Mid-September, 2019, 2 nights, Friday & Saturday. Absolutely horrible hotel, small rooms, small baths, street noise until 3 or 4 in the morning, church bells every 15 minutes, plus bonus church bells on the hour to let you know that you are still not sleeping at 10, 11, 12, 1 . . . The bar / hotel on the ground floor serves drinks to the locals until they are so drunk they stumble out on the street to yell, smoke, vomit, laugh, order more drinks . . . Best bet for Luzern is to stay out of town and commute in and out. Or, pay the big bucks, head for the other side of the river, go to Hofkirche, turn left / go north, cross the street, Hotel Hofgarten, Stadthofstrasse 14, CH-6006, +41 41 410 88 88.
Best bet for Luzern is to stay out of town and commute in and out.
We stayed two nights at the Waldstaetterhof just across the street from Luzern's central train station and had no problem with street noise or even train noise. Of course the train station next to the hotel is enclosed and Swiss trains are electric. We didn't heaer any church bells.
The problem could be hotels with ground floor bars on weekend nights. The drunks have to wait curbside for taxis at closing time. For those hotels, avoid street side rooms.
It sounds like a horrible stay, and I'm not surprised you're upset. It does says "tight rooms" in the description he gives in the guidebook, and given experience with European hotels, I would know what that would likely mean. But I always understood that his suggestions were not a pick of the "best" after reviewing all available options. The RS criteria give heavy weight to location and access to public transportation, not luxury. So yeah, if you can afford the higher cost options, you probably shouldn't rely on RS.
We stayed at the Hotel des Alpes - also a RS recommendation - even closer to the train station, and have no complaints.