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“Standard Bearer of Class Swiss Hospitality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola

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Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Viale Castagnola 31, Lugano 6906, Switzerland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 41 Hotels in Lugano
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Standard Bearer of Class Swiss Hospitality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

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.

Room Tip: Make sure you face the lake, and can SEE the lake.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

We thank you very much for your very positive and detailed comment. We will certainly share your notes among the management and the staff.

It is correct; one of our main values is to offer a very personalized service, each room is differently furnished and much attention is given to all single details. We love to make our guests feel at home and at their ease. We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the stay with your family at the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola and that you took advantage of all exciting outdoor activities offered from our region.

As you well describe in your comment, the region of Ticino offers a wide range of activities, it is certainly a paradise for nature and outdoor activities. Our concierge will be happy to suggest you new activities for your next stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Kind regards,

Letizia Gianora
Sales&Marketing Manager
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168 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Moscow, Russia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

this lovely hotel has a chic interior, very stylish and very comfortable.
the staff are very attentive and friendly.
view from the windows of the lake is gorgeous!

breakfast is good but could be with a large assortment...

  • Stayed April 2014, 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
    • 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.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comment. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the style of our Villa Castagnola and our staff. All rooms of the hotel have terrace and lake/park view which is really unique in Lugano and is so much appreciated from all guests.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Kind regards,

Letizia Gianora
Sales& Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

What a fantastic hotel - all you could ask for and more! We travelled from Bellagio to Lugano and after checking Tripadvisor decided to go to this hotel and see what we thought. From the warm reception to the offer of showing us a choice of rooms all with fantastic views, we chose a room overlooking the snow capped Alps and lake. A feeling of warmth and luxury pervades the hotel. We had dinner in the restaurant and whilst expensive worth every cent. Breakfast the following morning was outstanding. The best scrambled eggs ever!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

we thank you very much for your very positive comment. We are always very happy to hear that our guests fully enjoy their stay at our charming Villa. The Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola is a five-star-hotel, with very personalized style and with primary attention to its guests’ wishes and desires.
The excellent cuisine of our restaurants offers a real culinary outstanding experience to our clients.
We are also pleased that you had a good start in the day with our rich breakfast buffet, with pleasure we will forward your compliment for the scrambled eggs to our chef.

We look forward to welcoming back soon.

Kind regards,

Letizia Gianora
Sales & Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

We have just returned from the Grand Villa Castagnola and I am suitably impressed.

Arriving at the hotel was very impressive as you wind your way up the little road to the main entrance. We were greeted by Barbara who was efficient and genuinely friendly (which was refreshing as I was half expecting stuffy due to the surroundings). Check in was very simple then Barbara accompanied us to your room in the new section, which involved a bit of a walk but in such an old building it's to be expected. I was a hotelier for 22 years and have seen my fair share of rooms, both good and bad, but I can say I was impressed with the room. The decor was fresh and the room smelt nice and clean. We had our own sofa and armchair, twin beds with duvets, complimentary fruit and a lovely little terrace with recliners. The bathroom was spacious and, as I found out later, the shower was great. All the usual amenities you'd expect of a five star hotel from slippers and gowns to all the toiletries you could wish for.

Once settled we went to reception to the eat something on the terrace outside. We really just wanted a snack so ordered a bottle of water, two simple plates of pasta and I had an espresso, which all came to a grand total of.... 72 Swiss Francs or about 50 Euros! Whilst I understand we were in a five star hotel, and the service was impeccable, the linen whiter than white and the surroundings beautiful... 50 Euros for 2 plates of pasta! I was taken aback and at the time thought that's the price you pay for five star I guess, but I now feel that 29 Swiss Francs for a plate of pasta is just a bit ridiculous. I have just checked the price for next weekend, similar to our stay and the price per night shows as £293, which I think is reasonable considering what you get from the service to amenities. However I still balk at that much for a plate of pasta regardless.

SO our next stop had to be the pool, we donned our slippers and bath robe and headed off to the pool. We weren't disappointed as it is lovely, once again everything is provided and there are sun loungers if the weather permits. The only down side to the pool was that it was just too cold. now I know everyone's a bit cold when they first enter a pool and once I had thrashed about trying to warm up I was alright, the problem was when I stopped as I immediately cooled down to the point where I was having the trash about every few minutes to be able to stay in the pool as it was just too cold. Relaxing and chatting in the pool is just not an option as it really is too cold. Also a little disappointed that you had to book the sauna...

After a lovely warm shower I then tried to connect to the complimentary wifi, it connects but is painfully slow at times, even unusable it's so slow. Later when I tried to connect it didn't want to work at all so I had to reload everything, which made it work, but again so slow I gave up. Loved the complimentary wifi but shame it didn't work very well.

The next morning we were up and out fairly quickly but had time for breakfast in the lovely breakfast room. Breakfast is lovely, a large enough selection to keep pretty much everyone happy from fruit salads to eggs and bacon to fresh croissants. The selection is too large to list here, suffice to say I think pretty much everyone is catered for.

One thing I was disappointed with, when we went out to grab a bite to eat one evening, was how dead it was after 8pm. During the day the place is a hive of activity with people running around, sitting at bars etc but come 7-8pm everyone scatters and the once thriving bars and restaurants are empty. I found out from our very chatty taxi driver, on the way back to the airport, that this has something to do with the mayor not letting businesses open late, which is such a shame as if you go to Lake Como it is full of people at night which is so much nicer than a ghost town.

Don't get me wrong though I would definitely go back, I just felt these little annoyances needed pointing out as they impacted on our stay in this wonderful hotel. Oh yes and forgot to mention, the beds, pillows, linen and duvets are divine!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

we thank you very much for your comment. We are glad to read that you liked the style of our beautiful Villa. We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed from our restaurant Le Relais regarding the prices.
We have two gastronomic restaurants with 14 and 16 points Gault Millau.
This is reflected in our dishes and prices which are highly appreciated from many guests who are looking for extraordinary culinary experiences.
We are pleased to hear that you appreciated our breakfast buffet. We like to greet our guests in the day with a rich and genuine choice of delicious products.

The summer is coming and Lugano turns its lights on during this season. So why not come back to Lugano during the summer in order to experience the most exciting side of the city?

We look forward to welcoming back soon.

Kind regards,
Letizia Gianora
Sales & Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

This sort of hotel you think don´t exist any longer. Impeccable service, gracious rooms, chic Mediterranean style, all the little details that make the big difference.. Wonderful breakfast room. Stunning views of the lake. If you can afford these expensive rates, don´t hesitate, that´s the place in Lugano,

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 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.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Dear Guest,

we are more than happy to hear that you had a wonderful experience in our Villa. The Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola is indeed an exclusive place, few minutes from the city center where to enjoy a relaxing and charming atmosphere.
We hope to have the pleasure to welcoming you back soon at the Villa Castagnola, perhaps during the summer season, when Lugano shows its entire splendor.
Kind regards,

Letizia Gianora
Sales & Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

The location is excellent, the hotel served us well, Sunday and Monday their signature restaurant and spa is closed(disappointing). I have stayed in a one bedroom suite, it consists of 2 connected deluxe rooms, the rooms are not well maintained. The housekeeping service is very weak. Overall we did enjoy, the garden is beautifull.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 8, 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you very much for your comment.
We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed our charming hotel and garden. All our 78 rooms are individually styled, therefore next time we can surely find the best suited room for you!

We are sorry to hear that you did not have the chance to taste the gourmet cuisine of our Michelin Star Restaurant Galleria Arté al Lago.
We look forward to welcoming back soon.

Kind regards,

Letizia Gianora
Sales & Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

Love the graden, nice & quite hotel, service is excellent, food is great. Massage and the signature restaurant are closed on Sunday & Monday!! The one bedroom suite is fine, although it is 2 connecting room, one is salon and the other is bedroom. The housekeeping is very week and toilet of the suite is not maintained well. All in all we did enjoy the rest of the hotel facility.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Gianora, Direttore vendite at Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, responded to this review, April 8, 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you very much for your comment.
We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed our charming hotel and garden. All our 78 rooms are individually styled, therefore next time we can surely find the best suited room for you!

We are sorry to hear that you did not have the chance to taste the gourmet cuisine of our Michelin Star Restaurant Galleria Arté al Lago.
We look forward to welcoming back soon.

Kind regards,

Letizia Gianora
Sales & Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola

Address: Viale Castagnola 31, Lugano 6906, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Ticino > Lugano
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Lugano
#2 Romantic Hotel in Lugano
#3 Business Hotel in Lugano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola 5*
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

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