We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nicely placed and affordable in the center of Lugano” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel International au Lac

Save Saved
You added Hotel International au Lac to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Hotel International au Lac
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Nassa 68 | Piazza Luini, Lugano 6901, Switzerland   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
Save on Activity tickets
Ranked #5 of 42 hotels in Lugano
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nicely placed and affordable in the center of Lugano”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

This hotel, placed 50m from the lake and at the edge of the pedestrian city centre (tourist area) provided a very pleasant stay for my friend and me during a long holiday weekend in Switzerland. When I say Switzerland, I mean it in the most Italian sense of the word!

When we arrived, together with my labrador, we all (Desmond included) were greeted warmly, and the staff even allowed me to check in using my small command of Italian. They also spoke French and Spanish (and I suspect German). We arrived a bit early for check-in, so they took our cases and placed them in our room for our return later in the day. The staff greeted us each time we came and went.

Our room was an economy room in the back of the second floor, so we only had a view of the building and courtyard (and were 5m from the back patio). The room was clean and comfortable with plenty of space, and the daily cleaning service was friendly and well-accomplished. The "matrimonial" bed was standard for Europe - two twin beds connected.

We didn't use the pool, as it was rather chilly, but it's a nice back garden with patio - from one side, you can see clear to the lake.

Morning breakfast was a generous buffet with meats, cheeses, yoghurt, meusli, croissants, and some cooked food. When I had to decline the fruit salad due to an allergy, the delightful Italian waiter found some fresh cherries for me in the kitchen. Go early, though, as yummy treats like smoked salmon are eaten sooner than others.

If you can, do walk up the stairs. The paintings along the walls are unique collections that span from botanicals to nudes to unexpensively framed old family pictures.

Wi-Fi is either paid or accessible for free from the lobby and first floor lounge (which also features a lake-view balcony).

Room Tip: If the view is important to you, pay for that variety of room. (No free upgrades like in the U.S. or...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

163 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    65
    64
    25
    6
    3
See reviews for
30
67
18
11
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wales
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

We stayed here in early June 2012. The hotel is situated close to the lake and at the end of a main shopping street, with top-end designer shops very close. On the other side of the hotel is an old church with delightful medieval friezes. We had a superior room, with a balcony and lake views. The shower is at waist height and the towels are not large. It was very difficult to get the room cool enough to be comfortable for sleeping in despite leaving the AC on all day while we were out. The decor is suited to the feel of the hotel; dark wood, solid antique furniture and fin de siècle comfort. It is certainly comfortable, and all is spotless, as you would expect in Switzerland. The breakfasts are fine, if slightly at the mass-market end of the spectrum, but plenty of fresh fruit, meat, cheese, bread, cereals etc. The dining room staff are not always totally on the ball, and the coffee at breakfast could be better, but this is pretty good for a three star. Reception staff were all highly professional and very helpful, we asked for more pillows and these were produced almost instantly, and the cleaning staff were also very courteous and respectful of our privacy.

The swimming pool was unheated while we were there. I am not sure if this is because it was mostly raining, and when there is steady sun, they heat it, or if this is the norm, so be prepared for a refreshing dip! The changing facilities are a little quaint, essentially one room with a toilet and hand shower, but there are plenty of towels.

One slightly disturbing aspect of our stay was the bar man. The only place for free wifi is in the bar and restaurant on the first floor, so we spent some time in there, at least to begin with. However, we were put off by the bar man's approach to hygiene - he farted very loudly while we were sitting there, and, on one occasion, stood behind the bar running the water in the sink for a long time, while standing there doing nothing. My partner had the distinct impression, based on some hand movements at the front of his trousers that he was relieving himself in the sink, but I stress that this was only an impression, which we could not have proved, and we were the only people in the room at the time. It was enough to put us off, however! This is a shame, because for the most part, as long as you are not expecting five-star standards, this is a very nice place to stay, fairly quiet, with lake views and a pool area with a bar, very clean and mostly professionally staffed. It has been in the same family for a long time, and has a pleasant atmosphere. We spent some relaxing days there.

My tip, however, would be to stay over the border in Italy, where everything is much, much cheaper, and visit Lugano for the day (the train takes half an hour).

Room Tip: Only a few rooms have lake views, if you can afford it, go for one of these.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Hotel International au Lac, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
Dear Canolista,
Thank you very much for writing an extensive review about our property. We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you are recommending to fellow travellers to book our superior lake-view rooms. I am taking this opportunity to anticipate our room upgrade plans for the coming winter breaks (from November to March when the hotel is closed) that will concern all lake-view rooms and a fair part of the standard rooms.

On another matter please allow me to say that our barman did not deserve your words. He is a loyal employee of our hotel since 12 years and you just need to leaf through our guest books located in the hotel lobby to see how appreciated he is by our guests. He spent his life serving customers from around the world behind bar counters. I can assure you that your lines devastated him a few months before his well deserved retirement.

Thank you for choosing Hotel International au Lac for your recent visit and we are looking forward to welcoming you soon again.
Sincerely yours

Roberto Schmid
Hotel International au Lac, Lugano
Fam. Giulio Schmid, propr. dir.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights and it is the most expensive hotel we have stayed in Switzerland so far. We wanted a hotel with a lake view and this was the cheapest in the area. We got a lake view if you turn your head slightly to the right. A building is across the hotel.

The hotel's interior is old and grand. Quite regal. The hotel room for 2 people was quite big with a terrace. It was on the 5th floor, last room at the end of the hall. The beds were nice to sleep on. It was carpeted which I do not personally like but for 2 days, I can bear it. The bathroom is a bathtub and they put a shower which is not attached to the side but towards you if you stand infront of the bathtub. A little bit outdated here but maybe they don't have the funds yet to refurbish and modernize their bathrooms.

Breakfast was included in the price and I would say, very good selection! I give it a perfect 10.

The hotel has a very nice garden with a swimming pool. As tourists with only 2 days allotted in Lugano, there was no time to take a dip.

I only rate the hotel 4 out of 5 because of the price. I find it pricey but the proximity to the lake increases the value of this property.

The hotel is in the shopping area. Right outside is Louis Vuitton. It is a shopping paradise for those who have bigger budgets.

Room Tip: The last room on the 5th floor with a lake view is nice. Probably cheaper if you will order the room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

We came into Lugano on a Friday evening without having made a reservation. I had stayed here once a few years ago and new the hotel. They only had two single rooms available and after checking some other hotels, that were all full, we returned and took the 2 rooms. Both were singles, very small, but the beds were comfortable and they served the purpose - a good sleep after 12 hours of driving. Staff are really friendly and curteous, breakfast is very good (included in the price) and the best thing is that the hotel has a private garage, which you realise is invaluable if you try and find a spot to park on any of the streets.
Location is very close to a range of good restaurants and the rooms have a view across the road to the Lake.

Be warned - Lugano is not cheap.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2011

Came for a visit with my grand-daughter. Booked a single and was very happy with the room. Had a lake view which was lovely. Breakfast was nice - all sorts of breads, eggs, cold cuts, muesli, juices, etc. Anyone who could not be happy with the choices is much too picky.
Hotel is ancien regime. It was founded in 1905. It is magnificent in its history. There will be some who will be unhappy with the old Europe feel - I was enchanted. There is a lovely bar with a wonderful bar-tender. Nice place to start the night. Nice swimming pool which I did not use but looked inviting. Nice seating area on the lawn with a view of the lake.
Only negative that I can come up with was the dinner. Had one evening on my own and decided to eat at the hotel. They seem to cater to German tour groups. The food available for dinner was only adequate. Some might call it poor.
All in all, I considered this a wonderful hotel with a great location and really good value/price.

Room Tip: Just get a lake view room - it's worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011

We stayed for 2 nights and found the hotel very historic with lots of history but very comfortable. A very nice selection for breakfast. The pool was ice cold but we were not there to swim. It was within walking distance to the boat dock, shopping and outdoor restaurants. A bit of hike with luggage from the train station after taking the funicular down if you aren't very good at walking but we did not have a problem. We also walked to the Monte San Salvatore funicular which was about 20 minutes. Also, at the other end of the promenade was a beautiful park area with beautiful flowers and great lake views. We took the boat to Morcote which is lovely and I would recommend anyone go there for an afternoon visit.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midhurst, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2011

The hotel was picked by the Swiss Holiday Co. for my stay during a week long conference in Lugano ! It was the perfect base for the conference- taking place at the Congress Centre and the Universita, as well as for being in the jheart of the city . Other colleagues had chosen to come back to this hotel, specifically, for this year's conference. Everything was walking distance; Near to beautiful shops, restaurants and the piazza and overlooking the lake ! The hotel was absolutely lovely; full of grace and charm! All amenities were superb - the service superb - the ambience superb. The breakfast buffet is outstanding ! The perfect place to stay in Lugano ! I will come again !

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view ! Worth it !
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Hotel International au Lac? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel International au Lac

Address: Via Nassa 68 | Piazza Luini, Lugano 6901, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Ticino > Lugano
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Lugano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel International au Lac 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prime location in the old-town quarter and shopping district of the city centre and on the lake-promenade.Historical Downtown Hotel with extended facilities such as private garage parking, garden with swimming-pool and WiFi Internet. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com, Tingo, BookingOdigeoWL, Otel and Venere so you can book your Hotel International au Lac reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
International Au Lac Lugano
International Au Lac Hotel

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel International au Lac, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.