Hotel du Lac
Travel Blogs from Varenna
Took the train from Florence to Milan in the new high speed rail link which took one hour forty minutes. It used to take four hours twenty years ago. Then we switched to a local Regionale to Varenna where our reserved taxi was waiting to bring us to a new hotel for us, Hotel du Lac, rated number one in Varenna. It is a spectacular place and we have …
We began the day with breakfast on the patio overlooking the lake, and then took the ferry to Bellagio, walking about 1/2 mile south to Villa Melzi, one of the only visitable villas at "Mid-Lake" that we hadn't yet seen during our previous stays. The gardens were stunning, as are all the of the gardens at each villa, and we had a nice time, …
... and rather like an English seaside town, except that the shops sell foccacias and pizza. Our hotel is half a block from the beach but most of the stoney beach areas require you to pay to get in. You can hire a deck chair too, if you pay. We walked to the "old" town but didn't explore very much more. John picked up a paninni for dinner and sat on the balcony and ate it. What a rough life we lead! We have a tour guide and tour of Cinque Terre tomorrow. Let's hope the sea isn't too ...
... beef (that tasted so good) and that Wendy had for tea was not so good after all. It seems that the food poisoning was what was really on the menu. A quick chat with a doctor by phone and John took a taxi into Como to a pharmacy to get the medication suggested. All this was about 11:30pm after he had been asleep for a while. Boy did he earn lots and lots of Brownie points. Needless to say, not much sleep was had during the rest of the ...
... out of Como and didn't count on the fact that the taxi would take 20 minutes to get to me for the 10 minute ride to the train. Needless to say, I watched my train pull out the station just as I arrived thus missing my train in Milan to Verona! Luckily, I only had to wait an hour for the next train to Milan and had to by another ticket for Verona. As slow as some things are in this country, the trains are amazingly on time! So I made it to Milan and in the ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel du Lac Varenna
Perfect spot on Lake Como
Varenna is a picture perfect small town. We had a corner room on the second floor - filled with views of the lake - and a small balcony facing the lake. The room was a good size with a double bed, desk, closet with a safe and a small sofa under the window. Everything was very modern and up to date. It was quiet, serene and relaxing. The breakfast was your typical Eurpoean buffet - with gorgeous lake views! The owner recommended a wonderful place for dinner - La Cavatappi - you must get reservations - there are only 5 tables.
By the way - the owner/manager is so charming and gracious. She took the time to do a mapquest type search for us to get us to our next destination. She looked at our maps for quite some time and devised the best route for our journey. The other staff members are also very sweet and helpful. I would highly recommend this hotel.
We'll be back someday
We stayed at Hotel du Lac in September 2004. The room was very spacious, and it included a HUGE balcony. I read some of the other reviews about small rooms, so I highly recommend getting one of the balcony rooms. The staff was very helpful, but not intrusive, and the breakfast was quite good. The hotel has a parking lot, but it requires the skill of a stunt driver to negotiate the narrow, curving road. (We lost a side view mirror trying to get out of there.)
A Wonderful Way to Begin Our Trip.
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel du Lac for two nights in late September 2004. As mentioned by others, it was a little pricier, but was the perfect place to recover from jet lag. Very quiet and peaceful, as was the town itself. The room was spotless, the bed comfy, and the bath was fine. Our "balcony" was a narrow strip that would only accommodate two folding chairs, but the view was spectacular. The breakfast was very generous; all the usual continental breakfast offerings, plus meats, cheeses, and a hot egg dish. We would definitely book this hotel again.
Great hotel in beautiful setting
Stayed at the Du Lac for 3 nights in early July 2004 and loved it! The staff was very helpful, had an on-site ayurvedic massage over looking the lake (fantastic!) and it was a beautiful site for breakfast - one morning having coffee you heard church bells from the neighboring towns across the water, lovely! The single room was fine, very nice furnishings and small as expected (but not as small as some in Paris or Milan); the bathroom was more than adequate and was new. The tile floors in the corridor made it easy to hear other guests coming and going but not too much of a nuisance.
Beautiful location! But very small room!
I stayed at the Hotel du Lac late last June 2004. After a VERY long & stressful journey from Washington, D.C., I couldn't have picked a better location to recuperate during my first 2 nights in Italy! The hotel was right on Lake Como, though a bit of a walk from the train station (at least 20-25 minutes, with luggage). I was happy with the hotel on most everything, except for my room. Although it was a single room, it was even smaller than I had expected. From the twin bed, I walked 1 step and reached the wall where my luggage was stored. As promised by the hotel owner, it had a lake view, but the window was a tiny round port hole not substantial enough to let sunlight in, let alone a decent view. I watched Jane Fonda's and Robert Redford's "Splendor in the Grass" in Italian on a tiny TV mounted high on the wall. The bathroom was spotless but ... you guessed it ... also tiny! There was barely enough room in the shower for me, a 5'4 person! Breakfast was served gloriously on the terrace, looking directly at beautiful Lake Como and the peaceful majestic mountains of Italy. Funny to have found myself thousands of miles from home, yet surrounded by Americans! Yes, most of the guests there that morning were from the U.S.! It looks like we all ended up in Varenna based on the rave reviews we read in Rick Steves' Italy guide book! The staff was courteous and polite. For guests who needed to use the Internet, we could go downstairs to the lounge and browsed the hotel's computer for free. A very nice service! As for location, everything is within walking distance!
Relaxing on the lake
We spent three days in Varenna. Perfect location for touring the small towns by boat. Hotel Du Lac was the best of the two hotels we stayed at. The other was a B&B with no elevator. Hucking 45 pound bags up three flights of stairs is good exercise and no fun! The Du Lac parking garage was convient as our friends had rented a car in Milan. I'll never forget the sign:
on the entrance of the garage.
We have stayed at Hotel Du Lac for the past 2 years and plan on going again this summer. I would suggest that this would be your first or last stop when traveling in europe. The peacefulness of Lake Como allows you to unwind after a long plane flight or recoup after a long trip. I really hesitate in getting the word out about Hotel Du Lac because I'm afraid future visits will require much earlier reservations. Words cannot express the beauty, serenity & old world graciousness that will be experienced.
Loved this place
Loved this place----part of it's charm is Varenna itself and the location of Hotel du Lac. The premises are charming and special to the area, i.e., loads of ambience. One negative---be especially careful of single rooms---they are quite small and cramped. If you travel alone, worth the extra $$ to reserve a double to "use as single", as they say in Italy.
Hotel du Lac -- Varenna
Wonderful hotel -- a bit pricey, but worth it. The hotel's location right on the water down a quiet road and at the terminus of the lakefront promenade is special indeed. Understated elegance is the theme of this small hotel (17 rooms). The proprietess is the former manager and bought the hotel 3 years ago to run it her way. She's a delight (though some of the staff could use a dose of her charm) and has been working to upgrade it since she took over. Last year saw the introduction of air "conditioners" -- really cool air fans, but the best you'll get in most places in Italy and a huge bonus this past hot summer. Be sure to get a room overlooking the lake. The superior lakefront rooms on the second floors sport amazingly huge balconies overlooking the breakfast area and lake, but that's about the only difference between them and the smaller "superior" lake front rooms (175 Euros as of 08/03) above. Baths are a bit cramped, but new, sqeaky clean and stylish.Rooms include breakfast - a gem of an event on the breathtaking patio on the water: very stylish with a nice selection of rolls, jams, cheeses, ham, fruit, yogurts and 3 special dishes (usually an egg torte, a cake/sweet dish of some kind and a baked good). Juices are nice as well. A waiter (efficient but not a conversationalist) serves coffee, tea or anything you want from the bar. The breakfast area converts to a drinking area during the day -- absolutely beautiful if the sun is not drilling into your skull as it did this summer (they pull down a sun protector -- that helps). Lunch is served on the adjoining patio -- also a beaitoful venue.One REALLY CONSIDERATE, nice thing the owner does: she doesn't serve dinner (though the hotel has beautiful, modern, full-service kitchen facilities below) because she does not want to keep the guests (with rooms overlooking the eating area from above) up at night. That's just amazingly gracious in this day and age, because the location would really draw a crowd. According to her staff, she would feel odd closing the restaurant down by 11 or so (early for Italians, I guess), and so she elects not to serve dinner at all. In a way it's a shame because we wanted to dine in-house on a few occassions, but we really appreciate the peacefulness of the location and hotel as well.Do yourself a favor: pack your swim trunks and take a dip in Como. My wife and I had the entire region of the lake to ourselves and passed several hours each day swimming from the hotel to the Villa Monastari next door -- a good 1-2 mile swim, but an incredible delight overlooking the heavenly scenery and enjoying the cool, refreshing, pristine lake waters. Barely a boat passed us -- it's totally safe, and you'll feel transported back to the 15th-16th centuries as you imagine the villa is yours alone -- the memory of a lifetime. . . Enjoy!!