my wife and i spent three nights here in early october 2012. this hotel is clean and well run with amazing views of lake como. the rooms are modern with well-equipped ensuites including showers. the property is interesting as it was an orphanage, including the original chapel. how many hotels have you stayed in where you had a funicular to yourself just to get to your room ? the staff speak very little english and, although helpful, tend to be reserved. the downsides are basically two...first, the breakfast was fair, at best. the coffee machine produced only adequate products and the juice machine on all three mornings produced an undrinkable watery ade..virtually everything on the buffet came out of boxes from the closet or refrigerator. second, the location is as far as one can get from the train station and town center and still be considered varenna. unless you are able to walk considerable distances (minimum 1/2 mile) in whatever weather it is at the moment, you will have to take a taxi (at 12 euros) every time you go to the ferry, train, or town. it is no doubt a "romantic" and unusual place, but there are real tradeoffs. for us, returning would be a matter of the offered price and what else was available.