor has a private elevator that takes guests directly to the newly refurbished spa; wellbeing is truly the pinnacle of this property.

Meeting and event spaces

The lower ground floor of the hotel is dedicated to its M&E rooms; with floor to ceiling glass throughout; delegates don’t have to compromise on views for premium spaces. There are 900 square metres of meeting 11 rooms ranging from a 24-300 delegate capacity. The chief conference centre is G8, the biggest singular space, named in homage to the 2003 G8 summit where global leaders including Tony Blair and George W. Bush were in attendance. Each space has a private terrace topped with purple studded vines and a sprawling lawn that faces the infamous vineyards over the lake.

What’s there to do?

As is apparent, the resort’s primary focus is on health and wellbeing. This is showcased through the high quality food sourced from the grounds, the flagship evian spa and the range of sporting activities to do on site or in the alps.


The Hotel Royal has three eateries including the Michelin-star fine dining restaurant, Les Fresques, the more relaxed and simple Véranda and the summer terrace, L’Oliveraie. Les Fresques is headed by Patrice Vander, who derives his menu from the inspiring surroundings, using produce grown in the charming kitchen garden that delegates can visit and participate in cooking classes. The hotel also provides the option of dining at ‘La Table du Chef’ for up to ten guests; where delegates can taste exclusive and outstandingly innovative cuisine in the chef’s own ‘office’, where copper pots and Michelin star plaques pepper the walls.


With the history and legends of the healing power of evian mineral water, the Evian Thermal Spa is rooted in local remedies, offering guests a range of holistic treatments. The spa is home to the only pool in the world filled with evian mineral water and holds an Aquacert certification - an internationally recognised accolade that certifies the health and safety of thermal water.

Having been newly renovated with eight rooms, one cryotherapy machine, two steam rooms and a sauna; the spa can accommodate larger groups with busy schedules, providing a relaxing sanctuary when delegates wish for a moment of retreat. 


Set within 185 acres overlooking Lake Geneva and Alpine peaks, it is no wonder the resort is home to one of the most legendary championship golf courses in the world. Its iconic ‘Champions Course’ hosts the Amundi Evian Championship each year - one of the five major championships in women’s golf. Delegates can have lessons and individual practice with renowned professionals as their guides. 

Not only golf is on offer; the Hotel Royal’s dedicated sport and cultures department offers groups everything conceivable from rafting to mountain biking to archery and outdoor yoga. The pièce de résistance is the resort’s positioning, which allows groups to try ski lessons in one of the largest ski areas in Europe. Only a 15 minute drive from Bernex, perfect for beginners or Thollon-les-Mémises for slightly steeper slopes, the resort provides all equipment from skis to socks. 


Owned and operated by Leading Hotels of the World, the Evian Resort certainly fulfils this accolade. Providing five star hospitality from food to rest to activities; the Evian Resort is a truly well rounded venue for any MICE affair concentrating on retreat and sanctuary. If you’re planning a wellness centred incentive or a conference withdrawn from the hurried atmosphere of a city, the Evian Resort is a C&IT top pick.