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“Superb grand hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees

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Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Corso Umberto I 67, 28838 Stresa, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 36 hotels in Stresa
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Superb grand hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

Just spent a week in this hotel and absolutely loved it. One of the best hotels we've stayed in. Wonderful decor, absolutely fantastic gardens and flowers with really friendly staff. Excellent facilities including a swimming pool well served by staff. The history of the hotel is interesting as it is 150yrs old and has had some very famous guests. Breakfasts were good, plenty of choice, served either on the terrace or in the dining room. Dinner was a bit expensive and seemed to be mainly a variation on veal so we ate at the many restaurants in Stresa. Definatel a hotel to re-visit.

Room Tip: Choose a balcony room over-looking the lake for great views
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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603 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

Impossible to not admire the grand style (we normally tend to prefer smaller/boutique hotels) of this hotel which is beautifully maintained inside and outside and reminds you of the history of the building and of the town of Stresa, It is like stepping back in history. The gentleman at the Reception was very welcoming, the room we had was spacious and with the same old/grand decor, the garden/pool area is nice and spacious but on a Sunday forget about getting a sunbed, despite many sunbeds being actually empty and with a "reserved" tag. Usual story, a lot of the sunbeds placed in the best spots are kept for "special guests" and the "normal guests" just go without it. Totally unacceptable practice as the hotel should have a transparent policy. Overall the service in the restaurant was good, apart from some less enthusiastic waiting staff and breakfast was served in a beautiful outdoor terrace. I think this hotel could be excellent if it didn't fall in the trap of many hotels in historical Italian locations where the attitude is that tourists will continue to visit, therefore hotels will continue to be full. One good suggestion from Concierge was to have dinner at Hotel Verbano on one of the island. Lovely boat ride and stunning views of the lake and great food.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

I stayed one evening at this hotel. The rooms and the lobby and restaurant are elegant in a grand old style. The breakfast was delicious. It is right on the lake and walking distance to the little town and departure points to see the islands. My room had a small balcony which was a nice touch. Note, not all rooms had a balcony, so ask. I had a courtyard view which is what I paid for. They would not upgrade me to lake view, but not expected.
Not much to the town, but we drove around extensively. The island were okay but not terribly exciting. Beautiful area to drive and stop in various small towns.

Room Tip: Again, ask for a balcony and if in the summer, make certain your room has air conditioning.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Irvine, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

This stately old hotel used to be a guilded palace and it still retains its magic. It's beauty shines both inside and out. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. The dining room food was surprisingly good and beautifully served. The wine list was extensive. The only downside was a churly, unhelpful concierge. But overall this was a special place to stay in Stresa.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

That all too familiar type of hotel which rests on the laurels of having an ultra-fancy property and prime location, and uses it as an excuse to slack off in virtually every other area.

First of all: my room, 619, was the single most insultingly over-priced room I have ever stayed in anywhere in the world. Actually, I'm using the word "room" loosely because I got the impression that room 619 is actually a converted janitor's closet, as it's situated off of the main hallway and so small that I could very nearly touch either wall if I stretched my arms out. In one corner of the room I had to crouch so as not to hit my head on the ceiling (and I'm not especially tall). The bathroom was equally microscopic, and I needed to execute some serious maneuvering to even get in the shower. Frankly, with a bathroom that small they should have just put the toilet right there in the shower and saved us all the hassle. To top it all off, there weren't any proper blinds installed, so when I got back to the room the night of the wedding that brought me there, and it was already light out, it was very hard to get any sleep in my 250 euro a night closet (that's with the wedding discount, expect to be even more egregiously robbed if you don't go as part of a group).

Unfortunately, it wasn't just the room that was a disappointment. The food is not even close to what you would expect from a five star hotel, the WiFi connection is atrocious and needlessly complicated to use, retrieving my car proved far more challenging than it should have been, and when I asked whether I could get any sunscreen at the hotel the concierge replied "yes, but it'll be outrageously expensive" (well, at least he's honest - I checked and it was a comical 47 euros).

I was staying here with a big group for a wedding nearby. Suffice to say that not one single person out of the dozens of us that were staying there were impressed with this hotel. As you can see from my review history, I am not one to go around blasting hotels for the sake of it. I gave a generous two stars here simply because it is an impressive building, and the location is excellent.

Room Tip: Run screaming for the hills if you are offered room 619.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Borromees, Direttore at Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
First of all I would like to thank “RamblingRambler” for staying at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromèes and apologize for the bad room we gave him.

In any business, feedback from the customers is usually a very useful source of information, in this case though, there’s not much that can be used, the description of the room - even if a little exaggerated- is quite accurate.

I am sorry to admit that room 619 really is *the* smallest room in the hotel, we keep it in case of emergency and that day we were really heavily booked.

Truth to be told, the guest did not complain and the following day we even offered if he wanted to change room but he refused.

I will quote his words, “nobody should be put in a position to have to complain in the first place” sometimes though, it helps.

Room 619 is very serviceable but it is a small room even for a young man travelling alone and in this case the young man happened to be a particularly experienced and ungenerous reviewer and staying in that room did not help.

So thank you Tripadvisor for giving me the chance to reply, because, room apart, I feel that some of the remarks deserve further comments, at least for the benefit of the Tripadvisor community.

Reading “RamblingRambler” hotel reviews we notice that WIFI in one of the most common sources of complaint - at least we are not an exception-.

I would like to point out that since 1st may 2014 we extended free WIFI to the whole hotel, feedback from our guests has been very very positive to say the least.

Guests can log in the system with their name and room number, the platform is quite user-friendly, there is even a free helpdesk you can call if you have any problem logging in, our staff is usually able to help even the least experienced user, it’s enough to ask. There is also a “premium” option available, unlimited download and faster connection.

Curtains are usually very efficient in shading light and we have adopted this solution in some of our rooms, I will have the curtains checked in room 619 and will change them if necessary even if –by his own admission- the guest is exceptionally sensitive to the light.

During those days we were heavily booked, we provide free valet service and parking, sometimes it could take a little time to retrieve a car but guests never have to wait too long neither they usually face a “challenging” experience –whatever that means-.

Ours is a medical SPA, all our products are top-of-the range, and so is the price, sorry we do not keep any off-the shelf sun cream, the concierge is more than ready to assist guests if they need something from the local pharmacy or supermarket, again this may take a little time. I am sure the remark was not meant offend the guests, but I understand that, under the circumstances, he might not have been particularly prone to humor.

I also thank Mr “RamblingRambler” for reporting that “not one single person (..) that were staying there were impressed with this hotel”, but in this case I have to doubt his words.

Either he was the most popular person in the hotel and as such he had the occasion to talk to every single guest, or his opinion is –understandably- biased, as a matter of fact, the feedback we received was quite different.

Finally, I understand the guest’s disappointment and I apologize again, I just hope that sometimes in the future he will have the chance to visit us again.

We will convince him that the only laurels that you can find in this hotel are in our beautiful gardens.

G.Luigi Mariani
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ujjain
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

beautiful location.its like a palace with beautiful paintings and art work all over,including corridors.the food was very good,excellent service.view from the room balcony was superb.we could see the sun rise,which was amazing.the spring blooms in the hotel garden were mesmerising.it was a wonderful experience.would like to go again and spend few more days there.

Room Tip: although we were in the lake view room on the front but it was very quite.which ever room you take...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Stayed here for five nights and had a beautiful time. Initially upgraded form lake view to junior suite although the hotel was full over the bank holiday weekend. It was like staying in a stately home with art hung corridors and chairs, sofas and settees that looked several hundred years old. Service was excellent throughout and the concierges were superb.
Nice big double bed with TV and a sitting area with table, sofa etc and doors onto a small veranda overlooking the lake. Could be a little noisy when door was open due to the main road running in front of the hotel.
Large marble bathroom, double sinks, shower over Jacuzzi bath, wc and bidet.
Small basic mini bar but no tea/coffee making facilities.
Breakfast was buffet style and perfectly adequate although not up to other 5* hotels we have stayed in. e.g. only choice of 3 cereals and 3 or 4 fresh fruit dishes. Only one type of milk. Cook your own boiled egg or have scrambled eggs - nothing cooked to order.
Evening meal was excellent - £53 price of basic set 3 course meal.
If you stay here leave time to wander the corridors and view the art as well as go downstairs to the toilets to view the mosaics.

Room Tip: Lake view room was very nice but view from the back was also interesting and much nicer than the usu...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees

Address: Corso Umberto I 67, 28838 Stresa, Italy
Location: Italy > Piedmont > Lake Maggiore > Stresa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Stresa
#2 Luxury Hotel in Stresa
#4 Family Hotel in Stresa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Stresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxe and tradition; since 1863 the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees is the place to stay while visiting the Maggiore Lake area. The builing, the public areas and the rooms feature all modern conforts while still keeping the same belle epoque atmosphere. The park is decorated with statues, fountains and rare plants and the view from the rooms and the restaurant is spectacular. The Medical SPA of the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees is one of the first in Italy and can offer aesthetic treatments combined with a personalized diet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Stresa
Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees Stresa, Italy - Lake Maggiore

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