Just back from a Newmarket Holidays tour of Lake Garda, Venice and Verona. The Hotel Rely is more or less the entry price establishment for this tour, and is situated between two small hamlets on the eastern shore of the lake, about 5 miles south from Malcesine.
The location suited us well, but is a fair way from any real 'life'. But if you go to Garda to walk along a quiet promenade easily accessed from the hotel, stopping at the occasional bar, or even to dip into the water or take a boat trip, this is for you. The views are stunning and ever-changing; this part of the lake is more fjord-like than the southern shores. Although the whole lake is highly developed, this part is much less so than most, and everywhere is so "Italian" - even aspects which elsewhere might seem shabby, here they seem just laid-back and full of style.
We had a back-facing room, which was pleasantly quiet; those on the front had some traffic noise. Garden rooms are actually self-contained 'bungalows' and those staying in them were very pleased as they were very roomy, some had lake views over the hotel but they were still very quiet. Rooms generally are adequate and comfortable.
Meals are good wholesome Italian home cooking, - cold buffet breakfast and 4-course dinner - and generously portioned (often with second helpings). Drinks are fairly priced - but mineral water is pretty well compulsory with meals at E2.50/bottle. Common areas are not luxurious, and most seating is on dining-style chairs. The pool is a good size and private, unlike some local hotels with small pools right by the road or prom. One warning - pool towel hire is E2 a time, so consider packing some.
The real stars of this establishment are the owner and staff, who are ever-smiling, ever-welcoming and tireless. Piano bar evening was very enjoyable - the owner and staff taking turns to sing may sound like a dire prospect, but they have some real talent! The owner Ruggero has an amazing line in garish shirts and ties - you could run a book on the unlikely combinations.
All in all, great value, and an assuredly memorable stay in this beautiful part of Italy. The Newmarket arrangements and trips went well enough, but if you take them all, you do seem to spend too much time on coaches; but a lot is packed in and we enjoyed them all. Just be aware that Italian 'comfort stops' often involve 100 people queueing for a single loo.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Rely Lake Garda/Brenzone, Italy