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“Wonderful hotel - I will return as often as I can” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Walter au Lac

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Hotel Walter au Lac
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Piazza Rezzonico 7, Lugano 6900, Switzerland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 38 hotels in Lugano
Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“Wonderful hotel - I will return as often as I can”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

I have to say I am deeply conflicted writing this review, because this is such a gem of a hotel I do not want it ruined by many tripadvisor travellers crowding me out in the future! But I like the hotel so much and I feel so grateful to tripadvisor for helping me find it I must pass the favor on.

My wife and I booked the Walter au Lac based on tripadvisor reviews, using the hotel website's online booking service. We were reminded of our reservation by email as the time drew near and had a polite follow-up afterwards. Everything was perfectly in order on arrival.

The hotel is in central Lugano right on the lake, with the small embankment road and narrow beach between it and the lake. It is next to a small and beautiful plaza where if you are lucky you can find car parking (we were lucky). It is an almost impossibly charming setting with truly spectacular views of the lake.

I usually stay in five star international hotels, so when I first entered the hotel it seemed a bit scruffy, but I was still very deeply charmed by the setting and by the warmth of the reception (love those Swiss hoteliers). Entering the room, a second floor lake view room with two large windows and a French door style balcony, for a moment the room also seemed a bit shopworn, until our eyes went to the view outside. Yes, the furniture is not new but the charm of the place is outstanding, far better than what I now think would be an out-of-place international sterility. Everything though not new was very clean, with clean, comfortable bedding as the Swiss do so well.

For dinner that evening the reception clerk recommended what ended up to be a perfect restaurant, the Antica Osteria del Porto (pricey but very good and casual), to which one can easily walk via the lake shore promenade and park. She recommended a drink at a local plaza nearby, also a wonderful idea. We slept very well at night, with shutters closed.

The next morning we had coffee in the room, and when that ran out I stepped down one floor to the breakfast room to get some more coffee. The breakfast room is an outstandingly charming, light and airy room on the first floor (that's the floor above the ground floor, for my American friends) with a divine view of the lake. After breakfast my wife and I went up to the roof terrace for the views. There is a hot tub on the roof terrace as well as lounging chairs for taking the sun.

In a lifetime of travel throughout the world in many hotels this has been one of the most memorable and pleasant I have encountered. I found it a fair value with a pleasant, relaiable and competent staff. Lugano is a gem as well.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Scotland
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

We chose this hotel as we were guaranteed a lake view and WOW what a view to wake up to every day. We stayed here for 5 nights and everything was good. We arrived before check-in time but were shown straight to our room. The room and bathroom were large and everything was clean. Although a main road runs in front of the hotel there was no noise from the traffic to keep us awake.
Breakfast was a good spread with a good choice of rolls, bread, cheese, ham, fruit etc.
We were in Lugano when the Tour de Swiss cycle race was on and we could watch the cyclists come past the finish line from our room window.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Lugano. It has a beautiful setting and we were lucky with the weather.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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North Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2010

What made this hotel lovely was the polite and courteous hotel staff. We were greeted by Natalie with her beautiful smile and welcoming personality. She was helpful in giving us information about Lugano. The rooms were clean and we were fortunate in having a balcony to enjoy the view of Lake Lugano. The breakfast was plentiful. The noise from the street was not an issue as we stayed on a Saturday night in which the main street was closed to traffic. The residents of Lugano enjoyed walking and socializing with friends.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2010

Location: great. Everything else: average, starting with cleanliness, quality of the breakfast etc. The rooms are very small. The staff at the receprion are very nice and friendly. THe price is definitely too high (like everything else in Lugano), but this can only be justified (partially) by the hotel's location. In general, the hotel service in Switzerland is too expensive in contrast to the average service they offer. THey probably think that being in Switzerland is a reward itself, but they should make an effort to make the customers feel satisfied and comfortable (like in Turkey, for example). So, if you are in Lugano, and looking for a good hotel location (and you don't feel bad about the amount of money you'll spend on it), choose Walter au lac. HOwever, if you are willing to walk just a few hundreds of meters, you could find a cheaper accomodation, with also average service.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2010

Spent one night in April, one night in May (coming and going from a trip to neighboring Italy) in this lovely hotel. It's a great old hotel that has been renovated, and each of our rooms were wonderful. The first had a balcony overlooking the awesome Lake Lugano, the second room had no balcony, but SUCH a view out the large windows! Both bathrooms were totally new and spotless. The breakfast room was elegant and a huge selection of wonderful food. Best of all was the staff. They could not have been nicer. We immediately felt like they were friends! The hotel is very close to the train station (up a large hill, but there is a funicular to take, so walking from hotel to train with luggage is 5-10 minutes!) When booking a hotel in Lugano we couldn't decide if we should pick Hotel Walter or a newer hotel that is located slightly off the lake. I am so glad we picked Hotel Walter . The lake is stunning..... you must be able to wake up in the morning and see it from your room. We hope to return someday to Lugano, and we would certainly stay at Hotel Walter au Lac.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
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Sofia, Bulgaria
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2010

It's an old ( and family I think ) hotel, just beside the Lake of Lugano. The location and the view are perfect. You can go to the lake or to get lost into the tangle of old streets in the central part.
The rooms are comfortable, but don't expect perfection from a 120 years building. If you want to be pamper, go elsewhere. The only bad impression that I have is the noise from the street outside - is too higher during the night.
If traveling by car, you may have problems with parking - the public parking nearby is always full.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Ontario
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2010

Lugano is a beautiful city. Our only regret was that we couldn't spend more than a day/night here.

Key Points
- free internet computer room
- 10 minute walk from the train station but be prepared for a lot of stairs
- very noisy with a busy street beside the hotel (windows are not soundproof at all)
- AC was not effective at all

Bottom line: would love to go back to Lugano but would not stay at the Walter.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Walter au Lac

Also Known As:
Walter Au Lac Lugano
Walter Au Lac Hotel
Address: Piazza Rezzonico 7, Lugano 6900, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Ticino > Lugano
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Lugano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Walter au Lac 3*
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