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“Excellent in every way” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Bristol

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Grand Hotel Bristol
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Corso Umberto 1, 73, 28838 Stresa, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 36 Hotels in Stresa
Cranleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Excellent in every way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

From the front desk to the waitresses, porters to bar staff everyone at this hotel was exceptional during our 9 night stay in September this year.
The room was quiet and old fashioned but completely in keeping with the style of the hotel and had a brilliant accessible shower as requested on our booking. Everything was spotlessly clean both within our room and in the public areas. Maids even offered to make up room while we were at dinner on a very wet day when we didn't stray far from the hotel grounds.
Reception was always manned by helpful staff with amazing English and a good knowledge of the local area. Boards in the lobby had details of trains, ferry and cable car times as well as excursion ideas. I have read other guests comments about the wedding receptions and large groups catered for at times, the vast majority were Italian and it only added to the real feel of this hotel. You could almost imagine yourself as one of the guests at a multi-generation Italian family celebration.
The breakfast was ample with everything you could wish for including a great selection of breads and freshly squeezed orange juice. Dinner was a semi set 4 courses affair, most of which was very good. I was particularly impressed when I asked for an alternative main course as I disliked the veggie option and was offered a choice of pastas or omelettes with no fuss made whatsoever.
Pool area great with good accessibility, outside pool pretty freezing but weather wasn't great at the beginning of our stay. Indoor pool really warm and I was often the only swimmer in the evening.
Hotel very well located, easy 5 minute walk to the station, 10-15 minutes along level promenade into town and to ferry terminal. I would highly recommend this hotel, nothing was too much trouble, we never had to wait or ask twice for anything. Perfect for those wanting to stay in a peaceful location with amazing lake views, a good base for exploring the local area knowing a warm and relaxing atmosphere will greet you at the end of the day. The Grand Hotel Bristol will certainly see us returning again in the near future

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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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566 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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Derbyshire
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I booked a groupon deal which was handled by hotels booked.com. I can't say I was too impressed with their attitude.They don't reply to e-mails and we had to wait ages for confirmation of hotel we were staying in,although we did get the hotel I had requested. Amy was the most helpful member I spoke to.We were asked for an an extra £15 per person for the transfers from the airport, which was Bergamo, at least 2 hours away. Having read horror stories of transfers we hired a car for more or less the price of the transfer. The hotel was fabulous we didn't have a lake view but could have upgraded our standard room for 20 euros per night but as we didn't spend much time in our room we preferred to spend the money on the wine-the house red is fine although they charge you an extra 3euros a bottle for tax?? don't entertain going to the bar drinks are extortionate. The rooms are spotlessly clean and sheets changed every 2 days .Fresh towels and toiletries every day.We had half board breakfast and evening meal a good deal considering the price we paid.The food was good and we had a different menu each day.There is a great view of the lake from the restaurant.The indoor pool is super,clean and a decent size.Unfortunately the weather wasn't brilliant so we never got to use the outdoor pool.The staff we met were helpful,pleasant and reception staff speak good English.All in all we had a fabulous week in the grand hotel Bristol at Stresa on Lake Maggiore.The only downside was our flight home to Manchester left at 10.45am so we had to leave at 6am to ensure we caught the flight home with Ryanair thus loosing a full day.We also lost a day on arrival as we didn't get to the hotel till 8.30pm due to rush hour traffic round Milan!

Room Tip: our room at the rear on the second floor was ok but noisy early in the morning from restaurant staff...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
    • 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

The hotel is a large conference hotel so the rooms are decent and the breakfast is fine.
Minor gripes:
- The "half-board" deal that was booked originally turned out to be breakfast and lunch, which is more than a little pointless for anyone leaving the hotel to explore the area.
- The staff aren't great, but remember that you are not their priority customer - conference bookers are. e.g. "when it rained water came through my ceiling" "oh... when it rains that happens in any building". And despite telling them three times when I was checking out they kept arguing this point with me, seeming to doubt that I knew when my flights were and displaying more than a little too much attitude.

However, on balance the hotel was fine, and typical of Italian efficiency.

However, Hotelsbooked.com/holidaysbooked.com was a nightmare. I could write a very long post about just how awful this company is, but many others have done this before. Suffice it to say:
- a simple date change took 10 days and several dozen chasing phone calls. At one point I began proceedings with my credit card company to cancel the transaction as leverage to get them to do anything.
- The holiday documents had errors both times, which I had to ask them to correct.
- They forgot to pay for my hotel room, so I had to again chase this several times on the Friday before our holiday.
- They forgot to book the taxi transfer to the airport, which I had paid for.

In summary, everything that I would have had to do to book the holiday myself, I had to chase them on up to several dozen times. It was the single most stressful and unpleasant experience I have ever had and I will cannot imagine engaging a travel agent again. This is an execrable company.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is a grand hotel overlooking Lake Maggiore and the Borromean islands. The public areas are quite special and live up to the 'grand' name. Reception staff are helpful and speak good English.

We stayed half board on a special offer. We were put in a room at the back accessible via a curious horizontal lift or underground passageway. The room itself was satisfactory though the air conditioning was noisy and ineffective.

Breakfast offered up a reasonably good selection of meats and cheeses: best to stick with the continental offering rather than the dubious chicken sausages and unexciting scrambled egg. We ate one lunch which was really good. Evening meals were quite good - but the buffet salad was excellent.

Whatever you do, never book this hotel or any other through Holidaybooked.com. Our transfer to the hotel didn't turn up. Google reviews for holidaybooked.com - the reviews are all bad and consistent with our experience and then book with someone else.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Louisville, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

A very nice hotel. Our room faced Lake Maggiore - what a magnificent view from our balcony. The room is a nice size and clean. Hotel is very well taken care of. Beautiful pool area and garden. All balconies have flowers hanging from the railing, just a beautiful view when you walk back to your hotel. Cannot comment on the restaurant. It presents well, but we walked into Stressa to see the old town and had lunch there. The staff was courteous and helpful. We would definitely return.

Room Tip: Try to get a room at the front of the hotel for a breathtaking view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
North Wales
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We arrived at the hotel on Sunday23rd September. It is one of the four largest hotels on the front at Stresa and our checking in was very efficient and slick. The reception area is really lovely and we were very pleased with our spacious room. The hotel was very clean and the house staff were always busy ensuring that standard was upheld. It was in the annexe which is adjoined to the main hotel via a sideways moving lift or a very unusual winding corridor which has a gradient , I would imagine one to two floors. We enjoyed the excersise of walking back to our room after having relaxed and dined in the gorgeous restaurant. The food was beautiful and presented so well by the charming and helpful staff. Lots of choice , in fact spoilt for choice, the food was excellent. We would recommend this hotel and will definately stay there again when we return to Stresa.

Room Tip: Obviously the front of the hotel overlooks the lake, but even from the annexe at the rear of the hot...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

This is indeed a very grand hotel, one of a row of five which front Lake Maggiore in Stresa. Apart from tourists and visitors, it caters for business conventions and weddings thus is busy throughout the week and weekend. Front of house staff are courteous and professional. Rooms are small but well appointed and very clean. The view from all front and side rooms is superb. Food in the evening was good, the cold starters in particular excellent. There are also buffet evenings when the chefs are on hand to provide pasta and meats. The serving staff work hard and are friendly, but sometimes are overwhelmed with demand when suddenly the custom doubles with the arrival of a coach party of 50. Breakfast offers, I think, a very good selection of hot and cold foods.The grounds are pleasant but again, busy with business break outs or social events sharing the area with sun loungers. The pool looks lovely but the water is freezing. Thanks then for the indoor pool which is large and warm. The interesting point of the hotel is getting to the pool and spa which are at the rear of the grounds and can be accessed either by a 'travelator' (sideways lift) or a tunnel which is wonderfully decorated and carpeted and makes you feel you are following the footsteps of Alice and the Looking Glass. Stresa and the all important ferry station are 10 minutes stroll away along a delightful promenade. There is much to do including, of course, visiting by boat the three islands in the lake which are all enchanting. Lake Orta is only 30 minutes drive away and worth a visit.

Room Tip: Put the plug in the bidet at night to avoid a slight smell of drains in the bathroom the next mornin...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Bristol

Address: Corso Umberto 1, 73, 28838 Stresa, Italy
Location: Italy > Piedmont > Lake Maggiore > Stresa
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Stresa
#5 Luxury Hotel in Stresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Bristol 4*
Number of rooms: 255
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The strikingly elegant Grand Hotel Bristol is set amidst beautifully tended gardens and has a wonderful view over the lake and Borromean Island at the foot of the Alps. Conveniently situated across the road from the lake, and only 300 metres from the centre of Stresa, the hotel’s large swimming pool is set in the immaculate grounds and shares the panoramic view of the lake and mountains. There is also an indoor pool at your disposal with two hot tubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Stresa
Grand Hotel Bristol Stresa, Italy - Lake Maggiore

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