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“Not as good as expected”

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Hotel Villa Cipressi
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Varenna
Certificate of Excellence
Devon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Not as good as expected”
Reviewed 10 June 2009

We stayed in room 402 which is in a separate part of the hotel and you have go out of the hotel and walk about 20 m along the road and then through a courtyard to reach our room. It had 2 views of the lake which was great but if it rains (as it did on one evening) there are no umbrellas provided so we got rather wet to gain access to the dining room. The first evening we could not get a meal as they had a wedding which we were not told about until quite late. This, with the music from a band was a disappointment. I cannot complain about the food which was perfectly acceptable. However, the staff with the exception of the young girls at reception and those in the dining room were rather offhand.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stedcombe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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419 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2009

Like many other people on this site we were drawn to Varenna and Villa Cipressi by Rick Steve's book. Clearly both have benefitted from his reviews as the hotel and town were extremely busy compared to other areas of the lake.

I agree with some of the glowing reviews here as the hotel is in an incredibly beautiful location and I couldn't think of a more magical place to get married. However, my husband and had a terrible time at this hotel.

The book does say that the lake view rooms are exceptional and the non-lake view rooms are noisy. We could not afford a lake view room but were so drawn to the place by all we had read, we decided to go for a non-lake view room. I cannot describe how ghastly it was. Small, hot, cramped with a major road running alongside it. At 145 Euros a night it was a complete rip-off. Not only is there the noise of the road and all the motorbikes whizzing past, there is also the noise of the constant church bells and wedding parties saying ciao grazi very loudly late every evening. In addition, they have now started some kind of construction across the road from Villa Cipressi where they are hewing rock out of the mountainside. So much for the peace and quiet of the lake.

We obviously requested to be moved but the hotel was fully booked and they could only move us on our 3rd and last night there. I have to say that the reception staff were extremely friendly and helpful and tried their best for us. We were moved into one of the basement rooms which was slightly better only to discover after a long, hot day hiking we had no water. The staff assured us the problem would be resolved in a hour so we went out for dinner. We got back to find only cold water so we checked again with reception who said they needed to sort this out with the manager as there was an internal problem with our room and no-one else was affected. It was already late by this stage and eventually at midnight they told us that actually it was an external problem with that whole part of the hotel which they had no control over and we would not be having hot water that night and there was nowhere else for us to shower. After a day's hiking waiting up for a cold shower was truly appalling.

The next morning I checked with the surrounding rooms and they all had hot water the night before. The manager refused to give us any discount for our discomfort.

Like I said, I can't comment on people's experiences in lake view rooms but I am sure everyone must be able to hear some of the noise from the construction nearby, it is extremely loud. I would also like to comment here on Varenna.

Not knowing where to base ourselves on Lake Como we went with the book's advice and chose Varenna. It is a lovely place but every place we saw on Lake Como is beautiful and would have possibly been a better option. We found a high quality cheap hotel on the web in Lecco but was put off Lecco by a comment on a trip advisor forum which said that Lecco is the industrial part of Lake Como. We visited Lecco and yes it does have a commercial part to it but it is a big place and would have been wonderful to stay there. Lecco has cable cars to the top of the mountain and we spent the day up there, it was wonderful. It also has much better transport connections than Varenna and we had many problems getting to the airport from Varenna.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KittycatLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, MO
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2009

We stayed in the Magnolia Villa at Villa Cipressi and it was the best room of our entire 2 week trip!! I can't vouch for the other rooms, but this private villa was amazing!!! It was more expense than the other rooms (around 250 euro) but it was wonderful. It had a huge bathroom, 20 ft. ceilings, a huge balcony right on lake como, a flat screen tv, and tons of space to spread out. This would be a great place to spend your honeymoon or a relaxing get away. The hotel staff was so nice, and would get you anything you needed. Considering the location and condition of the room, it was absolutely worth the price. I feel like the same type of room in the US would costs at least $1,000 per night. Kind of a splurge, but worth it!!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kaydawgz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2009

We stayed in the older part of the villa which we enjoyed. Charming. Wonderful location with beautiful gardens. Alana at the front desk was great...very helpful. Breakfast was included in our rate and was very nice sitting outside on the terrace.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trex93036
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2009

We had our civel marriage service at this hotel in August 2008 and it was simply magical!

The hotel itself is set in the picturesque village of Varenna, the colours of the buildings and the small port, restaurants, steps and shops (dare I go on) are amazing!

The rooms were all very nice, spacious, even though the decoration is slightly out of date, it is very quaint. The staff are exceptional! Food is magnificent. Surroundings are to die for (quite literally)! The award winning garden full of flowers is breathtaking.

We absolutely loved it here and would totally recommend that you stay at this hotel!

....And the last things to say about this hotel is....to wake up to a view like that everyday is like a dream!

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Janeyladey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Decatur, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2009

My wife, daughter (19 months), and I spent four nights at the Hotel Villa Cipressi in late December/early January and had an amazing time. Lake Como isn't exactly a winter destination for most people (as evidenced by several of the hotels and many of the restaurants being closed until spring). We did not get to experience the social scene that Lake Como is most known for but we did get to see the beautiful snow-capped mountains surrounding the lake.

The service at Villa Cipressi was excellent. The front desk staff, housekeeping, and breakfast servers were all very accomodating and doting on our young daughter. The attention we received might have had something to do with only 2-3 of the rooms in the hotel being occupied on three of the nights we were there, but even when the entire hotel was booked to capacity on New Year's Eve, they still took the time to say hello and ask us how we were doing.

The hotel itself is a gorgeous villa in the piazza above the quaint lakefront area of Varenna. There was plenty of free street parking within approximately 100 yards of the hotel entrance. It is approximately a 15-20 minute walk from both the ferry dock and the train station. (As noted in several guidebooks, the automatic ticket dispenser in the train station is still broken and the ticket office was not open. However, the ticket attendant on the train seemed to understand and just charged us the normal rate of 5.20 EUR per person to get to Milano. When you return to Varenna, remember to validate your ticket in the Milano station at the yellow boxes. We forgot/were too distracted to do that and when the ticket taker came by on the train he tried to charge us a 50 EUR fine. Fortunately, we did not have that much cash on us and Varenna was the next station so all he could do was tear our tickets in disgust and move on. We were quite lucky!)

We stayed in room 302 (deluxe lakeview) and was plenty spacious for the three of us, even with a crib for our daughter. We had a lovely view out three windows over the lake, gardens, and snow-capped mountains. Our only two complaints about the room were that it only included a shower (no bath) and the nearby church bells ring every 30 minutes and they are very loud even with the windows closed. Obviously, the hotel can't control the church bells and it wouldn't have bothered us much but we were concerned about our daughter getting sufficient sleep. Not only do the bells ring every 30 minutes, but they also have a "concert" of sorts in the early evening and then again around 7am. Even if we could have slept through the seven tolls of the bell at 7am, the 5-10 minute "concert" definitely woke us up!

Their computer for guests was broken, but they had a wireless connection that did not require a password so we were able to use our laptop. They also offered open use of their computer at the front desk if we needed to check email or train/ferry schedules.

The included breakfast was a nice continental breakfast every day except for New Year's day when they had eggs, bacon, sausage, and a few other treats. Not sure if the continental breakfast is normal or if they only offered that while we were there because the villa was so empty. Regardless, we thought it was very nice. It was sort of weird that the breakfast room was through a maze of corridors, while the formal dining room was empty, but the breakfast room was charming on its own.

On New Year's Eve, the hotel hosted a big NYE party and the hotel had warned us in advance (and discounted our room from the normal rates) due to the loud noise. However, it really was not an issue for us. The music didn't really start until 11:15 and even then, it wasn't as loud as the aforementioned church bells. We talked to one other family at breakfast the next morning and they indicated that it was very loud for them, though, because they were staying on the second floor (first floor for Europeans), which is directly above the party room.

We loved the Hotel Villa Cipressi and would definitely recommend it for anyone visiting the Lake Como area.

  • Liked — View, staff
  • Disliked — No bathtub, loud church bells
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ckwill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northport, NY
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2008

Our 17 day Rick Steves' Italy tour began with 2 nights at this idyllic hotel. Beautiful view of the terrace with the lake in the distance. Gorgeous facility, including the rooms, the public spaces, and the gardens. Hotel staff were friendly and attentive. Included breakfast was quite good and a dinner we had there one evening was sensational. It was hard to leave after two nights--what a beautiful place!

  • Liked — Beautiful setting
  • Disliked — Loved everything
  • Stayed September 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SoLucky2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Cipressi

Property: Hotel Villa Cipressi
Address: Via Quattro Novembre 18, 23829 Varenna, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Varenna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Varenna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa Cipressi 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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Also Known As:
Cipressi Hotel Varenna
Hotel Villa Cipressi Varenna, Lake Como, Italy

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