Despite some ongoing noise the first night we stayed (possibly from the hotel's restaurant or a building across the street), our room at the Hotel Montana Luzern was comfortable, cool (with the help of a fan) and refreshing after crowded days sightseeing in Lucerne. Our room did not face the lake: however, this turned out to be an advantage since, not getting the sun all day, it was cooler at night (and the threat of night-time mosquitoes, about which we were warned, never materialized -- well, maybe one or two, but we promptly dispatched them). We had a huge terrace/patio outside the sliding doors, where we would sit at sunset -- all around us were luxurious houses, gardens, and, of course, the mountains. Breakfasts were extraordinary -- we ate enough at breakfast to hold us all day; the breakfast rooms (both indoors and patio) were huge and all had fantastic views of the lake and of Mount Pilatus, one of the top attractions in the Lucerne area. American travelers accustomed to drinking milder, 'Columbian' coffees should be aware that coffee in Switzerland, as in much of Europe, is dark-roast and brewed in a different way than it is in the US - however, we quickly grew accustomed to it, and the rest of the hotel, which, by our last day, began to feel like home. Finally, since we were there in the middle of August, which, like New England, gets warm, slightly humid 'summer weather', be sure to ask the helpful desk about the free day passes to the 'Seebad', or Lakeside swimming facility, a 2 minute walk from the hotel. I went there twice and it was so enjoyable! Great seeing Lucernites enjoying the lake, drinking wine, relaxing and having fun. A real Rick Steves' experience. There is an amazing, 1930s, art-deco style bar in the hotel dedicated to American jazz musicians who played there, especially Louis Armstrong, that should not be missed. We didn't eat at what was probably the exorbitantly-priced LaScala restaurant, although we peeked in and it looked gorgeous. Anyone traveling to Switzerland needs to prepare herself/himself for ridiculously-high restaurant prices. We figured out that was the reason the supermarkets with takeout counters (forget the name) were always busy. (Smart tourists probably purchased a chicken or other prepared dish and had picnics because the restaurant prices are insultingly high, but I guess that's Switzerland.)
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