We stayed for 3 nights in early July at Casa Albina, one of several apartment properties offered by Posta al Lago in Porto Ronco (Ticino, Switzerland). We very much liked the beautiful view of Lake Maggiore from the apartment, especially if you have the upper floor (accessed via 3 flights of stairs), but be aware that the property is by a major road hugging the lake going into Italy and you can really hear the traffic from below late in the evening and again early in the morning. I think that the apartment itself was probably clean enough, but it just looked a little makeshift, so we did not feel terribly comfortable. There was no soap or shampoo when we arrived; two little individual-sized bottles appeared on the second day. The towels were of all different colors and styles. Although there was a kitchenette, there were no provisions, except for some dishwashing liquid. (We have rented vacation apartments in that expensive city called Paris, where we got bottled water, juice and milk as a welcoming package, and where the kitchen was stocked with a few basic things like salt and oil for guests who might need such things for only one or 2 meals.) The guests whom we met in passing and at breakfasts seemed polite, and some of the staff were friendly and helpful. However, the owner (Francesca Bette) and other staff were rather unfriendly and acted very put off if we asked too many questions --despite the offer on their website to help you plan your sightseeing activities! On another evening, we came down to their restaurant for some desserts. It looked like it was going to rain, but Francesca told us that we could only sit in the open area, since the table with cover was "reserved". A couple came in later, clearly without a reservation from the exchange we heard, and was seated there!
In all, we got the wonderful view (hence the score of 3/5 instead of 2/5), but the at-best average accommodations and rather unfriendly service left us with an unpleasant feeling. At other places where we stayed during this visit to Switzerland including Zurich and St. Gallen, we encountered very professional and classy services; even at those places geared towards the business crowd, the service was considerably warmer and more considerate than that we received at Posta al Lago.
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