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Can you tell me about these Lugano hotels?

Can you tell me about these Lugano hotels?

Jun 23rd, 2004, 12:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 334
Can you tell me about these Lugano hotels?

We will be in Lugano for 2 nights mid September and need hotel recommendations. Yes, I've read all the posts that say to stay in Locarno or Ascona but the hubby choose Lugano, it's the only decision he's made regarding this trip so I'm letting him win this one!

I really want a hotel with lake view balcony off our room but of course those are pricey. Narrowed down the selection to (prices approximate, exchange rate probably won't get any better though):

Hotel du Lac ($250)

International au Lac ($240)

Villa Nizza ($180-210)

Delfino ($180-200)

Walter au Lac ($160)
this hotel however doesn't have balconies on all rooms and they only said "balcony if possible" in their e-mail to me.

I'd love personal opinions on any of these to help me make up my mind. Thanks!
vinolover is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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We stayed a couple of years ago at the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola Au Lac (It is part of the small luxery hotels www.slj.com/villcast/ - it was wonderful. Very peaceful setting across the street from the lake with water views. Beautiful grounds, nice pool, guest room
were very nice. I remember eating breakfast outside on the terrace and all of the birds in the area joining us picking at my sons rice kispies! - it was quite funny. Lugano was one of the hightlights of our Switzerland/Italy/France trip and the hotel was really a big part of that - it was great - a lovely city.
4totravel is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 05:34 PM
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I love Lugano--good choice hubby !
Have stayed at Villa Nizza and liked it. Not sure you will get a lake view, but nice hotel in good setting.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 03:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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My favorite hotel in Lugano is the tiny Elvezia el Lago. It's directly on the lake in Castagnola, just outside the city. You can only get there by boat or a walking path. If you don't want to come by the regular boat service from town then you can take a bus or taxi to a parking lot that the owner will tell you about and he then picks you up in his boat.

Our room was lovely (only 7 or 8 rooms in the entire hotel), small balcony hanging over the lake. Quiet, peaceful, Of course, no traffic noise. (Traffic, by the way, can be a problem in many areas of Lugano.) Wake up to the sounds of birds. Great breakfast, dine outdoors on the lakeside terrace. You can walk to Gandria which is one of highlights of the area that you should not miss. And the boat makes regular stops at the hotel dock to get into town or wherever else you would like to go.

Although I have stayed in Lugano in a 5* property on another occasion, this is the hotel to which I would definitely return.
Lenore1 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 04:24 AM
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Hi, vinolover. Not to worry; you will love Lugano. I always stay in villages, so I can't help with hotel recommendations (except that the ones in Castagnola are bound to be gorgeous in lovely surroundings), but Lugano is one of my favorite small cities (more interesting IMO than Locarno). J.
jmw44 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 07:48 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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Lugano. Good choice. Loved it too.

But if I were returning, I would consider staying out on Morcote -- quiet, interesting, and a short boat ride from Lugano. I've read interesting things about their inns, too.
metlc is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. Still can't make up my mind.

It sounds like at Villa Nizza that we can choose our view based on their e-mail the offer: Large Double room with . . . balcony and lake view or Same room but smaller or Large Double room with. . . view to the mount San Salvatore or Double room with . . . balcony and view to the park. For those of you who have stayed there what do you recommend?

Elvezia el Lago sounds interesting also but also sounds like we would need to take our meals at the hotel since it is not possible to walk to town from there. Are there restaurants in Gandria that we could walk to?

Since we will only be there for two nights that only means one full day to sight see so we thought it might be best to stay in Lugano proper to minimize travel time.

Not terribly worried about a little traffic noise for only two nights. Every post I read about hotels in Swiss cities seem to comment on the traffic noise, is it really that awful? We've stayed in some noisy European cities where we slept with our windows open like London, Paris and Rome so I'm not sure why everyone complains about this. But, I admit I'm more interested in a nice view. A balcony to sit on in the morning or in the evening to enjoy a glass of wine.

vinolover is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 10:08 PM
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I stayed at the Hotel du Lac a couple of years ago, and had a terrific lakeview room (practically in the lake). Room sizes were more than adequate, and there is a pleasant lakeside terrace for drinking or dining. Short taxi ride from the station, otherwise a 10 minute walk along the lake to the town centre. Incidentally it was nowhere near $250 (in June) closer to $100 from memory.
tony is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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Hello again. I looked at the Villa Nizza site because I couldn't resist. I think it's in Paradiso (a suburb just a bit away from the town center, one k maybe; someone here can probably be more accurate than I can). Perhaps you can check their map to see exactly how far the Nizza is from Lugano center and from the lake promenade. If it is in an elevated position, the lakeview might still be quite far from the lake. The Nizza looks like it wins in the ambience category over the Du Lac, but the Du Lac is right on the promenade. If you are corresponding easily, you might ask them how far a walk it is from the debarcadaro (boatdock). I just realized that you might have a car, so ignore everything I've written.

Gandria is a picturesque, (popular), 'perched' village. The rigatoni or was it penne I had there with gorgonzola was wonderful, and the view was memorable. I can't remember the name of the restaurant. There are several sort of jammed into little alleyways or hanging over the water.

Once you visit Lugano and Gandria, I promise you'll want to return for a longer stay. Don't miss the fresco in
S. Maria degli Angioli. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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p.s. Yes, you can walk to Gandria, but you can also use the lakeboats. Ticino-tourism.ch has some information about the 'olive path' I think. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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We stayed at the Parco Paradiso on a visit to Lugano last Spring. It is in Paradiso not far from Villa Nizza. Paradiso is right next to Lugano and does not seem like another town. We had a suite with a very large balcony with lounge chairs and a table for 4. The view from the hillside was wonderful of the town and the lake. I thought it was nicer up on the hill a bit away from the lake as the view seemed more grand. It was a steep walk up the hill but an easy walk into town otherwise. We got a great rate on our hotel through the Best Western website. It was much lower than the hotel offered directly. If I remember correctly the Hotel du Lac is also a Best Western so the same strategy might work there.
detraveler is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 07:27 AM
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These are all helpful ideas. I will do more research on Gandria. We will not have a rental car so I will check into boat service.

I did find some better rates on the Best Western website for the Hotel Bellevue Au Lac which is one I hadn't considered. So many hotels with Au Lac or Du Lac in the names that now I'm getting them confused.

Sure wish I could find those prices that people write about staying in these places for around $100 or just a little more. I'm not sure when the hotels were charging those rates but most everything I find is in the $200+ range these days.

I'm interested in any more opinions!
vinolover is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 06:01 AM
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Hi, vinolover, if cost is a real factor, perhaps you might want to look again (if you have not already) at ticino-tourism.ch.

Fischer's Seehotel is listed under Castagnola at the Accommodations page. Click on select by place. It is right on the lake with balconies. I know it is not right in Lugano, but I think it's pretty close. There's a photograph so you can see what it looks like. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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From Hotel Elvezia al Lago you just pick up the boat which stops there several times a day to go to Gandria, Lugano proper or any one of a number of ports. Don't miss Gandria, whether you walk or boat there, it's a fantastic place to visit. you can also go from the hotel along a short walking path to a bus stop to go to Lugano.

As to traffic I find Lugano the noisiest Swiss city that I have stayed in and really prefer the peacefulness of being on the lake.
Lenore1 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I cannot say too much since I have not yet stayed there, but I was impressed with the prices and the location of the Lido Seegarten. We have reservations for two nights in early August. One of the reasons I picked it was that it has air conditioning and I was a bit worried about early August. I think we were quoted a rate of 260 SFR (about $208 US) for a mountain view room. I really wanted a smaller hotel, but alas, the possibility for the need of AC (we're traveling with a senior and were worried about him). Here's the web site, check it out.

have fun
phieaglefan is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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I've had the pleasure of being in Lugano several times over the past several years. We, too, stayed once at the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola Au Lac and found it as described: lovely setting, gorgeous grounds, impressive service. But a bit stuffy for my taste. I've stayed several times at a hotel not on the lake, but located on one of the inner plazas, the Hotel Lugano Dante. It's a 4-star property. No views to speak of...and the rooms, like many European properties, are sort of on the small side. But very professional and cordial staff, tastefully appointed rooms, wonderful morning breakfast buffet keep me coming back. Actually, one of the main draws of the Hotel Lugano Dante is its location. Usually, I've taken the Malpensa Express bus from the Milan airport which drops you off above the city, at the Lugano rail station. There is a funicular taking you from the train station and the hotel is right at the base of the funiculr. After a 9 hour flight, 45 minute bus ride and airport hassles it's a lovely vision to see the hotel right there at the end of the line.

My favorite Lugano activites are: boat ride to Gandria and hike back to Lugano on a lovely, lovely trail; funicular to the top of Mount Bre and hike down (this is an advantage of the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola Au Lac as it's located near the funicular for Mt. Bre); renting a boat and tooling about on the lake--be careful not to drift into Italian waters near the casino on the other side; wandering the narrow lanes of the old town.

Have a great trip!
chicagobluesman is offline  

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