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“Take someone you love” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Villa d'Este

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Villa d'Este
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Take someone you love”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2010

Take someone you love. On our first morning I woke up to gasps from my girlfriend. She is not asthmatic nor is she prone to gazing at the wonder that is early morning me. She was stood at the entrance to the balcony of our suite genuinely moved by what must be one of the most beautiful of hotel locations in Europe. Everything about Villa d'Este is really very good but the location and the service are stunning.
The view from the lake facing rooms in the main hotel building across the water to the village and mountains opposite moves from a lilac tinged sepia in the morning to the most vivid Italian palette in the early afternoon and slowly back again. Do not settle for any other vieweven if it means taking in a lodger.
In the morning the hotel is gently nudged into a shuffling action by staff who seem honestly happy to be there with you. They give the lie to the idea that wonderful service needs either to involve belittling formality or intrusive chummyness. You may be royalty, you maybe the guest of a Mr G Clooney house party you may be a well heeled touritst passing through. All will be treated with an elegance and ease not seen since Mr Gatsby's last shindig.
Remember to take an evening wardrobe pitched at the Scandanavian Royal Wedding Reception end of the market, not because you will be looked down upon if you don't but because you will rue the loss of an opportunity to waft and glide through drinks, dinner (and to be honest more drinks) to the accompaniament of a gentle collective contentment radiated by your fellow guests.
Few experiences like this remain in the world. The Orient Express probably. A balloon ride over the Masai Mara maybe. Christmas at Claridges possibly. Take someone you love and tell them that you do when your there.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank No0dle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
61 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2010

This hotel reminded me a little of the setting of the Sound of Music, Lake Como itself is gorgeous but the hotel's 400 year old trees amongst manicured gardens, the stately building, relaxed but efficient service and the incredible food all made for a weekend that felt like paradise. Even the weather was perfect.

We got upgraded from a suite to the presidential suite which looked over the lake and the al-fresco dining area. Perfect vouyers spot for the gentlemen waiters who were so sweet and amusing I wanted to kidnap one and take him home. They pointed out the carp swimming up to the terrace and brought us some bread to feed them with, occasionally hazarding a guess at what perfume we were wearing or casually bantering with each other in Italian about the content of the day's newspaper.

The pool floats on the lake giving you a delightful gentle rock to the sunbake nap. Noticed that there are two types of clientele, some tourists having a rare indulgence and some people who clearly can afford to stay in places like that all the time, including Scandinavian royalty and a few British celebrities. The fat-hairy-man with a well-maintained/ potentially surgically enhanced lady combination was ubiquitous and amusing until I realised that my partner and I could almost fall into that category if only he was fatter and I was better looking.

The food was all brilliant, the pool bar attendant was the only staff member we encountered during the entire weekend with attitude. Hired a boat and driver who was charismatic and showed us all of the celebrities houses along the lake.

Rooms were gorgeously old-fashioned but well-maintained, thought the bedding could have used some fabric softener. Loved the complimentary fruit platter.

Can't comment on the value as I only paid for our massages. Just need to get better looking, find a fatter man and could become more a permanent fixture myself!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandst0rm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Dakota
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2010

Our stay at the Villa was extremely nice. The room was very large with a huge walk in closet, dressing room. The floating swimming pool was cool. The grounds are very well kept. It is definitely on the expensive side but I would stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NorthDakotaSioux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2010

I have always wanted to stay at Villa D'Este and it was more than I expected....I brought my daughter for her 50th birthday. We absolutely LOVED Francesca at reception... she should be a hotel concierge...
We have stayed at many 5 star hotels in the US & Europe but unfortunately, the three males at the concierge desk were arrogant, rude and down right unfriendly. After returning home I mentioned this to a number of my friends who have stayed at Villa D'Este they all agreed that it was a magical experience but they whole heartedly agreed that the concierge services were lacking except for a very few "special guest". How naive of me to think that we're all special guests... I hope this has been remedied by my next visit.

Stayed July 2010, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank VacationVenues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2010

I chose this hotel for my 40th birthday in April and was not dissapointed.

Firstly Lake Como is truly a beautiful place (and I have travelled far and wide in my life) which I would highly recommend. Id say book it for a special occasion or for a romatic weekend away as it's pricey there.

Villa D'Este is a charming and grand hotel, set in well kept grounds. The location and position are ideal to get around Como and it is the most impressive hotel there.

The staff are very helpful and friendly and nothings too much trouble. Again though you do get what you pay for! While I was there, I saw Emily Blunt who was checking out the hotel as a potential wedding venue, and I read last week that she got married there, so that says it all!

The rooms can be a little chintzy but I was offered an upgrade for the 1st night as they knew it was 40th birthday, which was most thoughtful.

I will definitely go back, funds permitting and would suggest that this is one hotel that is definitely worth blowing a budget for...

Alexa Winchmore Hill

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alexa1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
78 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 430 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2010

If you have been following my reviews of the best room - best hotel stays we've booked along our extended European vacation, you'll know we booked at Villa d' Este more than a year ago based on it’s Conde Naste ranking and great reviews. Well folks, Conde Naste needs to take it’s head out of it’s a** and book an anonymous one night stay here in Villa Cima - a separate villa on the lake with all the hotel amenities. It’s their best room because it’s a separate room a separate villa on the lake.

The first (and least) short-coming is that there is no privacy whatsoever. Every single vehicle that goes to Villa D Este (the hotel), roars by a few inches fromVilla Cima’s front door. Curious tourists walking to Cernobbio leer over the walkway at your private patio. We were expecting to be living the “Life of Riley” on the shores of Lake Como, hobnobbing with the Clooneys and Pitts. No such people would spend more than a day here.

We pulled the plug after a mere half day, asking for the hotel manager and GM to explain that we can’t possibly spend 6 nights in a villa reeking of urine. Only get this - after one night at 6500 Euros, we realized that the smell was not urine but rather the ant poison which did not succeed in killing the tens of thousands of ants which had infested our luggage in the foyer of the villa during the 8 hours we had occupied it. We did not find out about said infestation until discovering ants in our luggage at the next hotel on our stay at Four Seasons Milan - an impromptu stop caused by this hotel. The sheets here were like staying a night in grandma’s spare room on the pullout sofa. Lineny and harsh and scratchy. With hospital style comforters. They weren’t even linens!

Villa d’Este has been around since Christ was a cowboy and it shows. Most properties like this in Europe dutifully update their premises each year with their profits, when they close for the season. This hotel either doesn’t have any profits or is so taxed by the overhead of Mafia payoffs and local taxes that they have no resources left to keep the place up.

It was deeply heartbreaking for their staff who tried their guts out, but just could not make up for the glaring shortcomings, not present in similarly aged properties in France and England.

We were forced to book make-up visits in separate hotels which deeply inconvenienced us and left us feeling like all of Italy’s luxury resorts are just falling apart.

So my advice - if you insist on seeing Italy are, Pay George Clooney 20k a night for a room in his villa ( a bargain based on this place), or avoid lake Como. This hotel has just lost everything it stands for in my book.

It’s heartbreaking and sad for its staff who were excellent. The food here was excellent too. But OLD does not mean CLASSIC - You need to UPGRADE this property of you’re going to charge the kind of rates the Kennedys paid pre-inflation.

God help this place.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank theLuckiestGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cranleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MusicLovingCouple
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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