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“A good Hotel, too many guests, not enough staff to cope with them!”

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Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior
Reviewed 31 July 2014

This was our second high season visit to this Hotel, travelling with Shearings Tours, which was good and well organised. Our Side room on the 3rd floor with views of the hills, the lake, and the building site next door was reasonably sized and we had a big bathroom which was clean, good shower and a window to relieve the humidity after a shower. Towels changed everyday, TV & Aircon worked well, we had trouble with safe & room door lock and engineer was up to the room in minutes and fixed the faults. There does appear to be a lack of staff in the Hotel, staff in the Dining Room are always under pressure but I found them polite and cheerful if you were nice to them. The food was good but some guests eat like pigs with piled up plates of food and dessert but they did seem in the minority, you soon learn what is the best time to dine for all meals. I enjoyed my food at all times although I agree with other reviewers that the scrambled egg was a little sloppy some days.
The big let down is the basement bar and this is consistently poorly staffed, when it fell to one, I went to reception and spoke with the Scottish receptionist, who seemed to take little notice, but I did tell her that I would report on Trip Advisor. The bar has the atmosphere of a 70's British Legion Club, Red leather furniture, glass topped tables, and a man playing the organ and singing on some nights - there are a lot of nice small bars like the Victoria, just along the promenade, where drinks are reasonably priced and the owner and his wife give good entertainment. You don't have to stay in because you are all inclusive and the drink is free. At least 3 staff are needed in this bar and the tour organisers should put their foot down with the management and have it upgraded.
The Hotel is a good base for Tours of the lake and the Hotel provides a free ferry across the lake from the lido to Bellagio, well worth going. I don't know why the snobbery about "Coach Trips" crept in, could be these detractors paid twice the price we did and its their snide way of getting at us. The people I met on Shearings Tour were excellent, very friendly and a good cross section of British Society and included Cambridge graduates, not all of us have the money to travel independently and jumps at a reasonably priced holiday to Italy. Most people were smartly dressed in the Dining Room and the few Footy Shirts and flip flops soon disappeared.
In all I would say that a Tour to this Hotel is excellent value for money and a good chance to see Northern Italy, Switzerland and the lakes. I hope to travel again

Room Tip: There is a noisy road at the front of the Hotel, a side or rear room gives less noise. If you want...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank JohnEF33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

We were pleased to be upgraded in rooms but the hotel was still very basic. The lake however is amazing and we loved touring around it in the boat. It is a long transfer from the airport; the weather was nice but don't hire a car even though the hotel has parking- you don't need a car!

Stayed: July 2014
2  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

What a shock and a mistake staying here. This hotel caters for the much older generation and geared very much towards a package 'pack them all in and give less service' the turnover of numbers is more important than the quality of service or ambience. No style or thought. So many guests upon arrival complain and change their rooms. Cleaning is non existent, heavy dust next to us on ledges by the dining table where we were eating have not been dusted for ages, this is unacceptable. As in a previous comment the women in the dining are look miserable and unhappy working in this hotel. A regular complaint is not given appropriate amount of towels for number of occupants in the room - our towels were not change for the whole week we were there. The entertainment is held in a depressing basement area and of 'Blackpool fairground level' one salesman walking around with stuffed puppets and illuminous fairground tat. Queues are ridiculous for the inclusive bands and is not done well here and really not an Italian feel and takes away other business from local restaurants. So many have said they would not return here to this hotel. Why spend so much money on a floating pool when the other one is sufficient and upgrade the corridors, hire more staff to cope with service levels and get rid of the disgusting furniture along the walkways to the room - only suitable for the tip. Far to many people to really enjoy a relaxing holiday queuing and waiting for things to get done, cleaned, fixed and waiting for your evening drinks.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank S B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We travelled to this hotel with Shearing's and while all the travel arrangements and coach were excellent the hotel lets them down. We knew that this was only a 3 star hotel and had read loads of reviews so knew what to expect but felt that they could improve on the state of the hotel. We were so glad that we had upgraded before we went to a lake view room as that was spacious and had a lovely view. I had asked for a high floor but got one on the first floor, but that didn't matter as we still had a good view. The furniture is old, faulty, tatty and needs replacing. The air con didn't work properly and we reported it to reception but nothing was done. The bathroom was large but shower cubicle small, don't know why they didn't fit a bath with shower in there as there was plenty of room. The carpets in the corridors were dirty, heavily stained and need replacing perhaps with wooden/tiled floors which be easier to keep clean.


The dining room is very chaotic at times and you can struggle to get a table. Food is not very good. Breakfast is ok with porridge being the best thing !!! only one sort of egg i.e. scrambled which was ok some days but on others a sloppy mess. Best stick to the yogurts and croissant's they can't go wrong with them. We didn't have lunch there even though it was included we just preferred to eat out. Dinner - there is a menu at the entrance telling you what meats were on but nothing was labelled up so you had to asked what meat was what if you couldn't identify it !!!. In this day of people being allergic to food this is extremely bad. I can't eat pork or veal and these appeared to be served quite regularly but I didn't know which they were. I therefore stuck to the pasta dish of the day ( after asking the chef, who was cooking it , what was in it ). The pasta was the only good meal that I enjoyed. The desserts were poor - dried up swiss roll or cake, tinned fruit, or custard. The only decent thing was the ice creams but even then if you were a bit late for dinner they ran out and didn't replace them.

All inclusive was included in this holiday ( standard silver ) but we had upgraded to the Gold package and this was worth it. We got a half price deal on this through Shearing's and we were very surprised that not many people took advantage of this offer. I think even if you pay the full price it is certainly worth it as being able to sit outside at the floating lido bar at night really saved this holiday from being a disaster. There was no way we could have stayed in the downstairs bar at night, it was awful.

With the exception of the staff at the floating lido bar all other staff appear unhappy and give the impression that they do not want to work there. The girls in the dining room were particularly miserable and they need to smile more. This is the first holiday were we have felt that we do not want to tip anybody as service was poor. They have large boxes everywhere with TIPS written on - even on the reception desk - some thing we have never seen before.

Whilst we enjoyed this holiday as the scenery is spectacular we could never recommend this hotel without pointing out the faults. But it served its purpose as we wanted to see the sights without spending a fortune and we had done our research so knew what to expect.

You only get what you pay for so if you want a bit of luxury don't expect it here.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank susan c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2014

This is not a review of the hotel as I am yet to visit, but more about the weather as I will be travelling in just over a week. All the forecasts indicate there has been many rainy days. Could people who have been there recently please give their experiences. Thank you in advance

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank goldengirl029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

Had a rear facing room which was fine, the rooms at the front of the hotel overlook the lake, so it is worth paying the extra if you can. The room was not that clean , dust and fluff under and near the bed. Sheets are only changed every four days. The bathrooms are fine, not luxurious, but the room decor and fittings is from the 1930's, could do with updating.
Numerous coach parties arriving every day.
The plus side, nice location and floating pool, but the water was ice cold. .

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the lake are best.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Neil R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I had a 3rd floor room with a balcony, oriented to the hotel terrace. The bathroom hasn' t been cleaned throughout the 5 days of my staying, bathroom linen was not changed at all. The plus points are position, the restaurant( staff, menu and cleanliness) and the outdoor floating pool across the street.

Room Tip: wifi only in the public areas but working badly. and, if you' re travelling single, don' t a...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank korespins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior

Address: Via Regina 41, 22011 Cadenabbia di Griante, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Cadenabbia di Griante
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cadenabbia di Griante
Price Range: £79 - £1,055 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior 3*
Number of rooms: 284
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Britannia Excelsior is set on the shores of Lake Como and is a former 19th-century inn. The beautiful guest rooms are tastefully decorated with luxury fabrics and antique furniture. The hotel boasts four bars four restaurants and two swimming pools open seasonally.RnrnJust 50 metres from the Cadenabbia landing dock, the Britannia Excelsior offers free parking and beautiful views of Bellagio. RnrnThe centre of Griante is a 10 minutes' walk away. Free public parking is available near the swimming pool. All rooms at the Britannia Excelsior Hotel are equipped with satellite TV and private bathroom with shower and hairdryer. Some rooms overlook the lake and some even have a balcony. RnrnFree Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and breakfast is a continental-style buffet available daily in the main restaurant. Both the buffet-style restaurant and the a la carte, lakeside restaurant specialise in classic Italian and international cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Britannia Excelsior Hotel
Hotel Britannia Excelsior Cadenabbia
Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior Lake Como/Cadenabbia Di Griante, Italy

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