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“Excellent!”
Review of Sportsman Hotel

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Sportsman Hotel
Ranked #10 of 43 Hotels in Bardolino
Certificate of Excellence
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
Reviewed 16 June 2012

I have just stayed here for 1 week with my husband. The location is great, being between Garda & Bardolino with lovely walks to both. The pool is very clean but we used the beach as it was rather hot by the pool as it is enclosed. We had a fantastic room, at the front of the hotel on the corner so we had 3 Juliette Balconies which was great as you could lay in bed looking at the lake. Food was superb, along with the service from Antonio and Sara being 1st class. I would definately stay again.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RedOne147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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205 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
NZ and London
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2012

We chose the Sportsman on the basis of Tripadvisor reviews, and after a lovely week there, we certainly feel that we made a good choice. We really liked the location, which - being between Garda and Bardolino - gave us the choice of which town to walk to on any particular day. The lakeside path is a real bonus, and fellow guests who knew Lake Garda well told us that few other parts of it have such a path. Late May / early June is definitely a good time to visit. The weather was warm and sunny, usually in the mid to high 20s so not too hot but very comfortable. In the pretty towns, balconies were festooned with flowers, and parks and gardens were in full colourful bloom. Along the lakeside path, honeysuckle and jasmine perfumed the air, magnolias were beginning to flower, and in the countryside, poppies were everywhere. Waking up to the sound of the lake lapping gently against the shore of the hotel's private beach was very relaxing.

As others have said, food at the hotel is excellent. The 5-course dinner consisted of: salad buffet with a truly delicious range of leaves, beans, pulses, olives, dressings etc etc; starter; first course, second (main) course and dessert. The menu changed every day and there were alternative choices for the first and second courses, and desserts. For me, it was all too much - after the first night I only had the salad and the main, and that was more than enough! Breakfast was a similarly sumptuous affair, with a selection of cold meats and cheeses, fresh fruit and fruit salads, yoghurts, hard-boiled eggs, various breads, hot food including scrambled eggs, mini sausuages and frankfurters, mushrooms and bacon. There were also sweet pastries, crackers, fruit juices - etc etc. If anyone had to miss a meal due to going on an excursion, or an early departure, the hotel were willing to substitute another meal (eg we once swapped dinner for lunch) or to give people a packed lunch to take with them, provided that they asked the Head Waiter the day before. On Sundays, before dinner, they have aperitifs and canapes in the garden. Be warned, the canapes disappear quickly so you have to get in fast!

We found the staff to be very courteous and professional, rather than over-friendly (but we liked that). The wait staff in the restaurant were particularly good - seemed to have been well-trained, and took pride in their work. Reception was where I felt things to be a little lacking at times. We chedked in early on a Wednesday morning, and the receptionist failed to tell us that the hotel's weekly free lake cruise was on Wednesday afternoons - thus, we missed our one opportunity. Another receptionist was a bit scary and schoolmistress-like; I asked about a packed lunch one evening and she told me sternly that I had left it too late. I felt a bit like I'd been told off!

If anyone stays here with Thomson or Crystal, we recommend the Sunday night evening cruise to Lazise with wine tasting - a very enjoyable experience, thanks to the charming hospitality of the wine cellar owners. Other excursions were a half-day tour to Verona, and a half-day wine-tasting tour (which included a stop at a gorgeous riverside town called Borghese). In retrospect we probably would have chosen to go to Verona ourselves, by local bus - which others at our hotel did. It would have been nice to explore the city under our own steam, rather than be guided (the guides were excellent, but having to wait for everything to be explained in English and German made it all a bit long-winded, which is not what you want when time is limited).

Another great thing about the timing of our trip, was that the Bardolino Chiaretto (rose) wine festival weekend was on! This took place from Friday to Sunday, and gave the opportunity to taste the many rose wine labels from around this region. (As you will probably have gathered by now, this is a great holiday for wine lovers!!)

We particularly enjoyed climbing La Rocca, for the great view it gave us of Bardolino and Garda (not too difficult, but wear trainers rather than sandals or you'll get pebbles in your shoes), and the tranquil feeling of being in the countryside among the vineyards and agriturismos. Galletta Pasticceria in Garda town had great coffee and deligious mini cakes and pastries. Ice cream is definitely a delight, and there is no shortage of gelaterias. The reps all recommended Cristallos in Bardolino, but we were a bit unimpressed - and couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Others we found in both Bardolino and Garda were much better and had a wider range of flavours.

All in all, this is a very beautiful area, with something for everyone. There were people of all ages enjoying themselves - families with small children, couples, senior citizens, boaties, hikers, watersport-lovers, and gourmands. We didn't use the hotel pool because the lake was so lovely to swim in - and it seemed to be very safe for kids.

Room Tip: If you reserve a Lake View room, be warned that very few have balconies you can actually sit on; mos...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PetenCarole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jerusalem, Israel
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2012

If we are again in the region, we will stay at the hotel again

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mendl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2011

You arrive at the top of the drive and you wonder? Don't panic this place is wonderful. From our spotless large room (116) which was right on the front line, lake view with a balcony, table and chairs. Variable air con, flat screen and safe. The staff, Antonio the maitre d', Alex and Sara were outstanding.If you think something should be done you usually found it already has. My wife's birthday started with a glass of sparkling wine at breakfast. Lovely gesture. Breakfast on the terrace, select your evening menu and off to enjoy the private beach or a 15 min. walk to Garda or 20 mins to Bardolino all on the flat and on a sheltered walkway. Free boat trip on a two masted schooner a plus. Dropped off at the harbour, and as we had adopted an elderly German lady on the boat, one phone call and they returned to pick us up.. Sunbeds, towels, robes, slippers all complimentary. Food in two weeks not repeated and of a high standard in both taste and presentation. Very quiet location at night so no disturbed sleep. As for prices outside the hotel not once did we think we were overcharged for food or drink and very similar to U.K. prices even at 1.10 exchange rate.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank tonyhenparc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bo'ness, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2011

My wife and I stayed here for 7 nights on half board
The hotel location, facilities, food, services and staff excellent. The food in particualr was of such a high quality we never considered eating anywhere else. Little extras such as access to a free room safe and fridge was the icing on the cake. We had a large balcony (room 208) with views to the hills. Being between Bardolino and Garda made the evening stroll to check-out the night life a breeze. Checking out early (prior to breakfast) the hotel provided us with substantial food pack. This is one hotel that we could easily recommend.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, UK
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2011

We stayed at the Sportsman Hotel for 11 nights in August 2011 as part of a Thomson “Lakes & Mountains” package.

Our Room (302) Room had a view of the lake (and the private “beach”). There was no balcony, although the doors could open to let fresh air in.

The Air-Con was quiet. (Note that you can request (at Reception) the settings to be lowered if you need the room to be cooler.)

There is plenty of storage space in the room (even a space under the wardrobe for cases so they do not clutter the room). There is a safe in the room.

The bathroom was clean.

Breakfast is excellent - wide variety of fruit, cereals, usual continental hams & cheeses and hot scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages. Apparently omelettes are available at extra charge. Breakfast is served in a Terrace, so a nice start to the day to eat outside in the cool of the morning.

We were half-board so ate every night at hotel. We would recommend this option as there are no restaurants nearby - there are snack bars & bars on the promenade between Bardolino and Garda. Restaurants for "proper" meals are in the towns (with the associated walks).

All staff were very helpful & cheerful.

There is plenty of space in and around the hotel – there is a nice spacious garden to sit in for evening drinks and the hotel has its own “beach” with loungers & parasols. There are also loungers in the garden, if the “beach” is not your scene.

The hotel is virtually in the middle between the two towns:
25 minutes saunter to centre of Garda
20 minutes saunter to centre of Bardolino
Beware of the bikes - they are supposed to travel at walking pace, few do & they do not use their bells.

A walk on the promenade in the evening was very relaxing and there was usually some activity or band at a snack bar to watch.

We preferred Garda - a more pleasant walk and there are more cafes/bars right at the lakeside to watch the boats & ferries.

We did go on the sailing cruise arranged by hotel (Wednesday) – it is free, but with limited (20) spaces – so book early if required. It is basically 3 hours on the boat, sometime under sail. Saw some interesting villas. Could have a swim from the boat. Got a tad boring just sailing - but relaxing. The hotel arranges a shuttle to the boat, but no lift back. To be fair this was not specified, but we were not the only couple who assumed there would be a lift both ways.

A word on the buses – we did not use the buses because we were told they were unreliable, and we did witness this. We were in the Information office at Bardolino Bus Station and the couple before us were enquiring about a bus. They were told it would arrive at 11:33. When we returned to the bus station at 12:35 for the shuttle back to the hotel – the couple were still there. Be warned.

Irritants
Not much shelf space for toiletries in the bathroom. Towels were on the thin side. (However, the pool/beach towels are OK.)
Evening meal has to be ordered at breakfast.
Whilst the evening meal is good (5 courses) - the food lacks passion & is not particularly Italian.
Lunch menu in garden a bit limited.

Would we go again / recommend to friends: Yes.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank GOMCP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2011

Faultless Hotel in fantastic resort of Lake Garda.Great service and quality accommodation.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank grumpy1903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sportsman Hotel

Property: Sportsman Hotel
Address: Via Gardesana Dell'Acqua 17, 37011, Bardolino, Italy
Region: Italy > Veneto > Province of Verona > Bardolino
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Bardolino
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bardolino
#16 Romantic Hotel in Bardolino
#18 Family Hotel in Bardolino
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sportsman Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sportsman is located halfway between Garda and Bardolino, directly on the lake, in an enviable, calm and peaceful location. It is the perfect destination for guests who wish to relax or do sport. The hotel boasts a bar, restaurant, lounge, tv room, terrace, swimming pool, private beach, wifi, air conditioning in all rooms, heating and car park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sportsman Hotel Bardolino, Lake Garda, Italy

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