A mere 2.5 hours trip from Zurich will take you to the dreamy lake and palm tree region of Lugano. Add 20 minutes to your trip to enjoy the drive over the Gotthard pass. My favourite for buying bunches of the local Alpenrose enroute.
This trip to Lugano we stayed at the former private home of German Emperor Wilhelm’s brother in law. Now known as Hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo, a 5 star resort and member of Relais & Chateaux. The hotel is set up on the Collina d’Oro (Golden Hill) with views considered to be the best kept secret in town. Or are they really secret? One thing for sure, this is the one place you will most likely spot either a prominent or famous person whenever you come!
Right from the minute we drove up to the circular drive and walked up the entrance stairs we felt as though we were stepping into a fairy tale world.
Keep reading for a pictorial view of Hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo – a fairy tale home away from home, Lugano
Hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo – a fairy tale home away from home, Lugano
Perhaps it was the realisation that I matched the decor that made me feel instantly at home. In all honesty it was the super friendly welcome from both staff and General Manager Barbara Gibellini that made me feel like visiting good friends.
Walking through the main entrance and out to the other side this is the view that will simply blow you away…
Let’s go to the room first though… In total there are 37 generously sized suites with either a garden or full panoramic lake view to choose from.
Naturally my heart melted when I spotted the Aqua di Parma bathroom amenities…one of my absolute favourites!
Such a pretty pool area – perfect for photographing at a thousand different angles – smile!
The Terrace and Breakfast Area
Decided to group these as the terrace is right by the breakfast room, overlooking the pool area. A lovely place to enjoy the first part of the day or alternatively simply come and relax during the day…
The Private Spa
The private spa is “Klein aber Fein” in German… With a fabulous stylish private spa area for two, spa pool and sauna included.
In addition there are a couple of rooms for massages or facial treatments. Of course my eyes were captured by the pretty items for sale.
It was here that I met Vanessa Martinelli, the designer of the pretty pieces pictured above. She also has her own stunning and very unique jewellery line. Check out more here.
The Piano Bar
Both during the day and especially from early evening till late in the night it is this outdoor bar area where all the action takes place. People watching at it’s best. Not to forget the fabulous live piano music each evening – on calm evenings the piano is even brought outside creating pure romance.
Even on cooler or rainy days the indoor bar has such a cosy feel to it…Note the selection of over 100 Single Malt Whisky to choose from in the bar.
Relax and feel the magic around you with the knowledge that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Joe Cocker and many more famous people have sat at that very same place!
The Restaurant and Food
Love the fact that the restaurant is made up of glass walls allowing a beautiful panoramic view over the lake.
My mouth begins to water as I reflect back on the delicious meals created for us by Chef Cristian Moreschi and his team. Not to forget the most adorable Sommelier, Claudio Recchia who has been with the hotel for over 30 years now!
Be sure to discover one of the dishes impressively prepared right at your table like the beef tartar!
Hope you’re not hungry because here comes a little food preview… The 16 Gault Millau points are well deserved.
Being such a dreamy location it was no surprise to suddenly find myself amongst a group of wedding planners who had come to visit the Villa Principe Leopoldo as part of a wedding location research trip…
Pictured bottom right – General Manager Barbara Gibellini with Wedding Planner Nadine Metgenberg.
There are also outdoor tennis courts available as well as a fitness room. Not to forget the oldest Golf course in Ticino being very close by.
Another highlight of my stay was a boat trip on the Gandria 1948 along Lake Lugano with Captain Stefano.
The boat is his passion. I love the story of how Stefano remembers eating ice cream on the boat as a little boy, thinking “one day this boat will be mine”.
He took me on a discovery trip along the lake telling me loads of stories such as the one about the Devils bridge. Have you ever noticed the Devil’s head and foot coming out of the cliff side as you drive out of Lugano towards Italy?
The secret Prosecco discoveries were topped off with Stefano telling me that George W Bush also took a ride on this very same boat. Think I just reached “First Lady” status. Wouldn’t you agree – smile?
Book your trip via the hotel or mail firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +41 79 444 29 29
Don’t forget to mention FunkyForty when you book.
Things change all the time but my current top tips are to buy yourself a Pantone to take home from the Grand Cafe Al Porto. The cafe dates back to 1803.
Current favourite clothes store: White Lugano, ask for either Olga or Alessandro and give them my love. (website currently under construction – address: Via Nassa 4, 6900 Lugano)
A little space in my heart is now forever dedicated to Villa Principe Leopoldo – the charming location, fabulously friendly staff and feeling of home away from home. Not to forget the fantastic food and Sommelier.
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nb: This post was written in collaboration with Villa Principe Leopoldo but all opinions are my own.
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