Some of the first things you notice when you arrive in Lugano are the greetings are Italian, the food and wine are Italian and the pace is definitely Italian … but more on that later. The Bellevue de Lac is on the outskirts of town which has its pluses and minuses. We arrived by train from Zurich and took a taxi to the hotel. Despite what anyone tells you, it IS NOT a walkable distance, especially with luggage. You could take the funicular down from the train station and try to figure out what bus to take, but after eleven hours in the air, an hour trying to figure out where to go in the Zurich airport and then two and a half hours on a train, a $20 taxi ride seemed like a bargain. We were greeted by Romina at the front desk and she made sure we had a great room, knew our way around the hotel and shared some ideas for activities for the six days we were in Lugano. If you are going to be in this area of Switzerland anytime from mid-May on through the Summer, make sure you are staying at a hotel with air-conditioning. After a long day exploring, the last thing you want is to return to a hot room, limited air movement and bugs when you open the doors/windows to try and cool off. Another MUST for us was an actual functioning bathroom. Both of us have traveled to Europe before and are not fans of the postage-size bathrooms with straight-jacket glass cylinders advertised as showers. The Belleview de Lac was a winner on both counts … large air-conditioned room with a large bathroom, including a bidet. The breakfast (was included in our reservation) was excellent and included the usual meats, cheeses, fruits, breads, pastries, yogurt, muesli and assorted cereals and scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. There were several juices to choose from along with tea, coffee and espresso. Speaking of which, our room had an espresso machine which the hotel kept stocked, and we enjoyed while trying to get our body clocks onto a Swiss schedule. We had Room 206 with a large balcony looking out over Lake Lugano and the main drive into town from Paradiso. The two French doors/tilt-windows provided easy access to the balcony and excellent sound deadening when closed. Though some might say there is more noise on the front of the hotel (not our experience), watching the sun come up over the Alps and Lake Lugano each morning was breathtaking … we also had a great view of the full moon while we were there. We enjoyed sitting out on the balcony and watching the morning rush with a cup of espresso and the evening return with a chilled glass of the local Ticino Bianco Merlot. If you are a car nut, the Ferraris, Alfas, Lamborghinis, and many mint classics parading by on their way to/from work was an extra treat. If no one has mentioned this to this point, Switzerland is EXPENSIVE. The food was excellent at any restaurant we visited and tended to toward Italian pastas, lasagnas, risottos and pizzas. The wines seemed reasonably priced until you discover your $10 glass of Bianco Merlot is about the size of two-shots American. Restaurants pour eight glasses of wine from a standard 750ml bottle. The local buses are a bargain (free with hotel coupon), but many of the tours can be costly. One must-do however, is to take the tour around Lake Lugano. The boat launch is right across the street from the hotel and the lake and accompanying scenery are breathtaking. Though the hotel does not have a workout facility, there is a place within easy walking distance … better yet, there is exercise equipment set up in the park across the street about a block away toward Paridiso which looks out over Lake Lugano and provides inspiration for your perspiration. For those who forgot something and are not familiar with Switzerland, there was both small (basics + wine/beer) and large (home furnishings, luggage, clothing, cosmetics, groceries, wine/beer) Coop stores within walking distance. One minor frustration, Wi-Fi was spotty. I mentioned “pace” in my opening comment and people need to understand service happens at a very leisurely pace … if you need immediate attention when you enter a restaurant, you will be extremely frustrated. We had an excellent dinner one night at the hotel but with so many great restaurants around town, we wanted to experience a wide variety … were not disappointed. The hotel staff were all excellent, and a special thanks to Romina for getting us settled-in and providing us support throughout our visit. The only downside for those not into walking, it is about a 10-15 minute walk into town, but we found it helped to burn off all the great lasagna, risotto and local wine. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Bellevue de Lac! less
BellevueAuLac, Reception at Best Western Hotel Bellevue Au Lac, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay and provide useful information to other travelers wishing to visit our beautiful Lugano Lake area, we really appreciate it.
We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay at Best Western Hotel Bellevue au Lac and wanted to thank you for the nice words.
Looking forward to be welcoming you again at our hotel we wish you all the best.