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“Thomson lakes and mountains package, Lake Maggiore”

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Hotel Villa Paradiso
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Meina
Certificate of Excellence
Ivybridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Thomson lakes and mountains package, Lake Maggiore”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

Went on Thomson lakes and mountains package holiday for one week from May 17th 2014. Stayed at Hotel Paradiso, Meina, about 11 km from Stresa but with good train and bus connections. Hotel was quiet and very well presented, clean and very comfortable. The staff were very helpful and interested in helping us to make the best of our time with them. Food was good and the choice very fair.You need a lake view room to make the best of the splendid views of Lake Maggiore - feel worth the extra cost. A busy road in front of the hotel and the lack of a promenade were the only disadvantages, but we were aware of this before booking so were prepared.

The discovery package excursions were well organised and the tour guide, Barbara, was very knowledgeable, friendly and competent. We did not take the day out to Milan as we are not interested in city sights and shopping. Instead we went on the 3 hour boat trip up the lake to Locarno, with lunch on the boat and then Centre valley train through the mountains eventually finishing up in Meina, (one change) Thomson's tour guides were first class and were able to advise and arrange anything reasonable that we wanted. All in all a very good holiday with value for money so long as you want some peace and quiet and do not mind the busy road..

Room Tip: Lake view rooms essential, preferably with balcony
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank Ronald M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights 18th May - Great views of the lake and the hotel is positioned high above the road next to the lake - Meina is a small town but a good base for travelling around. Hotel was fine and food was pleasant enough so no complaints really.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank martyn c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

We travelled here by booking through lowcostholidays which we used before for Venice and have found them very good. Private transfer from airport was excellent. I can only reiterate what previous guests have written. We found the setting beautiful but we had booked a back room which was a mistake, however, the hotel let us upgrade to a lakeside view on our first evening. This is a beautiful part of the world with spectacular scenery. We made the most of our 8 days. We found the station by accident the first day just by walking out of the back of the hotel. We got the train to Stresa and were then talked into a boat trip to the three islands but were not disappointed. Isola Bella was just as the name suggests absolutely beautiful. When we got off the boat we went to the tourist infornation office and got a bus timetable and got the bus back to Meina. The 2nd day after a walk around Meina (which does not take long!) we got a bus to Arona to find out about the Maggiore Express which had been recommended by a previous contributor. Arona was lovely and we came across some sort of festival where locals were dancing. It was fascinating!! The next day after visiting an international market which was in the town for 3 days. We caught the maggioreexpress (see previous comments) . This was the best value for money anywhere and as it was my birthday made it a spectacular day. We returned from Domodossola to Meina (as you do not have to return to the bigger towns as suggested below. After we had worked out the bus times and the trains we found getting about easy. On our last day we took the bus which hugs the coast line to Intra (a good value town) and then the ferry to Laveno. There we took the open air cable car up the mountain (a bit scary) which has a panoramic view of the area plus a lovely cafe and restaurant at the top. There is a hang gliding ramp up there and we watched one set off.
Final comments: Hotel lovely together with staff. Dodgy road and lack of life in Meina a bit of a downer. It would have been so nice to have taken a stroll along by the lake from the hotel but this was impossible. However, a brilliant place for a holiday - highly recommended.

Room Tip: Lake view essential
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank Barbara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

I stayed here in mid August having last visited the Italian lakes in 1993 and was very impressed by the helpfulness of the hotel in absolutely everything we asked them for.

We are a family of vegetarians which we informed them of before we traveled and hotel staff made every effort to help ensure we had the best food available. At breakfast they would give us 3 vegetarian options for starter and main meal to choose from for the evening meal, we were also extra fussy as we don't eat eggs either so ensured nothing they served us had eggs in it. I could tell the front line staff were multi-lingual, with the maitre de speaking in french, english and german to the guests at meal time.

It wasn't just the food but they were happy to help with our questions about day trips, including finding a very helpful English ex pat who made arrangements for a trip to Monte Rosa, an hour or two's drive, that is recommended - note, the cable car ride is a must do with the chair lift for those of a more daring disposition.

The staff were all totally friendly and couldn't do enough to help, they even drove us to our bus stop for the transfer back to the airport as we had some heavy luggage.

The resort is fairly quiet but that would only worry the club 18-30 crowd, however a short bus ride to Stresa would allow them to find some nightlife.

I've never left a hotel review but I can't stress how highly I rate the service received from the hotel and the staff.

It was a delightful stay and I'm sure I'll be back at lake Maggiore sooner than in 20 years the next time.

Room Tip: Get a lakeside view if possible although the view behind the hotel is none too shabby.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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3 Thank SSharma2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

A bijou family run establishment where nothing was to much trouble for the hosts.

Location, cleanliness and food all first class.

Water in the lake across the road could be heard breaking peacefully on the shore. Road a little noisy during the morning and evening commuter hours but tolerable.

Only an hour from the airport with easy access to Stressa and the boats on the lake.

Crystal, the agents, were well organised and offered good day trips should you wish to take them.

Having previously visited Garda the Lakes of Italy have become our favourite land based holiday

Room Tip: Juliet balcony with Lake side view worth the extra
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Terry N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

We went on a long weekend to Villa Paradiso in August 2013. We booked through Teletext, and flew into Milan Malpensa on Easyjet.

First tip - book the bus from Malpensa to Lago Maggiore in advance - it's organised by the local region and only 7 Euros each way. www.safduermila.com, tel 00113970032. Plush seats, and air conditioning. As it happens, the driver let us on without an advance booking, but the hotel emailed for our booking going back to the airport - pay on the bus. The journey took @45 minutes, with a lovely view and dropped us off at Lido da Meina (the second Meina stop), which is just across from the Hotel Paradiso. Walk to the zebra crossing to get across the road, which is very busy - cars, bicycles in droves with men in lycra, motor cycles - all going crazy fast.

We had a back bedroom on the 1st floor which was very quiet, and as it was a corner room, had a view of the lake from the bathroom. If you plan to spend time in your room, do pay for the lake view which is a dream. However, keep your windows shut, as there are mosquitos, including the Tiger Mosquito, which leaves a huge welt if you scratch the bite - we had to go to a chemist and get antibiotic ointment, and my partner had to go on penicillin for a week when we got back b/c the bite on his ankle swelled and went purple like a plum and his foot enlarged with a dull red sheen. Scary. Am told if you take antihistamine tablets the bites don't do this.

We had lunch on the terrace overlooking the lake when we arrived, which was delicious - spaghetti carbonara & a bottle of beer. We were Half Board, and enjoyed a buffet cooked breakfast each morning and three course dinner each night - fresh, lovely food, and excellent frizzante house wine. Took our drinks to the terrace after dinner on the first night, which was the source of the mosquito bites.

The beach of the hotel is across the road - the water is warm and clear. Loungers and parasols provided. The pool is long enough to do laps, with sun loungers and a ping pong table at the back of the garden - manicured, and mature. The hotel is an 18th century villa converted in 1958 (or so) and updated from time to time - the ceilings in our bedroom were 14 ft high or so - impressive.

We took the bus to neighbouring Arona, which we found nice for a stroll along the water, and bought excursion tickets for the Lago Maggiore Express - a must do - www.lagomaggioreexpress.com . We chose the two day ticket, which on day one is a cruise along the lake stopping at every major town, all the way to Locarno in Switzerland. Book lunch in advance, or when you first get on the boat - 17 Euros for three courses including water, wine & coffee - we had absolutely gorgeous starter of pasta and risotto, followed by tender pink lake trout panfried with rosemary & roast potatos - didn't realise there were two courses, so had to sleep it off on the top sundeck afterwards.

In Locarno we went to the Castle Visconti at the edge of town, which has some interesting murals and exhibit on 1925 peace conference. Then (as part of the ticket) we took a train into the Alps - the exhibition carriage has windows floor to ceiling and costs 5 Euros more, but worth it. Lots of amazing glimpses of Alpine meadows, gorges cut into stone with clear glacial streams, geese, farmland, stone huts - ending up in Domodorsola, where we caught another train getting back into Stresa, where we caught the last bus (around 7pm) into Meina. In the Alps there is one town with "Boris Bikes" you can rent and cycle down into the valleys.

The next day (as part of the ticket) we caught the boat as a hop on / hop off service, and went to Isola Bella, which is a palace, still owned by the Borromeo family. Breathtaking - formal staterooms on the 1st floor, including the bedroom slept in by Napoleon and Josephine overlooking the lake, and a three-storey-tall ceiling over the ballroom. The basement / water level are grottos displaying statuary & archaeological finds from around the lake, including Etruscan pots and an Iron Age canoe, and a set of fine tapestries.

The gardens at Isola Bella are legendary - terraced levels with statues and espaliered citrus trees. There are white peacocks and an aviary of parakeets. The gift shop is tasteful and and the coffee shop reasonably priced - they have lemon and orange ice creams in scooped out fruit made locally. There's one ferry a day on a Sunday which stops at Meina around 6:15 at night - luckily we made it - otherwise, you can go to Arona or Stresa, but as another reviewer wrote, there is no evening bus service, so you'll have to get a taxi, which we were told costs 30 Euros or so.

In conclusion, this was a MAGIC holiday in an elegant, charming hotel - we felt we were going back in time - there were even crests on the pillowslips and the name of the hotel on the shampoo and soap in the bathroom. The hotel is privately owned, and the owner very kindly loaned us local travel guides to read in our room without buying them. I note we are a couple, not going out dancing, but there were young people at the hotel, which has a bar - I believe there are nightclubs in Stresa.

Room Tip: Pay more for the lake if you want to stay in your room, but back room is quiet; 1st floor in the mai...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank LivingForTheTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2013

I spent 5 nights here with a friend in May 2013. The staff were lovely; the food delicious and our room was very nice. We found it to be a really convenient location for exploring the area using public transport. Excellent buses & trains that linked to the ferries - we really didn't need a car. The weather was dodgy but the hotel warm & comfortable.

Room Tip: The front has lake views and the back is very peaceful - I don't think it matters which room you...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Millymollyfrankie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Paradiso

Property: Hotel Villa Paradiso
Address: Via del Sempione 125, 28046 Meina, Italy
Region: Italy > Piedmont > Lake Maggiore > Meina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Meina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Villa Paradiso 4*
Number of rooms: 57
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Villa Paradiso Meina, Lake Maggiore, Italy

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