Lugano is on the long, narrow, winding shore of Lake Lugano, and shares the wonderfully temperate micro-climate and stunning alpine setting of the Italian Lakes, despite being within Switzerland. The best places to stay in Lugano offer similarly stunning lake views and mountain backdrops and a similarly elegant city setting. Expect palm trees and picturesque boulevards below alpine hills and mountains.
Our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Lugano include a wonderful grand hotel, converted from a villa once belonging to Russian nobility, but it also includes a great little B&B in the mountains. Some of the best hotel on Lake Lugano are definitely those closest to the lake, but if you’re looking for great value, peace and quite and spectacular mountain views then it’s certainly worth considering those properties up in the hills above the lake - especially those between Lake Lugano and Lake Como.
Lugano is only half an hour from Como or Varese, so it’s a great base for exploring not just Lake Lugano, but also the neighbouring lakes. You’re also only an hour and a half from Milan.
But there’s plenty of do on Lake Lugano: from hiking Monte Brè on the eastern end - or take the funicular to the summit, strolling up Monte San Salvatore to the west, or exploring Monte San Giorgio, a wooded mountain best known for its wonderful oceanic fossils from the Triassic period - there’s a great little fossil museum.
There’s also a Herman Hess museum, which has some of the thousands of watercolours he painted in this region, plus some of his books and personal effects. It’s unusual but popular. The Parco Scherrer in Morcote is a wonderful park with a subtropical feel and some amazing architecture, there’s a great smuggling museum on Gandria, and Lugano also has Europe’s largest casino. In Melide you can visit Swissminiatur, which has 1:25 scale models of around 120 of Switzerland’s best known attractions.
Five star luxury in the most breathtaking of surroundings. All the elegant rooms have their own unique character, and beautiful views of the serene landscapes around. Interiors are traditional and luxurious. Food is gourmet with a Michelin star restaurant. Come here for serious lakeside pampering.