Just come back from the Hotel Nettuno, Bardolino which we decided to stay at after reading good reviews on trip advisor. I would say that the reviews are correct and we were not disappointed.
HOTEL - Lovely hotel, kept very clean and tidy, small pool, terrace, right on the lake side at the rear of the hotel, out of the gates from the terrace, over the small road running to the back of the hotel and onto the promenade. There is also a road running to the front of the hotel which can be quiet noisy from around 7:30am if you are in a room to the front of the hotel which we were but at that time of the morning why would you want to be still in bed when you have a lovely sunny day ahead of you. The walk into Bardolino along the promenade was a nice 10-15 minutes walk but if you came out of the front of the hotel and turn right it only takes about 5 minutes and you are in the town centre. The street is very well lit up and busy with people walking both ways every night.
ROOM - We had a large family room to the front of the hotel with a large balcony, the view was partly obstructed by trees which looked onto a small parkland square. It was lovely to sit there first thing in a morning with a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. This was a twin bed room with the beds pushed together, there was also a fold up bed in the corner so would take a family, therefore we had plenty of room. There were 2 chairs, dressing table with mirror over, 5 drawer chest, and 4 bedside tables, a built in wardrobe with mirrored doors, inside was more shelf space, and a safe which was free of charge. There was also a fridge. The bathroom was not over big, but the sink was huge, a shower, no bath (prefer the shower), bidet and toilet, large mirror, shaver point, bath towels, hand towels and bidet towels. They also provide you with orange towels to take to the pool, these are also in your room. Toiletries were provided which consisted of bath/shower gel & soap, shower cap, nail file and cotton pads, after the first day the bath/shower/soap was replaced as needed. The hair dryer was more like a tube and not very powerful but good enough to dry off excess water, I took my own electronic hair brush to style my hair. We also took our own kettle as they are not provided, just remember to take European adapter plugs to convert the electronic current. We also took our own coffee in a plastic cup with screw lid, dont forget to put in the check in luggage. Also air conditioning was fantastic and was needed during our stay in July/August.
MAIDS - The room was kept lovely and clean all the time we were there and the towels and bedding was changed regular .
BREAKFAST - Breakfast was taken outside each morning, shade/cover was provided by canopies or umbrella's. The down side to this was that smoking was allowed or at least some guests were smoking, we did not like this and all you non smokers will know what I mean. Breakfast was the usual continental, cooked breakfast consisted of bacon, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, all self service. Tea/coffee was brought to your table by the waitress's, juice was also available from the self service area, as was fresh fruit. You ordered your evening meal at breatfast time and there was always a choice of menu. I think there was just one morning when everyone must have come to breakfast together and they were struggling to seat everyone. I think some people went into the dining room that morning.
EVENING MEAL - Well it was right what the feedback said about Loris, the Maitre De, he was a case and a half. He was very friendly, made you feel welcome as did all the staff from Reception, Cleaners to Waiting staff. He liked to joke and spoke English very well. He has been at the hotel for a lot of years and people go back year after year which speaks for itself. The food was the best we have ever had in an Italian hotel, we are fussy eaters but there was always something on the menu we fancied which was 4 courses + salad. You were waited on for your evening meal, it was just the salad and roll to go with you soup if you wanted which you got yourself. We could not eat a 5 course meal every night and missed off the sweet most nights. We just had water with our meal but if you liked wine Loris would recommend which to have with your meal, not too sure about the prices but as I said before he likes to joke and told the couple on the table next to us it was 60 euro, I think it was 14!
POOL - Not very big, sun beds and chairs around the edge but on very hot days you might find it hard to find a spare one. The lake is only over the road and plenty of poeple swim in it, also lots of benches so you could sit there and take in the view.
TRIPS - We have been to Bardolino before so decided this time we would do things ourself rather than book organised trips. The buses are still cheap, and you can get all over the Bardolino side of the lake. You buy your tickets from the tabbaci shops and you need 2 each trip as they do not do return tickets. The tickets are not dated so are valid until you use them, just remember to validate them in the ticket machine on the bus as you get on, it just cuts a little corner off, you can get fined if you dont get it validated. The trip to Verona was Zone 5 and was 3.30 euro per person each way, Riva was Zone 7 and was approx 17 euro for 2 people there and back. The Ferries work out a lot more and this is where your WELCOME CARD comes in handy. Ask your hotel if they have a Welcome Card, we asked our rep if they still did them and she told us they were 2 euro, but this was incorrect, they were free. The hotels dont advertise them either so ask. The Welcome Card gets you discount on the ferries, although if you are over 65 you can get a discount on the ferries Monday - Friday, but not at weekends, I dont know which works out cheaper here so you would have to see for yourself. The trip to Sirmione was 29.20 euro return for 2 people, with the Welcome Card it worked out at 24 euro for 2 people. Salo and Desenzano are in the same price bracket as Sirmione, so if you are visiting these places you can save money. I think the bus also goes to Desenzano. If you use the fast ferry there is a suppliment to pay on top.
We walked to the Roman ruins (Cattulo Ruins) at Sirmione the cost to enter was 4 euro per person and well worth the 15-20 minute walk. If you cant manage that there was a land train that took you there from the outskirt of town for 1 euro per person one way.
The trip to Verona was on the bus, took around one hour and was well worth it. Went to the Areana, 6 euro to enter and discounts for the 60+ age group. They were setting up the scenery for the opera the following night, nice city to walk around and some lovely buildings, loved the Scaligero Ponte (Bridge). Riva takes around 1 hr 15 mins on the bus and is a nice ride, you pass lots of other places down that side of the lake like Garda, Torri, Malcesine, Torbole, then Riva.
You can walk to Garda from Bardolino around 1 hr on the lake side, there is a market on a Friday. You can also walk to Latize the other way past Bardolino which took longer about 1 hr 15 mins. Bardolino market is on a Thursday along the promenade.
ORGANISED TRIP - As we had walked our feet off all the holiday we decided to book a treat and go on one organised trip - WHAT A RIP OFF - I have used Thompson's for all my trips abroad and gone on many trips which have been fantastic but the one to BOLZANO & RENON was terrible - this is the reason why.
Pick up was 7:20 am in a car park around a quick 7 min walk from the hotel, no problem, although when we advised the hotel the night before we needed breakfast early, just a drink and toast etc we were told we could not get into the dining room before 6:50, and the door was locked to make sure we did not get in until that time so a mad rush to get something to eat, clean your teeth ect! and make it to the pick up point. We then picked up all along that side of the lake until we got to Riva, the coach was full by now. On we go to our first place of visit, Bolzano advertised as the beautiful city of Bolzano with an optional tour to see the famous Ice Man (Otzi). This optional trip was being pushed by the guide on the coach although she did give out maps of Bolzano so you could visit the places which were highlighted and numbered on the map instead of going to see Ice Man. The trip to see Ice Man was an extra 7 euro per person and if you wanted to listen to the comentary an additional 2 euro was required. You could not do both, you either went to see the Ice Man or just followed the map of the city, even then you would not have got around all the landmarks on the map due to the fact that we arrived in Bolzano at 10:30am, 3 hrs 10 mins after first getting on the coach, making a quick loo stop for those who needed it. We left Bolzano at 12:30 so a 2 hour stop in beautiful Bolzano which was very industrialised until you got into the centre and the old part of town, the outskirts could have been any big English city. The guide kept on saying dont have anything to eat in Bolzano as its expensive, when we stop in Renon you can eat there, I think this was already pre planned and a regular stop for lunch.
We then got on the coach where it took us about a 5-10 min bus ride to meet a charming tram where we were going to have the pleasure of going through Renon Plateau to see woods and pastures, they did not tell you that this tram was local transport and that locals as well as other holiday makers use this tram and that once all our coach party got on there was not enough seats for everyone and the unlucky ones had to stand up all the way for their pleasure in blistering heat. The lucky ones who did get a seat ended up with people sitting on their shoulders! This was a total waste of time and I think had been put in the trip as a filler, you would have seen better from the coach and got to our final destination quicker. As it was when we got back on the coach the guide was then pushing the lunch for 11.80 euro each, we arived at a hotel at 2:15pm, and by the time lunch was served and eaten which by the way was very nice it was 3pm, we left at 4pm and we still had not seen the hightlight of the trip for me which was the earth pyramids which we were told was a 10 minute walk down the hill to the start of them in some woods, and a further 30 minute walk to the main ones which you do this part of the trip under your own steam. By the time we had had lunch we did not have enough time to see much at all. We left this area at 4pm and finally arrived back at our pick up point at 7:35pm, what should have been a day of relaxation and pleasure was sat most of the time on a coach, from 7:20am to 7:35pm we had spent a total of 2 hours in Bolzano, 30 minutes waiting and travelling on tram and 1: 45 hours in Renon which included eating lunch, therefore 8 hours of the day was sat on a coach. The trip was 48 euro per person which we think is an expensive coach ride, which is all it was. The total cost of this trip including the Ice Man and lunch was 134 euro for 2 people. Although we have done Venice before we wish we had gone here again, at least you get more time to visit the place and feel like you have seen someting.
In summing up the trip was too long for the end result, if you did the Ice Man visit this could have taken most of the 2 hours up, or just wondering around the town of Bolzano you would not have had time to visit the places of interest on the map.
The tram ride was a total waste of time.
The pyramids you had to walk to yourself and be reasonably fit as it was downhill going, uphill coming back in woodland, if you did not have lunch you might have got to see something worthwhile.
VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH THIS TRIP
GOODPOINTS - All in all we enjoyed our holiday, the hotel was great, food great, places to visit great, and I would recommend this hotel and the resort of Bardolino in our opinion is the best.
BADPOINTS - Smoking at breakfast on terrace and the trip to Bolzano, would be interested to hear comments from others who went on this trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Nettuno is located in Bardolino, a splendid location directly on Lake Garda, a short walk from the historic centre. The hotel features a swimming pool, bar, restaurant, lounge with tv, terrace with a lake view, lift, air conditioning in all rooms, free wifi and car park. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nettuno Hotel Bardolino, Lake Garda, Italy
- Hotel Nettuno Bardolino