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TravelPod Member ReviewsVilla d'Este Cernobbio
Gorgeous hotel. Incredible view! Incredible room with a private balcony, but expensive!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Villa d'Este Cernobbio
Beautiful setting, but hotel's definitely fading
My family and I have visited the Villa D'Este twice; the last time being in October of 2003. We all noted a marked decline in the level of service and general ambience of the hotel. This hotel is clearly riding on its reputation as well as it incredible setting and general lack of competition on the lake in the luxury hotel market (apart from the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio).
I second the warning from another reviewer about checking your rooms before accepting. We had booked two lake front rooms. When we arrived they tried to place us on the top floor, where rooms have only small windows with no baclony. While the lower floor ones have huge windows opening onto small balconies; for exactly the same price. When we questioned the choice of rooms they said the nicer rooms must be booked, but they managed to move us anyway. If this had been August I'd have understood but it was October and the hotel was at most one third full. We never managed to figure out why they tried to place us in the attic.
- The staff. It's a bit mixed really. Some of the more senior staff are great and very friendly but sadly they can be outweighed by those who mistake working in a fine hotel for owning it.
- Dining. Breakfasts are great in the Verenda but for dinner I'd recommend heading to the Grill, it has a much more comfortable atmosphere.
To be honest, if this hotel was located in a less prefect setting or had more competition I doubt that it would still be in business. I'd recommend staying in a fine hotel in Milan (like the Four Season's) and taking a day trip up to Lake Como.
We stayed at VDE in mid-July. It is truly a beautiful setting. Lake Como is extraordinary and the overall setting of VDE is quite amazing. The hotel shows its age, but in a very elegant way, room decorations are very classic and refined. The pool setting, especially the floating pool, is a great way to spend the day. The Spa also offers a wide variety of treatments from the ordinary to the obscure - but be prepared to pay. It is very expensive and tipping policy is very confusing and the staff does little to clarify. The separate exercise room, near the indoor pool, is as described by another reviewer - sadly third world. Breakfast is included - room service and seated in the main dining room. In room is so tempting but limited - venture out to the dining room, its an incredible breakfast spread. Plan a day to visit Bellagio on a hotel offered trip every other day. Finally the comments on the staff are quite true - they are stuffy, unfriendly and generally don't make one feel welcome to this level and quality of a hotel property. Expect 65-80% Americans in residence.
Our brief stay ( for only 2 nights) at Villa D'este was splendid. The view of the lake from the room and floating pool and the gardens are just simply wonderful. Service is also good, by Italian standards.
The only drawback is that the clientale for the hotel tends to be older. I guess that since the prices of the hotel are so high, they are the ones that can afford to stay in a place like this!
We stayed at the Villa d'Este in late May 2004. They tried to give us a room on the top floor, which was completely unacceptable. We refused, and we were taken to a room on the third floor which was really great. It looked like it had just been remodeled. It was a really nice room.
Overall, the hotel is fantastic. The grounds are a tourist attraction in itself. The floating pool is really cool.
The included breakfast is the best, and in a room that is absolutely beautiful.
Don't be intimidated by the hotel resturants. The staff is very nice. For more casual dining, take the very short walk into Cenerbbio. There's also a ferry terminal there with connections to all towns on the Lake. We took a two-hour ferry ride to Bellagio, then took a high-speed ferry from Bellagio to Como, then the slower ferry to Cenerbbio. It was one of the highlights of our stay in Italy. The hotel also offers a half-day trip to Bellagio that's much less challenging, but a lot more expensive.
I highly recommed this hotel and hope to stay there again soon. I would have to say that it's the best place that I've ever stayed...and I've stayed in a lot of five-star hotels.
Just don't let them stick you with a bad room. Ask to see it first!
Magnificent site, service needs "Four Seasons" training
This is a remarkably beautiful hotel and staying there is a great experience. Of hotels with "old fashioned" (i.e., 19th Century opulent) decor, this is probably the most beautiful I've stayed in, all kept in top-notch shape. The service is more than good by European general standards, but if you've stayed in a Four Seasons or Peninsula hotel anywhere, you know that there's another level of attentiveness and graciousness that they haven't achieved. The food is good, but not enough to be worth the stiffness and formality (jacket/tie required) of the dining room (we didn't try their more casual grill) since there are plenty of good places to eat locally in Cernobbio or a short ride away in Como. The gardens, which go way up the hillside, are magnficent and only open to hotel guests. However, when you're on a boat to Bellagio (a short walk from the hotel), you'll be the envy of all the other passengers when it passes the hotel and they hear you're staying "there."
Would Go Again, But...
The truth about Villa d'Este is that it is a lovely set of buildings in an idyllic location, and that it has numerous special features that set it apart from other hotels, but it seems to have become complacent in its success with American tourists. One gets the impression that they know they do not have to try too hard, so they don't. I visited at the end of April. I arrived by car and there was no valet, at least at the moment, so I had to park the car myself. I was not thrilled with my room, and asked what else was available. Surprise surprise, the only other thing available (in the off season during a weekday) was a junior suite for EUR 505. That was patently not true, there were not many other guests there at that time, but I did not challenge them on it. But it left me with a bad feeling. I asked to have a VCR brought to my room since I do an exercise video in the morning. They wanted to charge me EUR 65 per day for that, which I took a pass on. My suite was large and had a view of the lake. The decor seems to need an update. The indoor pool needs an overhaul. The staff seemed like they had seen their millionth tourist and were tired of it. They have a lovely lounge area by the lake in the shade of a beautiful old tree, but you can not get served there (at least in April) no matter what you do. Not even a glass of iced tea. You can sit out there forever and the waiters, who are close by, will not come up and ask if you would like anything. For US standards, its sort of weird, really. You end up with this sort of vague helpless feeling, but you are too stunned by the scenery and the beautiful aspects of it to complain. The beautiful aspects are the gardens, the jogging trail, the lake of course, the outdoor pool, the spa and the flowers and trees. My suite has a hydrotherapy massage bathtub, which was great. I hope they improve their service because the hotel has a lot to offer.
A great experience....!!!
....I've been in Villa D'este last week and everything has been absolutly fantastic, starting from the really kind and charming staff and ending with the beauty of the environment and furniture. Really a great experience!!!
Breathtaking property; horrible service
For $1500 a night for a suite one would expect, if not take for granted, that the staff would be as impressive as the property but not at Villa D'Este, which is really a shame. Over the years more than a dozen friends and family members have made the same observation. The hotel is unbelievably beautiful but the sour, dismissive attitude of the staff (in particular most of the male staff over 40) ruined our stay and made us feel uncomfortable. At first we thought it was because we were American and under 30 but they treated our 70 year old European parents the same way, which is outrageous considering the amount of money one can spend in a few short days. If it's European luxury you are searching for try the Cliveden Manor House in England where the service is impeccable and the grounds are unforgettable unlike our stay at the Villa D'Este, which was a once in a lifetime experience; that is, we will never stay there again.
I Just came back from my honeymoon in Italy. We had the chance to visit the Amalfi coast (Le sirenuse--Positano), Portofino (Hotel Splendido), Venice (Bauer), and Lake Como (Villa dŽeste). Carla (my wife) and me concluded that Villa dŽeste was by far the biggest deception of our hotel choices. The best word is desequilibrium between the indoor and outdoor facilities. Rooms are old, not at all romantic and they lack originality. The Gym is worst than a third world gym. Nevertheless, the outdoors gardens, pool, terrace and restaurants are facinating and magical. The Concierge service is professional, helpful and kind. The Manager is friendly and always smiles with naturality. It is not a place for honeymooners neither couples of age below 50 years old. Overall, the money to service ratio (value) is low ...but at the end is the best place to stay in Lake Como.
a really 5star facility beautiful rooms great view perfect location and excellent cuisine. expensive but worth it.
TripAdvisor Reviews Villa d'Este Cernobbio
Travel Blogs from Cernobbio
Just when we thought Venice was the most beautiful place we would visit in Italy, Varenna may have beaten it into second place. Neither of us can get our heads round the fact that we are actually seeing what's around us. The apartment is amazing and the views from the balcony alone are worth the trip. Claire has also befriended a blind cat so we keep having to think of excuses to go and see the lady so Claire can rub the cat.
First of all...all of this trip was made with the recomendations of this site "Milăo nas Maos"!
1) Here to stay
we stay in Milan, for 1 and an half day, so we choose the hotel, based on the rate and location, so the ...
... crashed around in the bathroom, I had no idea I what she was doing till morning when I went in and had to pick up everything she had knocked over and must admit I had to have a little chuckle. Apparently she was meant to leave Milan today but we are not sure what happened with that because her alarm went off at 8am only 2 hours after she fell into bed and it woke everyone in the room except her. I had to hit snooze and then woke her up, she rolled over, looked and me and mumbled 'more ...
... at the airport. Her plane was about a half hour late, we hopped a cab to Hotel Gama in Melzo which is north of milan. The hotel is owned by a lovely family and you feel like you are staying at a friends home. The owners are so sweet. We hopped a train to go to the city and met these young teenagers who were trying to communicate with us. They were hilarious..and it was interesting to know that they knew we were having an upcoming election and who ...
... Sforzesco From there we walk along the via dei Mercanti towards the Castello Sforzesco, and happily, though many things look closed after the previous night doubtless blowout bash, there is a festival of Swiss cheese going on in the street, and we get to sample everything from Emmenthaler to Vacherin. Unfortunately it puts me no closer to ascertaining whether the sketchily labelled cheese we bought in San Francisco really was ...