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“Forget the moans of the past”

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Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior
East Kilbride, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
212 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Forget the moans of the past”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2007

Forget all the bad reviews you have read before.

There are some home truths. Some rooms are very small so book a Lake Front with balcony. If you can't stand being with predominantly elderly Brits -stay away and if eating in a crowded dining room isn't for you - ditto. On the plus side the staff are very efficient and food plentiful and varied. Free drinks are local so not great quality but since free you can ignore that.

The location is superb and the views better. Take time to cruise the lake on a 10 Euro a day ticket and also walk up to the village with it's little bar and Churches. The terrace and pool are very nice too.

A stunning Hotel for the money and value through and through - even the entertainment isn't as bad as they say but watching tipsy middle class, elderly English ladies dancing is a hoot.




  • Liked — Location and value
  • Disliked — Crowded dining room with elderly guests
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Kandersteg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,790 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (907)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2007

This was our first holiday abroad and we loved Italy and this hotel. The room was clean, comfortable and had lovely lake views. The staff could not be faulted, friendly and polite just as we'd imagined Italian people to be like. The entertainment at night was also very good, although we were some of the youngest in the hotel everyone was enjoying themselves and we will definetly visit again.

  • Liked — clean, friendly, plenty of food
  • Disliked — there was nothing we didn't like
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank chrisWakefield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundee, Scotland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2007

Just back from Lake Como in Italy. We stayed at the all inclusive Britannia Excelsior which is situated yards from the lake in the village of Cadenabbia.
Our luggage was taken for us into the hotel, and although it was 2 am when we arrived from the airport there were hot soup and a cold buffet with carafes’ of wine waiting for us.
The hotel itself is stunning, with a high vaulted- ceiling dining room, spacious terrace with an outdoor swimming pool, large veranda, where you can have a drink while watching the world go by.
Being an all inclusive hotel the excellent three meals served daily are buffet style, except for the hot dishes which are served to you from the hot counter. Lunch and dinner is complimented with the carafes’ of white or red wine – or both, which are always available, alongside large bottles of water.
The staff is efficient, well mannered, and professional.
The only downside to the hotel is the size of the rooms, about ten feet by ten plus a toilet/ bidet/ bathroom– unless you pay a supplement for one of the larger rooms.
We went with W.A. Shearings and the reps are fantastic. They are English but stay locally and what they don’t know about Lake Como and the surrounding area isn’t worth knowing. They were there at Prestwick airport to assist, at Bergamo airport there was a rep there too. The ladies are very approachable and will help in any way the can. (note to Shearings, ‘hang on to them’)
A warning, the Three Lakes optional excursion, some of us on the trip felt, was a bit of a rip-off. Having paid for the excursion it was an extra €9.50 per person for a 15 minute boat ride to an island in Lake Maggiore. (if you wanted to go)
Having said that it was an excellent holiday and very good value for money.

  • Liked — clean and friendly
  • Disliked — size of our room
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank repy-motol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2007

My husband and I stayed here for two nights during the August bank holiday weekend in 2006. Having only paid for a standard room we were thrilled to find we'd been allocated a huge room with a balcony and lake view, which is of course what you want when you're at Lake Como.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the decor of the hotel and in our room was a little 'tired' but in the spirit of the Italian villa-style, we didn't mind it.

Service at reception was very helpful; the quality of the breakfast was standard. Location of the hotel is great. The pool is small for the size of the hotel and is overshadowed by the buildings in the afternoon, but as a Brittania guest you are entitled to free use of the lido across the road, right on the lake. Lido tip #1: you have to pay for a sun lounger. Lido tip #2: if you have your own swimming cap - bring it. If you don't (we didn't) and the lido guy offers you one or looks like he's handing them out (first thing in the morning), take one. Otherwise, when you decide later you want to swim, he'll make you pay for a cap. Lido tip #3: bring an ipod or similar - the lido guy has a CD player on loud all day, and he has bad taste in music. Other than that, a nice place to spend a summer's day.

  • Liked — Location and lake view
  • Disliked — Only one elevator - ok if you don't mind taking the stairs
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kmd74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2007

Stayed at this hotel in August 2006. despite it having some 'iffy' reviews i found it to be a lovely hotel. The rooms had been refurbished to a nice standard, we booked a superior room on the top floor which was lovely, but as long as you book a room with lake view it'll be fine.

The food was a little disappointing but we just ate out. My elderly parents loved it though.

Top tip - get a weeks pass to use the small ferries that stop 100 yards away - great value just riding around on the ferries all day.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank brooksvtr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manchester
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2007

Myself and my partner stayed in the Brittania excelsior in November. We had a great time.

Location - The hotel is in a great location in Como and has magnificant views, roads outside hotel can be busy. Ferry and bus stop just accross the road. 10 euros - you can go from town to town on the ferry. Bus is approx 2.50 to Como's main town.

Hotel- 3 star. Slightly dated in decor but generally very nice. Rooms clean, rooms with a view are small and have yet to be modernised. Rooms without a view are bigger and have been modernised. My only downfall for the rooms with the view was they had two single beds rather than a double and as a couple it was not ideal. Food - good something for everyone, your not going to get 5 star food as you have not paid 5 star prices so for what you pay its more than adequate. Like all AI by the end of the week you will find breakfasts a little repetitive. Drinks good selection, for AI and the price you pay its great.
I wouuld not recommend the hotel entertainment as its very targeted towards the Italians. We were the youngest people in the hotel but still had a great time. Staff friendly. Due to time of year there was not much rush at the bar however the bar man told us that in the summer you have to queue.

Excursions- We went on the trip to san Mauritz in Switzerland which was great one of the best parts of the holidays and well worth the money - 46.50 euro each. You take a coach and then the bernina express train through the Alps. This was amazing as it was snowing so everything looked like a postcard. Then back on the bus again to see some glaziers and then to San Mauritz, very nice place. We were aprehensive that switzerland would be v expensive but it was not, it was reasonable enough.
We also went to Milan but did not rate this trip as Milan was just full of expensive shops, no in between or shops to meet all budgets, an experience seeing so many people dressed up was nice but the city itself has a lot of graffiti and well Money!!

All in all we had a lovely time in Lake como and would definately return. We are 24 and 26 years old and found the holiday relaxing and good value for money.

Stayed November 2006
Helpful?
22 Thank D&D123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2006

We were in Volterra last week, with three unbooked days before a flight out of Milan. We decided last minute to stay north of Malpensa to make it easier to return the rental car to the airport and found Lake Como was a lot closer to Milan than we thought it was - just a half hour. In a speedy net cafe trip (they were closing in 15 minutes) we checked the TripAdvisor "Lake Como tourism" "Deals" and found a listing for the Britannia. The 90 Euros sounded perfect, the ratings seemed adequate and the listing said there'd be a view of the lake, so we figured it would be easy to find even in the dark, and I sent a reservation request.

Unfortunately we had to leave before I could map it, and we were going to get in late. I had some anxiety, not being able to figure out how to call for a confirmation. We found a good map (Instituto Geografico DeAgostini - Lombardia) and found our way to the hotel by 10:30. The staff greeted us by name on our arrival, and check in took just a few minutes.

The room was a great surprise! It was tremendous! A LARGE king bed. And another studio bed. A gigantic armoire. And drawers. A desk for my husband. And another desk for me. And a table with three chairs inside. And another table with chairs on the balcony. A view between plam trees of the lake. Blackout drapes. Parquet floors.

Best, though, after a few weeks of travel was the recently refurbished, great sized bathroom with toilet, bidet and a TUB!!!!
(could have used another towel or two, but that's usual)

Our breakfast was included. There wa a cold buffet for 3 hours, and the middle hour included a "hot English breakfast" Selections included 5 kinds of fruit, croissants and 2 kinds of bread for self-toasting, jam, nutella, butter, three kinds of juice, a self-serve coffee/hot chocolate machine (which was interesting, but the waiter asked if we wanted strong Italian coffee from the bar or regular English coffee from the machine. We didn't get charged for the bar cappacino.) There was a table with sliced meats and cheeses, a selection of 4 kinds of cold cereal, choices of bottles of still or sparling water, a sign for "cold white wine" though I'm not sure that was really available for breakfast! There was a self serve gelato bar with 6 flavors, though no one seemed to be eating that for breakfast, either. The hot buffet included scrambled eggs both days, but also other English side dishes (broiled tomoatoes, fried ham, sausages, potatoes) We took advantage of the buffet both days for breakfast, but since we were not "all inclusiuve" we opted to eat out for lunch and dinner. Had a picnic over at Lake Lugano and took the ferry from right out front to Bellagio for dinner.

We did the hike up the hill behind the hotel (drove uphill, found a legal looking place to park) and treked up to the San Martini chapel. It was a long, but not really steep walk. Not too windy. Great views, even on an overcast fall morning.

All of the other guests seemed to be with a group. My husband and I are in our fifties, but seemed to be the youngest guests. They were having a delightful time. They enjoyed the all inclusive houe wine, and read & slept in the lobby, and watched tv, listened to the lounge act and DANCED all night. When we first arrived, there was a group of six 70 yr old women doing the Macarena while their husbands laughed and clapped. I regret not having the nerve to join them! We went to the bar and were not charged for the wine. I told them we were not "all inclusive" so they charged us a Euro for each Large glass of house wine. It was fun for the first night, but we tried the bar next door for a bit better wine the next night.

The drive up the lake from Como is twisty and narrow, but easier in the daylight than the dark. Parking was easy and free right at the dock in front of the hotel. We met a couple from Oakland who had just picked up a new BMW in Germany and was driving it for the first time. The roads were too crazy for them. But with our no-deductible" rental car, it wasn't too bad.

We found it a little hard to find picnic food. but finally found a supermarket at Lake Lugano in Porlezza. Another option would hve been the lovely deli selections on the Autostrata stops "AutoGrill".

In all - the hotel was a delight. The service was friendly and very efficient. After the house wine, the first night - I left by purse in the bar and didn't realize it for hours. They kept it (with several hundred euros in cash) safe at the desk for me.The view was wonderful, but note that the sun rises late and sets early in the mountains in the fall. And the stunning postcard views of the mountains were just beyond the clouds.

  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank Curiouscalliope
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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