‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – The View, Lugano, Switzerland

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Lugano, Switzerland.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points.  We hope to run one review per day for the next few weeks.  There will be a deliberate mix of European and worldwide properties, super luxury and mid market, branded and independent.  You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.

Today’s hotel is The View, a 20-room boutique hotel with astonishing views in Lugano, Switzerland.  It is reader Alexander’s favourite hotel and here is his review:

Booking and arrival

Lugano was our first stop on our Winter driving holiday through Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  At the time we settled on the destination there were no good points options, but shortly before our stay Hyatt announced its partnership with SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) which made The View available for redemption through World of Hyatt.

Availability was good – even over New Year’s Eve – albeit at the top World of Hyatt rate of 40,000 points per night.  Cash rates were 900 CHF (£750!).  I paid with a mix of points for one night and a ‘stay 4 get 1 free’ offer on my credit card for the other four nights.

The first impression of the hotel was flash. We drove up the hills above Lugano, with great views of the lake on one side, and around the corner you could see The View pop up out of the terrain in front of you.

The arrival was a bit different – instead of having a traditional porte-cochere, you drove straight into the recessed parking garage where there was a small bell office to take your bags etc and escort you to reception on the ground floor.

My wife was very impressed with the building and the arrival process, and likened it to arriving at a Bond villain’s lair. The only difference between me and James Bond, of course, is that I was driving an Opel Astra…

review The View, Lugano, Switzerland hotel

Overview

The hotel’s location is stunning.  All twenty rooms – this is a genuine boutique property – face the lake and are spread out over two floors.  Only two of the rooms were suites so I wasn’t expecting (and didn’t get) an upgrade. The other 18 rooms were all the same.  The only difference was if you got a fractionally better view of the lake depending on whether you were on the second or the first floor, or the left hand side of the hotel or the right.

Our room

Our room at The View was on the second floor in the middle with a perfect view of the lake and the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

The décor of the room was modern. The website describes it like this:

Thanks to the design of its interiors and the sensation one gets when looking out from the suites and the other areas of the hotel, one feels as though one is setting sail on a luxury cruise across the lake.

As someone who gets seasick moored at the dock I was a bit apprehensive about this, but it is actually quite an apt description! The interiors had a big emphasis on wood, mirror and cream. It doesn’t sound particularly appealing when I write it down, but the overall effect was to make the room look very smart whilst still keeping a cosy vibe.

The standard rooms were a generous 50m2 in size and are open plan. As you came in the door there was wardrobe space and luggage storage to one side, opposite which was the shower and a separate toilet cubicle. The rest of the bathroom (sinks and large soaking tub) sat on a small platform just past this area and leads to the bed/sitting area.  There was also a bypass on the wardrobe side so you could access the rest of the room without always stepping through the bathroom.

The king bed backed on to the bathroom and was perfectly positioned to take in the view whilst lying down. There was a small sitting area with a leather sofa, an armchair, and a coffee table. For those staying when it is warmer (ie not us!) there was also a generously sized balcony for you to sit out on and enjoy the view.

review The View, Lugano, Switzerland hotel

Standard toiletries were from the Italian brand Ortigia. You could opt online before your stay for different toiletries – Argan or Trussardi were on offer. You could even choose the colour of your toilet paper! We went for pink, if only because the other options of brown or black didn’t look or sound particularly attractive ……

Food at The View

Breakfast was included. It was served in the restaurant downstairs or alternatively, as the lovely woman who took us to our room put it, ‘you can have it in the room for no extra charge, so why not?’ We could not find a reason to decline.

There is something to be said for breakfast in bed whilst looking out on sunrise over Lake Lugano. There was a good choice of options: fruit, yoghurt, cold cuts, cheese, bakery, eggs (including omelettes), bacon, mushrooms, sausage etc., and some sweet options like pancakes or French toast.

The quality was very good apart from the bakery basket which was terrible. It was so bad that after the first morning we asked them to limit the bakery items to plain toast, and to leave the croissants, pastries and brioches – normally the best bit – in the kitchen.

Getting around

The obvious trade-off for the great views was the out-of-the-way location. You are up in the hills and so cannot easily stroll to the lake or town centre. There was a small train station nearby but a more convenient – and much more fun – option was to use the hotel’s fleet of electric smart cars. You only needed to show a driver’s license on the first day and you then had free use of the fleet.

We had great fun zipping round town in them. Even my wife, who normally is terrified of driving on what she considers to be the ‘wrong’ side of the road, was happily menacing the roads like an Italian by the end of our stay! The smartcars had a charge of up to 90km and there were no restrictions on where you could take them as long as you stayed in Switzerland. With the Italian border only 20 minutes away this was not as silly a restriction as it might otherwise sound ..…

review The View, Lugano, Switzerland hotel

Facilities

The View hotel had a reasonably large – for its 20 room size – spa facility. There was a large swimming pool and hydro pool. There were separate men’s and women’s sauna and steam areas, and a Himalayan salt room. There was also a restaurant adjacent to reception on the ground floor where you could have lunch and dinner; in practice most people seemed to eat out as there were never more than one or two tables occupied.

review The View, Lugano, Switzerland hotel

Conclusion

It is honestly difficult to find much to fault about The View. For us, the amazing view and the ability to easily dart into Lugano in the smart cars added a real ‘fun factor’ to an already luxurious stay and made it one of those visits that we will remember fondly for a long time.

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.

Booking ‘The View’

If you are thinking of bookng The View, you can get a special deal by using our hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant.

Emyr can access special rates via the Small Luxury Hotels of the World ‘withIN’ programme, which is exclusively offered to luxury travel agents.

If you book via Emyr and pay Best Flexible Rate, you will also receive:

daily breakfast
free Wi-Fi
$50 voucher per room
room upgrade, subject to availability at the time of check-in
early check-in or late check-out, request at time of booking and subject to availability at check-in

You can contact Emyr via the form on this page of Head for Points.

Because of the slightly complex relationship between SLH and World of Hyatt, you will not receive World of Hyatt points unless you book via the Hyatt website.  Booking via Emyr is likely to be better value, however.

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Comments

  1. For a review of a hotel called “The View” I was expecting at least one photo of the view from the hotel….

  2. Concerto says:

    There is absolutely no way this side of Hades I would blow 900 francs on a hotel room. One thing Switzerland is going to have to re-manage, coming out of this Corona thing, is the stupid price level of things here. I am there now and after this I won’t be setting foot in any of these rubbish restaurants (just as an example). I’ve become quite good at preparing food at home which is 10 times better for a tenth of the cost. It is possible to get nice hotel rooms at a sensible price level, all the same.

    • Brown toilet paper…I have never seen such a thing!

    • It has 20 rooms. It doesn’t need you 🙂

      There is also a very real chance that your only options going forward will be £750 hotels with only a handful of rooms, and so are open, or no hotel at all as all the bed factories are shut.

      • I doubt this will cause a sleepless night in the Concerto household.

    • Genghis says:

      I’ve only ever been to Switzerland (Zurich / Geneva) for work and go (“went”) quite regularly. I’d love to go on a holiday around the country on the trains but I know I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I should as I’d constantly be shelling out so much.

      • Novice says:

        😂

        Switzerland is a dream destination. I love lakes, mountains etc. Although this has no actual pics of the view but reading this was nostalgic because it reminded me of staying at a hotel in bariloche, Argentina with a massive lake as view from every massive window in the hotel.

        Good review. Hopefully, I’ll check it out in 5 yrs time when I resume travel as I’m planning on constantly travelling for a yr or so until I’ve seen all countries I want to see.

    • Attract very wealthy Germans and Americans paying £750 a night or go for the all inclusive British market at £40 a night ale in, with the inevitable spurious claims for food poisoning.

      It’s a tough one, that’s for sure.

    • I think to most Swiss people except for recent arrivals 900 francs is worth £400 or so. That was the exchange rate the first time I went there, and I made the right decision to store some of my cash in a CHF denominated account (not in a Swiss bank though…), so I’m still getting that exchange rate. Things in Switzerland are more sensibly priced when you think like this.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Except your 900 frans is actually worth £750 so I don’t quite understand what you mean?

        But I’m not sure that hotel in England in a location along the southern cost would really cost much less in peak season.

  3. Andrew MS says:

    If you are going on holiday in Switzerland and want to save money , if you book your hotels direct you will often find that hotels offer a very reasonable half board option costing maybe £20 pp more than the B & B rate . This applies to accommodations away from the cities in general . Beer rather than wine at dinner . I know a hotel on Lake Lucerne that changes a couple of CHF for their tap water !
    You don’t need a car to travel in Switzerland and a public transport pass bought in the UK before travel is good value

    • Andrew MS says:

      I was referring to mid – range hotels with £20 supplement

    • RussellH says:

      Half board is often excellent value in many places, including France + Germany as well as Switzerland. It is also an excellent way to allow yourself to be exposed to more adventurous, local dishes.
      And the point about drinking beer is well worth remembering. When I worked in Switzerland, beer was normally the cheapest drink available, cheaper than mineral water or Coca.
      Sadly, though, not all Swiss beer is that good. Our then local brewery, Schützengarten (still in existence), not infrequently had the ü exchanged for an i in colloquial pronunuciation (both those who had grown up with it as well as incomers).

  4. Harry T says:

    Thank you for the review.

    I wish we had a Hyatt credit card in the UK! Very jealous of our American friends.

    • Harry T says:

      £750 a night is approaching Aman Tokyo levels of stupendous though.

      Probably worth buying Hyatt points to redeem there if rates are in that territory.

    • I don’t know why they don’t do an Amex MR deal. Could just be for Europe.

      • Harry T says:

        Wouldn’t it be an easy way for them to make money, Rob – selling points to amex? Seems a no brainer to me.

        • Harry T says:

          *amex Europe

        • Totally agree, and zero conflict of interest as they don’t have their own card and, realistically, won’t be of a scale to justify one for the next 10 years.

      • Totally agree, seems an obvious way of getting some more cash for them!

  5. I looked up the hotel on Google maps and the photos were taken when they were still building it The website grandly titled Emerald Living on the advertising hoarding mentions that you can actually buy one of the apartments ranging from a 2 bed to a 5 bed penthouse linked to the hotel – I wonder how much one of the penthouses costs? They are between 165 and 286 sqm which frankly is enormous. You can apparently let guests stay in the hotel rather than in your apartment. I wonder if you get a special rate?

    As for the review I am not sure it’s somewhere I want to visit. It is definitely interesting and very expensive. I like the view from the bedroom in the photos and generally like the decor but the idea of black or brown toilet roll is frankly weird. Why not just plain white? The breakfast sounds disappointing for the price even if you can have it in your room. The other thing that seems odd to me is that the only pool is the indoor one in the spa. That suggests even in the height of summer this isn’t particularly warm. You’d have thought they could have stretched to providing an outdoor heated swimming pool. I have that facility in my apartment complex here in London.

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