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“Lovely hotel in Switzerland” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel International au Lac

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Hotel International au Lac
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Nassa 68 | Piazza Luini, Lugano 6901, Switzerland   |  
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Ranked #7 of 43 Hotels in Lugano
Certificate of Excellence
Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely hotel in Switzerland”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

The hotel is 105 years old, established by the current owner's grandfather, and the charmingly old-fashioned decor is perfect for such a building. Our room was one with a lake view, modernized, and the bathroom was not poky at all. There was a great rain shower in addition to the hand-held one, and lots of storage and marble and glass. I am particular about my "amenities" and always take my own, so a lack doesn't matter at all. The wait staff in the restaurant and bar are true professionals. The breakfast was lavish, and not the same each morning.

The garage is a treat, with a car elevator that rides you to the upper floor if the lower one is full. We had a hard time finding the street entrance, even though we could see the hotel from the lakefront street. There is construction in front of the Santa Maria church next door (DO NOT miss the church) and the turn through the fence is all but invisible the first time. The city has not allowed the hotel to put up a helpful sign, which is a shame.

We investigated the lovely terrace and pool, but we did not use them. A real oasis in the city. All in all, the Internationale is a convenient place to stay, and all the staff make one feel right at home.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
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251 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    102
    107
    33
    6
    3
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46
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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 (46)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Overall is a pretty nice place - located right on the lake, and in the middle of the tourist area. The place is a little out-dated, but in a charming kind of way. The brekky is great - more than enough to fill you up - and all of the staff in the bar and restaurant were lovely.

The rooms are nice, though the bathrooms are really pokey and hardly any toiletries. Also, the shower is handheld. And no exhaust fan in there so it gets really steamy.

The wifi in the common areas was good, and quick, but didnt reach to our room at the end of the corridor, so we had to sit outside the room in the hallway to use the wifi, which is not airconditioned and was stuffy (and also you feel a bit strange sitting out there...)

Overall, was not perfect, but I would maybe stay there if ever in Lugano again, mainly for the nice staff and the sort of dated charm of the place - feels a bit like the 1960s with the faded pool chairs, giant chess board and games room.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room where the wifi works!!
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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RobertoSchmid, Owner at Hotel International au Lac, responded to this review, June 12, 2014
Dear kathdot,
Thank you for posting this review and for letting us know how you feel about your stay with us.

The Hotel International au Lac was opened in 1906 and belongs today to Lugano’s historical buildings. Constant renovation works and up-grades (the last in 2013 extending on 2 floors) made every room unique. Shape, decor and layout varies from one room to the other. We put great effort in keeping the traditional feel in our property by choosing noble materials and a classical design.

We sincerely regret your inconvenience regarding the limited access to our free WiFi Internet service. We had a week-end plus 2 working days where the system was partially malfunctioning due to a missed update. I can assure you that our supplier was working hard to solve the matter swiftly. Unfortunately, unlike for our core hotel services, for WiFi we rely on external contactors.

Thank you for choosing our hotel for your recent stay and we are looking forward to welcoming you soon again.

Roberto Schmid
Hotel International au Lac, Lugano * * *s
Fam. Giulio Schmid, propr. dir.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

At the end of the main pedestrianised shopping street, next to Santa Maria degli Angeli and overlooking the lake: what more could you ask for? The staff were without exception excellent, but the guys in the breakfast room have to be especially praised. I wish some of the managers of swish five star hotels could visit to see what professional service really looks like: relaxed, unstuffy, charming. The terrace was a treat, our room delightful: I know everyone says 'we'll be back', but we really mean it!

Room Tip: The superior doubles overlooking the lake are fantastic.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

I love the Hotel International au Lac. I have stayed in many 5 star hotels but I would rate this 3 star over many of them. It really feels like a home from home. The staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly, the rooms are very comfortable, the location is amazing and the terrace and garden in the back by the pool are magical. After a very stressful week I ended up just lounging in the garden over looking the lake - it was perfect. This was not my first time at the hotel and most definitely not my last - I intend to go back at least a couple more times this year if I can.

Room Tip: If you are a single traveler go for a single room at the front as some of the double rooms are at th...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseville, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

Stayed here three nights and the staff from the front desk to room service is excellent. Loved Marchello the bartender entertaining us each night. We already miss his infectious laugh. The breakfast buffet was excellent and the hotel itself is full of old world charm. Reminds us of the hotel del Coronado in San Diego . The only downside would be that the standard rooms are not updated and very small. But we didn't spend much time in our room so it was fine. Location was close to everything we wanted to do and a magnificent view of the lake. Construction of a casino next door was a little inconvenient and noisy and we were never notified of this before our trip. The e-mail communication while planning our trip was timely and language was not a barrier. Dominico at the front desk is extremely helpful for anything we needed. Overall a great price and location.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the lake.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Newport, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014 via mobile

This is our 50th wedding Anniversary and we were charmed to stay in an up to date classical hotel from an era past. Our room overlooked an old church with bells just feet away. We awoke from our nap being serenaded by the old bells. :)
The dining room is manned by the best old world service. The kitchen produces a wonderful six course dinner for a price that can not be beat. The clientele is an even mix from young to ... us. The location is perfectly sited at the beginning of the shopping walk. Just passed the hanging salami, is the funicular straight up (or down from) to the rail station. (1.20 Fr). We easily walked to the boat dock for a two hour lunch tour/ride of Lake Lugano.

Stayed May 2014
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Thompson, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

My husband and I stayed here 3 nights in April, the hotel was quaint, well decorated and the staff was excellent. I loved how we had the same staff in at reception, housekeeping and servers every day. The breakfast buffet was delicious, lots of variety, the pool area was nice and warm in the sun.
This hotel is centered perfectly around all the shops and on the weekends the little booths, steps away from a main bus route, close to the Casino and right at the water.
Our room only had a shower and no tub, but we knew this is a norm in Europe. The bathroom was beautiful... all the stone/ tile work is amazing in Europe and Switzerland. This hotel also had a lot of history and a little library/ museum. We had laundry done here and it came back very quickly.
Also from this hotel it is a short train ride or about 80 CHF to the Fox Town Outlet mall and a short train ride from an attraction of Splash and Spa which was excellent (the Spa side amazing).
I have no complaint about the hotel... just all tourists need to remember, stores close at 6pm during the week, early on Sat and are usually close on Sunday, as well as we found few places to eat after 830- 9pm. Though the hotel recommended a place called Alice's... on the water front and it was excellent. The Sea Bass was indescribable.

Room Tip: If a tub is necessary, let them now on reservation.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel International au Lac

Address: Via Nassa 68 | Piazza Luini, Lugano 6901, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Canton of Ticino > Lugano
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Lugano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel International au Lac 3.5*
Number of rooms: 80
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, lobby-bar, garden with swimming-pool and WiFi Internet. A variety of restaurants, pizzerias and typical bars are located close to the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
International Au Lac Lugano
International Au Lac Hotel

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