Wow, what a hidden gem and in such a beautiful setting.
We used Milano Linate airport as quieter, closer and much cheaper than other airports in the area. Unlike most guests we did our holiday on foot arriving at Vecurago Station. Calolziocorte is the usual stop but very occasionally a train stops at the halt (in Milan Centrale we were celebrities as in 20yrs no one had sold a ticket to this station!) Had we realised how much higher up the hill the hotel was instead of depending on Google Street View, we might have taken up the owners suggestion of ringing him for a lift.
Luca and his Mum are the owners and run the hotel themselves which makes for a more personal experience. The hotel is spotlessly clean, you are greeted with warm smiles, cheery faces and great service. Luca speaks english very well, certainly better than my italian, he knows the vast area well and can give recommendations for out of the way places to visit. (Ask him about the mountains behind Lecco with the cable car, a must especially on hot days.)
Our first night was in the house they own opposite. This is a very old, rustic, authentically decorated suite used more for larger families. It has a beautiful garden which has lighting, seating and loungers for quiet contemplation of the day's adventures. Although the house isn't air-conditioned the thick walls, shutters and huge fans provide cooler air for a comfortable nights sleep.
The following morning when the previous guests left we were moved to a room with a balcony and views over the village, mountains, hillside castle and lake. Don't complain if you are given this on arrival. The alternative is strict changeover days which restrict the flexibility of your holiday and flight prices. Remember this is a 10 bedroom quiet country hotel not a massive hotel complex catering for thousands!
Be prepared for 7am wake ups as the many local church bells fire up at this time, they seem to stop around 10pm. The narrow streets are just that, narrow! 500yrs ago horse and cart were the means of transport therefore houses were built just a cart and a human width apart. With wing mirrors tucked in and copious use of car horn you can get through the tighter pinch points. Again don't complain, the warnings are here in many reports by previous guests. This doesn't affect the hotel accommodation or it's standard of service.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 10:30am. It is of typical italian style with bread, toast, eggs, meats, tomatoes,cheeses, huge variety of fruit, yogurts, cakes, pastries, hot and cold drinks and always a cheery smile to start the day. TV in the rooms is connected to Sky remembering it is all in italian. We were far too tired at the end of a very hot day to even bother with it.
Evening meals are available with prices around 16-18 euros for mains. The menu changes so you don't have the same options each day. We used to eat out before returning as the walk back up rendered one very uninspired to want to do it twice if it was very hot. Car owners obviously have many options open to them.
There are 2 options for walking to the hotel, steps up from main road come out next to hotel or the road used by the locals. From experience use 'Via San Gerolamo' road. The only part we found steep was about 30m where the road is cobbled. When it snows you'll understand why! There are 5 benches to enjoy the view at this point. Make use of them.
So to sum up this hotel is highly recommended by us. It ticked all the boxes and is well situated for Lake Como and the surrounding areas and we even managed Lake Iseo from here.
Thanks to Luca and his family for making our holiday such a memorable experience especially on our restricted budget.
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- Also Known As:
- San Gerolamo Hotel
- San Gerolamo Lecco