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Hotel Eden Roc Ascona: 5-stars with a wilding by Rampazzi

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Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona is the best vacation hotel in Switzerland. Maybe it has to do with the sensational location on Lake Maggiore or the impeccable service. But, for us, perhaps the biggest draw of all were the interiors by star designer Carlo Rampazzi.

For several years now, Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona time and again wound up at number one in Karl Wild’s Ranking of the Best Swiss Vacation Hotels.

Still, until now, we never had that strong sense of we should visit the Eden Roc. It’s just a little too sedate for our taste, isn’t it?

That all changed in December 2017, when we stopped over at Hotel Valsana, which also belongs to the Tschuggen Hotel Group.

It’s there that we first took note of the work of architect Carlo Rampazzi, design professional for all of Tschuggen Hotel Group’s interior appointments.

Valsana Hotel Arosa

Stylish furnishings with green! sofa in the Valsana Arosa Hotel

Visual provocations

At the time, Walter reacted to a frog-green sofa in our Valsana room as a visual provocation. Then he found out, Rampazzi is supposed to own a bright green leather jacket and a lime green Bentley on top of that. It was just too much for Walter’s nerves.

Designer and architect Carlo Rampazzi wearing a green leather jacket

Designer architect Carlo Carlo Rampazzi in his favorite leather jacket
© Tschuggen Hotel Group

But, it made him want to find our more about Rampazzi, furniture and interior designer. Maybe it’s because Walter from time to time also gets a little «wild» in the head and goes for this or that crazy color. I kid you not: on one of our first dates he dared to wear pink pants!

So, here we go; we set out for Ticino, full of suspense to find out how wildly Rampazzi rampaged at the Hotel Eden Roc.

«Colorful» Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona

Frankly, as we drive up to the hotel, Walter and I exchange slightly puzzled looks. Would you say the place doesn’t look all that luxe from the back facade?

Still, the five-star hotel’s parking lot has luxury rides like Bentleys, Porsches, and Teslas scattered around it. Our fire-engine red mobility mini is probably the most attention-getting car around here…

At least the extremely kind concierge acts as if it were the most natural thing in the world that we roll up in a tiny VW Up. We are encouraged to act as if we’d driven up in Rolls Royce. Stiff of spine and with a slight curl to the upper lip we stride away. Appearances must be kept up, after all.

As we set foot in the hotel lobby, we snap out of it. First realization: the lobby is elegant, but very traditional. No edgy colors. Really, Rampazzi is supposed to have done his thing here?

While I’m pondering it, a simpatico Assistant Director Jochen Ebert welcomes us as we check in at the front desk. With evident pride, he leads the way through the establishment. My anxieties about Rampazzi having held back at the Eden Roc evaporate quickly enough…

Here and there, I glimpse the colorful and offbeat designs I was hoping for. Now I see clearly that the eccentric cult designer’s signature touch is everywhere.

Elegance and extravagance alternate with art and funky kitsch. They say that the exuberant Ticino native sees no clashes here. Well, it’s all right then…

Extravagant sofa by Carlo Rampazzi

Extravagant sofa

Lamp detail by designer Carlo Rampazzi

Lamp detail by designer Carlo Rampazzi

Chair with bold forms

Bold forms and color. They’re everywhere…

Part of me is still irritated by the wild mix of materials and colors, and I ask myself who goes for that?!

On the other hand… we enter suites and rooms whose appointments now strike me as highly attractive. I’m torn this way and that, and am starting to feel something like ambivalence…

Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

Intense colors, on the wall for once

Suite Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

Varicolored living room with lake view

Chair and leather pillow Rampazzi Style

Trademark Rampazzi green for the leather pillow

Colored designer arm Chair

Brightly colored designer arm chair… Rampazzi-style!

Deluxe double room Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

Deluxe double room with understated purple. Believe it!

Rampazzi apparently has convinced himself that guests shouldn’t live in his hotels like they do at home. Anyway, they’re only exposed to the stimulating color orgy for a day or so. He may have a point there, actually…

But, enough ruminating about the sense or nonsense of color and pattern combinations. Assistant Director Ebert insists we must see the garden before it gets dark.

The garden of Eden Roc – pocket paradise with Mediterranean charm

It is well known that the Eden Roc’s rooms face directly on Lake Maggiore for those calming lake views, as the hotel is just a couple of minutes walk behind Ascona’s picturesque shore promenade.

A lush garden with Mediterranean charm, a private bathing beach, a panoramic boat dock and the house’s own yacht harbor surround the five-star establishment. Magical!

Hotel Eden Roc during the blue hour

Hotel Eden Roc during the blue hour

Sculptures Garden Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

Sculptures like «tree heads» on the Eden Roc’s hotel terrace

Here in the garden you will also find «La Casetta» (a small romantic lake cottage).  It can be reserved, for private dinners, for example.

During the winter months, they serve local cheese varieties and meat specialties, freshly prepared polenta or gourmet risotto from the neighboring Terreni alla Maggia. Let it be understood that this is one of the world’s most northerly rice cultivation areas!

Idyllic Casetta Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

Idyllic Casetta with lake access

Entrance to the Casetta from the hotel garden

Entrance to the Casetta from the hotel garden

Dishes in the Casetta by the lake

Dishes in the Casetta by the lake

I try to picture in my mind’s eye a spring day when the flowers and magnolia trees are all abloom around the lake cottage and in the garden… it must be paradisical!

But even in winter, the view of the lake from the hotel has its charms.

A wintry sunset over the Casetta on Lake Maggiore

A wintry sunset over the Casetta on Lake Maggiore

View of Lake Maggiore from the hotel Eden Roc

View of Lake Maggiore from the hotel room

Culinary delights with 46 Gault Millau points

The small but refined lake cottage also does duty as a fourth restaurant from May to September. It joins the hotel restaurant Eden Roc (15 Gault Millau points), gourmet restaurant La Brezza (17 Gault Millau points), and Ristorante Marina (14 Gault Millau points).

The Marina and its cuisine really appealed to us, so much so that we we will be devoting its own article to the restaurant, with more impressions of Rampazzi’s doings in that space. Prepare for spaghetti chairs!

Chairs by Carlo Rampazzi in Ristorante La Brezza

«People chairs» by Carlo Rampazzi in Ristorante La Brezza

Will miracles never cease… we actually bump into the one and only Carlo Rampazzi in the Marina Restaurant!

Truth be told: Walter’s jaw drops briefly on getting an eyeful of Carlo’s black-gold patterned pants and boots. But, he collects himself and we get into a good conversation with the color giant. When we’re done, he invites us then and there to his Ascona studio.

Carlo Rampazzi in front of his Selvaggio Studio

Le Roi c’est moi! Rampazzi in front of his Selvaggio Studio

Mamma mia! Read our account of the visit to his «Selvaggio» (Italian for «wild») studio. Hold on to your armchair!

Our bottom line

We now completely get why the Hotel Eden Roc is profiled as the best vacation hotel: guests enjoy a wide selection that pulses with modern, colorful rooms and suites, and the hotel boasts a wellness area with spa and pool measuring 2,000 m2, not to speak of a sensational garden with direct lake access.

Hotel Eden Roc with pool and garden

Hotel Eden Roc with pool and garden

And, of course, let’s not forget the selection of four Lucullan restaurants!

For those of us who, in the midst of the traditional, still go for a vibrant color palette and slightly wild design, we fit in like multicolored birds of paradise here.

Kneipp pool Hotel Eden Roc

Of course, also the Kneipp pool in the spa area is colored

Our sincere thanks go to…

Evelyn Gorgos, Director of Communications for the Tschuggen Hotel Group, for arranging and organizing our stay.

Hotel Director Andreas Gartmann for the invitation, and to Jochen Ebert, Assistant Director of the Eden Roc Ascona, for the pleasant guided tour of the hotel and grounds. Not to speak of the delightful Apéro! (BTW: Treat yourself to a few tidbits at the bar before going in for dinner. That little tartare is quite something!)

Address

Hotel Eden Roc
Via Albarelle 16
CH-6612 Ascona

The Hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and Swiss Deluxe Hotels.

Telephone: +41 91 785 71 71
E-Mail Address: info@edenroc.ch
For more information: edenroc.ch

Prices are seasonal and by room category. They range from CHF 388 to CHF 1,500.

If you ask me, that’s not cheap, but it is a great value, to be sure. You really do get something for your money…

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About Author

Katja is travelmemo.com’s destination research and booking expert. She always has the upper hand on itineraries and travel details. When not on the road Katja is a corporate communications and events manager.

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