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“a sense of place”

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Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli
Ranked #5 of 19 Hotels in Gargnano
Certificate of Excellence
papplewick
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“a sense of place”
Reviewed 6 October 2009

There are many fabulous hotels in the world,but not many have the knack of making it feel it is not a hotel. This is one of them. You will feel in your own home , with just plenty of staff.
If you need to feel like a new made millionaire, do not go.!
Flashy, it is not!
Beautiful, yes, actually the place is exquisite. The decor is unbelievable. No horrible housekeeping trolleys anywhere to be seen. No big reception desk with peoples in uniform and A TILL. Etc. Etc. Stayed in may good places in the world, but very few have this knack: Hotel Keeping at it's best.!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank PapplewickElizabeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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162 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
London
Level 6 Contributor
231 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2009

Wow, what a beautiful and luxurius hotel. The view was gorgeous. It was well located, just a 5-10 min walk to the local square. The room was so lovely. The down side was the food, very over rated, the breakfast had the crispiest bacoan I have ever had. I'm not joking it was like those horrible Frazzles. The dinner was really over rated , tiny and not good I'm afraid. We had a much much better meal in the local square, the most delicous lasagne with side salads and a nice bottle of red wine and sparkling water with the same view which prob cost the same as 2 horrible starters.
But I can't take away what a stunning place the VF is, food and extravagant cost aside.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank holidaychicLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2009

I must admit that I am comparing this hotel to The Burj Al Arab in terms of service as they compare pricewise but you cannot compare the locations or the actual hotels as the two styles and places are totally different.

The mini bar was supposed to be free yet they did not restock the bar when turning down the beds while we were at dinner. Considering we had only had soft drinks I was quite surprised and expected in a hotel of that standard that the whole bedroom would be serviced twice a day. I was also surprised that they did not supply conditioner in the bathroom and overall the toiletries here were more sparse than the Burj.

On both days we thought the pool service was somewhat lacking. One day we had to get our own towels and arrange the beds. Obviously in a hotel like this it is the procedure to have this done for you. We also had trouble getting anyone's attention for drinks. There was only one member of staff to take orders, fetch food and drink, move chairs and lay out towels. Whilst there was only a handful of guests it did mean he could be away in the kicthen for some time so perhaps this needs to be addressed. I would suggest that he has cover for his post or simply radios the orders through.

Was very disappointed that we had a crying and screaming three year old by the pool. Hotel indicates that there will be no children under 12 and I think parents should be told if they bring them against hotel policy that they are responsible for removing them from public areas if they cause trouble. Major money to pay to have that kind of racket.

The hotel did make a cake for my partner's birthday and the laudry service was superb. Reception was informative about the local area. Hotel advertised a boat for use (not the charter one) but was unavailable when we were there with no explantion. It would have been nice to have been given a brief tour of the house or at least have the pool etc pointed out to us.

The lovely location is reason to go back. Even the laundry service is reason! I do think the service is what is expected for the money and certainly did not even meet that in the pool area. However if this is a one off and you have nothing to compare it to then you will love it and think you are the King or Queen of Italy!

Enjoy.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dsk125London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2009

The Villa Feltrinelli represents the pinacle of small boutique hotels. Sitting on the shores of lake Garda, the villa, rooms, and grounds are fantastic. With only 20 rooms the service is beyond excellent. The staff is wonderful and the food is on par with top Italian restaurants in the US and Europe. Boat rides to the towns ringing lake Garda for sightseeing and dining make for wonderful getaways or day trips. One of the best places in the world to relax.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pkrehbiel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ormskirk
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2009

Having returned last week from a 3 night stay at the Villa Feltrinelli, I am already planning my return visit! We found the hotel by accident after a bad experience in Sicily and chose to come here mainly based on the reviews given on this site! We have stayed and visited many highly rated hotels....from the Burj Al Arab Dubai, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, Cala di Vople Sardinia, La Residencia Mallorca, San Domenico Palace Sicily, Reethi Rah Maldives, aswell as various four seasons etc; and I have never seen such amazing and consistent reviews!! I felt we had to come!! We were by no means dissappointed!! The hotel lived up to and went beyond our expectations....which is very rare. I think the review below is a very comprehensive and accuarate review. The only additional information I can add is that we didn't stay in the main villa..but stayed on the ground floor suite of Casa dei Fiori. We had to stay here as we had our 4 year old daughter, and they don't allow children in the villa. There was no other children, nor would I have chosen to take my child as it is definitely an adult place, except she was already with us and the trip was extemporaneous. Having said that, we weren't made to feel uncomfortable, and the staff were very accomodating and made her anything she wished! It's not what I would chose as a family holiday with young children as it was stressful trying to keep her quiet so as not to spoil the romantic ambiance, and we shall return without her. They also arranged a baby sitter for us at short notice! I absolutely loved our room in Casa dei Fiori. It was huge with a beautiful living room, and large bathroom and bedroom. It had one huge terrace which was more like an outdoor living room ,and a small one leading from the bedroom, both with lake views. I viewed the best room in the villa, and although it was much more ornate and in keeping with the main villa, I loved the spaciousness and privacy our room afforded. Our room was more simply furnished but still elegant and beautiful. The beauty of the place was breath taking, and we were very pleased with the food as we like fine dining. Every single course....and there were many, was stunning. You could order small or large dishes, but on the advice of another reviewer we ordered small dishes as there were so many courses. Dinner started wherever you chose with an aperitif with beautiful olives and caper berries, followed by maybe 4 or 5 delicious canapes, followed by the amuse bouche, then starter, main course, pre dessert, dessert and then some petits fours (which were more like another selection of 5 small desserts) plus a huge fruit platter!! All the herbs and flowers used in the cooking where grown here also.The service was impeccable, not too cold, nor too friendly....just perfect. The complimentary laundry was lovely and all my daughters clothes came back wrapped up in tissue paper with lavender. I have never in all the top hotels I've been to had a complimentary mini bar (except soft drinks at Emirates Palace.) The little town of Gargnano was so lovely and charming although we only saw it briefly. It was within walking distance of the hotel. We also hired the boat for an hour in order to take in the breath taking scenery. To conclude.....I concur with all the reviews (except the one negative one!) It really is the best hotel in Europe, if not the world. It is an experience not to be missed! Please go and see for your self.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank maz170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2009

What's so special to me about Villa Feltrinelli is that it has all the intimacy, polish, and luxury of a great 21st century hotel/resort, combined with the aesthetic of the late 19th century. The public spaces on the grand floor are stunning--the original woodwork, frescoed ceilings, glass, lamp fixtures, etc. from the 1890s have been restored and combined with 21st century luxury and a lighter aesthetic sensibility than was prevalent in 1892.
It is quiet, tranquil, absolutely relaxing, with nothing but the sound of the water of Lago di Garda lapping. There are pairs of lounging chairs artfully positioned along docks, between oleander trees, and along the lawns, as well as chairs along the pool. I was there over a weekend, but it frequently felt like we had the property to ourselves, being the only ones at the long, simple, elegant granite temperately heated pool, even going back out to it at 1 am for a late night swim in the moonlight (which was of course absolutely fine with the property owners--they very much want you to feel as if you are at your own, private lakeside villa for your stay).
Walking around the property in the evening, with all the soft lighting of its dining pergola and interiors aglow, is a breathtaking experience. If I could own any one hotel property in the world, this would be it.
Regarding the rooms. 7 of the 20 rooms are in two buildings on opposite ends of the park, each a few minutes walk from the villa itself. I have not seen the interiors of these rooms, but in terms of space, they are a better deal than rooms in the villa itself. 4 of these rooms (La Limonaia and the 3 rooms in Casa Rustica) are built within and alongside a limonaia, the masonry structures that are used along Lago di Garda in which to protect the lemon trees during the winter. They've mostly been abandoned, but Villa Feltrinelli has restored theirs and uses it as a lemon grove and also to grow the herbs used in the meals. That area of the property has pots of gardenias all around, and cobblestoned paths, giving the feel of being in an Italian village. Lovely.
3 rooms are in the Casa de Fiori. Nice outdoor spaces for the guests there. I haven't seen the interiors, but I'm sure they're very nice. This area of the property is shaded by large trees, and is alongside the private gate by which you can leave the property (if you ever choose to do so!) for a stroll into Gargnano. The Tortuga restaurant there is good, with 1 Michelin star. (Although I prefer the experience of dining at Villa Feltrinelli on their magical jewel-box of a dining loggia.)
I've stayed twice at VF, and each time have stayed in the main villa, since the experience of being there seems to me to be part of the magic and illusion of being at a private 19th century home. No guest rooms are on the main floor, where all the public rooms are located (a library with facilities for screening DVDs on a large-screen TV; two dining rooms; a sitting room with grand piano; a covered porch looking out to the lake; an octagonal game room (chess, drinks, etc.). The first floor then contains 5 guest rooms, with very high ceilings. I've stayed in "Al Lago," which has a large terrace looking out over the lake, frescoed ceiling, and a bathroom occupying the entire octagonal tower of the villa--the most exquisite bathroom I have ever experienced, with unrivalled water pressure, nickel fixtures, a gorgeous free-standing porcelain tub, and windows all around. I've also stayed in "Muslone," which is simpler--no frescoed ceiling, but beautiful 19th century proportions, an excellent bathroom. Of the other rooms on the 1st floor, a star is apparently the "Magnolia" room, which was Mussolini's bedroom, and has a small balcony, and partial views of the lake (somewhat obstructed by a gigantic magnolia tree outside the window). Also on that floor, the "Nordica" room into the interior of the property, so no lake view, but still nice views, I'm sure, of the croquet lawn. The "Fiorentina" room runs along the front of the villa--on the opposite side from the lake, and appears to have access to a terrace over the front entrance to the villa . . . but I can't be sure. Up on the second floor are the remaining rooms, and they have lower ceilings, but are apparently lovely in their intimacy. I asked the management to rank their favorite rooms in the villa for me and this was what they said:
1. Al Lago
2. Magnolia
3. Il Poeta
4. Il Torre
"Poeta" and "Torre" are the two 2nd floor rooms that run along the lake-side of the property. "Torre" is very small, in the octagonal tower (the first floor of which is the "Al Lago" bathroom, so that gives you a sense of how big the "Al Lago" bathroom is . . . or how small the "Torre" room is. Despite its small size, people seem to find it very charming in its octagonal format. "Poeta" two artfully shaped small windows looking out the the lake, and is apparently also very well liked--I've seen it referenced by travel writers as one of the rooms to prefer.
You can request that your bags be unpacked and stowed, which adds to the feel of being in another era (and the unpacking service, to my mind, is wonderful--and very nicely performed as you enjoy the public spaces of the property). The laundry service is also exquisite. From the moment you arrive, the service is exceptional. Each time, they've walked out to meet the car with a perfect small bouquet of roses for my female companion. All the details are gorgeous and evocative: the paper in the room has been made to 19th century preferences on a particular type of cotton bond preferred then; the room guide has page after page of history and detail about the villa and its restoration. Free minibar with wine, beer, soft drinks, and plenty of water. Because the expense to run the property is prohibitive (20 rooms are supporting a huge landscaping effort--the grounds are stunning--as well as the maintenance of such detailed interiors), the hotel relies on very young interns to perform some of its basic service tasks (pool service and breakfast/lunch service), and their inexperience was occasionally evident on this most recent trip, but there's always a more experienced staff person nearby to regularly check on them and monitor their performance . . . but truth be told, the interns were sometimes gauche and awkward. But the rest of the service was impeccably discreet and professional.
The chef just won a big award for the book he published last year, and has worked alongside Alain Ducasse, and at El Bulli, etc. The food was a bit too decadent/fancy for my taste, but the experience was wonderful nonetheless, so artfully prepared and served with so many "in-between" courses.
I find myself surprised that I can love so much a property that is so expensive, and lacks even some of the basic features of a luxury hotel: a gym, a spa (treatments are in your room or outdoors in the lemonaia). But there's just something about the feel there--so tranquil and unique and relaxing and lovely. So it would be terrific if food beyond breakfast were included . . . but when I think of how difficult it is for them even to keep such a property open, let alone running it in such tip-top fashion, I can feel ok about the exorbitant prices. You really are paying for the experience of feeling as if you are at your own lakeside villa, and the aesthetic of it for me tops any other hotel for sheer beauty.
The photos on the Website all do the property justice, so you can get a sense as to whether it's the sort of "look and feel" that appeals to you. It's certainly not for those who strongly prefer late 20th century minimalism. But neither is it gaudy and overwhelming--it's just richly detailed and exquisite.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DaneP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2009

nothing to say other than amazing. not the cheapest but awesome in every department. you cannot fault anything about the property. rooms, food, staff and location all first class. maybe a little quiet for some but the perfect place for r and r. everyone should experience this place once in their life.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mronion
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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