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“Don't believe the hype”

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Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli
Ranked #5 of 19 Hotels in Gargnano
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Don't believe the hype”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2007

We spent three nights at Feltrinelli. After seeing the reviews on Tripadvisor we had high expectations. Sadly, we were to be disappointed.

The location and grounds of the hotel are superb. It's just outside a small village and is on the shore of Lake Garda inside large private gardens. One thing that surprised me was that it never felt all the peaceful, there always seemed to be staff or guests around, both in the property and in the grounds. Given the small number of rooms, this came as a surprise. If you like peace and privacy, I don't think it's a good bet. More on this later.

We stayed in a "delux junior suite" on the first floor of the main building (about 1200 Euros per night). If you like a very authentic, traditional style, you will like the rooms. Ours had a very high ceiling and the bathroom was exceptional. On the minus side, it was quite dark and we had no lake view (despite asking for this). I have to say I found it rather depressing. We also seemed to be above the back of the kitchen or something, so the first morning, we were woken by the sound of crashing bottles as stuff was being delivered. In fact, every morning, we were woken by some sound or another caused by the staff outside or in the corridor outside the room. Not peaceful.

The high point of our stay was the restaurant, which is quite superb. The chef prepared a vegetarian tasting menu each night, which was fantastic. Way beyond the call. He is a star and I hope the hotel manager realises this.

The low point of the trip was when I called the front desk to enquire about a motorboat charter around the lake for an hour. I was told that the minimum charter was for two hours and would cost 400 Euros. I then politely replied that we only really wanted an hour and was told that "there was no way we could see the whole lake in 1 hour". This was despite us seeing another party go out and return in 1 hour. Anyway, the person on the front desk (Elizabeth) was quite rude and unhelpful, so no boat trip. I was left with a very bad feeling after talking to her. Incidentally, when I know it would be cheaper to charter a twin engine jet helicopter, I suspect the boat trip is overpriced! I wasn't born yesterday.

The second problem was when we went out to dinner on the first night. We left the "do not disturb" on the door as we had left all our stuff out in the room and didn't want the staff to move anything around. On return from dinner, we found that everything had been moved as someone had come in to tidy up. This is totally unacceptable. When I stay in a hotel, I decide when the room is serviced, not the staff. This experience was indicative of the somewhat intrusive service at Feltrinelli. If you like that, you will be happy. I was not.

In terms of value for money, I would rate this place 0/10. We came from La Reserve in Geneva, where we were paying half the price for a far better hotel and service. I really wish we'd stayed there for another 3 nights.

We were very disappointed with our stay at Feltrinelli and certainly won't be returning. I guess it's Villa D'Este next year.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank AnonTraveller564
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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154 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London UK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2007

It was absolutely fantastic hotel in both service, amenity and all facilities. The historic old villa has been transformed to charming and breathtakingly beautiful place. Please take a look at the photo albulms in Bob's bar how they have been renovating. It is just amazing. We could feel their passion and this place is really special.

The staff are all charming and also not to forget good sense of humour.

The rooms are beatifully decorated with good taste and also modern amenities. The shower was very powerful and I don't know how they mamaged water pressure which is qauite unusual in Europe.

The food is fantastic and also their glass is all Reidel. Their kitchen is also state of art and have never seen such a wonderfully decorated kitchen. It is worth to take a look.

The view is breath taking and so relaxing.

As previous traveller mentioned that La Tortuga in town is worth visit. They were very casual comparing to Michelin star restaurante in London, but their food and service was fantastic. The pasta was made by the owner who is have very good knowldge of wines. Their service (timing of pouring the wine and bringing next food was perfect)

It was difficult to find the fault. We are very fassy and don't go to the same place, but we definately go back there!!

  • Liked — Luxury
  • Disliked — I can't find it!
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Hoteljunkiebunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2007

This hotel is breathtaking. Although it was quite difficult to find. I wished I would’ve known. I had my map and navigation but there were no signs telling us were to go. Villa Feltrinelli is very peaceful and secluded for that reason so we knew we were close.

The staff greeted us outside with flowers and a welcome drink. They spoke English as if it were their primary language.

The foyer was beautiful filled with priceless antiques. Upon walking to our room called the "Orientale" we marveled at the architecture in the main building. Our actual room exceeded 40 sq meters. It included three rooms, bedroom bath and walk in closet. The closet was bigger than mine at home. Our room was truly magnificent. The largest room I've ever had in my life. The linens and decor was just as the name implied...oriental in design. It was elegant and romantic. The linens were all Egyptian cotton. The large TV included a DVD player where we could borrow a movie if we wanted. They had a decent selection. Both the bath and bedroom had separate surround sound with 9+ selections of preset music (jazz, opera, classical, pop, relaxing etc).

The bath was also white marble and included the best rain shower I've ever used. My long hair could be washed and conditioned in record time! Having music in the bath was nice.

They have an unpacking service (which wasn't necessary for us) and they launder and iron all clothes for free. The minibar included numerous beverages, wine and champagne all included for free. They provide food and special requests to the room for free (we found out when we saw our less than anticipated bill). There were three phones in our room. Everything you could possibly imagine.

While sitting lakeside on the grounds someone was always there to serve you. They never bothered you and most of the time you didn't know they were there. Laying poolside was relaxing with wonderful drinks offered, treats, and sorbets to keep you cool. You don’t sign anything on the grounds. You don’t need to show a room card, you simply tell they the room name. It was incredible. I got an outdoor massage by the water. They even massaged my face it was wonderful. They offered laptops for guests to use in the library for free internet access. They really make you feel at home.

We ate at the Villa the first night. I wish we ate there both nights it was really our best dinner of our trip. We ordered a bottle of wine. We had a five course tasting menu. It was superb! Duck, rabbit, ravioli, etc... Dessert was so unique I plan to email them for a description. During dinner they served an olive pate with homemade breadsticks which was so delicious we ordered more. While speaking with the maitre d we thanked him and expressed just how memorable our meal was. He offered for us to meet the chef, tour the kitchen and wine cellar. We gladly accepted and were thrilled to have a sneak peak behind the scenes. The chef showed me the olive pate that I loved so much mentioning the easy recipe which I was happy to hear. They even sent extra olive pate to our room for a midnight snack! My husband loves chocolate milk and they would send warm chocolate milk to the room for him to enjoy.

After dinner, upon returning to our room, there was a pillow on our bed with embroidery of our dog which is a cavalier king charles spaniel. We looked at each other thinking, how on earth is this pillow HERE. Then we remembered during dinner saying we missed him and telling the couple from CA what breed we had. So the hotel staff put the pillow in our room so that we could sleep with our dog like we do back home. As if that wasn’t enough, when we went to the bathroom they had put roses everywhere including in our actual toilet bowl.

Our second night dinner was out of town. This hotel shuttled us back and forth (for free).

Upon checking out they prepared a little goodbye bag for us with two bottles of water. They knew we were traveling to another destination and it was very thoughtful of them to think of us.

The reviews implied this was the best hotel in Italy and we CERTAINLY agree. We hope to return soon!

  • Liked — Service, comfort and fine dining experience!
  • Disliked — We disliked departing...and would have stayed forever!
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank natc143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
banner elk nc
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2007

All of the rooms are classified as junior suites, but this is not the case. The first "junior suite" Veneziana that we were in was lovely, but the room itself was small: a queen bed, desk, one easy chair with ottoman. It did, however, have a very large bathroom and adequate dressing area. We moved to the lake front Magnolia suite which was perfection! This junior suite had a nice sitting area and small balcony as well as a fabulous bath and nice dressing area.
We thought the breakfasts and lunches were great and the dinners very good.
All of the staff were helpful---nothing was too much trouble!

  • Liked — the Magnolia suite furnishings and bathroom
  • Disliked — Veneziana suite--only one comfortable chair
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank francescaBannerElkNc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
132 reviews
130 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 693 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2007

It's difficult to fault this property. Or, more accurately, you can fault it (no fresh fruit in rooms, no spa, no indoor pool) but it doesn't matter. What does matter is:

a) the amazing location. It is 10 minutes walk into Gargnano village, where you can wander around and also get ferries to the larger towns around the lake; b) the ludicrous amount of time and money that went into the renovation, but also goes into the day-to-day landscaping and maintenance; and c) the highly impressive staff, including the excellent kitchen

This is simply a very adult place to come, although children are welcome in the cottages. No silly hotel signs or logos in the rooms, no signing for anything, no loyalty scheme. Just a group of people going out of there way to make your stay as happy as possible. Free laundry and free mini-bars are sensible anywhere with high room rates, but you so rarely see it. Same with good quality toiletries (Aqua di Parma), silk-linked robes, an Asian-style pool service, fantastic in-room music system etc.

We stayed in one of the cottages, just 1 minute walk from the house. What you get here is space - our mid-range suite was bigger than the master suite in the house which we were allowed to see. Whilst the weather was surprisingly poor for May, we loved our stay here and certainly didn't feel that the Euro 1,300 per night was money badly spent.

We flew on BA from London to Verona, where the hotel picked us up. Brescia is nearer if you want to fly Ryanair from the UK. Leaving, we had them drop us at the railway station an hour away where we took a train to Verona (2 per hour, 25 mins) and saw the sights before taking the late flight back.

  • Liked — Everything is of the highest quality
  • Disliked — Only minor niggles - no fresh fruit, toilet seat didn't stay up!
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2006

Totally pampered! The Villa Feltrinelli is like having your own beautiful castle by the lake (including all the modern ammenities) with spectacular views, the most gracious hosts, and a personal staff at your beck-and-call.

A quaint village is only a short walk away containing all the charm of a seaside Italian neighborhood.

Take your car for a quick trip up the mountain and have a delightful lunch with the locals at a small mountain top trattoria.

We have traveled through Italy several times over the past 12 years and without a doubt the Villa Feltrinelli is the only hotel/resort we recommend to our friends and family as a "must see and stay" experience. We can't wait to return...everything else pales in comparison.

Bellisima!!!

  • Liked — Spacious and highest quality accommodations with a limited number of guest suites available
  • Disliked — Absolutely nothing....everything was "world class"
  • Tips/Secrets — Plan on a longer stay ...it is so fantastic you will never want to leave
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank RFNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2005

This is the best hotel we have been to in Europe. It is very expensive but it doesn't disappoint.

We booked one of the cheaper rooms on the top floor of the Casa Rustica but it was absolutely wonderful, with windows all along one side and fantastic views of the lake. The service is top notch but also friendly. The Villa is not at all stuffy.

All the meals we ate in the hotel were fantastic. The menu offers quite a lot of choice and the chef was flexible and cooked us a few things off menu. They also have a very extensive wine list that is surprisingly reasonable. You can also eat in the village which is about 5-10 minutes walk and has a few lunch places along the harbour and Tartuga which is really worth a visit one evening (go for the tasting menu).

We also took a boat one evening to have dinner at Villa Fiordaliso in Gardone Riviera which was a mistake. The food was a little pretentious and over priced. We also went to Verona for dinner followed by the opera one night which the villa organised for us. Verona is about an hour away but it saves moving hotels if you’re short of time.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

Property: Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli
Address: Via Rimembranza 38-40, 25084, Gargnano, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Province of Brescia > Gargnano
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Gargnano
#5 Romantic Hotel in Gargnano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Gargnano
Grand Hotel Feltrinelli
Villa Feltrinelli
Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli Lake Garda/Gargnano, Italy

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