There's not a lot wrong with the hotel really. The lounge could maybe do with another sofa and there are no doubt some who think that there should be pictures on the walls and maybe sun loungers will be over subscribed when the hotel is full but, on the whole, it is a pleasant enough building in a good state of repair and perpetually kept clean and tidy. Our bedroom - 201 - was of a good size with ample storage space and en suite facilities that could not be improved upon. By normal commercial standards a four star rating is probably about right but staying there is certainly a five star experience.
We had a room referred to as having a balcony with part lake view. This confused us a bit but then we learnt that it was only a "part view" because there was a tree in the way - there's honesty for you - though some might think, as we did, that the tree enhanced the view. The balcony is big enough to take a double bed and actually had a table and four chairs. There were three more rooms like ours, 202. 101 and 102.
The location of the room is superb as can be seen from the photos. There is a road between the hotel and the lake shore but is doesn't carry through traffic and is very quiet, particularly at night. Being on the lakeside means that there is about a fifteen minute slightly uphill walk to get to Bolsena town centre. However, there is an hourly bus service - excluding siesta time - from just outside the hotel. The return fare is 1 euro for a journey which has to be completed inside two hours. Alternatively the single fare is 75 cents. On the journey the bus soon gets very close to the town centre and then shoots of to do a tour of the neighbouring countryside which, at first, gave us concern that we were on the wrong bus - but we got there eventually.
Three people make up front of house staff. Mara and Ilaria look after reception and serve from the bar and assist in the restaurant while Edie is in charge of the restaurant and it seems takes care of anything else that needs to be done. Mara speaks adequate English but Ilaria is still on the learning curve. Edie speaks English fluently. Everyone we met on the staff was friendly, pleasant and helpful.
Given that the only thing hot at breakfast time was the water (you make your own tea or coffee) it's probably fair to regard breakfast as Continental. Even so it was far from basic. There was fresh fruit and tinned fruit, cereals, yoghurt, ham, cheese, hard boiled eggs, fruit juice and a selection of beads and pastries.
Dinner involved four courses with plenty of choice. As an example on our first night we started with "Rolls of ham with fresh cheese" followed by a choice of "Etruscan lasagna, Tagliolini with salmon, Cream of mushrooms or Salad with frankfurter and fried eggs". The main course was a choice of "Lamb cutlets, Fillet of perch, Eggs with mazzarella or Assorted cured meats". Desert would usually be sponge or pastry based and sometimes with cream. The main course was usually served with sauteed potatoes but there was always a substantial buffet of cold vegetables. All the portions were ample without being overpowering and the food was presented attractively. There was a good selection of mainly - as you would expect - Italian wines, most costing 15 euro but a few at 12 euro.
There is a very extensive menu available for lunch which we didn't try.
Because of it's location the hotel is very popular for wedding receptions so some slight disruption might have to be expected on these occasions - well, it seems not everybody loves an Italian wedding.
On our leaving day we overslept and cleared our bedroom with five minutes to spare before our transport was due. By this time the dining room was closed but, without being asked, the hotel insisted that we take a packed breakfast to eat on our way to the airport. As I said at the beginning, a five star experience.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Hotel Bolsena
- Hotel Holiday Bolsena, Italy - Province Of Viterbo