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“Good meal but a bit pricy” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees

Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
Corso Umberto I, 67, Stresa, Italy
+39 0323 9389 38
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Ranked #13 of 98 Restaurants in Stresa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“Good meal but a bit pricy”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

As we stayed also in the same hotel, we had twice an evening supper. Reservation is not required except if you really want a table outside. View of the lake is nice outside. Service is good in the beginning but slows down at the end. In general, service is really not great and not up to the same level as other departments of this hotel.
Food is good but not exceptional (I liked the vitello tonnato). If you take antipasti, pasta, main dish, dessert + wine, count on minimum 200€ for 2 persons. But it is the same price as in another luxury palace.
So if you can afford, try it out.
PS : one of the maîtres d'hotel, Roberto, is really great and much better than all the other staff. Give that guy a bonus as he is really belonging to this kind of places !

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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76 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    53
    11
    9
    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stresa, Italy
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Magnificient”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

This is one of the most beautiful hotels in the area. The famous Hemmingway bar downstairs is lovely to sit and have a drink. You can easily imagine how he sat there. Obviously the atmosphere has not changed much over the years. The ladies toilet is the most beautiful one I have ever seen.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inwood, West Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“One of the three places that all Italians must visit before they die!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

Ernest Hemingway's incredible love story " A Farewell to Arms" places The Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees as central to Frederic and Catherine's ultimate escape from Stresa, Italy across Lago Maggiore to Switzerland. Hemingway's description of the hotel and the lake led me to this place that an Italian acquaintance described as, "one of the three places that all Italians must visit before they die."
The beautiful 90 km drive from Como to Stresa via Italian Superstrade did nothing to prepare me for my entrance into Stresa! The drive down the twisting switchbacks from the hills overlooking Lago Maggiore into the city must be taken very slowly in order to negotiate the turns as well to take in the view of the Lake and the city as you descend. Hemingway, one of the most widely traveled men of the twentieth century, once described the view of Lago Maggiore from the Grand Hotel as the most beautiful in the world! It is incredible!
I found abundant free parking all along the Corso Umberto and found a spot directly across the street from the hotel. My plan was to take a long walking tour of Stresa and the waterfront and then to have a late lunch, al fresco, at the Grand Hotel. I was dressed in comfortable hiking clothes and carrying my red Camelbak, so I wasn't sure that I would seated, even outside. But later upon entering the ornate lobby, I was warmly greeted by hotel staff and my request for a table was immediately granted. They suggested that I leave my pack at the front desk and insisted that I move my car onto hotels grounds for free valet service.
I was was taken to very nice table under the canopy where I was presented with a menu suitable for lunch or dinner. I chose to have a light meal and a bottle of their best localPinot Grigio. Italian whites wines are typically light and generally available in half bottles, which I selected. My meal and the wine was superb and the service was impeccable. I left feeling as if the restaurant and hotel staff who served me were truly my friends. My waiter even warmly shook my hand and accompanied me through the ornate hallway back to the lobby bar where I had a great double espresso and grappa. Maybe it was two grappe! The feeling that Ernest Hemingway most certainly sat at this bar and enjoyed espresso and grappa, possibly at the very spot where I sat, was overwhelming! I will most certainly return to The Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees!

  • Visited September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Over priced option...food was good but service was poor”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011

Between the cover and water, 17 euros spent...portions are not large, so order at least 2 courses...service was indifferent to rude...there are better options such as Verbano

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
332 reviews 332 reviews
254 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“Very good food let down by a lack of atmosphere and wine choice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2011

I was staying at the hotel and decided to try the well rated restaurant out. The food was veery good. It was delicious and well presented. I had the melon and ham as an antipasti - probably the best presentation I have seen like this. Then I had an amazing blueberry risotto. Yes I said bleuberry. It was spectacular. Then as a secondi I had the lamb (which if did not have a prima you would have found a little small).

The gelato was ok - didn't feel anything like the other courses but still didn't stop me giving it 5 for food.

Overall though I marked the restaurant down to a 4 on two fronts. First the restaurant is big and open. It doesn't really have any atmosphere - style yes, but it felt a little cavernous. Second, for such a good food selection I was quite disappointed with the wine choice. Only a house red by the glass and little choice even of half bottles. I'm used to north american wider choices and travelling alone, a full bottle is a bit much when I'm driving the newzxt day (I'm on a motoring holiday). It would be easy to fix this!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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