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“Fantastic Holiday Experience-"Go For It"”
Review of Sportsman Hotel

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Sportsman Hotel
Ranked #10 of 43 Hotels in Bardolino
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 May 2013

A special holiday to mark a special birthday for my wife was called for so after much searching and deliberation Lake Garda, Bordolino and the Sportsman Hotel, was selected partly due to a possible requirement to visit Venice. Although looking a little like a Moroccan Fort or a Foreign Legion outpost, the Sportsman Hotel is excellent all round and that includes Location, Food, Staff, Bedrooms Etc. During our stay, there was live music in the bar area on two evenings thast was very pleasant. I highly recommend this Hotel that is situated in a quiet location with views that cannot be beaten. It was well worth the extra money to have a lake view room as we did in room 302 that might be a little larger than others on this floor based on the floor plan map in stairwell.

Make sure you request the discount vouchers and details of the Wednesday free sailing trip on their two masted Ketch. We were not offered the vouchers but they did advise of the boat trip. Unfortunately the boat trip was cancelled 5 minutes before the boarding time (2.00pm) due to a battery problem even though the main engine was running. A vessel of that size could easily have carried a spare battery surely? We were really looking forward to the trip and the non sailing messed up the day as if doing our own thing, we would have planned our own trip across the lake Etc to make the most of the day. We are boaters and being on the lake was all part of our plans.

Discounts for Senior Citizens are available from the ferry operators. Anything that proves your date of berth will be OK but they normally take your word OK. We preferred Garda to Bardolino and found Torri Del Benarco very quiet and almost deserted, completely the opposite to Sirmione that seemed very crowded, possibly due to narrow streets etc. Apparently, the southern resorts of the lake are more popular than those on the eastern side of the lake. Salo, on the Western shore, is apparently very worth a trip across the lake. We did not take in any of the longer organised trips since most involved much travelling by coach which is not really our thing but if you have got the stamina then you should consider Venice & the Dolomites Etc.

If you are into bikes, then you can obtain these very cheaply so as to transverse the level walk ways between Bardolino and Garda and beyond. Be warned however, that if you are walking, the cyclists can become a menace as they make their silent approach sometimes at high speed. You will have to decide which side of the path is safest since rules of the road are not always observed.

We travelled with Crystal Summer and flew with Thomson, all part of Tui and were pleased with the service. No check in ques at Birmingham but they did get us back to Verona airport 3 hours in advance of take off time that all adds up to a lengthy time to get home when you add in the flight time and drive home. A longer stay than 7 nights and maybe taxi transfers might help in this.

Room Tip: Lake view either part or full view
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 - 69 of 218 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2012

As a couple we stayed at Sportsman 8th - 15th September 2012 half board, and it is the best hotel we have ever stayed in. The place was spotless, we had a large room and bathroom. Food was excellent and they catered v well for me being vegetarian. The hotel is ideally situated to walk to Garda and Bardolino itself. Staff were v helpful and friendly.
We plan to go back next year.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tina b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2012

Booked 2 rooms with half board, which represented excellent value. All hotel staff were the epitome of professionalism. Meals in the restaurant and breakfast room were fantastic. Their private beach was just that. This hotel was so good that I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. So good that. We will stay there again if we are in the Area.

Room Tip: You must stay here if in Bardolino.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Magere1_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

The Sportsman is everything that previous reviews have said - comfortable, good service, clean etc etc. Its location on the shores of the lake is just perfect - except in times of torrential rain. We stayed in the first week of September when the heat wave finally broke, and the resulting thunderstorms were quite something to experience. However, as the hotel is a good 20 minutes walk from either Bardolino or Garda, the location actually became a bit of a problem. To get to anywhere for entertainment/amusement required a very wet walk or perfect timing to avoid the downpours. And there wasn't much to do in the hotel. The bar area was fairly full with people reading or drinking.
That said, when the sun finally came out , the hotel was a good place to stay. It wasn't the best hotel we have been to, but it was a positive experience overall. Some of the staff deserve a special mention - Angelica and Valentin in the restaurant - for their great service. We stayed in room 210 which did not have a balcony or a lake view, but which did give us easy access to the pool.
One minor observation Is that the public spaces are all in the wrong places. Both the dining room and the bar are situated on the ground floor which are hidden from the lake view by a wall of flowers or hedge. While upstairs there is a stunning terrace and a completely useless reading room, which is dark and unwelcoming, but which has a great view of the lake. Surely the upstairs room could be used better?
On reading these comments I sound quite negative, but we had an excellent holiday and I would recommend the place to other people. We have stayed in Lake Garda before and this is one of the better hotels around the lake shore.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank otl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2012

Stayed at the Sportsman with my wife and 2 children for 2 weeks and can honestly say this is a fantastic hotel and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, or stay here again.
This was our third stay at Lake Garda with Thomson and our first at the Sportsman. We saw the hotel last year and loved the location and private beach.
On previous holidays to Garda we have struggled to make the most of the lake due to hotel location but 10m from the front door of the Sportsman and you’re on the private beach. The hotel provides sun beds with pads, umbrellas’ and beach towels. The hotel is located about a 15 minute walk from Garda and 20 minute walk from Bardolino – Bardolino is our favourite town with a lovely promenade, loads of shops and restaurants. A free hotel shuttle bus runs a few times a day into Bardolino.
The hotel beach is great and the lake is excellent for swimming and cooling down, 75m out and it’s still only waist deep, so great for kids – you need to keep an eye on the motor boats as they can come into the jetty and bring something for your feet (not flip flops as they come off in the soft sand).

The hotel is spotless, rooms (201 and 202) both had lake views and doors that opened, 202 was larger of the two rooms and had an additional sofa bed. The rooms had loads of storage space and were cleaned daily to the highest standard we have experienced. Each room had a mini fridge and a free safe, LCD TV with BBC1, BBC2 channel 5 and German Eurosport plus the usual Italian and German channels. Tea and coffee making facilities are not provided in the rooms.

The hotel staff are the friendliest and most helpful we have experienced. Reception staff are friendly and efficient and checked us in quickly. Head Waiter Simone is extremely helpful and will endeavour to please. My wife is a vegetarian and son a fussy eater but this was not a problem and they were accommodated every evening with exceptional food, don’t be afraid to ask for something that is not on the menu, we ordered omelettes, spaghetti etc. You can also swap your evening meal with lunch, handy if you are going off for the afternoon and evening. Breakfast were also very good with a large choice on offer.
Waitresses Sylvia, Amanda and Anna attended to us most days, they were friendly, polite and are a credit to the hotel, as are all the staff.
Don’t miss the weekly barbeque, (even non meat eaters are catered for) the hotel puts a lot of effort into making this a great weekly event.

Other travel tips: we hired a motor boat in Garda for 60E for an hour (10E cheaper than anywhere else) you need your driving licence – great fun but an hour is long enough.
The busses are quicker and cheaper than the boats, regular busses run from Verona to Riva. You need to use the boats if you want to visit the western side of the lake. It takes about an hour to get to Verona - head for the Arena area, Juliette’s balcony is tricky to find but worth a visit, we also went up the bell tower. Be careful of the actors dressed in Roman costumes, they get their picture taken with you then want paid 5E each and they are often in groups of 4.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank BrianCumbria_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

We have always enjoyed staying at the Hotel Sportsman and our recent visit is no exception. The hotel is located right by the shore of Lake Garda with wonderful views of the lake and mountains beyond. It has its own private beach with loungers and parasols as well as a swimming pool with Jacuzzi area. There is a very pleasant walk from just outside the hotel along the lake. Bardolino is located 20 minutes walk in one direction and Garda about 20 minutes in the other direction so it is ideally situated for easy strolls to both towns. In addition, the Sportsman also provides regular bus shuttles to and from Bardolino until the evening-just enquire at reception.

The accommodation is lovely and clean and the food is always excellent-with a sumptuous breakfast and an excellent 5 course evening meal. The staff, all headed by Marco the director, are all incredibly helpful, friendly and courteous. Jarka, one of the receptionists is wonderful: always smiling, chatty and happy and eager to help with any queries or questions you may have. Angelica has been our waitress on our last couple of visits and she is superb. She is incredibly efficient, professional and friendly and is always eager to offer advice about the food or wines available for you to choose. Betti, the maid, also does a fantastic job and greets you with a smile and ‘Buon jiorno’ each morning. The friendly and welcoming staff have been one of the main reasons we have returned to the Sportsman time and time again.

We would have no hesitancy in recommending the Sportsman Hotel to anyone wanting to stay on Lake Garda. The other reviews really are as good as they all claim.

Tip: Ask for the Tourist Welcome Card at the hotel reception-this gives you a 20% discount on the ferries as well as discounts at certain restaurants and amenities on Lake Garda. Beware, the buses don’t run according to the timetable however the boat ferries do and are more reliable.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank KarenL30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2012

PROS: This hotel is right on lake Garda and I mean right in front of the hotel. The view is terrific, the amenities wonderful, the location excellent and the staff friendly and accommodating. We arrived a day early and were lucky to get a room for that night as well, but the front desk person was wonderful about it. This hotel fills up fast and no wonder....it hs everything you could want and is very close to the town center if shopping is in your plans. We had a lovely patio overlooking the lake, and the sunsets were beautiful. Watch out for early evening Mosquitos (or some kind of biting bug) however. The breakfast buffet is large and varied and you can dine inside or al fresco, this added to the value of the room as lunch became optional after such a good breakfast. We didn't dine in the restaurant, but we heard it was a nice place to eat with good food.

CONS: The second room we had (with the lake view) smelled of mildew. This was most likely due to the previous tenants not drying wet things outside as the room appeared quite clean, and our first room was clean and had no smell. Bring your bug repellant for early evening and early morning pests....especially if you plan on being outside at these times ( very nice time for an evening stroll along the lake.)

Room Tip: Lake view rooms are worth the additional price as the balconies overlook the lake's beauitiful s...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank ashsail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sportsman Hotel

Address: Via Gardesana Dell'Acqua 17, 37011, Bardolino, Italy
Phone Number:
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: £85 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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