We spent 6 wonderful days at the Hotel Moosmann for our 25th Anniversary holiday. Our room had french windows onto a small balcony overlooking the lake, with what must be one of the most beautiful views in the world, and the perfect peace and quiet so rarely found nowadays. Apart from occasional ferries, fishing boats or cruisers, there is nothing to disturb the silence except for ducks, birds and the odd plop of a fish.
There are no cars in Gandria itself as it is perched on a very steep hillside by the lake. (There is a road above - out of earshot! - and public car park, and the hotel also has a luggage lift.) We arrived by taxi from Lugano station, and the driver had a permit so was able to drop us in the church square, about 3 minutes down an easy but quite steep path and steps to the hotel. On other days (including when we left) we used the ferry which takes about half an hour to get to Lugano, and also connects with many other places around the lake such as Paradiso (for the funicular up Monte San Salvatore), Capolago (for the vertiginous but thrilling rack-railway up Monte Generoso), Morcote, Ponte Tresa and not forgetting the Cantine di Gandria right opposite the hotel with its fascinating Customs Museum.
We were given a very friendly reception on arrival by Mr Moosmann himself, who helped carry our luggage and was charming and courteous at all times. He speaks excellent English, as well as Italian and German (and probably French) and both he and all the staff were excellent - real old-fashioned service.
Our room was spacious and spotlessly clean - yes, it is in a bit of a time warp, and the furnishings are not new, but they are excellently maintained. Our bed was perfectly comfortable with crisp fresh linen and a super soft extra pillow provided when I asked. A faulty telephone connection was fixed immediately. We had two armchairs, a table and desk, minibar, folding chairs for the balcony, plenty of hanging and shelf space and a safe. The bathroom was fine, my only quibble the shower curtain (I HATE shower curtains! they always cling to you...) but plenty of hot water and ample towels.
The hotel building is in three sections, two beside the lake and one set back. It is a maze of different levels: there are several small lounges for guests including a very ancient-looking beamed room with a huge fireplace, and a lovely large dining room overlooking the lake, with original pictures by a local painter. Outside is a lakeside terrace where we had breakfast, and a delightful garden shaded by trees with loungers and sunshades. There is a bathing platform with handrail and shower and they provide towels - the lake water is not warm! but refreshing and pleasantly chlorine free, if you don't mind sharing with the ducks and swans. The freshness certainly enhances one's appetite for the extensive and tasty buffet breakfast; we also had a light lunch and dinner all of which were good.
Altogether this was one of the nicest hotels we have ever been to, and it is in a uniquely special position, the perfect spot for getting away from it all. It may seem expensive, but this is a very expensive corner of an expensive country, and compared to the majority of Lugano's hotels this is not very dear. I urge people to make the most of this lovely hotel while they still can - there are very few places that are still this unspoilt left in Europe.
- Also Known As:
- Moosmann Hotel Gandria