I will start with the things that worked:
- Every single staff member was friendly and caring;
- the room was always spotless clean;
- the hotel follows the green hotels policy;
- and the continental breakfast was great (especially compared to most hotels in the US), and included fair trade fruit juices and a range of Swiss hot chocolates.
But the room, the room. I don't think I have ever been in hotel room that felt less cozy. I don't remember a single piece of decoration being there. I guess you only begin to appreciate wall pictures once you find yourself in a room with four blank white walls. In addition, the floor was made from wood; in conjunction with some decoration it could have been beautiful, but with the room being as blank as it was, all this did was create an eerie echo.
I have stayed in rooms that were deliberately spartan and reduced in design; this wasn't one of them. (This one was just empty.) A minimum of furniture and equipment was there; some of it old, some of it broken; all of it grey and bolted to the walls. The TV was small, grey, old, and hanging from a corner of the room, immediately adding to the hospital vibe. The room was also quite small - not something I usually mind at all, but again: it was just like being in hospital.
The hotel is a convenient five to ten minute walk from the main train station, and has a lot of shopping facilities near (which is great, seeing as Switzerland is a rather expensive destination for most travellers). Sadly, the room does not come with a fridge (or even mini bar), so you cannot store your food anywhere.
The bathroom had a much appreciated vanity kit, but no conditioner or body lotion (also known as emergency make-up remover). Soap and shampoo dispensers were fixed to the walls. The hairdryer looked ancient (you know how white appliances turn yellow with the decades?) and was very weak; it took forever to dry my hair in the mornings (it is only shoulder length).
I don't need to travel light when I go on holiday (as opposed to a business trip); but what's the point in staying in a business hotel when you have to pack half your household, just in case? (Incidentally, if I WAS on holiday, I would have time to find myself a supermarket that deals in travel size conditioner and lotion.)
Lastly, the internet access. The hotel does not offer any; cable connection plug sockets are not available in the rooms. You have to go through Swisscom's public and rather expensive hotspot to go online. I had a bunch of technical difficulties with them as well, which, of course, is not the hotel's fault; however, business hotels really should offer their own connections and save you the trouble.
So, yeah. I feel bad for the staff, giving the hotel a below average rating, as the things that inconvenienced me were beyond their control.
My stay at the Ardo was by no means horrible, but all in all felt bleak and was filled with too many inconveniences to have made me feel truly welcome.
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