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Travel Blogs from Como
Our train trip from Venice to Milano was uneventful, comfy but crowded, but once we got to Milan to change trains, we had our first stress attack! The train we wanted to take to Como was booked out, and even though the ticket lady said we could just get on and pay, we didn't know if that was right. So off we went to the info booth, to stand in line …
Caught the water bus from San Marco to the railway station; made sure we were early in case of getting lost. Got to the station where it was busy; it was the "Up and down the bridges of Venice" fun run where around 10,000 entrants cross 43 of Venice's bridges. May have been good but may have made touring a bit daunting. Anyway we were …
... it was so close made up for its shortcomings,
We drove home without mishap but it took us about 1 ½ hours to get through the motorway toll at Ventomiglia on Saturday afternoon. The Côte d'Azur is heaving with tourists and it is virtually impossible to go anywhere as you cannot park, have to queue for everything and are anyway unlikely to get in. The food is overpriced and the service is slow and don’t even think about going to the beach as you ...
... the question that most Tourists ask "Is that George's Villa", but alas it is a long way up the lake towards Como.
We stop at the Villa del Balbianello for a tour of the estate that is now owned and maintained by the Fondo (Foundation) Ambiente Italiano and was previously owned by Guido Monzino a weathy Milanese Businessman who was a dedicated explorer and collector. He was too busy climbing Mount Everest, trecking to the North Pole or exploring South America so ...
... back to the railway station, but we’ve fallen for the place just the same. I think the key is the unassuming way the town just gets on with being, while people like us come and go. The little piazza below our window is the only square in the town so it’s not only the place where people meet, but also a favourite spot for kids to run and do the things kids do.
We’ve even grown attached to the church with the bell we’ve named ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsBarchetta Excelsior Como
Great location right across the main square from the lake, so our balcony had a view looking right up the lake, and 2 minute walk to ferry terminal. Room was reasonable size and clean, bed comfy.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Barchetta Excelsior Como
A Wonderful Stay
We stayed at the Barchetta in March 2004. It was a great stay! The rooms are modern and spacious and the bathrooms were always very clean.
The location of the hotel is wonderful. Our room overlooked the lake.
The view was romantic and breathtaking! All the front desk personnel speak English so it was very easy to ask for directions, etc. One thing to be aware of. A lake view room also overlooks the piazza, which can get noisy at night on the weekend. If that's a problem, then request a back room. My husband and I would certainly stay here again!
December 2003 Visit
This was a great hotel. I stayed there two nights while on business in Italy. The location directly across the street from the lake and shopping/entertainment around the corner was perfect. The hotel decor is a little outdated, but is being renovated. The restaurant was closed due to the construction, but breakfast was still served. The receptionists spoke great english and were terrific in assisting us with directions and travel arrangments. I would definitely stay here again.
The only thing this hotel has going for it is the location and the view from a "deluxe room" with balcony. Although clean it is in desperate need of renovation and does not deserve a 4 star rating.I recently stayed there (September 15-19) witha small group of upscale clients (I am a travel escort and agent) and was most embarrassed that I had not researched this property more thoroughly. We all had was was described as deluxe rooms with balcony and view of the lake. The rooms, though clean were in various stages of disrepair and perhaps my room was the worse. Throughout the room there was mold on the walls and wall paper and a musty smell that I had to endure for 4 nights.Since I had already tried to change several other cleints to different rooms, there was no other room left to change to. Talking to the manager about at least a small refund on the room was absolutely to no avail.I was told that renovations will begin in November, which was certainly no help to us.
I agree with the previous comments. This hotel is no "Ville d'Este"!
Even after reading the posted warnings about this hotel, I booked regardless. Thank goodness we stayed just one night, and kept ourselves removed from the hotel at all costs. Upon arrival, the clerk was no help whatsoever. You'd have guessed he just moved to Como himself, and proceeded to have no knowledge of the boat ferries, nightlife, restaurants, etc. Very unaccomodating.
Upon arrival at our room we found it to be the closest thing to an ashtray outside of the hotel bar. We insisted on moving rooms, and eventually were relocated. Again, we inquired with the clerk about good places to eat, and he proclaimed that "this hotel has the best restaurant on the Lake". Nasty rumor according to the other guests sitting in the lounge.
Regardless, we had dinner at Villa d'Este, the "sister" hotel for the Barchetta. The personnel at the Villa d'Este could not find any encouraging words about their "evel stepsister" hotel!
In closing, don't pick Barchetta. In fact, make the extra effort, and stay in one of the smaller towns on the Lake. Como really has nothing to offer other than convenience to Milan.
Our terrible experience at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior
I am writing to share our experience with the above hotel on our recent visit in July, 2003. First, although Barchetta is rated Four Stars, potential guests should realize that, as with all Italian hotels, star ratings are largely meaningless, reflecting the presence of physical aspects such as reservations desk, bathtubs, restaurant, etc., and having nothing to do with level of service, hospitality, customer satisfaction, etc. (Indeed, in researching the hotel for other complaints and online feedback, we came across a report of a Hotel Barchetta guest being laughed at by the manager when she complained about service.) Thats why hotels can cement the stars onto the building without fear of change or downgrading.To summarize our experience: We were given an unsatisfactory room, with conditions the hotel was aware of ahead of time (if not at the time of booking, then certainly when we called to confirm two weeks before our arrival), but about which they chose not to inform us. We left after a few hours when it became clear they could not provide a satisfactory room. Instead of billing us only for a housekeeping charge, or at most, one night, they insisted on charging us for the full two nights in spite of our dissatisfaction, saying that conditions right outside the room (an every night rock concert til at least midnight) were not their responsibility. It appeared that they then tidied the place up a bit, and re-rented it to another American couple who were at the desk as we were leaving, being informed that there was a room available after we had been told there were none earlier. We concede that they did not in the end charge us for what they termed the lakeview upgrade.Please consider our experience when making your Italian hotel plans. Thank you.
Villa d' Este this is NOT
This hotel is associated with Villa d' Este but I did not see the connection. I have stayed at Villa d' Este. This place was not close to Villa d' Este quality. The building is from 1957 and claims to have been upgraded. I hate to think what it was like prior to the upgrade. My biggest complaint would be the air conditioning in the rooms. These were not upgraded and desperatley need to be. The other claim they state is the rooms are sound proof. Somehow with the sound proofing all the street noise still made its way into our room. Between the street noise and the air conditioning not working properly it was difficult to sleep. The hotel staff did accommodate us and move us to another room. This room was higher up and did seem to be sound proof. The air conditioning did work a little better. The hotel is conveniently located in the middle of the 'action' and easy access to various sites.