One gloriously warm day I was ambling along the winding road from Italy to Switzerland. Down a quiet street dotted with restaurants, I came upon a hotel directly facing Lake Maggiore. Most of my hotel stays are made well in advance. For example, if I know I’ll be in Los Angeles in September, I’ll usually check the rates for my favorite hotels and chains months ahead of time, and try to book refundable rates in case my plans change. This day however, I had no hotel reserved and the hotel in front of me was a Ramada, part of the Wyndham Hotels Group, in which I have no status.
Leaving the rental car just outside, I asked at the front desk if there were any rooms available for the night with a view of the lake. It was my lucky day, as there was just one room left and it was nonsmoking! For 180 EUR including all taxes, I handed over a credit card, got a key, and was on my way up to the room.
The room was small and furniture a bit worn, but the bed was comfortable. Everything was also very clean.
A flat screen TV perched in the corner next to a pay-per-bottle of water.
There was a typical European bathtub where you have to step out of the raised tub and down onto the floor below, risking a kneecap in the process.
There was a decent sized balcony with two plastic chairs.
And the view was incredible!
What an amazing location, overlooking Lake Maggiore.
As dusk approached, so did a party boat. Lively music from onboard could be heard.
When it was time for dinner, there were lots of restaurant options just down the street, and the room rate also included a tasty cold breakfast buffet the next morning.
I’m glad I took a chance on this hotel. I don’t often stay at Wyndham properties, and I don’t have status with them. Like some similar hotel chains in the US (Holiday Inn is an example), their overseas properties are often a bit more upscale. If I had overlooked the hotel because I was trying to get a stay with one of my usual hotel chains, I would have missed out on a great experience.
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