I was apprehensive about booking this hotel, in view of some of the bad reviews, but happily, my fears were unfounded… Firstly, the hotel is clearly a slightly 'faded' grandiose premises, but it still oozes elegance and style. The lobby is fitted with sofas and settees which exude hints of its luxurious origins. We booked a sea-view room with a balcony and were extremely pleased with the room - it was large, the bed was huge (King size) and the view was amazing. Furthermore, the bathroom was huge and had large french-door windows that opened to more magnificent views… The room was serviced daily and all the staff at the hotel were so incredibly helpful and kind - more so than at any other hotel. Staff at reception were also very knowledgeable about local sightseeing, transport and venues and this was invaluable when planning days out. The 4th floor sky-terrace bar was wonderful - beautiful views and good drinks. The restaurant, which we used only for the buffet breakfast, was beautiful too; it consisted of an outdoor terraced restaurant, as well as an indoor bit. Despite what some reviewers have said, the buffet breakfast was excellent - there was always good fresh fruit available, as well as the usual scrambled or hard boiled eggs, sausages, bacon, breads, cheeses, cereals, yoghurts, etc., etc… Although there is no one available to cook up fresh eggs for everyone, the scrambled eggs were the tastiest that I have tried in the 4 years that I have visited Italy. We never ate dinner at the hotel, as they only offer a £35 buffet dinner, which we considered to be ridiculously overpriced and dismissed immediately.
So, all in all, the hotel was good, but there are a few things that they could do to improve matters. Firstly, the bedspreads looked like they had been used at the hotel for decades… an investment in some fresher bedding would be prudent. The wi-fi in our room did not work. The fact that we would have had to refresh the wi-fi with a new code every four hours was no big issue for us - we just wished that we could have had a connection from our room. The hotel could do with offering some more entertainment. During our stay there was a karaoke night in the bar, but no one participated and we landed up feeling sorry for the chap who was trying to run this event. One night there was an entertainer in the restaurant for dinner, but we did not attend as we did not want to pay £35 each for dinner in order to partake of this.
The next issue about staying in this hotel is the lack of amenities around the area. There are a few shops and restaurants almost adjacent to the hotel, but they are not, in my opinion, of any great value. Instead, we did the daily walk to Tremezzo every night to eat in several good restaurants on offer there. The walk to Tremezzo is about 10 minutes - beautiful views make the walk a pleasure, so not too much of an inconvenience.
Now, the real issue at hand about our stay at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia does not concern our hotel or the amenities surrounding it, but whether or not Lake Como lives up to all of the hype it receives. Having travelled to Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Lake Zurich and now, Lake Como, I can honestly say that I prefer Lakes Maggiore and Garda to Lake Como. Yes, the views and landscapes are beautiful in Lake Como, but the views and landscapes and towns are even more beautiful, in my opinion, at Limone in Lake Garda and in Stresa in Lake Maggiore. Yes, Bellagio in Lake Como is beautiful, but Isola Bella and Isola Madre in Lake Maggiore are better!
So, overall, the Grand Hotel Cadennabia was great - excellent staff, glorious views, great breakfast…but the question is - do you really want to visit Lake Come, rather than the other Italian Lakes?
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Cadenabbia Di Griante
- Grand Cadenabbia Hotel
- Grand Hotel Cadenabbia Lake Como/Cadenabbia Di Griante, Italy