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Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola

Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola

Lugano, Switzerland

Teeming with amenities and filled with warm character, Villa Castagnola combines historic charm with a quiet location just a 15-minute walk from the main sights. The oldest hotel in town, it’s furnished with the owners’ private collection of antiques, tapestries and art, and sits within a tranquil subtropical garden steps from Lake Lugano.

The hotel was built as a private residence in 1880 and a stay here allows you to indulge in 19th-century elegance and grandeur, surrounded by gilded mirrors, glittering chandeliers and ornate rugs.

Across the street, you can dine at the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant, located in an art gallery on the lake. The hotel offers 74 rooms and suites, two restaurants, multiple bars, spa facilities, a hair salon and a makeup station and shop. All rooms have a balcony and terrace with either park views or lake views.


Villa Castagnola is the premiere hotel in Lugano. We like the luxe hotel for its quiet location away from the bustle of the main street, and the peaceful atmosphere within the garden.


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There are 74 rooms and suites at Villa Castagnola, ranging from nicely sized double rooms to the lavish, two-bedroom, two-bathroom Suite San Salvatore. All rooms have a balcony and ground-floor rooms have a private patio. Air conditioning, minibars, Wi-Fi and en suite bathrooms are all standard.

The rooms have all been individually decorated with classic furniture and different themes. From patterned chairs and striped wallpaper to ornate table lamps that look as though they’ve been carved from stone, each room has its own special feel.


Villa Castagnola is located in a quiet part of Lugano, a 15-minute walk from the town’s highlights. However, it’s on the main public bus route, which stops outside the hotel. Buses are free to use. The hotel itself is set back from the main road and surrounded by peaceful gardens. All the rooms face the southwest and get the last of the day’s sun.

Food and drink

  • Le Relais is the hotel’s more formal restaurant, serving a seasonal menu of Mediterranean dishes.
  • Slightly less formal, La Rucola features a menu with classic dishes such as club sandwiches, alongside local specialties.
  • Across the street, the hotel’s Gallery Arté al Lago is a Michelin-star restaurant within an art gallery on Lake Lugano.
  • The Cocktail Bar serves light snacks and an array of cocktails. During the warmer months you can enjoy live piano music every evening.
  • Salone del Camino features 17th-century tapestries and a roaring fireplace for a more classic Alpine atmosphere, and is an excellent place to enjoy afternoon tea.
  • The Banano Bar is out in the garden, shaded by banana palms and surrounded by greenery, and is only open during the warmer months.


  • Top-level suites each have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and are a good option for families.
  • Most other suites have one bedroom, a sofa bed in the living room and two bathrooms.
  • Rooms can be connected upon request.

Facilities and activities

  • Heated indoor pool.
  • Hydrotherapy pool.
  • Two saunas and a steam room.
  • Fitness room.
  • Hair salon and makeup counter.
  • Clay tennis court.
  • Private lake access with lounge chairs and yoga classes on offer.


We don’t suggest this hotel for those with mobility issues — there are many steps throughout and the elevators are small.

Location & places nearby

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can't be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area's inhabitants.

    • Cruise & cook risotto workshop
      Risotto cooking station

      Cruise & cook risotto workshop

      Cruise & cook risotto workshop

      Learn to make risotto from a local chef in a grotto restaurant on Lake Lugano, Switzerland. Cruise across the lake, enjoy the rustic hospitality, then prepare and eat a risotto dish with fresh ingredients, with local wine and appetisers.

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    Lugano and nearby places