I stayed in the Piccola Vela when I was young with my family and loved it, and was nervous to come back with my boyfriend in case it had changed and didn’t live up to expectations. I was not disappointed!
We travelled with Inghams, and were given a cheerful greeting by reception who carried our bags in from the coach. Our room was ready to go when we arrived at 11am, and was very clean and fresh. The bathroom was a fine size and again, very clean.
The location is about a 5 minute walk from the lake, 10 mins at most to the town centre and ferries. The town is bustling but not overly crowded, except for the market day (Well worth a visit for the food section alone – try a bag of hot calamari to eat walking through the market!). The ferries are regular and the timetable is very easy to understand and plan your journeys. Desenzano is a great base and you can visit anywhere, either a full day or half day, and do as much or little as you like.
The Piccola Vela has a lovely pool – not enormous but more often than not we were the only people in it! There are plenty of loungers around it, with options to sit in the sun all day or pick a more shady area. The bar is just inside a door by the pool, so it’s easy to order drinks and the waiters then came to check and get us more drinks from the poolside. There is also a suntrap area higher up, as well as a large-ish garden, so plenty of places to suit all.
The staff were the heart and soul of the hotel, and all were happy to chat and help with absolutely anything. Breakfast was a delicious choice of sweet pastries, cereals, meats, cheeses, fruit and yoghurts that you could visit as often as you liked (and we did!). The staff had even learnt our usual coffee order in the first few days. In the evenings we loved chatting to the night receptionist who would serve us as late as we wanted, and in fact seemed really pleased to see us in the evenings and would give us hints and tips about the town and our Italian accents (or lack of).
On one evening they had organised a drinks reception with classical piano/violin playing outside in the sunshine, which was just wonderful and an unexpected pleasure.
The only disappointment in the trip was that our package was supposed to include halfboard food in the hotel, which had been changed to across the road. Al Carretto was a nice little restaurant, lovely staff, who even let us order a very expensive meal off the regular menu on our last night and didn’t charge us a penny! However the usual halfboard set menu was quite repetitive and not always to our taste. The food was fine, but not exceptional.
On 2 evenings we chose to eat in Piccola Vela, and their food was absolutely delicious, Al Carretto just couldn’t compare! The service again was perfect, the right mix of interaction and leaving you to yourselves. The menu was much more varied and of amazing quality. When speaking to the staff it seems that Inghams will not pay them enough to provide halfboard in the hotel anymore, but I would 100% recommend going private with the hotel. It is only a 40min taxi ride from the airport (not too expensive), and although we enjoyed Inghams trips, we could have easily done them all ourselves as the trains and ferries are so close and the reception staff would have helped us!
The staff and services in the hotel give more of a 5* feel, and you may as well enjoy 5* food with it, instead of the ‘ok’ food across the road. Besides this, the entire holiday was absolutely wonderful and we will definitely come back. Because it is family run, most of the staff were the same as when I had been 8 years before, and some of them even claimed to remember me! Even those who were new were just wonderful and turned a lovely holiday in a great location with a clean hotel, into a truly wonderful all round experience. Cannot recommend it enough!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Piccola Vela Hotel, a magnificent villa on the shores of Lake Garda and near Desenzano city center, offers its guests extensive space to relax in the peace of its garden, by the beautiful internal rooms, or at the solarium pool. The hotel rooms are equipped with: Air Conditioning, Telephone, Bath or Shower, Satellite TV with free Mediaset Premium, WI-FI, Minibar, Safe, Hair Dryer Piccola Vela Hotel is also the ideal place for private and business events The meeting rooms are equipped with: sound system, audio recording, video projector, overhead projector, free wifi. The elegant à la carte restaurant with reservation, offers the best of traditional Italian dishes and international cuisine. The hotel also has a large garage and outdoor parking, lounges for reading, a bar with table service. The reception with multilingual staff, is open 24 hours on 24 and offers tourist information and booking service to sightseeing tour. There are bicycles and mountain bikes to rent. The hotel has also joined the project Bike Hospitality, respecting the standards of cyclists. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Piccola Vela Hotel
- Hotel Piccola Vela Desenzano Del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy