Splendide Royal Lugano
A mountain dream on Lake Lugano
My carefully selected hotel portraits from the German-speaking Switzerland have already shown you how unique the hotel scene in this beautiful country is. This first-class hotel industry proudly continues in my further hotel portrait. In this month I will present you the exclusive Splendide Royal Lugano.
Anyone who would like to travel to Ticino can´t do anything else but check in at the legendary Splendide Royal, a 19th-century palace hotel. Connoisseurs of this luxury hotel in Lugano love the successful balance of luxury hotel business and sustainability and the perfect symbiosis of tradition and modernity, too. For me, it is the only historic noble hotel in Lugano, which truly lives ecological, economic and social sustainability – especially thanks to its “Splendide Shamba” program founded in 2015 – and which knows exactly how to combine nostalgia and modernity paired with style and elegance into a harmonious whole. It is without doubt a stylish Belle Epoque luxury hotel overlooking the great lake and the Alps.
Mediterranean flair against the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Ceresio, the picturesque town of Lugano with its dreamy alleys in the old town and its picturesque lakeside promenade – these are the paradisiacal surroundings of the Splendide Royal in sunny Ticino.
The Splendide Royal Lugano still shines with breathtaking frescoes, marble, pillars, majestic staircase with stained glass windows, modern elevators as well as an antique lift and looks back on a history rich in tradition. Thanks to the opening of the Gotthard railroad tunnel in 1882, Ticino welcomes more and more overnight guests. The year 1887 ushered in the birth of today’s Hotel Splendide Royal. Around 1870, the Villa Merlina was built and seven years later it was renamed “Hotel Splendide”. In 1924 the word “Royal” was added to the name “Hotel Splendide” – a tribute to the noble guests who had been pampered there. In 1888 the first extensions were started. After that, further buildings (the Dépendance) followed continuously, as well as renovation- and modernization works. In the 1960s, the Hotel Splendide Royal became the first address for high society, in 1983 the Executive Wing opened and in 2019 the Lifestyle Spa with panoramic pool and spectacular outside terrace.
Every time I enter the Splendide Royal, whose charm and grace are always guaranteed, I feel the living history of this traditional house in the hall with black and white mosaic floor and exclusive Murano chandelier and I think of the countless crowned (empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary…) and uncrowned heads (F. Mitterand, R. Schneider, L. Pavarotti…) of this earth who have also stayed there and will enjoy the Presidential Suite in the future. This suite offers among other things an incredible vaulted ceiling and twelve-armed bronze chandelier. You too, dear readers, will feel as if you are in a Venetian palazzo when you spend the night there.
The “Grande Dame” of Lugano, the largest city in Ticino, is one of the best hotels in the world and continuously enjoys awards: in 2014 the Splendide Royal was awarded the highest hotel category awarded in Switzerland: 5 stars Superior. In 2016, the world-renowned alliance of luxury hotels, resorts and spas called The Leading Hotels of the World (the Splendide Royal has been a member of it since 1962) awarded the prestigious luxury hotel the “Happy Guest Award”, the highest distinction in the global luxury hotel industry. Not to forget the affiliation since 1980 to Swiss Deluxe, the best Swiss hotels and the inclusion in the “Locali Storici d’Italia”, the historic houses of Italy, in 1991. Finally, the Splendide Royal has participated since 2019 in the prestigious American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program.
As for the elegant rooms and noble suites in this luxury pearl, there are different categories, which are located partly in the historic, partly in the modern wing. All rooms and suites are state-of-the-art.
The generous rooms in the dépendance with spectacular lake view and large balcony guarantee a high level of comfort and luxurious furnishings. The most rooms without lake view in the modern wing have a balcony with view of the quiet residential area.
The amazing Superior Executive Palace rooms, the Deluxe Executive Palace rooms and the Deluxe Executive Palace Plus rooms radiate the ambiance of a Venetian palazzo, thanks to the antiques, fabric wallpapers and to the ceiling paintings and Venetian stucco, too. The dignified desk sweetens the work of the business traveler and the luxury travel blogger, too.
It is important to emphasize that there is neither uniformity nor standardization in the suites. There is a certain something that individualizes one suite from the other. I hope you enjoy discovering it!
The Junior Suites and furthermore the Suites in the main wing with paneled walls in the separate living area, the handcrafted furniture partly made of fine walnut wood, partly in Art Nouveau style, are well worth a longer stay. Two majestic armchairs are lined up around a breathtaking inlaid marble table and offer an unobstructed view of the fairytale Lake Lugano. The artfully crafted ceiling makes the heart of every world traveler beat faster, too. The bedroom scores among other things with exclusive bed linen and a very comfortable bed. The Simmons mattress takes you straight to the seventh heaven.
I will take you in the Suites 408 and 410 – more pictures – as usually – in the slideshow and on Instagram @lookandluxury
I am particularly impressed by the Splendide Lifestyle, the new centerpiece of the luxury hotel in the historic wing. It exemplifies the modern zeitgeist, the spirit, of the Splendide Royal.
This new Lifestyle Spa, a contemporary wing in the historic palace wing, takes Splendide Royal to a new dimension, as since 2019, the hotel has also been a destination for the wellness lover with a true five-star superior feel-good atmosphere. Dive with me into the pool or whirlpool and let yourself be inspired by the amazing view of the lake and the surrounding Alps. You can also relax on one of the comfortable and stylish day beds and let your soul dangle. The new Spa is an oasis of clam and harmony for body and mind. You will find a sauna, a steam bath, changing rooms, a relaxation room, a gym, four treatment rooms with the promising names – Lotus, Rose, Lily and Orchid – a private spa and much more in this unique “bubbly pearl”. You must pamper yourself there and experience the dolce vita. In the summer months, a large terrace with sun beds and a fantastic view awaits you!
As for the massages, I recommend the hot stone massage. As for the beauty treatments, you can enjoy the pedicure, manicure, make-up and hairstyling in your suite. The other treatments will be done in one of the treatments rooms. The personalized Biologic Recherche Paris products are absolutely fantastic. They let your skin shine in a perfect glow and are only available in Ticino in the Lifestyle Spa of Splendide Royal Lugano.
I highly recommend the two restaurants: I Due Sud and La Veranda. The gastronomic restaurant I Due Sud, under the direction of Domenico Ruberto, was awarded 16 Gault Millau points in 2019 and a Michelin star in 2021. The cuisine combines the best dishes from southern Switzerland and southern Italy. Unfortunately, we didn´t have time to test this gastronomic gem. A reason to come back as soon as possible!
La Veranda with lovely lake view serves Mediterranean, regional, seasonal and classic dishes and delights the palate of every gourmet guest. We pampered us there on two evenings and can recommended the following dishes:
As starter an amazing greeting from the kitchen followed by an oven baked Chateaubriand with grilled potatoes, vegetables and Bearnaise Sauce. As desert a chesnuts parfait, grape sorbet and salted caramel sauce as well as a mille-feuille with walnuts parfait and tiramisu mousse.
We ended the last evening with a tender dark chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and a classic baba with cream Chantilly and wild berries, after pumpkin ravioli with cream of walnuts and cocoa and guinea fowl breat with creamy potatoes and porcini mushrooms had already spoiled our palate.
While a piano player rings in the evening in the bar Belle Epoque, the barman creates the best after-dinner-cocktails. Let yourself be surprised! You can also celebrate Afternoon Tea in the bar or in the adjacent areas in the autumn and winter months.
In spring and summer La Piazetta, a breathtaking lounge and lake terrace against the backdrop of the famous Lake Lugano, makes the “pizza-heart” beat faster. Since it is well known that an excellent meal also requires a good drop of wine, I recommend Il Forziere del Vino, a stylish and exclusive wine cellar, which is also the perfect location for a convivial family or company celebration.
The breakfast is served In the Blu Salon or in the salon behind. The buffet spoils the guest with high-quality seasonal and regional products. A picture is worth a thousand words. This saying comes true by clicking on the photos below, by seeing the following pictures or by booking at least 2 nights in this luxury hotel, whose attention to detail can be felt everywhere.
Since 2008, the dedicated and passionate General Manager Giuseppe Rossi leads the sophisticated Splendide Royal Lugano paired with a family atmosphere. Thanks to this personal, discreet, attentive management style, which is lived by the staff.
Finally, the privileged location can´t be topped. The Splendide Royal, that belongs to the Roberto Naldi Collection, is “the place to be” on the sunny Lake Lugano, a glacial lake surrounded by several scenic mountains and definitely a destination for the world-traveler. Cross the street and stroll along the famous lake promenade or book a private boat and sail across the spectacular lake. This strategic lakeside location continues to be within walking distance of the historic Old Town (traffic-free zone) and the famous Via Nassa. Here, the jewelry and shopping enthusiast with the wherewithal will find the exclusive jewelers, the fine boutiques as well as the most famous fashion brands. (I recommend the two boutiques KING). The concierge at Splendide Royal will be happy to organize a personal shopper for you, dear readers. You should also visit the markets with local specialties as well as the antique market in the heart of Lugano and you have to try a piece of cake and a hot chocolate at Grand Café Al Porto (the preffered meeting point of the Luganesi).
The business traveler – Lugano is the third most important financial center in Switzerland – can reach by a leisure walk the most important banks, institutes and business centers, too. The smaller sister of Zurich and Geneva has been propagating an important economic sector in the canton of Ticino for many years.
Furthermore, the location of the Splendide Royal also pleases the city traveler, as the most important sights, including some famous sacred buildings and the Parco Civico, can be reached within walking distance. For the architecture admirer, the cosmopolitan city relies on architectural ultramodern icons as well as classical buildings. Mario Botta’s and Snozzi’s architectural masterpieces, in particular, are a feast for the eyes. But the pastel-colored classical palazzi in the Piazza della Riforma, the main square, are worth a visit. The art and culture enthusiast will find everything his / her heart desires in the nearby LAC (Lugano Arte e Cultura), a temple of art with constantly varying exhibitionsand concerts. There are of course other interesting museums, such as the Vincenzo Vela Museum or the Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana. Finally, Lugano’s two local mountains, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè (the sunniest mountain in Switzerland), attract sports enthusiasts with spectacular panoramic views of the city, the lake and the mountains. If you’re not quite as sporty, take the funicular up and hike along signposted trails at the top. If you are nevertheless sporty, then fall back on the so-called “pret à manger” variant, a packed lunch, which the Splendide Royal lovingly packs for you.
My Insider tips:
- Take a leisurely walk in spring or summer from the Splendide Royal along the tree-lined lakeside promenade to Gandria, a picturesque fishing village where time has stood still. You will not regret it. It takes about an hour to get there.
- Visit the Hermann Hesse Museum in Montagnola in autumn or winter. For more information: www.hessemontagnola.ch
- The region around Lake Lugano offers a diverse range of walks, idyllic boat trips, half-day excursions to Locarno and Ascona and full-day excursions to Milan (my favorite restaurant: Boeucc) or Como (my favorite restaurant: La Colombetta), varied sports activities in summer and winter and also cultural events. In any case you should go to Morcote, 12 kilometers away, and visit the Scherrer Park, a botanical garden.
For more information:
www.luganoregion.com or just ask the concierge at Splendide Royal. He will be happy to give you information!