We stayed at Hotel Olivedo for a week in June having spent a lot of time reading reviews on Trip Advisor and booking.com. We were welcomed by Laura (the owner, mentioned in many reviews of this hotel) and directed to the smallest lift ever (!) and told to go up to room 25 on the 3rd floor.
The room was fantastic. Very large, lots of character and two windows, one with balcony, overlooking the lake which was only 20/30 yards away. It also had a large good quality bathroom. The view from the windows was stunning. Room cleaning was reliable and very thorough.
As discussed elsewhere, the hotel is literally right next to the ferry docking piers so between about 7:00 in the morning and 8:00 at night there is almost a constant flow of ferries coming in and out. This might bother some people but we liked watching the coming and going so it was fine. The air conditioning and double glazing was very effective so if you were a light sleeper and didn’t want to be woken at 7:00 you could avoid the noise. It’s a short walk from the centre of Varenna so there is very little noise outside of ferry comings and goings.
Outside of the rooms there is not much to the rest of the hotel. One reasonably large dining room which is a rather dark and dreary but if you are lucky to have good weather there is a dining area outside the front of the hotel which is used for meals. The inside of the hotel does smell of cigarette smoke, because Laura smokes, but our room was fine and always smelt fresh and clean. Breakfast is ordinary with a couple of cereals, a few yogurts, apples and oranges, croissants, bread, ham and cheese. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate is provided by the waiter who IS a little like Manuel from Fawlty Towers but very pleasant and helpful. We ate in the restaurant in the evening once and it was OK but nothing special. All the staff were pleasant and helpful.
So in summary we can see why the hotel gets such extremes of reviews. All we wanted was a hotel with a nice room with lake view, a light breakfast before we went out exploring for the day, and finally ferries and nice restaurants near by. The hotel ticked all these boxes with the room being a really big tick! If you want a hotel where you intend to spend more time in the hotel outside of your room then it’s probably not for you. Equally if you intend to eat in the hotel every night we wouldn’t recommend it although many people seemed to be very happy. From our point of view there are a host of much better restaurants 5 minutes walk away and we prefer the variety.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Little charming hotel on the edge of Lake Como. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Olivedo Hotel Varenna
- Hotel Olivedo Varenna, Lake Como, Italy