Rarely has there been a grander name than Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano and this grande dame of Swiss hospitality certainly lives up to it. With an enviable location and panoramic views over Lake Lugano, it’s been the choice of celebrities and politicians since 1887.
This 5 star hotel is part of the Roberto Naldi Collection, whose other properties include the Parco dei Principi, one of my favourite places to stay in Rome with the best spa in town and a fabulous restaurant.
Arriving outside, we were struck by the sheer scale of the hotel with two adjoining buildings spread over 5 floors.
There’s a huge sun terrace overlooking the lake.
We were warmly greeted at the door and inside our check in was speedy and efficient.
The decor is quite traditional with antiques and gilt mirrors giving a real sense of opulence.
Our lake view suite on the 4th floor definitely had the wow factor. The entrance hall was sizeable and best of all, there was a separate walk in closet with a hairdryer, bath robes, slippers and a safe. The room itself was magnificent, wouldn’t you agree? Luxurious without being over the top – we immediately felt at home.
Perhaps the welcome bottle of local wine, chocolate cake, fresh flowers, fruit and chocolates helped! At turn-down, we were treated to more chocolate with a tasty mini tart.
We savoured them in the cosy lounge area…
The marble bathroom, stocked with Etro toiletries, also felt very glam.
Although the star attraction just has to be this view…Our suite had two floor to ceiling Windows, each opening onto a Juliette balcony. The views stretched to both the left and right and across the lake to the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
We were also shown around some of the other rooms, including one with magnificent wood panelling and another with a superb crystal chandelier plus a good sized terrace.
Everything about the dining room oozes class, from the silver cutlery to the floral arrangements and grand piano. The maitre d, Carlos, is a real character who instantly puts you at your ease. Our first course was a delicious combination of Sicilian red prawns with a creamy burrata and artichoke base, dressed with fresh herbs.
We really enjoyed our main course of tagliarini pasta – this ribbon pasta is a thinner version of tagliatelle. Not sure if that means you can eat twice as much ;-). It was served with fresh prawns, a pistachio cream sauce and breadcrumb topping.
My father in law chose the roast suckling pork in a red wine jus instead of the pasta and pronounced it a triumph.
And a special mention goes to the gooey chocolate fondant dessert with a vanilla custard and chocolate sauce.
Mr Luxe opted for the scrumptious choclate and vanilla ice cream with decorative Bussy wafers from Milan and a chocolate square – clearly they like their chocolate here as much as I do!
I’ve rarely seen such an impressive buffet, with a huge array of hot and cold dishes and homemade cakes. I always try the scrambled eggs in hotels as they’re hard to get right but these were perfectly fluffy.
AROUND THE HOTEL
There’s a great selection of international newspapers if you want to catch up on your reading.
The large open plan lobby bar is the perfect place to read them or for an aperitif. They also serve afternoon tea here in wintertime.
We admired the new wine room which is due to be launched imminently. It will contain a selection of fine wines and there’s space for intimate private events and wine tastings.
There’s a fantastic conference room with its own private lakeside terrace, perfect for conferences and weddings. And there’s also a small gym – exciting plans are afoot to create a spa and gym complex on site.
Lugano itself is a charming town and a great place to spend a weekend or for a longer stay. In addition to the lake, there’s a picturesque town centre and excursions galore by cable railway or car to the surrounding mountains.
We had a wonderful time at the Hotel Splendide Royal and I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a truly relaxing stay. No wonder Sophia Loren, Bjorn Borg, Tina Turner and Ray Charles all loved it here!
Have you ever visited Lugano?
Hotel Splendide Royal, Riva Antonio Caccia, 7 – 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
Our stay was complimentary for the purposes of this review