This place was a treasure, with authentic Italian everything, from hospitality to decor to service to food. We were warmly welcomed by Lorenzo (we think he's the owner) who helped us unload our bags for safekeeping before rocketing off to Bellagio, but not before taking advantage of the immaculate facilities right off the lobby. He asked if we would want dinner, but we declined, saying we planned to dine in Bellagio. After touring the gorgeous Melzi Gardens there, we headed into the nearby Bellagio village, hoping to do some shopping and dining. The heavens opened up, so we hopped into our rental van and headed back to the Hotel Albergo Sala, damp and hungry. We were greeted by a young man this time, who told us our bags had already been put in our rooms. We all felt relieved to be in the cozy lobby, so we sat down and ordered some wine, beer and cocktails from the absolutely lovely bar, and the drinks were accompanied by assorted nuts and snacks. No rush to get to the room when we were in such a warm and welcoming environment! We asked about dinner, knowing we might be out of luck since we had declined earlier, but Lorenzo, who had already left, came back to the hotel and with the assistance of another person, prepared a feast for us! Homemade bread, amazing gnocchi with two different sauces, assorted meats and vegetables, in astounding amounts, all delicious. We were full after the gnocchi and could have stopped right there, but the meats and vegetables were so delicious that we soldiered on. For the vegetarian in our group, eggs, greens and a large and diverse platter of cheese were served. The cost for this feast was only 20 Euros per person! You might get an appetizer for that in Bellagio. And the entire bar tab was only 22 Euros. The rooms were small but very clean, with everything one would need, except a hairdryer (available upon request.) A dandy breakfast of fruits, eggs, pastries (including yummy chocolate croissants) plus great cappuccino and/or American coffee, was also included. The room price was not to be beat, $175 American TOTAL for three rooms. We booked in advance through a booking service with the “no refund cancellation option” to get that rate. Don’t be confused about payment if you book through a service. Our credit card was used to hold the rooms, but payment was not made until check out. We thought our card had already been charged, so there was a bit of back and forth, but the lovely woman at the desk kindly and patiently explained. English is not really spoken here, but somehow there were no problems with communication. My husband speaks passable Italian, so we were able to convey our appreciation of their lovely hotel to them. To top it all off, they presented us with three separately bagged bottles of a lovely local wine as going-away presents! There's also convenient free parking, and the diverse and charming young man who served as receptionist, bartender, porter and waiter was such a big help. Do tip him kindly when you go. If you would like to enjoy Bellagio or Lecco, which are only 15 minutes away by car, this is the way to save a ton of money. We have in the past stayed in Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and also in a private villa in Bellagio, so we are well aware of the high cost. Since we were only going to be in that area for one night on this trip, and were paying for three couples, we decided to try to save some money. And did we ever, without a bit of diminishment in the pleasure of being in that gorgeous area of Italy. Base out of this comfy, welcoming, clean, authentic Italian hotel, drive into the incomparably beautiful Bellagio on Lake Como, then enjoy sincere and warm Italian hospitality back at Hotel Albergo Sala.
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