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“Luxury ... shame about the wifi”

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Hotel Barchetta Excelsior
Ranked #4 of 32 Hotels in Como
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 October 2013

Ideally located overlooking the square (Piazza Cavour) and the lake. You are 5 minutes walk from the Como Nord Lago railway station, 2 mins from the lake ferry departure points, and 2 from the Duomo (cathedral). Around you is the historical, tourist part of Como - perfect.

Lovely spacious room with views over the lake (at the front) and the funicular (at the side). Large double bed. Clean sheets every day. Spacious room. Bath as well as shower. First class breakfast in a room with a lake view - wide choice, including chopped fresh fruit (kiwis, mangoes, etc etc), and very efficient staff. The hotel is not an attractive building but the neighbouring buildings around are nicer to look at. There are some cafes/bars on the side of the square, and buses go right past the hotel on 2 sides, but the double-glazing/soundproofing is good.

Shame that they charge so much for use of the hotel wifi. [You can use the free Como wifi, in the square in front of the hotel, but not inside the hotel.]

Room Tip: Rooms facing the lake mostly have a balcony.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Margo H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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333 - 339 of 513 reviews

Reviewed 5 October 2013

This hotel was recommended to us from friends who stayed about 5 years ago. It's location is superior. We took the Malpensa express train from Milan and walked with our (carryon and tote) luggage the few short blocks to the hotel. In it's heyday, I'm sure this hotel was the best place in Como, but it's tired now and needs updating, badly. With that said, the front desk staff was superior. Each person who we came into contact with spoke perfect English and couldn't do more for us. We found that one of the reception staff had worked previously at Villa d'Este, no wonder!! There wasn't any question they couldn't answer and were very pleasant and welcoming.
The hotel has an exterior patio that faces a large square. Unfortunately, all bus lines run in front of the cafe/hotel all hours. This hotel seems to cater to the "big box" chain tours. Who can blame them? They bring in the money. But, the constant bus traffic (including Lake Como local buses)
is annoying, especially if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to get a room with a balcony looking at the lake. One thing I want to make clear, this hotel is not directly on the lake. Rather, it is behind a large square facing the lake. The bus lines are between the square and hotel.
The constant bus traffic makes it impossible for you to want to sit at the outdoor cafe at this hotel. Who wants a lung full of diesel while dining?
Back to the hotel. Our room was large and very clean. The bathroom was larger than most and had a nice soaking tub. There was good storage and a desk to use your laptop. Problem #2. You have to pay for wifi (which is outrageous for a $300.00 per night hotel). If you opt not to pay, your only alternative (other Trip Advisor travelers have pointed out) is to try to connect to FreewifiComo in the square hanging off the balcony. Using the wifi this way is inconsistent and impossible. We even tried the McDonalds around the corner, but the wifi wasn't great there either.
The bed and bedding were comfortable and the water pressure was good and the water was hot. Here comes Problem #3: The walls are paper thin. We could hear our very loud neighbors all night, along with the news shows they were watching. Not good.
Location cannot be beat. You can walk all over lovely Como and enjoy all of the over 200 restaurants very easily. Also, the boats that transverse the lake and visit the rest of the small, charming towns, is right across the street. A bonus for us was Lake Como Aeroclub Seaplane base. It was a short 10 minute walk. This was important to us because my husband intended to fly a seaplane around Como. We came for this express reason. Another positive, the breakfast was phenomenal! The staff, especially, dealing with the hoards of big box bus loads, were gracious and worked like dogs to make sure you were accommodated. There was every imaginable thing for breakfast, including champagne. It was the highlight of our morning. Hats off to the breakfast staff. They need a raise!
We never had dinner at the hotel or cafe for the reasons I cited before. Also, we had a not so pleasant experience with one of the bartenders one day. We bought a bottle of wine from a vendor on top of the funicular. Our plan was to drink it on our balcony before dinner. We called for a wine opener and were told, rather abruptly, that they would charge us to bring one up, but we could bring the bottle to the bar and they would open it. When we did, the bartender picked up the bottle of wine, looked at the label, sneered and said something in Italian to the other bartender and they both laughed. Obviously didn't like our wine choice. When we asked for two wine glasses, he made a big production of going into the back area and coming back with 2 small cordial glasses. We asked for regular wine glasses and were told they couldn't leave the bar. In the grand scheme of things, it was not a big deal, but it made him (and the hotel) look small.
We didn't see many people in the bar area, ever. It's a shame, because the rest of the town had full tables everywhere.

Our advice to the Owner is to spend the money and upgrade this hotel. Figure out a way, with the city, to re-route the buses so that they pick up and drop off on the side of the hotel, rather than in front. This way, the hotel can capture the lucrative cafe/bar/restaurant trade and guests would not leave to find other places to eat and drink. Work with the city to revamp the square in front of the hotel. Improve the horrible lighting in that square. The lights were obnoxious and bright. Right in our window. Putting a fountain in the center of this square, landscape it, provide seating and some soft lighting, maybe even some dining would be enchanting. I'm sure music would follow. Make it a mini Villa d'Este in Como!
Update the wifi and offer it to your customers free. If we have a choice, we always go with a hotel that offers free wifi. Train your bar staff in better customer service. Nothing should be too much of a bother. Take a clue from the breakfast and front desk staff who worked very hard to accommodate the guests.
During renovation, insulate the walls. The doors to the balcony are very good and soundproof.
With these changes, this hotel could return again, to grander glory.

Room Tip: Take the ferry to Varenna and have lunch or dinner. Also, don't miss taking another ferry to Che...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank DiscriminatingDiva08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmpalaceComo, Direttore at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2013

Dear Guest,
thank you very much for your detailed review regarding your stay with us at the Barchetta Excelsior. I greatly appreciate your appraisal for many staff members and I will proudly share your compliments with my cherished team. Sorry about the incident regarding the bottle of wine, I am sure a language misunderstanding was at the root of this problem. As you said most of our colleagues speak very fluent English, this is indeed true. A small minority have difficultly with foreign languages and this can lead to what may seem unattentive service. Thank you anyway for pointing it out, I will look into the matter personally.
Regarding "the hotel needs updating, badly" please note that last winter the hotel closed for a 6-month renovation plan, both internally and externally. We are very pleased with the outcome and intend to continue refurbishment in the coming months. Many of our repeat guests have noticed the vast improvement and have complimented us accordingly.
I fully agree with you regards the possibility to upgrade the square in front of the hotel, but this obviously depends on the local town council. Last week the Como Hoteliers Association held a meeting with the local councillors to advance our requests on how to improve the district. And we spoke precisely of diverting local transport and touristic buses to a different location, about the lighting in the square itself and the gardening architecture. We sincerely hope these improvements will take place in the near future.
Very best regards,
Robert Webber
General manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

When i booked i was deceived by the pictures into thinking the big yellow character buiding you can see across the lake was the hotel. Instead it is a beastly modern apparition that is a two star masquerading as 4 . Add says rooms are spacious --haha-smallest room I have had -dirty wallpaper -small bathroom. The only redeeming features are the nice desk clerk who speaks Excellent English & is charming & the nice view from the lake view balcony -can' t believe the so-called air conditioning no way to adjust -No charm -no character -i would prefer a Best Western which is saying something. Next time I would take a ferry & stay in Bellagio -Como is a has-been resort with little charm.

Stayed: September 2013
3  Thank Liana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmpalaceComo, Direttore at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2013

Dear Guest,
thank you for your recent review. I am sorry to read that your room was not to your satisfaction. However 60% of our lake view rooms are identical to the photograph on our website and we will complete the refurbishment of the remaining rooms this coming winter. The air conditioning is fully functional and can be controlled directly in the room by the guest. The photograph of the hotel itself is not deceiving - it is the graciously modern and completely renewed biulding with the hotel name on the signboard. Definitely a 4-star hotel. Thank you for the compliments regarding our welcoming staff. I will gladly share your thoughts with my team.
Best regards,
Robert Webber
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

We stayed in the hotel for 3 nights with a balcony view, which we enjoyed each night before dinner. Twice we had the pleasure of having Cosimo attend to us. His passion is sharing his knowledge of wine but he thoroughly enjoys people. He was willing to have their chef concoct a menu based on a special wine if we talked to him earlier in the day. This would have been wonderful but we didn't have the time to arrange. Maybe next time. The added bonus was he gave me his recipe for limoncello. Negative experience was the maid came into our room while we were sleeping one morning and another night the next door person had a key to our room and entered late at night

Room Tip: If possible choose 5th floor with a balcony to look over the square. Also, we paid for 24 hour wifi...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Val B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elia B, Reservation manager at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2013

Dear Guest,

thanks for your review.
I'll be pleased to share your compliments with Cosimo and his staff. I'm sorry for the inconveniences you had during your stay, and I really hope that you reported these two minor episodes to the reception, during your stay. I'm sure that the maid entered in your room as the "do not disturb" sign was not on your door (maybe it felt while closing the door).
We all hope to welcome you back and I'm glad to inform our clients that special gourmet packages are now available on our website!

Best regards

Elia Boschini

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

We stayed for 3 nights in a lake view room on the 5th floor with a small balcony where you could sit with a drink and enjoy the view across the lake. Though Hotel Barchetta faces a busy square, Piazza Cavour, once the balcony door is closed you do not hear a sound (thanks to double glazing). It is a 1 minute walk across the square to the ferries which take you to other towns on the lake. The hotel has recently been refurbished and the room, though small, was nice. In the bathroom however, the shower curtain (which clung to you at every turn) should have been replaced by a glass panel during the refurbishment. Breakfast was good. Staff were efficient and helpful. You had to pay for WiFi but there was intermittent free WiFi in the town which could occassionally be accessed from the balcony of our room.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank CFTMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elia B, Reservation Manager at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2013

Dear Guest,

thanks for your recent review.
We are pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay in one of our Lake View Room and that you appreciated the refurbishment done this winter.
I will share your compliments with the rest of the staff and we all look forward to welcome you back: visit our website where you can always find promotions and special offers!

Best regards

Elia Boschini

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2013

The reception was incredible. Valentina - office manager checked us in very efficiently
provided us with information on the area. And recommended activities for 2 days which were
right on!!!..every one in the reception area: Valentina ( another ) and Elena were totally helpful
visiting Como is a great decision....more than other areas at the lake...pricewise is effective...
and you can move from point a to b to c very easily.
We highly recommend this hotel...and would certainly come back if we are in the area!!!!
Bartender was very friendly as well....you can't miss coming to this hotel..
Breakfast included in the price makes it even a great deal!

Room Tip: definitely pay a little bit more for the Lake View....
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank liliana93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elia B, Reservation Manager at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2013

Dear liliana93,

thanks for your recent review. I will be pleased to share your compliments with Valentina, her staff at the reception and all the staff in Hotel Barchetta!
It is always a pleasure to read that the service we offer is appreciated and helps our cherished guests to enjoy the city and our beautiful Lake Como.
Continue to visit our website where you will be able to find special promotions and the best rates for your next stay.
We all look forward to welcome you back.

Best regards
Elia Boschini

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Reviewed 19 August 2013

In the middle of the piazza overlooking the lake, Barchetta has an excellent location. Spotless rooms and bathrooms. The front desk staff are extremely pleasant and helpful. They helped us with all sorts of questions from places to dine, places to visit and how to get there. Breakfast buffet is also greaat. WiFi is for a fee, however, there is a public free WiFi network in the piazza. We were lucky since we were able to connect to this network from the balcony of the room.

A great stay that is worth the money.

Room Tip: Pick a room with lake view on level 3 or above.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Khaledmarei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elia B, Reservation Manager at Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2013

Dear Guest,

thanks for your recent review. It is always a pleasure to read that our guests appreciate our Hotel.
We are happy that you enjoyed your stay in our Barchetta Excelsior, that you found the staff at the reception helpful and pleasant and that you liked our buffet breakfast that every morning helps our guests to start the day properly!
We all hope to welcome you back in the future!

Best regards
Elia Boschini

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Barchetta Excelsior

Address: Piazza Cavour 1, 22100, Como, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Como
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 32 Hotels in Como
Price Range: £80 - £228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Barchetta Excelsior 4*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the Hotel Barchetta Excelsior you are surrounded by beauty: the villas with their gardens, art exhibitions, silk outlets, boutiques, romantic boat trips, renowned golf clubs. The only hotel in Como with over 50 rooms facing the lake offering a breathtaking view of one of the world's most beautiful sceneries. The hotel is located a few steps from the Cathedral and from the city center and close to the shopping area. Every single moment you spend in Como will be unique and unforgettable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barchetta Excelsior Como
Barchetta Excelsior Hotel Como
Hotel Barchetta Excelsior Como, Lake Como, Italy

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