Well well, what can we say here? The Fawlty Towers of Lake Garda. Imagine if the Brady Bunch lived in Switzerland in a hotel complex.
Firstly, it was built at some point in the 1970s. There is nothing you can do other than knock it down to make it look remotely more modern. There is a reception building (single storey, long sloping 1970s roof, wooden and stone panelling everywhere) and two other blocks – one with just rooms, the other with rooms and the dining room (ho ho more later). All three buildings look over the pool. The hotel is about a 5-10 minute walk down a very steep road to Garda village. At least you can walk off the pasta.
We stayed in the first block on the first floor not facing the pool, but looking out over the hills around lake Garda, the view was fantastic. However, you would not have wanted to be in the other block due to the incessant noise of the kitchen or on the ground floor of either block (no view).
We had booked a double room but got twin beds. The room had not been cleaned when we arrived, but after arguing with the cleaner for a little while with much arm waving on both sides, it was cleaned for us. The rooms are very basic e.g. fridge, not a mini bar and a major no-no was that the sheets were not changed once during a 6 night stay. (All for environmentalism but bleuurrgghh). There is no air conditioning; this must be unbearable when it’s very hot, thankfully we had decided to go away during the 6 days of rain that Garda gets in June. Bathroom very basic but fine.
Nearly all of the guests are retired German/Austrian couples, so most of the signs are in German, and people do come up to you saying, “Guten Tag, es regnet, ya?” Though Garda is like this generally too, it’s 80% German/Austrian, 15% English, 5% other.
The best two things about the place are the pool, which is 25.5 meters, in a lovely setting (one does expect a long-haired Eliot Gould to appear in flip-flops drinking a martini) and the staff who are extremely helpful. (They printed off train timetables and phoned around Chemists to see were they open for me.)
The two worst things about the place were (1) that the cleaner actually bursts into your room at 8.30am asking if you are up to clean and on her third entrance actually starts giving out. Eh. On. My. Holidays. Love. This is partly due to the fact that breakfast is only served until 9 o’clock and as previously mentioned most of the guests are German and are therefore (as I know from hearing them next door) are up at 7am to get the best breakfast Wurst available. Which brings me to (2), the worst breakfast on Italian Holidays ’08. Firstly, the tables appear to be reserved and we were pretty much interrogated when we sat down as to who we were and also, “Why did you not have breakfast yesterday??” Basically it’s rubbish in the most hideous dining room ever, what you do instead is mooch down to Garda, have a coffee, go on a walk, have your lunch and Bob is very much your uncle.
In summary, for the price it’s fine, the pool is great, the whole thing is quite comical provided you can see the comical side. Everywhere else looked reasonably similar in fact. Garda is fantastic, really beautiful. Most hilarious hotel of Italian Holidays ’08.
So depending on your sense of humour either 2/10 or 8/10.
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- Also Known As:
- Sport Hotel Garda
- Sport Hotel Olimpo Garda, Lake Garda, Italy