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“Old. Grand but old.”

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Grand Hotel Victoria
Ranked #7 of 10 Hotels in Menaggio
Lyon
Level Contributor
146 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Old. Grand but old.”
Reviewed 18 September 2012

This hotel, supposedly a 4-star (by Italian standards, OK) is old. Now, don’t misunderstand me : there are old hotels all over the world, some of them wonderfully preserved, lovingly restored, carefully and efficiently modernized. The Victoria is still grand but lacks the comforts one expects of a 4-star hotel today. It’s not only old, it’s dated.

First of all, and contrary to the building itself, Reception personnel is quite young —read : inexperienced, not overly polite nor overeducated nor inclined to bend over backwards to accommodate tired, arriving guests. The lobby is large and adequate, but the first room we were given was smallish, even though we had reserved one of the lake view rooms, which are supposedly (and expectedly) the best. It would have been more or less OK, though, if it hadn’t been for the air conditioning which was so weak that we slept very little during our first night (it was August, and very hot and humid).

The next day I complained with the senior manager (a much better educated, more respectful and more professional person) and was offered to visit another room : same problem, air conditioning very weak, not even cool (let me specify here that, being French, we’re not at all used to the super-cold temperatures our American friends seem to enjoy, we catch a cold whenever we spend more than a weekend in New York, and therefore we are not at all demanding in terms of air conditioning performance). After that, I was offered a third room, that one on the first floor (not the ground floor) ; maybe because it was lower, it seemed that the air conditioning was functioning marginally better… but frankly, the reason we kept that room was (1) that the manager admitted the airco system in the rooms was quite old and needed overhauling (in the lobby, it was working fine) so we surmised we wouldn’t get much better treatment in yet another room, and (2) that third room was a corner room, much larger, with 3 big windows and a balcony. We came to terms with the fact that we would never have a cool room (no choice there), but it was a disappointment , especially as no discount was to be expected on the final bill!

The bathrooms (I visited three, remember) were all not very large, windowless, and somewhat cavernous, as is often the case in lower-class hotels. I expected better lighting in a 4-star. The fixtures were generally clean but antiquated, and in the first one there wasn’t even a shower screen on the side of the tub : splashes ahead! Furthermore, one of the cabinets was not spotless (that’s an understatement) and there was that faint, dreaded smell of drain that you encounter in hotels where plumbing is not well maintained. Luckily, this problem did not occur in the room where we ended up spending the rest of our week at the Victoria.

The beds were good but we were issued only one flat pillow per person and had to request a couple more (they should have been sitting in the wardrobe in the first place). Closet space was spacious enough, but all around us was and looked old, from the faded greenish paint on the walls that had seen better days, particularly in their pockmarked bottom part, to the white pottery glass in the bathroom (I much prefer the wrapped, single-use plastic ones, even if they are flimsy).

The lake view was nice, but you can’t have grand-looking trees in the little garden in front of the hotel, and… an unobstructed view! In our case, well, we had the grand trees. And some little bit of lake in between thick foliage. Having a drink on our own balcony (not wide at all, but adequate) was very nice, however. Be careful : there are flying things around that bite viciously ; not mosquitoes, much smaller insects, black round things that profess a distinct preference for female flesh. Not nice at all on denuded arms, shoulders and legs. We found no weapon against them, and saw identical bites on other people, so it wasn’t just us.

The pool in the back garden (towels provided free of charge) is nicely sized (some not so nice smells there too at certain times of day), but as usual, not enough loungers, so you have to get up early to stake out your claim and then hold on to it forcefully. A good dozen more loungers would have settled the issue easy enough.

Finally, a major drawback was that Internet was only available in the lobby, not in the rooms. OK, it was free, which is a lot more than most Italian hotels offer at this time, but in the evening, you had to compete for lobby armchairs almost as ferociously as for those lounging chairs by the pool in order to read your emails or visit your favorite web sites… I spoke with several other guests who, like me, thought that a couple of wifi routers on the very wide and long landings couldn’t possibly have broken the bank… On the other hand, as the hotel’s Internet proved very unreliable (was down for two full days in a one-week stay!), it was almost a pleasure to have it back, even if only in the lobby.

Overall assessment : the Victoria is expensive, but not so outrageously expensive by Lake Como standards. That is what saves the “Average” grade I will award it. But the air conditioning in the rooms really needs to be completely redone (with user settings which it sorely lacks), and the bathrooms could do with an update… as could the place, except for the lobby which did look nice and appropriately impressive (although you get used to it after a day or two, this is not a genuine palace). Install a good and reliable Internet/wifi network throughout, and the Victoria will begin to look like a bargain.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Blue_439
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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236 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
London
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2012 via mobile

Excellent service, staff were really helpful booking restaurants or taxis. Beautiful building overlooking the lake, good location. Rooms small and no frills but decent shower and clean. Only negatives are the trees block the lake view, they should consider a good trimmer! Overall highly recommend

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KSadvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2012

We spent ten wonderful days here with our wedding party (20) and everyone agreed it was the most amazing place they had been to. The hotel and facilities (especially the excellent pool area and waiter service !) couldn't have been more perfect and we were blown away with the setting on arrival - our room with its balcony lake view was worth every penny !

Paolo ,the manager , and his staff couldn't be more helpful and went out of their way to assist with all matters - even making arrangements for other friends of ours in Menaggio who were not staying at the hotel.

Ok, its not the cheapest but in my book it was worth every penny - this is Lake Como after all ! We will definitely be returning here - as I think everyone else in our group will be too !

If you are going to Lake Como , book the Grand Hotel Victoria - you will not regret it

Room Tip: if you want to spend that little extra go for the lake view with a balcony
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thetko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2012

what a grand hotel.all our needs were catered for.we stayed a full week with friends as part of a wedding group.very expensive for drinks and snacks but it was worth every penny to be waited on by the pool.the hotel faces lake como with fantastic views of the lake.all staff were friendly and eager to help.if you have the money then treat yourself to a relaxing luxurios time. i would definetly return to this magical place.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank debbydony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Two weeks spent end June - July. All round excellent. Gluten free diet was especially well catered for at breakfast and evening meal (we stayed half board). Our room on 4th floor overlooked the lake and although was "lake view" it had a small balcony. The impressive, mature trees reduced the lake view a little but the trees are magnificent. Our room/bathroom was spotlessly clean throughout our stay. The carpet looked new, the bedroom furniture looked new, the paint was virtually unmarked. Whilst no inconvenience to us, our bathroom was only fitted with a shower head - no fixed shower, some rooms have a shower. Air conditioning kept the room cool. Breakfast is typical continental and perfectly satisfactory. Note that there is no toaster and bacon and egg is available at 8 Euro extra. Alcohol prices are, we expect, typical of Italian 4 star - wine from 23 Euros a bottle, bottle of beer 7 Euros and gin and tonic 10 Euros. Great care is taken of the appearance of the garden and the swimming pool area. All staff were friendly and helpful and we thought that there was no evidence of the hotel having a tired look. Location was very good for us - it was quiet - no significant road noise and a few hundred yards walk along the very pleasant lakeside to the centre of town. Menaggio hasn't the tourist feel of Bellagio but has some good cafes and regular summer entertainment in the main piazza. Overall an excellent hotel in a very good and convenient location.

Room Tip: Fourth floor lake view have a good view and small balcony but no separate shower.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Famseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2012

We spent a week from 30th June 2012 in this hotel, the setting was superb,very romantic.The rooms were very nice,modern and clean.The food was 1st class and the staff brilliant. It really made our stay in Como the most romantic setting which is just what we wanted for our engagement holiday to each other. Well worth a visit. Everyone has an opinion, but would suggest some of the other reviews are a tad unjust..

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank paul m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2012

Excellent location with lovely views back and front. Gardens with mature trees giving shade around the swimming pool,where tea will be served on a tray with china and silver tea pot.
Paolo the manager and staff make every effort to make the holiday special, nothing is too much trouble.
The preparation, presentation , and quality of the food for the 4 course dinner are all excellent.
The public rooms are stylish, quiet, and comfortable.
We stayed here for 14 days in June 2012 and we hope to visit again.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Victoria

Property: Grand Hotel Victoria
Address: Via Benedetto Castelli 9, 22017 Menaggio, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Menaggio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 10 Hotels in Menaggio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Victoria 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Menaggio
Grand Hotel Victoria Menaggio, Lake Como

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