Hotel Federale Lugano

Short history of the hotel


The building which is now the hotel Federale was originally built between 1880 and 1890 and the then pension was known under a different name. In 1918 the building was purchased by a Mr. Arturo Maspoli from Mendrisio and building’s name was changed into the name we know today. The management was handed over to someone else, but in 1923 the son of Mr. Maspoli, Arturo, took over the direction of the hotel, aided by his wife Maria Maspoli-Galliker.

As soon as they took over, they put the hotel up to date introducing running hot and cold water in all rooms, the dining room was enlarged and a terrace with lake view was created, as well as some garage space for the first travelers with cars of those late 1920s.

The following economic recessions – as well as the second world war – did slow down the touristic flux, but the hotel could master those difficult times with bravery.

Destiny did challenge Mrs. Maspoli-Galliker. Just at the start of the second world war, Mr. Maspoli (her husband) died and his wife with their only then 14 years old son, had to master those difficult years. Mrs. Maspoli-Galliker’s mother came to help her and together they mastered those difficult years, and surprisingly, they were even able to expand business. Were at the beginning on the western side of the building was a terrace, they did build up some additional guestrooms. Thanks to domestic demand and soldiers stationed around Lugano, the war years did pass by.


A new era begins.
In 1945 the son of Maria Maspoli-Galliker, Arturo Junior, takes over the direction of the hotel and with him a new era starts. In 1950 the building was raised by one floor and the beginning of mass tourism brought along new challenges and new opportunities, but mainly a shift in tourism seasonality, concentrating itself during the warmer sommer months. In 1969 some room were equipped with private bathrooms, but suddenly Arturo Junior dies very young, and the direction of the hotel once again falls on the shoulder of Maria Maspoli-Galliker. The challenges now are bigger than 30 years earlier and her age is putting its toll as well. In 1970 she asked the help of her nephew Rudolf Galliker, who successfully was managing a restaurant in Zurich, and before that was in charge of the front office of a large hotel in Zürich as well. Rudolf Galliker was bringing along solid experiences in national and international hotel business, and together with his wife Elfriede, also a hotellady, they accepted the challenge and took over the management of the Hotel Federale.
During the following years many were the renovations works which were accomplished: all rooms with private bathrooms (en suite), radio and cable tv in all rooms, direct dial out phones, air conditioning in the restaurant, and also some works which the guests’ eyes do not see: new kitchen, new heating systems and a new laundry.


Construction of a new underground garage.


Opening of a small fitness room with sauna. Introduction of IT for the room availability and billing management. From some relatively small 6 single rooms, we created 3 comfort rooms.


The Bar and the lounge were softly renovated and sliding doors were installed for meetings.


The laundry which was up on the 5th floor, was moved to the basement. With it the elevator was made longer and all machines were replaced with new powerful ones. On top of it, with space we recuperated, we had the possibility to have changing rooms with shower for staff, a dining rooms for staff and all steps in the corridors were eliminated.


After having moved the laundry to the basement, during that winter we did raise the building by one floor and some additional superior rooms with city and lake view were created.


Small renovations and some new bathrooms on the south wing rooms.


24 rooms were completely restructured. 8 small single rooms became 4 twin rooms; the balcony at the end of the corridor was “given” to the new superior rooms, all cables and water and heating pipes were replaced.


In the restaurant we changed all windows and doors with high energy saving models. The carpet in the restaurant was taken off, and a new wooden floor was re-introduced.


Rooms renovated in 1997 have undergone the next renovation and equipped with air-conditioning. Starting mid-April 2016, in the garage we will have two charging stations for electric and hybrid cars.


Complete renovation of ground floor, new heating and cooling unit and important step toward drastic reduction of CO2 output and general reduction of energy consumption.

During all these years of the hotel, it has always been our priority to try to keep pace with the times in relation to hardware, and at the same time try to stay as traditional as possible on the software side, remaining a truly family business.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Lugano.