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.
- 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