We stayed here in early June 2012. The hotel is situated close to the lake and at the end of a main shopping street, with top-end designer shops very close. On the other side of the hotel is an old church with delightful medieval friezes. We had a superior room, with a balcony and lake views. The shower is at waist height and the towels are not large. It was very difficult to get the room cool enough to be comfortable for sleeping in despite leaving the AC on all day while we were out. The decor is suited to the feel of the hotel; dark wood, solid antique furniture and fin de siècle comfort. It is certainly comfortable, and all is spotless, as you would expect in Switzerland. The breakfasts are fine, if slightly at the mass-market end of the spectrum, but plenty of fresh fruit, meat, cheese, bread, cereals etc. The dining room staff are not always totally on the ball, and the coffee at breakfast could be better, but this is pretty good for a three star. Reception staff were all highly professional and very helpful, we asked for more pillows and these were produced almost instantly, and the cleaning staff were also very courteous and respectful of our privacy.
The swimming pool was unheated while we were there. I am not sure if this is because it was mostly raining, and when there is steady sun, they heat it, or if this is the norm, so be prepared for a refreshing dip! The changing facilities are a little quaint, essentially one room with a toilet and hand shower, but there are plenty of towels.
One slightly disturbing aspect of our stay was the bar man. The only place for free wifi is in the bar and restaurant on the first floor, so we spent some time in there, at least to begin with. However, we were put off by the bar man's approach to hygiene - he farted very loudly while we were sitting there, and, on one occasion, stood behind the bar running the water in the sink for a long time, while standing there doing nothing. My partner had the distinct impression, based on some hand movements at the front of his trousers that he was relieving himself in the sink, but I stress that this was only an impression, which we could not have proved, and we were the only people in the room at the time. It was enough to put us off, however! This is a shame, because for the most part, as long as you are not expecting five-star standards, this is a very nice place to stay, fairly quiet, with lake views and a pool area with a bar, very clean and mostly professionally staffed. It has been in the same family for a long time, and has a pleasant atmosphere. We spent some relaxing days there.
My tip, however, would be to stay over the border in Italy, where everything is much, much cheaper, and visit Lugano for the day (the train takes half an hour).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Prime location in the old-town quarter and shopping district of the city centre and on the lake-promenade.Historical Downtown Hotel with extended facilities such as private garage parking, lobby-bar, garden with swimming-pool and WiFi Internet. A variety of restaurants, pizzerias and typical bars are located close to the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- International Au Lac Lugano
- International Au Lac Hotel