Let's get this clear. Sole di Ranco is a rally excellent restaurant. When you arrive, the directions given are to the car park - Ristorante Sole, not the hotel.
The food in the restaurant is up there with anything I have eaten in Italy and the wine list (let them choose for you) is unbeatable. Plus, when we went to the local wine shop, the price of the wine at the restaurant was not much more than the price at the wine shop, so although the wine is expensive, it is because it is the best available, not because you are being ripped off - that said, dinner for two came to more than the cost of the room, and with there being little in the way of alternatives nearby, you need to budget 240 Euros plus per night for dinner - they do not have a table d'hote. Decor in the restaurant and in the hotel was a little 1970's and tired; it is clear that this is a family and not internationally run hotel and therefoe budgets are not elastic.
The rooms though were disappointing. If I went again, I would choose a standard non lake view room. We chose a lake view junior suite which was a maisonette type arrangement with the lounge in the entrance hall and upstairs, the bedroom and bathroom. Because the bedroom and bathroom is in the roof, there were in fact no windows of any note. This first made the room claustrophobic and secondly, even in Feburary it was hot without the noisy air conditioning machine on (which you could not sleep with being on). Therefore the balcony lake view was downstairs and really the lake view was a waste of money - you want to see the lake from your bed when you wake up. In addition, whilst there was a walk in wardrobe with coat rail, there was no drawer space or facilities whatsoever; you need to keep everything else in your suitcase. TV if you are inclined was a tiny portable tv in the bedroom area. There is one suite in the main building (most of the rooms are in an annex across the courtyard) which is on one floor and not split level, which did look good, and so advice is, unless that suite is not taken up, don't spend extra on this.
Breakfast was small and really not to standard bearing in mind the cost of the room. You can have extras and they are good, but you need to pay extra (minimum of about 5 Euros per item).
What the hotel doesn't advertise enough is the garden which slopes down to the lake and has its own swimming pool (not sure if it is heated).
You arrive in the car park (covered) below the garden and need to walk up the slope. If you arrive or go out late (after 11pm), let the owners know, as they close the gate at that time and you won't be able to get back in without taking your key.
That said, Andrea who runs the hotel and his team are very friendly and will arrange whatever you need. This is a place for good food with some rest in a moderate hotel; in other words a good restaurant with a hotel attached, not the other way round.
- 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