I stayed here between 17th and 19th July 2009. I had been to Lugano before, and stayed at Hotel Dellago in Melide (also very disappointing). We had originally planned on staying at Suitenhotel Parco Paradiso, but after a glitch in the booking system, which we had not been aware of at the time of booking, we were forced to book a hotel last minute. We booked a junior suite through venere.com and paid CHF 350 on the first night and CHF 380 on the second.
When we arrived, having caught the train from Milan, we walked all around Paradiso (as the hotel is not in Lugano centre) before finally finding the hotel, which we did not see signposted on any of the hotel signs which are present throughout the streets of Lugano. However, we hadn't printed off a map or instructions of how to get there, so it could have been easier that way, I'm not sure. We walked up a slight hill, which may cause problems to those with mobility problems (but, really, Lugano isn't the place to visit if you struggle with hills, as the whole town is built upwards along the hillside). There are lots of crossings, so getting across the road isn't a problem, but they don't change quickly to allow people to cross. We then entered through the back door and walked through to reception at the front of the hotel (after this first time, we were unable to enter through the back door without our room key, which made it seem strange that it had been open originally). The check-in staff were fine, speaking to us in Italian and French before realising we were English (that's another thing to consider when visiting Lugano - they really appreciate you speaking Italian, or at least trying, and many of them either don't speak English, or speak it badly). We were directed to our room on the 6th (and top) floor. On the way to the lifts, we noticed the computers. The hotel provides internet access, but you have to pay for it - I think it was CHF 5 for 38 minutes. They do also have wireless internet access in the rooms, but I'm not sure how that worked, as we didn't take our laptops with us.
So, on to the room. Well, you have to remember that we'd booked a junior suite, so on entering, we were quite disappointed. We've travelled all around the world and stayed in a variety of hotels and hotel rooms, so I think we were both expecting more really. The decor is very dated. The carpet is a blue colour and the curtains and bedspreads are floral. This is not to my taste, and it's possible that it affected my opinion. The bathroom was small - you could move around in it, but really it wasn't junior suite standard, with a cheap-looking plastic shower curtain. The room itself was smaller than we were expecting, which makes me wonder how small the normal rooms must be. We saw a suite being cleaned on one of the days: it was definitely bigger than our room, but the bathroom still seemed small and the view seemed to be over the mountains rather than over the lake. Back to our room. We had a terrace, but again it was very small, and the chairs which were provided were incredibly uncomfortable and left a wire mark on your legs. Also, when we were out on the terrace, we could see everyone else's terraces and what they were doing on them, which I found disappointing, as I feel that if you're paying more for a junior suite, you ought to have a certain level of privacy. The view was very nice, but the lake isn't right in front of you, but on your left. Another problem we had was that the couple next door had a baby, who seemed to be ill, and who was crying the whole time. You could hear EVERYTHING through the walls, from the baby crying to the mother rustling through her baby bag. Also, there were cobwebs on the table next to my bed, so the cleaners couldn't have cleaned all that thoroughly.
There are plenty of things to do at the hotel, and having seen Suitenhotel Parco Paradiso as we were walking around, the location of De la Paix is much better, as the incline to reach it is much less, and the walk to Lugano much shorter. The funicular up to San Salvatore is not to be missed - the view from up there really is spectacular. You can also get on board a lake cruise from Paradiso, literally at the end of the street on which De La Paix is situated. It's quite nice to see a different view of Lugano and of the lake. We didn't do any shopping whilst we were there, as we were only staying for a weekend, but if you wanted to there's plenty of designer labels around, plus H&M and Esprit. Be warned though - only the restaurants and tourist attractions are open on Sunday - even the supermarkets we walked past were closed. The park in Lugano is well used and offers beautiful views over the lake and surrounding area. It's full of flowers and statues and it's a nice place to unwind. You can also hire pedalos for around CHF 5 for half an hour, but the lake is quite choppy, so not recommended for anyone who suffers from sea sickness. We went to a free music concert on one of the evenings, which was nice, and the atmosphere was very friendly. No-one seems to worry about crime in Lugano - there was no-one clutching on to their bag. There was also an open air cinema festival, but we didn't go to that.
As far as eating places go, it seems hard to go wrong. We didn't eat in the hotel restaurant, so I can't advise on that. All I can say is that Restaurant Neptune (where breakfast is served) was meant to be open from 6.30pm until 9pm, or something like that, and wasn't open either of the nights that we stayed. However, Al Barilotto was open both nights. In Lugano, we ate in the Piazza della Riforma twice. Once in a restaurant called Olimpia, which was OK, but more expensive than our other meals, and not much different in terms of quality. The other place was next to the restaurant which was next the pharmacy, but I can't remember its name. The pizza there was delicious and the staff were friendly despite being rushed off their feet. We ate in the restaurant on top of San Salvatore and had ravioli, which was really tasty, too, and not at all like the kind of touristy cafes and restaurants you get in the UK. We went to Bottegone del Vino (thanks to Tripadvisor) and had an amazing meal - there is very little selection, but what we got was delicious. Lots of locals eat here, too, which is a good sign. However, we were charged for two desserts, despite having only ordered one. This was dealt with very quickly when we brought it to the attention of the waiter, though. Go to Munger (either in Paradiso or Lugano centre) for cakes, sandwiches and quiches - absolutely delicious, no matter what you order!
So, in summary, the hotel was fine. The pool was OK, the breakfast varied, and the staff nice and friendly. But, you don't necessarily get what you order if you're in a junior suite - had we not paid the extra money, maybe we would have been happier with what we were given, but I can't comment on that, as we don't know what the standard rooms were like. The room was comfortable enough, although the bed was a little hard, and the views were fantastic. The bathroom was serviceable. Really there's nothing WRONG with the hotel as such, it just didn't meet our expectations. It seems like a hotel which was once very grand, and has gone downhill a little, without any attempt at revival. For me, it's not a place I would stay in again, at least not in the junior suite, but it wasn't an awful room that I didn't want to go back to, and if you're not expecting a beautiful hotel with perfect facilities, you probably won't be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situato in prossimita del lago di Lugano e a pochi passi dal centro, con un ampio parcheggio privato, a cinque chilometri dall'aeroporto e un chilometro dalla stazione, l'Hotel de la Paix e lieto di accogliervi col calore e la cordialita del suo staff plurilingue. Le 131 camere e suite, dotate tutte di aria condizionata, TV satellitare, Minibar, Telefono, connessione Wireless, sono pronte a soddisfare i bisogni del turismo piu esigente e moderno sia per vacanza che per affari. La terrazza giardino, con piscina estiva riscaldata e portico, e il luogo ideale per un momento di relax e di svago ammirando la splendida conca di Lugano. Due sono i ristoranti, con cucina italiana ed internazionale. Il NEPTUNE, affacciato sul giardino, offre un ambiente tranquillo e raffinato. AL BARILOTTO, in tipico stile rustico e informale, e noto per le sue specialita alla griglia e le pizze. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- De La Paix Lugano
- De La Paix Hotel