We travel quite a bit, but our next trip to the Sole at Riva will be our 20th. For location it simply cannot be beaten, though the rooms differ a lot. We always book a balcony room and sometimes have lunch on the balcony - bread, cheese and wine from the local supermarket - and watch the boats. Always book a package with Crystal as it is the only way we can get convenient flights.
The food has got much better over the years, I would agree that there are occasionally some odd things on the menu but we have always found something that we enjoy, and the breakfast buffet this year was very good.. The main meals tend to follow Italian custom in that the pasta first course is more what we would consider the "main" course.
It is important to remember that this is not a corporate hotel but something closer to a family-run one. Some of the staff have been there many years and we know them personally. Things happen here that would simply not happen at a Hilton but that is why we like it - for example after saying that a fish main course was particularly good last year we were rushed into the kitchen to tell the chef, who then asked the head waiter how much he paid us!
This is not a place to be formal and English, I find that if you are friendly to the staff then they are friendly to you (the one exception being Mickey the cat!). Most speak at least some English. A couple of years ago I was ill while on holiday and Signor Latise, the manager, could not have been kinder, immediately phoning to arrange an appointment with a doctor.
Cannot fault the cleanliness of the rooms, beds were changed every 3rd day.
All rooms had new TVs this year.
For those who drive parking is now available in a new multi-story a couple of hundred yards away, though as far as we are concerned the best way to get about is either on the lake ferries or on foot, there are some excellent long walks from Riva.
We would not consider another hotel so long as we can book at the Sole.
To be sure of getting a balcony room you need to book well in advance. 3rd floor balconies are open.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC