We (two retired couples) are planning some train travel in Switzerland in early October. Our current plan includes travel on the Golden Pass and on the Bernini Express: one night in Montreux, two nights in Lucerne, one night in the Pontresina/Samedan area, one night in Verenna or Lecco and our last night in Milan (flying from Milan to the US in the early afternoon). We would appreciate suggestions for reasonably priced lodging within walking distance from the train stations in these cities, as well as thoughts on the itinerary in general.
Bob, A few thoughts on lodgings in the places you're visiting..... > Lucerne - I'd also highly recommend the www.sternluzern.ch/en/node/42 hotel. It's a very comfortable hotel in a very convenient location, although travelling from the station with luggage you might want to use a Taxi. > Varenna - is there any way you could manage at least one more night there? By the time you arrive, you will in reality only have a few hours to look around, and you may wish you had booked more time. Hotels to consider - Albergo Milano, Hotel Royal Victoria, Hotel Villa Cipressi. > Milano - you might try Hotel London, which is closer to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele. You can easily get to the airport on the Malpensa Express from Milano Cadorna station, which is in that area. Be sure to have Cameras at the ready for your trips on the Golden Pass and Bernina Express. Happy travels!
Samedan is a pretty little town, but not much to see there. I stayed at the Weisses Kreuz several years ago and it was fine. I did not stay in Pontresina, but think it would be nicer place to stay - higher up the mountain. We stayed at Albergo Milano in Varenna last year, and it was not inexpensive but very very worth it. We had a room with private patio looking out over the lake and it was fabulous. All the hotels in Varenna are down the hill from train station and walkable if you know where you are going, but the walk back up the hill might leave you puffing. Varenna is very hilly. Did not see Lecco except from the train, but could not see a reason to visit. It is bigger town with business and industry, while Varenna is a resort town on the lake. Its more of what you are there for.
Bob, In Lucerne we stayed at the Goldener Stern (Gold Star, which is the symbol over the entrance). Very reasonable, close to train station, good breakfast, restaurants nearby - and many churches. The elevator is small - one person, then luggage, then other person. Switzerland, especially Lucerne, is a favorite place for us. The train ride from Milan to Lucerne was a gem. Enjoy! In Milano we stayed at the Ibis, but I would not again. It was not as convenient as we had hoped.