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Il Sole Di Ranco
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ranco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 September 2009

This was a last minute trip from Milan & we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We spent a day touring Lake Maggiore from Stresa & then drove around the lake to the hotel. The hotel is set on the lake's edge with a very nice pool & pretty lawn. THe property is surrounded by a public park & boat launch, but we did not hear any noise from those areas. The car park is down the hill from the reception & the hotel rooms, but you just leave your key with the desk & they transfer all your bags. We had previously stayed at the Chateau d'Eze in Cote d'Azur & that was a much more difficult transition from car to hotel...

The room was pleasantly decorated in a country style. Not exactly my taste, but charming. We had a junior suite with a sitting room built as a loft on the upper level & a balcony overlooking the water. Wonderful to wake up overlooking the lake. Complimentary decanter of Amaretto, perfect for an afternoon drink on the balcony. Bathroom isn't the most modern, but perfectly fine. Rooms could probably use a little updating, but nothing wrong with them.

Started dinner with drinks on the terrace. We were only ones doing it, but they were perfectly accommodating. Also brought a tray of gourmet nibblies. Continued dinner in the main dining room, which is a very nice elegant setting.

Bread tray/basket is one of the best I've ever had. Selection of ~12 different types of mini breads. Chose the degustation menu with the wine pairing. Dishes were wonderfully conceived & prepared - very imaginative approach & good execution. Wines were micely matched. Service was very attentive & very warm. Have eaten in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants throughout the world (NYC, London, Paris, etc.) & thought that this was a very special place.

Breakfast was a treat. They charge extra for eggs & fresh squeezed OJ, but there is such a broad selection, that we didn't feel that we were missing anything. Once again, the baked goods were spectacular (15-20 different types), plus fruits, meats/cheeses, etc. The owner made a special point of seeing us off in the morning.

We would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a warm welcome and good food in a special setting.

Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
2  Thank nyctravelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 - 47 of 154 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2009

For a Relais & Chateaux, we were not at all impressed. Sure the food is good, but I can find just as good in 50 restaurants in London for much less and in Italy better restaurants are in abundance. The sommelier missed on his wine recommendation. He most certainly prefers old wines even when you ask for something younger. Save your money and try the local Osteria.

The room (suite) was comfortable, and the bathroom was nice. The plug-in scents should be barred from Relais and Chateaux hotels. Yes, the hotel does seem like it is being run by the same people who have had it for 150 years and it shows. The rooms were not good value and there were additions when checking out. The grounds did not look particularly well maintained and need more attention. The breakfast was the best part of the stay, but there are additional charges for eggs and parma ham.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Winebug88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2009

We've been staying at relais et chateaux for 20 years or so, and this is up with the best of them. Not easy to find, but well worth the effort. The food is superb - they rate among the top 100 tables in the world. The sommelier was the Best Italian Sommelier in Italy 2008 with a superb wine list. However, he was happy to recommend the 'house' wine, which he had helped to create, along with more expensive wines.
Everybody went out of their way to make us feel at home. Even when the restaurant was shut on a Tuesday, they booked us into a really good remote village inn for a meal. We wanted a relaxing five days and found it at Il Sole. The highlight of the stay at Ranco was a boat trip to the islands organised through the hotel: expensive, but worth it.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LondonUKjohnW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2008

Sole di Ranco is in a very quiet village and has stunning views over Lake Maggiore. Unfortunately the peace of the village is ruined by the barking dog next door to the hotel, which looking at the other reviews, has been barking for some time. The room was pleasant, though the decor is dated and there are various fittings that needed updating and also need a decent clean. A word of caution if you don't possess webbed feet to cope with the amount of water than ends up on the bathroom floor due to the lack of a shower curtain. Also, check that the bed is a double rather than 2 singles put together with a half inch gap in between, despite best efforts to conceal this.

The location and the lovely gardens can't be knocked and so evening drinks out on the patio overlooking the lake looked set to be a success. However, the service was terribly slow and we had to keep going into the hotel reception to ask for drinks which, when they eventually arrived were brought with slightly soft and damp pretzels.

Despite madam getting 'perch' and 'partridge' mixed up, the restaurant was excellent and worthy of it's international acclaim. (There is a very helpful history of the family's culinary education in the information packs in the room). From the selection of breads left on the table, the superb antipasta of ravioli in a most rich and delicious sauce to the caramelised duck, it was a gastronomic delight, marred only by being sat in the 'Tourist' room and having to listen an American take phone calls on his blackberry and reading his emails out loud. Fortunately his poor wife had taken a book with her to the table.

The chef's speciality is confectionary and desserts and so it is recommended to limit your tasting of the aforementioned selection of homemade bread to allow room to enjoy these. The 3 times chocolate dessert was superb, slightly marred by the texture of the chocolate shell on the mousse, but in a dish of near perfection, who cares?

The service was ok but didn't match the standard of the food presented and the wine lists (one Italian and one International) are fine if you wish to choose between 7 vintages of various wines and are a connoisseur but could be more helpfully presented, or at least have a sommelier that is able to make a knowledgeable contribution to your choice.

Overall, a pleasant stay and a decent enough Relais and Chateaux hotel that I would recommend as a good base for sightseeing around Lake Maggiore.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MissOliver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2008

We enjoyed our stay at Il Sole di Ranco very much. The location is lovely with fantastic lake views. Many family members are involved in the hotel and restaurant, and there is a high level of personal service and attention. The rooms are not huge but are charming nonetheless. The complimentary breakfast was plentiful: all types of pastries, croissants, breads, plus yogurt, fruit, cereal, cheese, and juices. The dinner at the restaurant was incredible with beautiful presentation, and the service was friendly, helpful and inviting. Only complaint was the lack of wireless. We would definitely make a return visit.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank bmccusker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2008

This hotel is very attractive and in a beautiful location. We were only there one night as we often stay on Maggiore or Orta before flying out of Malpensa the next day. Much nicer than an airport hotel and more convenient than going in and out of Milan. The staff was extremely welcoming and attentive. We were given a very spacious room with nice views. I chose this hotel in part based on the reputation of the restaurant. However, it was a disappointing experience. The food was good but nothing special when compared to many smaller establishments throughout northern Italy. The service was inattentive and slow. I am not judging by American standards. We enjoy savoring good food and lingering over a three-hour meal with no sense of pressure but in this case we felt completely abandoned. I would return to the hotel but not the restaurant.

Stayed: October 2007
1  Thank NJSCME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2007

What a find! I was searching for cooking classes in Italy but specifically on Lake Maggiore since we had never been there before. There weren't a lot of options. In October however, it is off season so two of the options I found, were not available that time of year. I happen to read a review in Conde Nast Traveler about this wonderful restaurant on Lake Maggiore where on rare occasion, the chef will give a cooking lesson. When I researched the restaurant, I found out it was a 3 star Michelin award winner and the hotel was a Relais & Chateaux hotel. So, I started my quest to get the chef to give me cooking lessons. I e-mailed several times and waited weeks before I finally got a reply to my request as it was there busy season when I was inquiring. My husband and I made reservations and I had confirmed cooking lessons so we made our way to Ranco. We had no idea how tiny the village was until we arrived. Unbelievable, this excellent restaurant was out here in this tiny village but it is easy to make trips to other locations all around the lake.
The staff could not have been nicer. We were greated the moment we arrived in the parking lot by one of the family members. We had reserved a jr. suite and were shown 3 options so we could make our own selection. The room we selected had twin beds so the staff moved the beds together and rearranged the furniture for us. The bathroom was very spacious with a marble tub and a separate shower. They went out of their way to accomodate us, it was such a pleasant experience.
The restaurant was fabulous. They showed my husband their wine cellar which houses 22,000 bottles of wine! I began my cooking lessons to find that the chef has about 14 sous chefs. I spent each day in a different chef's area of expertise, tasting as we progressed of course. Since I do not speak Italian, they provided a translator for me.
Although we were there in their off season, I find it hard to believe that anyone could write a bad review on this hotel and restaurant. The view and the grounds alone are unreal they are so fantastic. We could not have been more pleased, it was a great trip to Italy and a great stay in Ranco! I am recommending this hotel and restaurant to all my traveling friends.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank temp.europeans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Il Sole Di Ranco

Address: Piazza Venezia 5, 21020 Ranco, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Maggiore > Ranco
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ranco
Price Range: £111 - £213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Il Sole Di Ranco 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
14 camere distribuite su due edifici che si specchiano sul lago. Una parte delle camere è situata nell'edificio in cui l'hotel si è originariamente sviluppato, per lo più disposte su du piani senza ascensore, mentre l'altra parte si trova nell'edificio in cui è situata la reception, recentemente rinnovata e dotata di ascensore. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Il Sole Di Ranco Hotel Ranco
Il Sole Di Ranco Varese
Il Sole Di Ranco Italy - Lake Maggiore

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