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“Lovely Hotel in a Lovely Area”

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Hotel Garda - TonelliHotels
Ranked #7 of 62 Hotels in Riva Del Garda
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Lovely Hotel in a Lovely Area”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Just come back from a lovely time in Riva despite the weather not being too kind. We stayed in the Hotel Garda and loved it. Both the management and staff here are really friendly and cannot do enough to help. Special mention has to go to Anna, Sonja and Hakim.

The hotel is situated in Viale Rovereto and is accessed by a paved avenue giving it a nice air of exclusivity. First you come to the swimming pool and terrace area, and then enter the hotel by going down some steps, quite unusual I thought. There are two lifts in the hotel. One which is painfully slow (but gets there) and a modern one. However the latter broke down on our last night and we decided it was quicker to take the stairs. Good exercise too! Perhaps the bar could do with a face-lift. It’s painted lilac yellow if that’s a colour and reminded me of a bus shelter.

Had a lovely room with fabulous views of the lake and magnificent cliffs that characterise Riva. The room itself was spotless, sheets changed every day, shower hot and spacious, and yes, a proper walk-in one! I found the bed a tad hard but I’ve slept on worse.

When visiting Riva do check out some of the local tipple. My favourite was ‘Hugo’ (pronounced ugo) which is a local speciality made from Prosecco, lime, mint (and I’m sure a secret ingredient!). It’s delicious. And as another tripper pointed out elsewhere Sonja makes the best one. In fact she makes the best Hugo in all of Riva! Another very popular drink is Aperol Spritz, which is pink coloured, but a little too sweet for my taste.

A few people have commentated that dinners in the Hotel Garda are small. While this is true, the quality of the food is excellent, and there is a large salad buffet as a pre-starter (followed by three courses). So with that we found the portions to be just right. Throughout our stay they had some excellent fish on the menu; including trout, sole and, my favourite swordfish. The pasta dishes and contorni were also very good. The package we were on included free wine and water with dinner. So all round very generous. For breakfast they do a smashing bacon and eggs, as well as a variety of cold meats, cereals and fruit. The range of bread was not extensive and sometimes could be a little hard. The buffet lunch was very generous.

They have weekly gala nights in this hotel, but apart from the addition of a pianist there’s nothing really to distinguish them; the menu doesn’t actually change. However, they do go the extra mile by putting on various treats throughout the week: for example, some nights there would be aperitifs and nibbles in the bar/terrace before dinner. This would be alternated on other nights by after-dinner delights. This included Alaskan ice cream one evening, and chocolate fondue with fruit another. Fondue can be tricky at the best of times and unfortunately didn’t really work out. The post dinner treat, while a good gesture, is perhaps ill-timed as we were all too stuffed to enjoy it!

More goodies include free coffee or hot chocolate and as much cake as you can eat between 4 and 5 pm each day, and between 5 and 6 all drinks are half-price. So you can avail of your Hugo then for only 2e (it’s normally 4).

Maybe a low point was there was no fresh coffee served in the restaurant. Coffee from a machine never tastes the same to me, but this seems to be a growing trend in continental hotels of late. A shame because you can’t beat the freshly brewed stuff.

One thing we found strange was when you bought a drink at the bar you had to go to reception to pay for it. There wasn’t a problem but we found it cumbersome and rather pointless, instead of paying the bar at the end of the evening. It’s a practice which they might consider reviewing. Also the mini bar in the bedrooms while well stocked with minerals had only one can of beer per room!

In any case you’re not confined to the hotel for entertainment. The Viale Rovereto is dotted with little bars and eateries. Particularly I would like to mention Floral Parc: ice cream to die for! I’m not kidding. And for some good German beers try Bavaria Biergarten, a stone’s throw from the hotel.

Riva, to my mind, is probably the nicest town on Lake Garda. The proximity to the mountains gives it that extra magical touch, and there’s lots to see and do in the town: such as a trip to the Bastione (or if you’re really fit all the way up to Santa Barbara), climb the 165 steps (I counted them!) of the Apponale tower for exquisite views of the town centre, visit the Reptile museum, or the beautifully ornate Baroque Church of the Inviolata, or just lounge in the countless coffee bars in the historical old town.

The good news is it’s only a (brisk) 10 minute walk into the centre from the Hotel Garda. Or a 25 minute walk in the other direction to Torbole, a lovely old fishing village. Just follow the path round by the camping area, and then you have a choice whether to walk along the really picturesque route parallel to the car tunnel, or cross the bridge and take the shore walk where you can do a spot of wind surfing if you have energy for it.

You can’t go wrong in Riva, and all-in-all we had a lovely time at the Hotel Garda and will certainly come back.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Eoin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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664 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
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English first
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We stayed at this hotel Mid July 2014. We found the hotel to be very clean and comfortable and the staff were friendly and helpful. The pool was lovely and clean, all surroundings well maintained. Situated a good 25 minute walk from the centre of Riva, it's not ideal for anyone with walking difficulties. There is a bus stop only 5 minutes walk away. The hotel is only a two minute walk from the edge of Lake Garda. There is a lovely shop straight across the road from the hotel which is ideal for purchasing cold drinks both soft and alcoholic.
The food in the hotel is reasonably good, there were two nights in the week we stayed there which the food on the menu was not to our taste. Breakfasts were excellent with a good variety on offer.
We got married while out there and the hotel kindly sent a chilling bottle of Prosecco up to our room the following night. We would recommend staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ProSniper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halesowen
Level Contributor
64 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Our first visit to Lake Garda but it will not be our last. We stayed at the Hotel Garda in July and were very pleased with the hotel.
From the outside it has a modern look about it and we had asked for a lake view and that is what we got with a room at the front of the hotel with lake and mountain views. The welcome was warm when we arrived and the check in swift and efficient. We were given a room on the fourth floor.

The room was not as big as some we have had but this was not an issue. We would have also preferred a double bed to the two singles but again was not a real problem. The maids kept our room spotlessly clean. The bathroom had a shower unit and no bath but this is what we prefer. The balcony was sufficient to sit on and enjoy the views so all in all we were pleased with the room.

We were on a half board basis with a buffet breakfast and waiter service in the evenings. There was always plenty of choice at breakfast with hot food as well as cheeses, hams, cereal and fruit. The evening meal was chosen from a menu offering three choices for starter, main and dessert and there was a salad buffet to choose from. The food was of a high standard and a good variety from one day to the next. The service in the restaurant was excellent and the staff were pleasant and helpful. The head waiter was very welcoming.

The bar area next to the lobby is very modern and may not be to everyone's taste but we liked it and enjoyed a drink or two here. There is also a very nice seating area outside next to the pool where we could sit and chat to other guests. The pool area is at the front of the hotel and is not that big but we never had a problem getting a sunbed when we wanted one.

There are a number of nice touches at this hotel such as free prosecco at meal times, canapes before dinner, tea, coffee and cake late afternoon and in our second week the hotel provided a light lunch. The staff also deserve a mention and all were hardworking, friendly and efficient.

The hotel is about a 15/20 minutes walk from the town of Riva and my advice is to take the lakeside walk which was lovely and had great views of the lake and mountains. There is a lovely ice cream parlour just over the road from the hotel and it is well worth a visit. Riva itself is a lovely old town with cobbled streets and lots of bars, restaurants and shops. We really enjoyed walking around this old town and also exploring farther afield both on organised excursions and on our own initiative. There is plenty to do here if that's what you want but also just to relax if that is what you need. As I said we will be back and if you have never been to the lakes before this is an excellent first time resort and I would recommend this hotel. Thank you Hotel Garda!

Room Tip: Front of hotel high floor for best views
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank albionHalesowen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bothwell
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

After reading rave reviews, Hotel Garda seemed the obvious choice for our first visit to Riva, the only town on the lake we hadn't seen.
The first thing that surprised us was finding the beds were not "made" but, rather, a cover was simply folded on top of the mattress which had a fitted sheet. I have never seen this in any hotel before. The maid must love it but in a 4 star hotel?
Air conditioning was provided by a large free standing unit fixed to the floor which ran constantly, was noisy and was not efficient. We spoke to reception. It was adjusted but now was only less noisy and I would have complained again but the weather changed, the temperature dropped so it was no longer an issue.

So, not a great start but we grew to enjoy our stay nonetheless.
Staff were nice, and public areas were kept very clean and were of a high standard.
We were full board and enjoyed the food, especially the buffet lunch which was less fancy than dinner so more to my taste.

I would like to have seen a dress code for dinner being encouraged. Maybe I'm old fashioned and maybe it's a sign of the times and I know people like to relax on holiday but vests, T shirts, jeans, shorts in every length and style and bare feet in flip flops abounded, even on the "Gala Evening". Surely folk could make a wee bit of an effort for just an hour or two. This was the exception to other Italian hotels we have stayed in.
Also, perhaps the Tonellis could consider a bit of peace and quiet in the lounge area where people were trying to read and relax. The noisy TV or loud music was ever present.

Riva itself has a beautiful centre in a dramatic setting but the watersports and biking also attracts a young crowd and the proliferation of bikes is a real pain when you are walking.
Be aware that when the weather is good, and especially at weekends, the much mentioned "lovely" lakeside walk is teeming with hordes of sunbathers and those bikers so maybe not so lovely.

So we won't return to Riva. It's not for us. If the hotel could be lifted and moved to Bardolino or Garda then we would happily go back. We thought it offered great value for money and we still enjoyed staying there but apologies to Mrs Tonelli. I would love to have given you 5 stars but I think 4 stars is still very good.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank johnmcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Broughshane, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Arrived late at the hotel after a long day travelling.From the very start staff were very friendly and nothing was to much trouble. Rooms were immacualate-towels changed and room cleaned daily - Breakfast was first class with plenty of choice, free afternoon tea & cake which was a nice touch. Hotel well located about a leisurely 15 min walk from the centre of Riva - all round great location for exploring the North of the Lake . Pool an adequate size and always available sun loungers . Free WFI available.Would have no hestiation of staying here again

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank STANLEY947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Returned home after having a great week at this excellent hotel. The staff could not be more friendly and helpful. We arrived extremely late (after midnight having had a dreadful journey) to be greeted with a smiling receptionist and a three course meal. This was beyond what we would have expected, just a fantastic start to our holiday. From then on the food was excellent and plenty of choice. Service was first class and we would recommend this hotel. Thanks for a wonderful stay.

Room Tip: Room with view of mountains and lake
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kenneth A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chirk
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

Just returned from a week at this excellent hotel. The staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Food was excellent and would even cook an alternative if you didn't like any of the choices offered. Enjoyed little extras like afternoon tea and wine with your meal. The rooms were clean and tidy with linen and towel changes every day. There were even pool towels. The pool was ideal but would have liked parasols.Excellent location with short walk to lake and lovely stroll along lake to centre.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Barry P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Garda - TonelliHotels

Property: Hotel Garda - TonelliHotels
Address: Viale Rovereto 71, 38066, Riva Del Garda, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Trentino-Alto Adige > Province of Trento > Riva Del Garda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Riva Del Garda
#3 Family Hotel in Riva Del Garda
#4 Romantic Hotel in Riva Del Garda
#7 Luxury Hotel in Riva Del Garda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Garda - TonelliHotels 4*
Number of rooms: 80
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Garda Hotel Riva Del
Hotel Garda - TonelliHotels Riva Del Garda/Nago, Italy

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