This is not the run of the mill accommation, I have in fact never stayed anywhere quite like it. Tucked away in a quiet residential area, this garni (B&B) feels more like staying at a absent friends house, than a hotel. Everyone from the very efficient receptionist to the tireless housekeeping staff seemed genuinely pleased to welcome us. The room itself was plain, but spacious even though we had a fourth bed put in. There was a useful minibar, our own deck chairs and clothes horse for the pool towels. Some very nice touches too, such as the daily replaced tea light candle on the patio, or the homemade sharon fruit jam at breakfast. There is no room service as there is no restaurant at the hotel and catering is limited to a varied continental breakfast buffet. Local wine is gladly served to the rooms though, before 8pm, when the guests are left to themselves, a key and the request not to let any strangers in. Ours was a south facing room (really worth the extra) with small alcove patio looking out onto the circular, but chilly unheated pool. (But then it was end of September). Ascona is only a short drive away (approx. 5min) but there are a few nice places to eat in Losone. If like us you happen to travel with children, then picnic in alcove patio which supplies from local small supermarket is also an option.
I feel I must mention again the quiet nature of the Elena, considerate families will notice that the other guests are enjoying it as a little retreat and therefore more boisterous children and their parents might be happier elsewhere. I however will definitely be visiting this special little hideaway again, and just pretend I am dropping in on that elusive friend...
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