In the heart of Switzerland’s picturesque Ticino canton, summer lingered like an old friend who was in no hurry to leave. With a sense of adventure and a longing for the last traces of sunshine, we embarked on a journey to Ascona. As much as we love the diverse regions of Switzerland but Ticino has always a special place in our heart.
Can it be the food? The Mediterranean feel? the warmth of the people? Maybe all of it ! This time we had another reason to fall in love with the region. And it was right from the beginning with warm embrace of Hotel Giardino Ascona, our host for the stay, and their “Welcome home” slogan.
Valle Verzasca’s Enchanting Lavertezzo
Our adventure commenced in Valle Verzasca, a valley of unparalleled beauty. Less than one hour from Ascona. Here, we rediscovered the charming village of Lavertezzo, a veritable gem nestled amid the lush Swiss landscape. The defining feature of this idyllic hamlet was undoubtedly its stunning stone bridge. As we gingerly crossed the ancient arches, we couldn’t help but marvel at the crystal-clear waters below, which seemed to have been painted by an artist’s brushstroke. Like a masterpiece painting that you hang at the salon or living room at home. To bring us back from dreamy land, there was a group of adventurers who decided to jump off the bridge into the chilly water. With the splashes and laughters, the place was soon filled with fun and energetic vibe.
Mendrisio’s Vibrant Wine Festival
From Bellinzona we moved to Mendrisio, just in time for the annual wine festival – Sagra del Borgo. The atmosphere was abuzz with merriment and celebration. We couldn’t resist the allure of local wines and happily indulged in tastings, toasting to the region’s winemaking heritage. The festival was a testament to the close-knit communities that thrived in the region, and it provided us with a taste of Ticino’s spirited culture. Mendriso, is well known for its big outlet center, yet this festival showed us that there is much more culture and heritage to the village then being a commerce base.
Locarno’s Piazza Grande & Lakeside Serenity
No trip to Ticino is complete without visiting Locarno, the town known for its breathtaking lakeside charm. We have visited multiple times and have put together some tips on how to spend a full week-end around Locarno. As we strolled along the tranquil shores, we were enveloped in a sense of serenity. The rippling waters mirrored the clear blue sky, and the distant peaks provided a majestic backdrop. We paused for a coffee in the lively Piazza Grande, where the pulse of the town’s heartbeat could be felt in every bustling corner.
Ascona’s Colorful Delights and enchanting personality
Ascona, our base, for the stay was awaiting us. We reveled in the down town’s vibrant character. Wandering through its colorful pebble-stone alleys, we discovered hidden corners and inviting boutiques. An indulgent gelato was the perfect accompaniment to our leisurely promenades, and each turn brought a new burst of color and character. Ascona’s unique blend of sophistication and authenticity made it a highlight of our journey. The town is relatively small but never the less full of personality.
Sunset Magic at Brissago Islands
One of the most enchanting experiences of our trip was a sunset boat ride to Brissago Islands, home to captivating botanical gardens. As we traversed the tranquil waters, we felt as though we had entered a different world. The island’s lush greenery, punctuated by vibrant blooms, created an oasis of tranquility. There are plants from across the world, organised in geographical spaces that resembles different countries and continents. Exploring the natural gardens at twilight was nothing short of magical, a symphony of scents and colors that left an indelible mark on our hearts.
Luxury Living at Hotel Giardino Ascona
Our home during this remarkable journey was none other than Hotel Giardino Ascona. A haven of luxury seamlessly integrated into the picturesque surroundings of Ascona. The interior design of Hotel Giardino Ascona exuded elegance and warmth, a reflection of the care and attention to detail that permeated every aspect of the establishment.
Our suite was a spacious and elegant retreat, offering sweeping views of both the inviting swimming pool, the vibrant gardens and the majestic mountains that embraced us. We extended our summer mood while basking in the lap of luxury at Hotel Giardino Ascona
A Relaxing Oasis: The Outdoor Pool and Gardens
The outdoor pool area was a paradise in its own right. As we were hanging on every summer vibe, the pool was our living area! We spent leisurely afternoons sipping refreshing drinks by the poolside, soaking up the warm rays of the sun. The gardens of Giardino, an extension of the pool area, were a symphony of colors and life. Ponds teeming with colorful fish and exotic plants provided a soothing backdrop to our tranquil moments of relaxation. We felt transported to a different world, surrounded by summer vibes, lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature.
Wellness and Indulgence Inside out
Indulgence extended beyond the pool area. Within the hotel, an inviting inside pool beckoned, and we took full advantage of its therapeutic embrace. The moody weather during part of the stay, was a good excuse to discover the interior further. The spa facilities were nothing short of world-class, boasting rejuvenating saunas, a solarium, and a well-equipped gym.
Each morning, our day began with a harmonious yoga session in the serene garden, setting a peaceful tone for our adventures. This is an amazing treatment offered by the hotel to its guests.
Breakfast on the garden terrace was a symphony of flavors, with a breathtaking view as the perfect accompaniment to our morning nourishment.
Culinary Bliss at Giardino’s Ecco Restaurant
Our culinary journey at Giardino was a highlight in itself. Dining at Restaurant Ecco Ascona, a prestigious 2-star Michelin establishment with an open kitchen, was an experience that tantalized the senses. During our trips throughout Switzerland we had many amazing culinary experiences but this was one of the top! The gastronomy surprise menu offered a symphony of flavors, meticulously crafted and presented with artful precision. The “amuse buche” where just a work of art! It’s amazing how much mastery is put in such small bites, that fill you with taste.
It will take pages to describe each dish. The sautéed and marinated scallop’s were full of taste and the roe deer left us speechless. The wild blue berries dessert was out of this world! We were invited to the open kitchen to watch how some of these dishes were prepared. The precision in which the elements are combined and presented is just stunning and an experience on its on!
Hide & Seek: A Gastronomic Hideaway
Our culinary adventures continued at Hide & Seek, the hotel’s second restaurant. Here, we discovered a world of culinary delights, with each dish showcasing the creativity and expertise of the culinary team. It was a gastronomic hideaway that left our taste buds dancing with delight. For diversity, we also tried the Giardino Lago restaurant in Locarno, another establishment of the hotel, where the setting is more casual but the menu as amazing.
Impeccable Service and Personalized Care
The Giardino staff, with their warm and genuine smiles, made us feel truly at home. The service at the hotel restaurant was impeccable. A show case that professionalism and care can get along very well. Attending to the dining guests without interruption or intrusion.
The reception and concierge service, in particular, stood out for its attentiveness and willingness to cater to our every need. Their wealth of knowledge of the region, and eagerness to go miles to help is just unmateable! The slogan of “Welcome home” was put in practice in every act. Apart from the amazing service the hotel also offer perks such as a shuttle bus within the town of Ascona, and normal and electric bicycles that can be borrowed.
Our enchanting journey through Ascona & its surrounding in Ticino, with its captivating landscapes and the luxurious embrace of Hotel Giardino Ascona, was a testament to the fact that summer was still in full bloom. Every adventure, every moment of relaxation, allowed us to savor the essence of this charming region. These cherished memories would forever remind us that, indeed, home is were you feel comfort and love.