Someone went to a lot of trouble to make this hotel very....average. Yes, it's hyper modern and uber-designed in look, a bit cubist in an almost lake-side setting, with state-of-the-art plumbing, air con and flat screen tvs in the room, complete with modern art. First impressions are good.
But leave the reception and hunt the elevator (round the corner and a fair way down the corridor) and you realise it's all too much style and not enough substance. The building layout is confusing, why do you need two lifts to get from the car park to room?
Service was not all there. There appeared to be a staff shortage, I rang for help with the aircon to be left ringing and ringing. The integrated shower leaks water, the shampoo/shower gel (White Company) a nice designer touch.
Most irritating for a business traveller? Was wifi free - really? The instructions were not clear and appeared to say not (perhaps it was free downstairs only?)
The aircon also needs a clear instructions leaflet, I found it was impossible to turn off.
Being charged 20chf overnight for parking was arguably the most greedy extra charge I've seen in a while. Fair enough to charge parking in an inner city area but in St Sulplice, in the middle of nowhere? Where is one supposed to park when one has two heavy suitcases to lug - 100m away?
Minibars, long a staple of hotel overcharging - here it was grotesquely over the top. I'm glad I had a spare bottle of water in one of my bags.
The real disappointment, however, was the restaurant. Dinner was very expensive - 50chf for a very ordinary and quite gristly steak. Swiss entrecote, allegedly. And breakfast was much worse. Congealed scrambled egg and stone cold sausages and bacon. I handed my barely touched plate back to the waitress and said (in French): "It's all cold", to be met with an indifferent shrug. There was no suggestion that they'd make me something else that was hot so I had a yoghurt and some cheese with a coffee. Not much for the additional 25chf I was charged for breakfast.
Great view of the lake when you're in the restaurant but, to be frank, I'd rather have had a decent meal.
Service and approach both need improving for a hotel which seems to see itself as catering for the business traveller. Lausanne's EPFL is opposite. Perhaps academics employed there have lower standards? I don't know about them but I wouldn't bother staying again, there are better hotels in nearby Ouchy and in the centre of Lausanne.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located at the doors of Lausanne, on the EPFL Campus the Starling Hotel Lausanne welcomes you in a modern and cosy environment. ... more less
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