Lugano is a popular summer travel destination for the Swiss and foreigners alike. South of the alps, by a beautiful lake, lays a city that reminds you of those villages you only see in TV commercials for authentic Italian pasta. Not too far fetched, given that Lugano is the biggest city in the Italian speaking canton of Ticino. Being such a popular holiday destination, Lugano is full of hotels in all price ranges. Travellers on a budget might opt for a youth hotel, while the sky is in limit in terms of luxury hotels also available in Lugano. For those visitors wanting to stay in an amazingly cool hotel without entirely emptying out their wallet, Hotel LUGANODANTE (yes, all capital letters) is a perfect option. The hotel gets additional bonus points for its central location, right by the station funicular.
Funky vibe with an authentic exterior
First things first, there is definitely more than meets the eye when speaking of Hotel LUGANODANTE. Located on the pittoresque Piazza Cioccaro, the exterior of the hotel building fits right in with the rest of facades surrounding this little square. From looking at the building, you would not suspect it houses a hotel with vibrant colors and modern design. However, once you step inside the door, the hotel lobby already throws all its funkiness towards you. Think bold colors combined with gold and with plants covering the walls and ceiling. Stepping into the lobby almost makes you wonder, did I step into a Wes Anderson or Gatsby movie? No this isn’t hotel Budapest, this is Hotel LUGANODANTE in Lugano!
Location, location, location!
As mentioned before, the hotel is located right by the base station of the Lugano train station funicular. This makes travelling to and from the train station a breeze, even with luggage. Additionally, if you want to explore the old town and the lake, that too is mere steps away.
Around the hotel you find the main shopping district of Lugano, and you are only a minute’s walk from the Piazza della Riforma, with plenty of bars and restaurants with nice terraces. Acqua e Farina, an Italian restaurant we wrote about earlier, is also on walking distance from hotel LUGANODANTE. We never felt we needed to use public transport during our trip thanks to the central hotel location.
Hotel LUGANODANTE room designs
Hotel LUGANODANTE has a wide offering of rooms, from basic rooms to suites. While most of the hotel has received a funky make-over, not all rooms have been fully renovated (yet). While even the old design is perfectly comfortable, you might not find a newly renovated bathroom when first stepping into your room. We stayed in one of the older rooms, but the both the bathroom and rest of the space was clean and smartly furnished.
The deluxe room that we stayed in during our Lugano visit was quite small, but that didn’t bother us that much. However, don’t expect to have plenty of space for your luggage in at least some of the rooms of hotel LUGANODANTE. The bed in the room was comfortable and naturally there is a fast internet connection free of charge.
Our room also offered charming views of the Lugano rooftops and the mountain ridges by the lake.
Bar and restaurant Flamel
On the ground floor, the hotel has a restaurant and mixology cocktail Lounge called Flamel. At Flamel, guests are served dishes and cocktails with ingredients that, where possible, are locally sourced or produced. The mixology lounge even prides itself that 98% of used ingredients are Swiss!
At the restaurant, with the same funky and stylish interior as the rest of the hotel, guests can choose from a wide range of dishes. The main dishes have a focus on fine meat and fish, but there are some vegetarian options on the menu. With an extensive wine menu and a dessert menu to die for, the Flamel restaurant is a perfect option for a night out without even leaving your hotel!
During our stay, hotel guests received a complimentary cocktail when handing in a ‘Luganodante heart’ found in the hotel room at the Flamel bar. We got treated to a cocktail while the bartender (mixologist?) explained the process of how the cocktail was created. It was both delicious and interesting!
The breakfast at hotel LUGANODANTE
Hotel breakfast is by far my favorite part of staying at a hotel. Make sure to go for a room rate where breakfast is included, because you do not want to miss the breakfast that the Flamel restaurant serves the hotel guests!
The buffet has everything from yoghurts, muesli, bread, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, vegetables to cakes and other sweet treats. Additionally, the restaurant kitchen serves hot dishes that are often made to order. The hotel breakfast at LUGANODANTE truly ensured that we had the best possible start to our days that were packed with activities. Additionally, despite the hotel being rather full, the breakfast area never felt crowded in any way.
Room rates at LUGANODANTE generally start at CHF 150-200 and are subject to availability. It seems that you can find the best rates on the hotel website. While this is not the cheapest option to stay in Lugano, it comes with a few key benefits that made the stay worth it for us. First, the location of hotel LUGANODANTE is very hard to beat. We did not need public transport during our stay as everything was very close.
We really liked the breakfast and the opportunity to have drinks at night in a cozy hotel bar. Lastly, the service in the hotel was top-notch. For example, they offer free luggage storage and complimentary water bottles were handed out for our day trips. The employees are friendly and always happy to help or answer any questions.
Do you want to stay at LUGANODANTE too? Have a look at their website, book your trip and let us know what you thought of the hotel!