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“Wonderful location”

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Grand Hotel Menaggio
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Menaggio
Reviewed 30 August 2012

Just returned from our first vist to Lake Como. Hotel in super location with wonderful views. We threw open our shutters each morning and lay in bed watching the lake come to life in the sunshine.It is worth paying extra for lake view room, very spacious and jacuzzi bath! Lovely restaurant with superb service and delicious food especailly the desserts. Also excellent pool which was kep scrupulously clean each day. The staff throughout made us feel relaxed and welcome.
Ferries are frequent and help you explore lake easily. Recommend Villa Carlotta and a vist to Varenna and Villa Balbienello.

Room Tip: Choose a lake view room- it is well worth it!
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank feather57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 August 2012

I stayed at the hotel for 7 days in August 2012 for a holiday on Lake Como. We chose the hotel as it offered us a good location to visit other parts of the lake, the facilities offered and the price. We booked through Inghams. The hotel website is not the most informative I have seen but they advertise themselves as ‘… modern amenities and the exclusive peaceful atmosphere attract the most discerning clientele.’ Also, they say ‘…this high-class hotel, which was completely renovated in 2008, has 94 rooms, with all modern comforts including satellite television, direct-line telephone, fridge-bar and air-conditioning’ and ‘….offers guests a heated lakeside swimming pool, a bar, two restaurants, boutiques, private mooring for motor-boats, water skiing… and ….All the rooms are equipped with telephone, satellite television, safe deposit, air-conditioning, fridge bar and hair dryers.’
All of that is correct – though I have my doubts about the temperature of the Pool - and the discerning clientele? We estimated that 80% of the guests were British and the average age was about 63. Many are the sort of couples who like to dress up and there was plenty of evidence – particularly the ladies – at Dinner. A majority were there through a travel company, including Inghams, Riveria and Voyages Jules Verne.
The location is excellent, it has its own landing stage into the lake (infrequently used) and its own ‘beach’ (not used), the ferry landing stage is adjacent and ferries call frequently. The view is unique, across the lake to Varenna (with mountains behind) and also Bellagio. It is on the western side of the lake so loses direct sunlight at about 1600 each day.
We arrived in late afternoon and were well received and quickly checked in (our lack of Italian was no problem) and offered help with our luggage. Unusually you enter the hotel down a flight of steep steps. There are 2 lifts off the main corridor off reception serving the different accommodation levels of the hotel (only one goes to the fourth floor) as the end section of the hotel was an addition some years ago. We were accommodated at the end of the hotel nearest the ferry terminal on the third floor. Our room (a standard) had a bedroom (2m x 2m), a vestibule area and a bathroom (1m x 1.5m) and a small balcony with 2 chairs. Black out was achieved by external shutters (not lockable) and two windowed doors and some net curtains. There was a rail for curtains but these had been removed. The black-out was however effective.
The Bedroom was equipped with a double bed, two bedside units, a Wardrobe (with an electronic safe), case unit and desk/dresser (including a mini bar – Coke is 4 euros – that kept everything cold), modern in design with a 26 inch flat-screen television. There were only 4 channels available – BBC World Service, CNN, Bloomburg Europe and CNBC. There was a mirror over the desk and full length mirrors on the back of the outer door and the bathroom door. There was 2 bedside lights (strangely they could not be turned to give light to read in bed), and 2 wall lights. Lighting levels were subdued. There is no hospitality tray but a small pot of sweets (kept topped-up through the week). The mattresses are on the firm side, but we slept well. Linen is crisp and clean and changed frequently.
The bathroom looked a bit dated and contained a wc, bath, bidet and wash basin. This was situated behind the door and therefore could only be used with the door closed. There was no shower curtain and no evidence that this was purely an omission. As a result after a shower the black marble tiled floor was very wet. Toiletries were provided in a clear wash bag – the quality of the soap and the shower gel was not good – containing a vanity kit, disposable razor and plastic comb. Towels were good – separate swimming towels were provided in a tote bag. There were 2 wall lights which were barely adequate. There was a razor point over the wash basin adjacent to the Hairdryer.
Decoration of the rooms was good with plain cream coloured walls and a cream patterned carpet. The room on arrival was clean and smelt fresh.
The room worked well and was well serviced during our stay. Toiletries were replaced according to usage, and the room had been tidied and belongings respected. The swimming towels are changed each day though the information in the room says this happens each evening – ours weren’t as we didn’t see our housekeeper at this time but she was in evidence going to other rooms on our floor at this time. The air conditioning was efficient but struggled to cope with day time temperatures reaching 36 degrees. It was too noisy to leave on at night.
There was traffic noise from the main road behind the hotel, but this only disturbed us on the first night. We were glad therefore we didn’t pay the 20 euros per night per person for a Lakeside Room.
We stayed on a half board basis. Breakfast was between 0730 and 1000 hours. The most popular time for most guests was between 0830 and 0915. Entering the restaurant you selected a table, most people headed for the front overlooking the garden, though there were a limited number of tables on a small terrace. The breakfast buffet is self service with the same offerings every day. Jams, Bread, Rolls, Croissants, Toast (Poor – bread was small sliced and thin, and the toaster was very slow and only toasted lightly), Bacon (Very crispy), Scrambled Eggs (Unappetising), a Fruit Bowl, Various (Tinned) Fruits, Yoghurts, Orange Juice (not fresh), infusions and varieties of teas (no decaffeinated coffee) and urns for coffee, hot water and milk. We saw people ordering cappuccinos.
Dinner is from 1900 to 2130. There are usually people waiting to go in as service starts and around 2230 each evening the restaurant is at its fullest. There are about 50 tables for perhaps 140 Diners, plus you can eat out on the terrace. As you enter the Head Waiter greets you (or one of his assistants) and you are shown to a table. The room fills up from the front. The set meal consists of 4 courses. Course 1 is fresh melon or a meat savoury, Course 2 is a choice of 3 offerings, usually a pasta eg Canelloni, a short pasta or a soup. Course 3 is the main – 2 meat choices or a fish, usually with two vegetables, and there is a choice of 2 desserts. The menu is displayed outside the restaurant after lunch. You have a menu when first seated to choose from and once chosen that is removed. The Head Waiter takes your order and then the different courses are served by others. Service is very speedy. Portions are not generous, but well presented and hot. As an indication of the choices, over the 7 days starters other than Melon we chose included Prawn Vol au Vent and Goose slivers and Tuna. Anti-pastas we chose included Spaghetti Bolognese, Ravioli, Risotto, Tagliateli, Vegetable Soup and Lasagne. Mains included Turkey, Trout, Veal Stew (x2) , Beef, Sea Bream, Monkfish and Duck. Desserts included Strawberry Cheesecake, Oranges in Grand Marnier, Plum Yoghurt Mousse, Pistacchio Crème, Gateau and Pistacchio Parfait. If you are bold enough and do not like anything on the menu, ask for Ice Cream as an alternative dessert. We saw a couple of high chairs in use.
Other reviews have commented on the price of drinks with Dinner. We had 3 drinks a night – a beer, a soft drink and a carafe of water (usually sparkling) and were charged 13 euros. The price for a carafe of water was clearly shown in the Wine List. You can order a bottle of wine and if not fully drunk is kept to the next night and brought out. Dinner, according to the daily menu on display is sold at 38 euros. I do not think that is value for money. More reasonable is 20 euros which is the credit value they give you if you want to go an have dinner ‘a la carte’.
The public rooms are not rooms as such, there is a lobby area with seating opposite the lobby with huge seating (toilets and public telephone off), a cross corridor and generous seating in an area leading out to the Pool (Bar in a room adjacent). There is a separate reservable dining area with a separate a la carte menu. Furnishings are stylish and generous, with artificial flower displays and ‘antique’ furniture. Day old English Newspapers are available and there is a guest exchange library. There is a small gym and toilets (very clean) in a basement area.
The Pool is immediately outside the public rooms about 20m x 10m. It is a constant depth of 1.5m. There are two ladders into the Pool. I am not sure it is heated but it was clean and cool enough to be very refreshing. It is surrounded by stone flags which are not slippery but although the pool edging is raised above the surrounding paths there is a danger stones from the pea gravel pathways could be swept into the Pool. There was no safety equipment visible and it is not supervised. Balls and swimming aids are allowed. There are changing cabinets available at the Ferry side of the gardens. There are perhaps 50 loungers available in the gardens. The Bar offers a limited service to those in the gardens and immediately outside the Bar there are about 10 tables for drinkers.
Staff are generally friendly - all have the ability to speak English. The Dining Room operates a hierarchy with the Lead Waiters in charge of the whole Dining Room, several sectional waiters and ‘clearer uppers’ (I didn’t think slopping left food onto a single plate in full view of Diners was quite the thing). They will accept tips to ‘reserve’ tables if asked (so that a guest can get a front row table). There are some maintenance/porters and we saw them adjusting the towels on chairs early in the morning, sweeping up and attending to the Pool. They vaccum it each night and remove grease from the sides weekly. The grass lawns were cut during our stay. Cleaners start at about 0900 and do respect ‘do not disturb’ signs. They do a good job. Reception staff were fine. There is limited car parking at the front of the hotel as well as 3 upmarket clothes shops and an art gallery shop.
Our score (out of 10): Location 10; Car Parking 6; Accessibility 7; Reception/Check Out 8; Size of Room 8; Facilities in Room 8; Facilities 9; Hotel Decor 9; Service 9; Value for Money 8.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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15  Thank Topkoppite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2012

I have stayed at this hotel as an independent traveler many times in the last 10 years. My wife and I returned there last week for a peaceful short break (5 days) and a birthday celebration last week (17-22 Aug 2012). We always return to the same place because this hotel offered chic luxury, superb service, and an outstanding location. Sadly,this is no longer the case, and the holiday ended up being something of an endurance test, and one I was very glad to see the back of. Of course, the management could not spoil the location, and that remains fabulous. However, everything else has been significantly degraded since our last visit some 4 years ago. At 220 Euros per night, our lake view room was the smallest I have ever stayed in, in any country, and even budget motel chains would be embarassed to classify it as a double room, being less than 3m x 3m. Add that to the fact that the air conditioning had failed during a prolonged period of extreme hot weather, and this tiny room became a cell that we were glad to escape from each morning. Mind you, it would have been a little better if the sweat-soaked sheets had been changed regularly, and not simply used to re-make the bed each day. This re-cycling of bedding made the room resemble some very low budget flop-house, and the room became somewhere to avoid - certainly not a place to relax in.

Again since my last visit, the hotel clientele has changed significantly, and the guests seemed to be almost exclusively package tourists in their seventies, and a few bemused young couples who had obviously booked the hotel on a last-minute cheap website, and could not quite believe that so many frail and elderly people could be gathered together in a single location!

Because the hotel was so full of coach parties whose timetables were driven by the bus schedules, meals became somewhat fraught as well. Whilst the food remains good, the dining room is no longer a place to sit and savour the view and the food, and relax with your friends and loved ones. The emphasis is now very much on fast throughput, with everything being conducted at high tempo. Plates are whipped away almost as soon as the last mouthful has been despatched, and this was the closest I have seen to fast food, certainly in terms of delivery and removal, that I have ever seen in a 4 star hotel. The Maitre D' ran this dining room with clinical, near military efficiency, and whilst his throughput was good, the ambiance created was uncomfortable. We watched him get visibly angry when 2 couples successively refused to sit in direct sunlight (38 degress C) to eat their breakfast, and insist they were allowed a modicum of shade!!!

I acknowledge that this was a very busy time, and the staff were under pressure. However, as an experienced guest who has loved this hotel for many years and recomended it to several friends, I would be loath to return here again, especially at the very high room rates charged. As a business I am sure it is doing well, with full booking sheets and a rapid throughput of package tourists. As a luxurious haven for the independent traveller, I am sad to say those days have gone. This hotel may have moved with the times, but it has definitely lost all of the things that made it special.

Room Tip: lake view essential
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank berty1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

Just spent one week with my husband in Grand Hotel Menaggio.
Yes, it is an old hotel but very well kept and clean. The staff was very friendly and helpful, only one waiter working in the terrace on the lunch was a rude one. The cleaning lady did a great job in the room, which was small, but so what, who wants to spend a holiday in the room?
Breakfast was like it usually is in Italy plus bacon and scrambled eggs and you could order boiled eggs, espresso etc. And the view from the terrace in the morning sun, WOW!
Location was also perfect.
The only thing we can complain about is that there were too few tacks in the room to hang your clothes or towels!
And by the way...it is the staff that reserves the sun beds for their regular guests early in the morning!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank leena n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We have just come back from a week staying in the Grand Hotel, Menaggio on Lake Como. The hotel is beautifully situated between the road and the lakeside, with wonderful views across the lake to mountains and villages. The hotel is wionderful and all the staff couldn't do enough to make us comfortable and welcome. The meals were excellent, in fact perfect, and the ambience was so relaxing and a very happy atmosphere was all through the hotel
We ahd told them that it was a Golden wedding trip and on arrival we were upgraded to a private suite at no cost. Both of us were so happy with our stay and would rate it as perfect with no complaints at all..

Room Tip: Always try for a Lake View as the road can be a little noisy.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Tabard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Fantastic! We stayed here for the first four days of our honeymoon. Our room was very nice with an amazing view of the lake (which we could see from our bed). We stayed on a half board basis and the food and service were excellent. The hotel and town were very quiet and sleepy… just what we needed after our hectic wedding! The pool was nice and plenty of sunbeds for August! Good selection for breakfast included yummy scrambled eggs and bacon. Food at dinner time was excellent. Some reviews stated that you had to pay for water – we didn’t! This hotel should have been a 5 star hotel but there were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room. We were very near to the ferry, which provided a good regular service to many places on Lake Como, and plenty of activity to watch.

Room Tip: Lake view.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Holidayinglady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

We have just returned from the Grand Hotel Managgio Lake Como, WOW!!! it was beautiful the view of the lake from the hotel was stunning we couldn't believe it, close to everything that you would want, easy access to the ferrys that take you to other locations were cheap and frequent, the breakfast could have been better the dinner was four courses and very tasty, would definitely go back there again;
swimming pool was great and clean, the bed could have been more comfortable, rooms were cleaned very well staff were helpful, couldnt have asked for more; They had twice weekly entertainment which was also very good;

Room Tip: When we go back and we will, we would definitely pay the extra for a lake view not that it really ma...
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank 543maria543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Menaggio

Address: Via Quattro Novembre 77, 22017 Menaggio, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Menaggio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Menaggio
Price Range: £140 - £586 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Menaggio 4*
Number of rooms: 90
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Also Known As:
Menaggio Grand Hotel
Menaggio Hotel Grand
Grand Hotel Menaggio Lake Como

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