Villa Castagnola
Grand Hotel Lugano
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Hospitality and tradition

The important moments of Villa Castagnola

History and tradition since 1885


A noble Russian family, the Von Ritters, built their winter residence on the lake shores at the foot of Monte Bré.


The stately villa was bought by a family from Lucerne, who at first transformed it into a “guest house” and later into a hotel. For three generations, the Schnyder von Wartensees successfully managed it and turned it into one of the most renowned hotels in Switzerland. They nurtured and grew the hotel for almost a century.


The Garzoni family, from Lugano, acquired the three-story building and personally oversaw its continuous evolution. Taking care of the interior design and the renewal and redevelopment of its infrastructures, they added the 4th and 5th floors and a suite of meeting rooms.


The Hotel du Midi was bought by the family who transformed it into the beautiful Art Residence. With great foresight, they created a restaurant inside an art gallery on the ground floor of the building. In the last 20 years the art gallery has displayed many internationally famous exhibits.


In 2022 the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola will celebrate two important anniversaries: forty years of the Garzoni family's ownership and twenty years of the Galleria Arté al Lago Restaurant. A double occasion to recall important moments of change in a field, that of tourism, which has rapidly evolved in recent decades. Villa Castagnola has modernised its facilities and spaces, while preserving its identity and charm.

The history of Villa Castagnola is also and above all the history of two families who, with foresight and entrepreneurial spirit, have strongly believed in hospitality and a welcome, committing themselves to passing on the values and the soul of a structure that over time has preserved all its charm. Two families passed the baton to each other when, at the beginning of 1982, the Schnyder von Wartensee family handed over the property to the Garzoni family after 97 years of management. A handshake sanctioned a verbal agreement between the two parties, with the commitment to keep the hotel business and all the staff. A promise honoured by the Garzoni family who, in addition to employing their staff, have done their utmost to continue to guarantee the future of the hotel.


The Galleria Arté al Lago Restaurant is the pride and joy of the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, an exclusive setting where culinary excellence meets art in a perfect marriage of flavours and emotions. Conceived as a restaurant and an art space at the same time, when it opened in December 2001, it was a first for Ticino. Located on the ground floor of the Art Residence al Lago, formerly the Hotel du Midi, it was officially opened on 1 February 2002 with the appointment of chef de cuisine Frank Oerthle. The first awards didn't take long to arrive with GaultMillau points: 14 in 2003, 15 in 2004 and the 16th point in 2007, accompanied by the award as Emerging Chef of the Year. Three years later, in 2010, the triumph with the Michelin star, the only one awarded in Ticino for a decade, until 2021.


140 years of passion and continuous transformation see the constant improvement of the property, always keeping ahead of time, whilst maintaining all the charm and warmth of a private villa.

Our competent, discreet and attentive staff, faithful to the Villa over many years, is a guarantee ensuring our Guests a pleasant and relaxing stay.