There aren't too many hotels in Chiasso, at least not too many reviewed in TA.
So, choosing from a very small pool and based on TA photos and reviews, we paid what we thought was a lot of money (for two elderly retirees) for a two night stay at the Hotel Garni Centro. Including city taxes, our bill was CH256, or E208. This included a light buffet breakfast and in-room WiFi.
On arrival in Chiasso it was dark and raining heavily, so even though the hotel was only a short walk away, we took a taxi. And then we saw it through the rain - a slightly dilapidated office block, with the hotel accommodation on one floor. There were vacant shops and offices along from the hotel entrance which added to a "run-down" look. Luckily it was not yet 7pm since that is when Reception formally closes. Check-in was smooth and a multilingual young man carried our bags to our room.
On opening the door, we were a little dismayed to find it did not look like the photos on TA. Specifically, there was no carpet on the floor, nor rugs. The lighting was a desk lamp, switchable from the door. There was only one bed-side table with a small reading lamp. The chairs and luggage support were plastic, and the TV was a small screen LCD model set for analog reception even though we found digital reception was available. There was an air-conditioner but no remote control - since we were warm enough we didn't follow this up. The en-suite was small but functional, with a panel heater near the shower recess which didn't seem to work on demand - it may have been programmed. The only power socket in the bathroom we discovered at the end of the fluorescent light fitting - this took my wife a while to find! Overall, everything was clean enough and the beds were comfortable.
Breakfast was a cold buffet, adequate but not a lot of choice. Again, the photos on TA flatter the room and its furnishings because to us, it was more like a school refectory than a hotel. In fact, given the limited opening hours of Reception, the hotel was more like an upmarket back-packers' hostel - apart from the price.
But it would be churlish of me not to point out the best aspect of the hotel , and that is the helpfulness of the staff. In fact, my wife damaged her knee while out walking and the manager very kindly offered to run us to the station in his car, an offer gratefully accepted.
So, summing up: While spartan, the room was clean and we did get a good night's sleep, and the staff and management were polite and helpful. But as an elderly retired couple, it wasn't what we were expecting for the price we paid.
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