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“Not so basic as we were led to believe, lovely town and a great restaurant”
Review of Hotel Europa

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Hotel Europa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 June 2014

The reviews we saw on Trip Advisor were mixed, to say the least. We only stayed B & B, so I cannot comment upon the evening meals, but the dining room seemed full on most of the four nights we stayed, mainly because of a coach party of either German or Russian guests. The room was on the first floor with a great view over the lake, and we benefitted from leaving the shutters open at night, with the 'mosquito blind' down so that the sun shone in in the morning. The bed was kingsize and vast, and we both slept very well. The bathroom was fine, with one of the best showers I have ever come across, and a good system for squeezing out the shower gel without wrestling with bottles falling on the floor etc.

The best feature of the hotel was the staff, and I have to mention Emma and Massimiliano in particular. Emma was in charge of the breakfasts, but seemed to be there late too and worked very hard. She had a good grasp of English and was very kind and helpful. For example, after returning from my early morning Christian devotions on the beach just across from the hotel (location is A1) at say 7.15, I asked if I could take my wife a cup of tea. She very helpfully showed me where all the ingredients were on the first morning, and thereafter, without being asked, prepared a tray for me each morning in readiness. Great service. Massimiliano was on the desk during the day, and was unfailingly friendly and helpful, though his English was not quite so strong I think. In my experience if you go out of your way a bit to be friendly to hotel staff, they will reciprocate, and these were two fine examples.

Breakfasts were plentiful on a buffet basis, with a DIY boiled egg facility that was very well thought out. They even had a large digital clock with minutes and seconds right there, which you could see from your table, thereby avoiding the need to stand there for 4-5 minutes waiting for the egg(s) to boil. The usual mixture of fresh and tinned fruit (peaches that week), cereals, croissants and toast and jam / marmalade plus ham and cheese slices were plentiful and tasty.

We had learned that Desenzano is more of a 'real' 'working' town than several others dotted around Lake Garda, which are typically of Roman origin, mediaeval buildings, cobbled streets and reachable by ferry from the port about a five minute stroll along the front from the hotel. Once you have seen one very pretty and interesting such town, we reckoned you have seen them all, so we did not visit the others apart from Sirmione the nearest.

There are some lovely cafes, gelateria (ice cream parlours) and other shops along the front in Desenzano and in the streets behind. On Tuesdays they have the biggest market I have ever seen, which is saying something, stretching for hundreds of yards right along the front - well worth a look, though we sailed on a ferry to Sirmione that first day.

A little way along the front before you get to some of the main areas, there is a lovely restaurant called Osteria Saporo Divino, with menus outside on the wall written on blackboards. We went there twice and the mulberry ice cream is superb, plus a steak dish for 18 euros with Gorgonzola potatoes (saute) and jam (!) which is lovely. We had a sharing version for two for 28 euros, and have never tasted better beef in three Italian trips - seemed like some 15 thick slices!

Right along the other end of Desenzano, maybe 45 minutes walk, is the best beach, called Spiaggia Al Porto, with a very nice cafe and plenty of room to spread out to read or sunbathe on the shingle. Ignore Spiaggia D'Oro on the way there (golden beach, a real misnomer, nothing seems to have happened there for years, and we even witnessed two council workers locking away a lorry load of chairs and tables in a cupboard on the deserted beach, alongside two chained up beach huts and a kind of shed! Maybe they unleash them in July...) Although there are no signs that the beach cafe serves hot food, it does and we had a reasonable snack lunch there. You can see lots of lizards running around on the walls outside and the swans can be friendly as they creep silently out of the lake to investigate if they think you may have something interesting for them.

All in all we had a terrific time, our 42nd wedding anniversary the first day there, and would go back. We visited Verona (about 26 minutes by train after a long uphill walk (or taxi for the boring!) to the station, and Venice, a rail journey of 93 minutes by more expensive fast train (€27.50) but only a little over 2 hours for 4 more stops and costing only €10.75 for the slower one. Desenzano is the nicest Italian town we have seen in three trips, alongside Lucca near Pisa / Florence.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with lake view, most of them have that
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Mahershalalhashbaz39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 356 reviews

Reviewed 1 June 2014

The hotel has amazing views across the lake. Absolutely spotlessly clean. The staff were brilliant, incredibly helpful and made our stay wonderfully easy. Just a short wander to the town centre along a flat boulevard bordering the lake. Easy reach of the ferry terminal.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank chriswksmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

Although the rooms in this hotel are clean and functional the food is some of the worst I have ever come across.The starter buffet table never altered,everything else seemed to be frozen and deep fried,I never once saw a fresh vegetable.I stopped going to dinner after day 4 as it was so bad.Also you have to chose the day before what you will eat the next night.I just got the feeling we were being fed at the lowest possible cost and with the least amount of effort.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank kate h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2013

I would like to thank all the staff at the Hotel Europa, Desenzana for all their help prior to the holiday and during the holiday throughout. They were always ready to help us, when asking questions re trains, buses and boat services. We were given a very good room, and no noise of traffic or else could be heard at night. The breakfast was very good as well and the lady taking care of the breakfast room was lovely. The location of the hotel is good as well. I would definitely suggest it as I have great memories. Thank you Claudette and Joseph MALTA

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Claudette2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2013 via mobile

After getting totally lost on the A4 autostrada we arrived in the midst of a storm, had lunch at the hotel and decided to stay there. All the staff are friendly and helpful, the rooms are clean and functional and although our rest was disturbed by the local football team's end of season party, it didn't go on too late. Breakfast was very good, too with fresh bread, pastries, eggs etc.All in all a reasonably priced base for one night.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank lynndy22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2012

This was my 2nd stay at the Hotel Europa in Desenzano. I enjoy the charm of a family-run hotel..
Even when the family squabbles a bit, it's a nice, cozy, homey feeling.
The hotel is on a busy street along the beautiful lake. When the shutters are closed, you do not hear any noise. I actually like the sound of traffic, waves from the lake and the ducks quacking in the morning.
It is a bit of a walk from the boat dock, but a pleasant one. There is also a bus stop, Desenzanino, just a few yards away. And Desenzano is one of two lake cities with a train station.
Reception and staff are very kind and helpful. There are free maps and brochures and cheap postcards to buy in the lobby.
Rooms are basic but comfortable. TV and mini fridge in the room and free Internet in the lobby is a plus.
The breakfast is very good and plentiful. There is a very colorful egg boiling contraption.
Emma is a delightful sight in the dining room morning and night. What a personality she has!
Definitely get a room with a lake view. We had a triple room and there was plenty of space.
There are tables and chairs right outside the Hotel Europa to sit and enjoy the view and swans or sit on benches just across the street along the lungolago.
This is not a fancy hotel, but it is charming, is good value and is clean.
The dining rooms are especially nice and cheery. On our last visit we stayed 7 nights at half board and loved the evening meals.....home cooked peasant food. This trip we could only stay two nights and enjoyed the two dinners as well esp. the risotto and soup choices.

You can easily walk to the center of town. Desenzano has a lot to offer.
For lunch, "Al Ceppo" is a few steps away and has lake views and good pizza. Everything else on other peoples' plates looked good , too.
You can also take a dip in the lake almost directly across from the hotel. Take sand/beach shoes as there are pebbly beaches at Lake Garda.

An earlier comment criticized the hotel for not changing the cloth napkins daily. On my earlier trip I explained to my group that this practice had been common in the past. You could ask for a clean one if yours was dirty. I think it's a great way to conserve water etc. so it never bothered me. I notice this time the napkins were changed daily.

Molinari Tours stops right at the doorstep of the hotel. This is extremely convenient for day/evening tours. This hotel is especially good if you purchase opera tickets and transportation from Molinari to Arena di Verona. Staying in Verona is a lot more expensive.
The Tuesday mercato in Desenzano is one of the best.

When you stay in a 3 star hotel in Italy, don't expect the Ritz and you will be pleasantly surprised. We shall return again. Afterall, I find the Ritz a bit boring and stuffy!

Room Tip: Room with a lake view. Even in the rain it's lovely.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank GardaGal0912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

The hotel is not very big but has all one needs to have a good stay in Garda. The reception staff are kind and helpful. A special mention goes for the morning receptionist whom unfortunately I forgot the name. He is a tall thin guy who is always with a smile and always ready to try and help at his best.

At the reception you will find a stand with leaflets and booklets which will help you decide what attractions to visit. The place is ideal for cyclists as cyle lanes are all over the place and cyclists are respected by car drivers. Also perfect for people into long distance running.

The rooms are basic but very comfortable. TV offers loads of stations if you are the type to need the tv to sleep. Towels changed every day and room cleaned also everyday. The breakfast is quite good with cold cuts, cereals, juices and also a sweet counter. Special mention goes to the waitress who takes care of the breakfast room. She has a great character.

The hotel has a secure parking area at the back of the hotel. We always found parking except one night but that would not spoil my opinion of this hotel.

One thing which can be improved is the Wi Fi conection. Wi Fi is free all over the hotel but in the second floor the singla was poor.

With a touch up of all rooms (modernisation) this can easily be upgraded in quality. (stars)

Room Tip: Ask for lake view as the morning view is beautiful !!!!
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank ramonsprint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Europa

Address: Lungolago Cesare Battisti 71, 25015, Desenzano Del Garda, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Province of Brescia > Desenzano Del Garda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Desenzano Del Garda
Price Range: £70 - £131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Europa 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Europa hotel is located on the promenade of the beautiful Lake Garda, in front of the Desenzano beach and just a few minutes walk from the central shopping area of Desenzano. Many of the small, charming towns that surround the lake are easily accessible from the hotel by car or boat. The restaurant and most of the guest rooms offer magnificent views of the lake. The hotel has a TV room, bar and a restaurant with air conditioning serving Italian and international cuisine.The hotel's private parking area is free of charge for guests.Free Internet Point ( broadband ADSL ) Free Wi-fi service for ours guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Europa Hotel Desenzano Del Garda
Hotel Europa Desenzano Del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy

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