My husband and I have been staying at this hotel since before having kids. It hasn't changed all that much; still gorgeous, tranquil, and immaculate. It is one of the rare examples of a fine, classic hotel that pays respect to the past, a renovated noble estate, without coming across as dated.
It's a grand hotel in the classic sense. Glistening crystal, attentive staff, immaculately shined surfaces, plush carpeting, in its own little compound which happens to boast a stunning view of Lake Lugano. The owners love to design, there are many lovely antiques interspersed throughout the property. Each room is different, but all are elegantly appointed.
I've always gotten a room with a balcony and lake view...the only way to go IMO. On our last visit, we had a little miscommunication of what exactly constituted a "lake view". In the rooms we were shown, they "faced the lake", but trees were in the way so the view was not visible. I repeat, after over a decade of visits, this is the only time this happened. Now that we travel with the kids, we need to book two rooms and that really gets up there in price. I was honest about my disappointment, and, without going into too much detail, let's just say management made amends by giving us a mind blowing upgrade. Still....I want to just be clear what I'm getting when I book, and this is something I will consider on my next visit.
But that was just a blip. The attention to detail at Castagnola is staggering. They remember what you like. You know how you have to give your passport at check-in? Well apparently they made a note of my husband's birthday, because on that day we received an assortment of goodies and a written greeting from the owner!
Location is a bit away from the main strip of Lugano. There is a convenient bus if you don't want to do the lovely 10 min walk by the lake. One of my favorite activities is going running *away* from town, you can jog on the foot paths to the precipitously place town of Gandria. Through the rocks and mountain. Directly across from the hotel you can get gelato, or rent different kind of boats. We rented a motor boat for the kids' thrill. For my own thrill....With the assistance of a pedal boat, (for safety, it's a busy waterway) I was able to swim right over to the Italian border! (this is abnormal...it's a swim of several hours, but I"m just saying...if you like outdoor stuff, LUGANO IS GREAT).
Kids love Monte Tamaro, about 15 min drive away. It's a mountain with a few activities and ziplining. We've also stayed at Villa castagnola, gone skiing at San Bernardino in the morning, and lounged outside by the pool later in the day. You can also ride the funicular up Mt Bre , located directed behind the hotel. which is a lovely hike and there is a restaurant on top of it.
The food is great in their dining rooms, and breakfast is included in the room fee. Don't miss it..champagne and fine cheeses , eggs, and meat. We did not have high hopes when we asked if they had anything gluten free, but they served us baskets of warmed GF buns.
Sadly, some might find the hotel boring. There is very little "whhooHOOO" type of nightlife, just fine wines and great company.Villa Castagnola has been a part of our lives since early in our marriage. We will continue to visit as a special treat whenever we can.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”, is the only five star superior Hotel in Lugano and enjoys a privileged position inside a large sub-tropical park and with a beautiful view towards the lake. The elegant villa, built in 1860, combines the charm of a former era with the comfort and the care of a modern luxury hotel. The hotel offers 78 rooms, of exceptional charm, individually styled, provided with every modern comfort and with stunning park and/or lake views, balcony, terrace or loggia. All rooms, of which 28 are Junior Suites and Suites, have individual air-conditioning, and provide the most modern comforts. Restaurant Le Relais – 14 points GaultMillau-: In an elegant setting, our Executive Chef Bertogna, suggests a light and innovative Mediterranean cuisine, a balance between colours and delicate flavours that you won’t forget. In season lunch and dinner are served on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the garden and the lake. Restaurant Gallery Arté al Lago -1 Michelin Star, 16 points GaulMillau - :A theme restaurant inside an art gallery. Restaurant renewed and embellished through artworks and sculptures of contemporary artists of international stature who alternate every six months. Right on the shore of the lake, the Restaurant Gallery Arté al Lago offers a magnificent and unique view over the gulf of Lugano. Signature dishes are entirely new and original from our Executive Chef Frank Oerthle. Top notch are the facilities offered for meeting and events: any event assumes a special distinction - a grand banquet or less formal luncheon, business meeting or conference, private party, dinner or wedding up to 120 people. A large and impressive venue is the Sala delle Palme, set to recall an oriental atmosphere with its Indian Rajastan panoplies and Afganistan doors dated XIX century. All our venues are appreciated for the day light and the unique ornamentation and for the unclenching rooms, private sitting-rooms, conference halls of different sizes such as Le Pavillon connected to the park trough the outdoor veranda, La Sala Delle Colonne, Sala Letizia, Sala Carlotta and Sala Ottavia, the Biblioteca and Sala Kwium.Villa Castagnola has a spectacular indoor swimming-pool with panoramic views over the gardens, a Wellness Corner, a Clarins Beauty Corner, a Danilo Hairstyling, a table-tennis room, outdoor hard court tennis fields and a private lake terrace. The Hotel is well connected to Lugano’s railway station and Airport (only 7Km to the Lugano-Agno Airport), and has easy access to the Motorway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Castagnola
- Grand Hotel Lugano