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“Old world service in a breathtaking location” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees

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Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
Ranked #1 of 35 Hotels in Stresa
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Old world service in a breathtaking location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

Stayed three nights in June part of a large wedding group. Stayed in a room in the first floor with a big balcony overlooking the beautiful lake view. Service impeccable and best of all the room rate included breakfast and Wi-Fi, which is rare in luxury hotels these days.

The concierge service was excellent although initially I found the taxi fare expensive. The concierge announced the price of 50€ to go to Verbania, 10km away. Thinking this may an overcharge by hotel; on return trip I asked the restaurant and was quoted the same price. It is just price during the high season.

The decoration of each floor is different and worth visiting. Some of the pieces are amusingly garish and ugly.

Otherwise I agree with all the 5 star reviews on this site.

Room Tip: For transportation ask for white taxi, which is metered.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HaziG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Borromees, Direttore at Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
I would like to thank HaziG for taking the time to share his experience at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées.

The review is informative, unbiased and very flattering! (well most of it)

We have 6 floors, each floor is decorated like a museum gallery dedicated to a different theme: Renaissance, Venetian chinoiserie, Arms and chevalry, Greek art and Pompean vestiges, there is even a small brochure in each room describing each gallery.

Understandably the pieces are all copies and it’s obviously a matter of personal tastes but I am happy to say that our guests like it.

I am also sure that some of most attentive member of the Tripadvisor community have noticed that I already discussed the same topics in my previous replies, this review is very important to me because it just reconfirms what I wrote.

Taxi - Unfortunately it’s true, we are not in a big city and taxi cabs can be expensive, especially in the evenings, a taxi that drives you from Stresa to a restaurant is very likely to come back empty. This is why we usually announce beforehand the cost of the taxi.

WIFI – Since the 1st of May WIFI is free for all the hotel guests, there is also a premium service with unlimited download and larger bandwidth but the standard service is usually more than enough.

Allow me to say that what I found most gratifying is that just recently a participant to the same wedding party group posted a not-so-flattering review about his stay at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées.

He wrote that, I quote: “not one single person out of the dozens of us that were staying there were impressed with this hotel”, well, it seems that he missed somebody!

Again a big thank you to HaziG, I hope he will come back to visit us soon.

Gianluigi Mariani
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,334 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (217)
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English first
Level Contributor
63 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

Was fortunate enough to stay for 7 nights in this glorious hotel. The setting at the side of the lake was magnificent and the extensive, beautifully maintained colourful parkland was a joy to explore. Our 3rd floor room looked out over the grounds and mountain beyond and our small balcony was an added bonus allowing us to take advantage of the cool air. The sumptuous interiors of the restaurant, bar and reception areas were awe inspiring and the booklet outlining the 150yr history of the hotel and the collection of art and antiques arranged over the 6th floors encouraged exploration. Breakfast each morning provided numerous options including gluten free items (although this would have benefitted from being replenished more frequently). The waiting staff were efficient, although not especially welcoming. We had an excellent dinner in the restaurant on our first night and the head waiter was friendly and service impeccable. However, with so many excellent restaurants in Stresa itself and the hotel's somewhat limited choices we preferred to dine out the rest of the week. The location wonderful for exploring all this region had to offer. A marvellous holiday.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Jacky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

A true Belle Epoque beauty! Great location opposite the Borromees Islands and fantastic views over the Lake to them. We had a corner room with a garden view however our side window gave us a great view of the Islands. Really lovely and within keeping of its history with the rooms having grand style furniture, pictures and wall coverings We enjoyed our time there and the only part that wasn't perfect was a very busy breakfast service one day with very few items being replenished. Not what you expect with 45 minutes still to go till the close of breakfast. Otherwise a very relaxing stay and we made full use of the swimming pool but we expect it would get very busy during the full summer season.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Noo-Noo-Nine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nice, France
Level Contributor
714 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 590 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

This hotel is perfect located at the Lago Maggiore with a wonderful view to other islands in the lake and of course to the mountains. What a pity that the hotel has not invested enough money to find a better solution for the isolated windows in the rooms. It does not fit together with the historic building.
The heart of the hotel, concierge ROBERTO, has retired end of 2013. The consequence is that a lot of things are not working like in the past.
The check in was unfriendly and there was no welcome. The staff is unable to check in advance if there is a frequent guest like me. The room has had a partial seaview. In the bathroom you can find some amenities which are not like it should be in a 5 star hotel. The shower-head was made out of plastic. It was covered with lacquer which was not produced well. This leads to an accident that I have got a cut on my hand. So be a careful when you use it in your bathtub. The water flush pushbutton was also made out of plastic. Sometimes it falls out of the wall and needed to get fixed from me.
One day I have ordered a taxi. But of course there will not arrive a taxi. You will receive a limousine transport. This means you will pay a double price. The distance to our restaurant was 10 km and the same distance back. For these 20 km we had to pay 70 € !! Of course the lady at the reception has not asked me before if she is allowed to order a limousine service. So the hotel is interested to earn some commision! Of course we have not got a receipt for both rides. In the evening at 10:20 p.m. the restaurant is already closed. So we have asked the reception to serve us a sandwich at the bar. It was denied (rejected). We should go into our room and dial house phone number 5 to order it and to eat it there!!
On an the last evening of our stay we have asked at the concierge at 11:00 p.m. that we wanted to get a doggy-bag with some small things for breakfast on the way to the airport because we cannot take the already paid breakfast. The concierge told us that this is impposible at this time although room-service is offered.
Now some information about the restaurant and especially the breakfast. The choice is poor and the qualitiy mostly also. The bread was totally dry every day! If something is finished the staff does not care to deliver it again. Salmon is served warm. The staff is not caring in general. Mostly ist has happened that we were sitting at the table and waiting for a waiter but after 15 minutes nobody came, Very often there are no cups on the table. After ordering coffee we mostly needed to wait 15 minutes to receive it. The staff prefers to have a small talk with colleagues. The supervisors are not making sure things run smoothly. When paying the invoice/bill of the stay a lady unfriendly and arrogant looking cared about the payment. Of course she does not put the invoice/bill into an envelope. After asking her for a print for an online boarding pass she has pointed to a computer and said that we need to use this and to pay for it. In the morning at 06:00 a.m. the staff does not has cared about our luggage and of course was uninterested to help with loading it into the car. Nobody has asked for satisfaction and how was the stay. It seems that the management is uninterested in guests and their possible return. The last evening both toilets in the cellar for men were dirty and full of excrements. A panty was laying in a bin box.
As a result:
Located at the lake Lago Maggiore with wonderful view: 5 points
The historical building itself: 5 points
Value for money: 3 points
Breakfast choice and quality: 3 points
Service in general: 1 point

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlsterHamburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Borromees, Direttore at Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
Thanks ot AlsterHam for coming back at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees and for sharing with us his experience and sorry if he did not find his favorite concierge Roberto: he choose an early retirement in 2014 (sorry not 2013) and we miss him a lot.

I will not go into the details of each single remark and I understand that the guest was disappointed because his favorite concierge had retired, but it seems that, in the spur of his disappointment Mr AlsterHam exaggerated a little, to the point of bordering libel.

Taxi, for example do not have to give you a receipt, not in Italy and not anywhere else in the world, and this is perfectly legal, if you want a receipt you just have to ask for it.

Another thing: Mr AlsterHam booked –and paid- for a garden view room, the room he occupied has a partial lakeview (sorry not seaview) and that’s an improvement; the review implies differently.

Most of all that’s the very same room that the guest had occupied last time he was here and the time before that.

Here at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées, breakfast is included in the room rate, and as such, it is served to every single guest of the hotel. Sometimes, especially during rush hours in periods of high occupancy, it is difficult to grant a consistent quality of the service.

I will bring up this issue during our next staff meeting but even the best concierge in the world has nothing to do to do with the quality of the breakfast.

I am especially sorry for the bad feedback about the service, but this review is still useful because it gives me the chance to share with the Tripadvisor community some of our standard procedures.

We are working with the same taxi company Roberto was, we have no hidden interest in this cooperation.

Stresa is a small town, and it is difficult to find a cab in the evening, this taxi/limo company grants us a professional and reliable service. At night there might be a supplement of charge, like with any other taxi servce.

In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, before confirming the ride the concierge always informs the guest about the cost of the cab.

As a general policy the receptionist should always ask if the guest has enjoyed his stay, that is unless the same guest has verbally aggressed the receptionist the evening before because of the cost of the taxi.

In summer season, our restaurant accepts reservations until 10:30 pm
It is clearly indicated that reservations are welcome, room service is also available until 11:00 pm
It would not be nice to serve a whole hot meal at the bar because in the evening the piano plays, but we do serve normal sandwiches and toasts!

Regarding the printout of the boarding passes. If you just need to print the boarding passes it’s enough you send them via e-mail to the concierge and he will print them for you as soon as he can.

There also is a business PC by the concierge desk for those guests who need it for a prolonged use.

As I said, the kitchen usually closes at 11:00, there is always somebody on duty from 6 a.m. until 11:00 pm, it’s not really clear what happened or what the guest’s requests were but, given a reasonable notice, we can organize a warm breakfast or a some takeaway food before 6 am. Asking at 11.00 pm for 5 am the day after may result in a polite denial.

Public toilets, are cleaned at regular intervals, even more often if needed. One day the pump broke with predictable results (I will spare the details), maybe Mr AlsterHam refers to this occurrence but that doesn’t have anything to do with cleanness.

We provide free valet parking and luggage handling, at 6 am there is always at least one porter ad one concierge on duty that can help.

Bottom line I accept the criticism because it is obvious that the whole experience has not been up to the guest’s expectations but Mr AlsterHam had already visited us four times in the past and stayed in the very same room; how could it be possible –for example - that he had not noticed that the breakfast was so poor?

Some deviations from the standard procedures are possible but in this case, this guest has been unbelievably unlucky.

I just hope that Mr AlsterHam will return in the future and give us the chance to regain his confidence in our hotel and our services, I may even decide to recruit back ROBERTO just for that occasion.

G.Luigi Mariani
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
307 reviews
127 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

We had an excellent 7 night stay. The Hotel building, decor, gardens are just magnificent and so well maintained, representing 151 years of history and hospitality. The gardens are probably the best we have seen in any hotel. The building itself really majestic and the location on the front promenade very good. The main road goes by the front of the hotel which is a pity but all the hotels on the promenade are the same. Yes road noise but we soon got used to this. We had requested and received a lake view room on a higher floor. We had room 408 on the 4th floor. See room tips for further details.
Concierge and female staff and head waiter all gave excellent friendly and helpful service. Some of the male waiters at breakfast seemed too officious and appeared condescending at times, and should relax and smile more. Head waiter and female staff excellent.
Breakfast very good quality and choice. I think there could be a better choice and variety of bread as this seemed limited compared to everything else being offered. The cooked breakfast choice was ok, nothing more and seemed very low priority compared to the lovely choice of the non-cooked. My wife asked for a poached egg and was informed this was an extra charge! Very strange in a 5 star hotel.
The Britain Today paper in the morning was very welcome and a nice touch.
Wifi worked very well from the room.
We were sightseeing for most of the time so did not have time to use the Spa. We did use the outdoor swimming pool and loungers on one occasion and had no problem in getting the loungers.
Room 408 not large but very well furnished. The balcony very useful for the views and allowing us to have the doors open. Not really suitable for sitting on as although chairs and table provided, space is limited and the beautiful flowers do block the view when sitting out on the balcony.
Bed quality firm but very good sleep quality and linen changed every day as well.
These days more and more people including my wife and I prefer a daily shower as opposed to using the bath. The bath here was a good one and jacuzzi but the shower head is on the side wall inside of the end wall so this restricts space and makes it very restrictive in having a shower.
It's a pity some of the rooms do not offer a walk in shower as opposed to a bath. I did query this and I was informed only the Imperial Suite has a separate shower. When rooms come up for refurbishment I think this facility should be considered.
Overall the Hotel is excellent and fully continues its historical reputation.

Room Tip: We had requested a lake view room on a higher floor. We were allocated Room 408 on the 4th floor. Su...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mike1946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

One of the best hotels I've ever stayed in. Gorgeous, fabulous service all around (including a dr on staff in the spa), babysitting service was great too. Breakfast was included and was the best I've had in my life. Excellent location, particularly for taking the boats to the islands or Santa Caterina. Just left yet still can't wait to return. Worth every penny.

Room Tip: We were on the 5th fl but request a balcony, most rooms have them!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kwg2378
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014

Locat is great and the hotel as a whole it is coming back to the begining of 20th century. Service is excellent. Breakfast is good, above the italian average, however no chance for surprises. If you stay there for two months you will get bored of having the same scrambled eggs (by the way congratulations to the cooker) and the same pastry everyday. And by the way, no chance to innovations, if you want to use WiFi, it is an extra you have to pay for.
Rooms maintenance can also be improved. In my particular case the stucco of my room had more than scratches from the armchairs and the towels heater has been several times rewelded. (Things do not last forever and sometimes it is convenient to replace them).
Summarizing a nice travel back in to the happy 20's (no matter the hotel is even older) in a superb scenario, with impressive views of the Maggiore lake, in an old fashion atmosphere, that, in my opinion, needs a little bit care of "details" to be a real 5 stars luxe. (Give a look to the signs in the dressing room of the pool and you will know what I am talking about)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jruizbarcelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees

Property: Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
Address: Corso Umberto I, 67, 28838, Stresa, Italy
Region: Italy > Piedmont > Lake Maggiore > Stresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Stresa
#1 Luxury Hotel in Stresa
#4 Family Hotel in Stresa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Stresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees 5*
Number of rooms: 172
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxe and tradition; since 1863 the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees is the place to stay while visiting the Maggiore Lake area. The builing, the public areas and the rooms feature all modern conforts while still keeping the same belle epoque atmosphere. The park is decorated with statues, fountains and rare plants and the view from the rooms and the restaurant is spectacular. The Medical SPA of the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees is one of the first in Italy and can offer aesthetic treatments combined with a personalized diet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Stresa
Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy

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