Just returned from a two-night stay in Hotel Gabbani and can highly recommend it, but keep in mind that this is not your usual Lugano establishment and check your expectations for a full-service experience. Not that the service is compromised in any way -- Tania and her crew are warm, personable and very professional -- but Hotel Gabbani is perhaps closer to a serviced apartment (or better put, the world's chicest dormitory) than a hotel or even B&B.
Based around the wonderful Gabbani delis downstairs and across the way, the hotel features a small number of rooms named after food stuffs ("mela," "miele," "limone," etc.). Sounds corny but it's not! Our room was minimal, sleek and clean with a very comfortable bed, cool lighting, beautiful wood floors and a fantastic shower. As others have commented, the architecture is itself distinctly modern. All very far from the overstuffed, chintzy look of so many hotels around the lakes in Ticino and Lomardia (and that's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned!) but very close to the lake itself (a five minute walk, tops). Plus, the city center is at your doorstep with Lugano's various festival attractions.
Rooms at the Gabbani are indeed minimally appointed, verging on monastic. They're not huge and there are little bells and whistles. All the same, the hotel is very good value for Lugano: there's free wi-fi, a good breakfast and drinks in the in-room fridge. Reception takes off in the evening, though, so if you need any assistance or help with your stay, you might want to look elsewhere. If I ever return to Lugano, however, I'd be more than happy to stay here again,
Tip: we found the food in Lugano wildly expensive but hardly spectacular. We enjoyed a very good dinner at the Gabanni, though.
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