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“Spectacularly expensive, spectacularly good”
Review of Villa d'Este

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Villa d'Este
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
Certificate of Excellence
Cranleigh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Spectacularly expensive, spectacularly good”
Reviewed 4 July 2010

Well, this place had a lot to live up to. Its reputation is huge and having been fortunate enough over the years to stay in some pretty nice places, I wondered if we would think it was worth the hype and the (considerably) more money that it costs to stay there.

Based on our 48 hours I would say "yes!" We had booked a corner room with views of both the lake and the gardens, but were upgraded to a top junior suite with full lake view - no idea why, but it was a nice surprise. It was in the Queen's building, which I can say is perfectly good - no special need to be in the main building that I can think of, apart from maybe the thrill of walking down its staircase to dinner - rather grand, to say the least.

The food and drink were superb. We dressed up for the first night to eat in the restaurant (laid up outside since the weather was good) and the second night we ate at The Grill, still great food but no need for jacket and tie. Service was the best I have ever received, and there is a huge number of staff to guests. All seem very attentive and very much on the ball. Being a Brit perhaps, I was a little uncomfortable with the tipping culture. I saw an American guy walk ten paces to a sunbed with a pool attendant carrying his two towels. He gave a 10 Euro tip for that 10 seconds of "work". Not untypical from what I saw. The guy took the tip, but to their credit the staff did not hang around looking for tips. The majority of guests seemed to be American, and of course their tipping culture is huge. (I am more comfortable with the policy of, say, Chewton Glen, which costs a fortune but the staff are not allowed to accept tips).

Just how expensive is Villa D'Este? Well, bottled water is 9 Euros, a club sandwich is 30 Euros, and a Gin and Tonic is 19 Euros. Even after the free upgrade our bill for two nights was over 3,000 Euros, but that did include a two hour boat hire on the lake for 170 Euros (rent one of their boats and drive yourself around, it's great fun). We didn't hit the wine either!

The gardens are stunning, the pool remarkable, the main building like a palace inside, and the service exceptional. Our only gripes related to the small number of parents who exert absolutely no control over their young children. I felt sad seeing whining 8 year old brats with their feet up on the beautiful sofas in the main building, crying when they didn't get what they wanted, disinterested mums filing their nails and texting on their BlackBerrys. Honestly, why take young kids to a place like this? Of course they're going to be bored - they'd prefer a water park or Disneyworld. Luckily we were able to escape the majority of the brat incidents!

We felt sad to leave even after just 2 days, and that is probably the best endorsement we can give. It really is a fabulous place and I hope we are blessed enough in life to be able to afford to go back soon!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank MusicLovingCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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grand forks, nd
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2010

My husband and I stayed at this property while he attended a conference at the Villa Erba in Cernobbio. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The grounds are beautiful and very relaxing! We stayed in a top Jr. suite facing Lake Como. The room was quite spacious and the view was breathtaking. Our walk-in closet was spacious and as large as some rooms in Europe. The feeling one gets at this property is one of serenity and calmness. It sometimes feels like you are the only guest which is hard for a hotel to accomplish. The staff is very helpful and we appreciate that they are always available, but they do not hover like staff at Ritz Carlton Hotels do. We had breakfast each day in the restaurant and had a great table either outside by the lake or in the beautiful breakfast room with a panoramic view. The buffet is large and has a great amount of fresh fruit. We used the floating swimming pool more than once. It also afforded a panoramic view of Lake Como while relaxing. The grounds are a huge part of making this a world class resort. The flowers were beautiful and the mosaic is interesting. The clay tennis courts were an added extra. The price tag for a stay at this property is hefty, but it is something one should experience. We would love to return to this magical place.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank trish8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Turriff, Scotland
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2010

My partner & I booked the d'este for our wedding reception in may 2010 & it was a complete fairytale. The hotel remains as charming and elegant as I imagine it would have been 100 years ago but has been upgraded very sympathetically, so has all the mod- cons you would expect. On arrival at villa d'este we were immediately made to feel welcome with an upgrade in our room!
The service in the hotel was exceptional during our stay and during our wedding reception. We had 36 guests attend our wedding and everyone was blown away by the beauty of the mosaic gardens, the beautiful views of lake Como & the faultless service provided by the staff. My wedding day was the fairytale I dreamed of, thanks to the staff at villa d'este! It will be somewhere we will definitely be returning too!

Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Claymires
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2010

My wife has always wanted to spend time in the Italian lakes, so a stay at Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como seemed like a natural birthday present. This is one of those rare properties which age does not seem to dim. Rather it enhances it. What is good about this place is first and foremost the staff. We arrived from Australia at some ridiculously early hour in the morning. Instead of being told to wait for our room, we were instantly ushered to another room and offered breakfast downstairs at no extra cost. I had mentioned that it was my wife’s birthday: on the appointed evening a beautiful fruit flan with candles was produced, complete with five waiters singing Happy Birthday – and there was no charge for the cake. My wife wanted a loop in the belt of some trousers sewn up: within minutes a uniformed housekeeping staff member arrived, and returned the garment duly mended an hour later – and this was on Sunday at 8 am.

Then there is the property and the location. What makes a truly great hotel apart from staff is a perfect location and a beautiful property. As to the location on the shores of Lake Como, no more need be said. On the latter, this means wonderfully appointed restaurants and beautiful public spaces more reminiscent of a club that an hotel, and Villa d’Este has these in spades. The whole of the ground floor has an endless array of beautiful rooms: a bar, a drawing room, a stunning ballroom, a room for playing bridge and another beautiful reception room. The food is wonderful and the service superb. The building and the surrounding grounds are breathtaking.

Yes, it’s hideously expensive and you think that it could never be value for money. Until you get there and it just is! On rooms there, one simple piece of advice, spend some extra and get one of the larger rooms giving on to the lake. Lovely as it is, you don’t go to Villa d’Este to look at the garden.

I’d like to have something to criticise, but frankly I can’t think of a thing.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2010

This hotel is all about the location... it is drop dead gorgeous!!! Was there to spend our 5th Anniversary. It's one of those places you have to go to at least once. We spend 3 nights there. Rooms were huge and nice - we were upgraded. It is expensive but since it was an occassion it had been accounted for. We did not have our meals at the hotel but went just outside the gates to the restaurants in the town... Giardino (sp) was excellent and reasonable priced.

Make sure to have a rental as it is worth driving around.

Lugano is a waste of time.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank s s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2010

Stayed at Villa d'Este last week-end of May...A remarkable place, great views, impeccable service and fabulous cuisine at La Veranda Restaurant.. they treat you like royalty there and much more..
Also Villa d'Este spa is really top class, and it's in addition to complementary fitness club with serious swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor - loved the place - a dream come true!!

Stayed May 2010, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank RIPEPINEAPPLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sewickley, PA
Level 6 Contributor
259 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2010

We arrrived at the hotel the day the rains stopped on May 15th after what the staff said had been two weeks of deluge. They were most welcoming and upgraded us (and my wife's sister and her husband) to junior suites on the top floor overlooking the lake - a touch which never fails to make a good first impression. We've stayed in a number of very nice places but our take here is that the combination of accommodations and service is the best we've ever encountered, especially coupled with a drop-dead gorgeous location. Breakfast, every day, was an order of magnitude above any brunch one might imagine. Simply a wonderful experience; no one wanted to leave.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Oberst06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa d'Este

Property: Villa d'Este
Address: Via Regina 40, 22012 Cernobbio, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Cernobbio
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa d'Este 5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the splendor, the grandeur, the intrigue and the magic of Villa d'Este- an opulent hotel overlooking glorious Lake Como. Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this famous resort destination has been widely praised for its beautiful gardens, exquisite cuisine, gala celebrations, impeccable décor and extraordinary hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa d`Este Hotel Cernobbio
Hotel d Este
d Este Hotel Cernobbio
Villa Deste Lake Como
Villa D'Este Lake Como/Cernobbio, Italy

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