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“A beautiful hotel in a stunning location......” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa d'Este

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Villa d'Este
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Regina 40, 22012 Cernobbio, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A beautiful hotel in a stunning location......”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

I chose this hotel for my 40th birthday in April and was not dissapointed.

Firstly Lake Como is truly a beautiful place (and I have travelled far and wide in my life) which I would highly recommend. Id say book it for a special occasion or for a romatic weekend away as it's pricey there.

Villa D'Este is a charming and grand hotel, set in well kept grounds. The location and position are ideal to get around Como and it is the most impressive hotel there.

The staff are very helpful and friendly and nothings too much trouble. Again though you do get what you pay for! While I was there, I saw Emily Blunt who was checking out the hotel as a potential wedding venue, and I read last week that she got married there, so that says it all!

The rooms can be a little chintzy but I was offered an upgrade for the 1st night as they knew it was 40th birthday, which was most thoughtful.

I will definitely go back, funds permitting and would suggest that this is one hotel that is definitely worth blowing a budget for...

Alexa Winchmore Hill

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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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718 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 stars
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
375 helpful votes 375 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2010

If you have been following my reviews of the best room - best hotel stays we've booked along our extended European vacation, you'll know we booked at Villa d' Este more than a year ago based on it’s Conde Naste ranking and great reviews. Well folks, Conde Naste needs to take it’s head out of it’s a** and book an anonymous one night stay here in Villa Cima - a separate villa on the lake with all the hotel amenities. It’s their best room because it’s a separate room a separate villa on the lake.

The first (and least) short-coming is that there is no privacy whatsoever. Every single vehicle that goes to Villa D Este (the hotel), roars by a few inches fromVilla Cima’s front door. Curious tourists walking to Cernobbio leer over the walkway at your private patio. We were expecting to be living the “Life of Riley” on the shores of Lake Como, hobnobbing with the Clooneys and Pitts. No such people would spend more than a day here.

We pulled the plug after a mere half day, asking for the hotel manager and GM to explain that we can’t possibly spend 6 nights in a villa reeking of urine. Only get this - after one night at 6500 Euros, we realized that the smell was not urine but rather the ant poison which did not succeed in killing the tens of thousands of ants which had infested our luggage in the foyer of the villa during the 8 hours we had occupied it. We did not find out about said infestation until discovering ants in our luggage at the next hotel on our stay at Four Seasons Milan - an impromptu stop caused by this hotel. The sheets here were like staying a night in grandma’s spare room on the pullout sofa. Lineny and harsh and scratchy. With hospital style comforters. They weren’t even linens!

Villa d’Este has been around since Christ was a cowboy and it shows. Most properties like this in Europe dutifully update their premises each year with their profits, when they close for the season. This hotel either doesn’t have any profits or is so taxed by the overhead of Mafia payoffs and local taxes that they have no resources left to keep the place up.

It was deeply heartbreaking for their staff who tried their guts out, but just could not make up for the glaring shortcomings, not present in similarly aged properties in France and England.

We were forced to book make-up visits in separate hotels which deeply inconvenienced us and left us feeling like all of Italy’s luxury resorts are just falling apart.

So my advice - if you insist on seeing Italy are, Pay George Clooney 20k a night for a room in his villa ( a bargain based on this place), or avoid lake Como. This hotel has just lost everything it stands for in my book.

It’s heartbreaking and sad for its staff who were excellent. The food here was excellent too. But OLD does not mean CLASSIC - You need to UPGRADE this property of you’re going to charge the kind of rates the Kennedys paid pre-inflation.

God help this place.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cranleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2010

Well, this place had a lot to live up to. Its reputation is huge and having been fortunate enough over the years to stay in some pretty nice places, I wondered if we would think it was worth the hype and the (considerably) more money that it costs to stay there.

Based on our 48 hours I would say "yes!" We had booked a corner room with views of both the lake and the gardens, but were upgraded to a top junior suite with full lake view - no idea why, but it was a nice surprise. It was in the Queen's building, which I can say is perfectly good - no special need to be in the main building that I can think of, apart from maybe the thrill of walking down its staircase to dinner - rather grand, to say the least.

The food and drink were superb. We dressed up for the first night to eat in the restaurant (laid up outside since the weather was good) and the second night we ate at The Grill, still great food but no need for jacket and tie. Service was the best I have ever received, and there is a huge number of staff to guests. All seem very attentive and very much on the ball. Being a Brit perhaps, I was a little uncomfortable with the tipping culture. I saw an American guy walk ten paces to a sunbed with a pool attendant carrying his two towels. He gave a 10 Euro tip for that 10 seconds of "work". Not untypical from what I saw. The guy took the tip, but to their credit the staff did not hang around looking for tips. The majority of guests seemed to be American, and of course their tipping culture is huge. (I am more comfortable with the policy of, say, Chewton Glen, which costs a fortune but the staff are not allowed to accept tips).

Just how expensive is Villa D'Este? Well, bottled water is 9 Euros, a club sandwich is 30 Euros, and a Gin and Tonic is 19 Euros. Even after the free upgrade our bill for two nights was over 3,000 Euros, but that did include a two hour boat hire on the lake for 170 Euros (rent one of their boats and drive yourself around, it's great fun). We didn't hit the wine either!

The gardens are stunning, the pool remarkable, the main building like a palace inside, and the service exceptional. Our only gripes related to the small number of parents who exert absolutely no control over their young children. I felt sad seeing whining 8 year old brats with their feet up on the beautiful sofas in the main building, crying when they didn't get what they wanted, disinterested mums filing their nails and texting on their BlackBerrys. Honestly, why take young kids to a place like this? Of course they're going to be bored - they'd prefer a water park or Disneyworld. Luckily we were able to escape the majority of the brat incidents!

We felt sad to leave even after just 2 days, and that is probably the best endorsement we can give. It really is a fabulous place and I hope we are blessed enough in life to be able to afford to go back soon!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grand forks, nd
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2010

My husband and I stayed at this property while he attended a conference at the Villa Erba in Cernobbio. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The grounds are beautiful and very relaxing! We stayed in a top Jr. suite facing Lake Como. The room was quite spacious and the view was breathtaking. Our walk-in closet was spacious and as large as some rooms in Europe. The feeling one gets at this property is one of serenity and calmness. It sometimes feels like you are the only guest which is hard for a hotel to accomplish. The staff is very helpful and we appreciate that they are always available, but they do not hover like staff at Ritz Carlton Hotels do. We had breakfast each day in the restaurant and had a great table either outside by the lake or in the beautiful breakfast room with a panoramic view. The buffet is large and has a great amount of fresh fruit. We used the floating swimming pool more than once. It also afforded a panoramic view of Lake Como while relaxing. The grounds are a huge part of making this a world class resort. The flowers were beautiful and the mosaic is interesting. The clay tennis courts were an added extra. The price tag for a stay at this property is hefty, but it is something one should experience. We would love to return to this magical place.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Turriff, Scotland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2010

My partner & I booked the d'este for our wedding reception in may 2010 & it was a complete fairytale. The hotel remains as charming and elegant as I imagine it would have been 100 years ago but has been upgraded very sympathetically, so has all the mod- cons you would expect. On arrival at villa d'este we were immediately made to feel welcome with an upgrade in our room!
The service in the hotel was exceptional during our stay and during our wedding reception. We had 36 guests attend our wedding and everyone was blown away by the beauty of the mosaic gardens, the beautiful views of lake Como & the faultless service provided by the staff. My wedding day was the fairytale I dreamed of, thanks to the staff at villa d'este! It will be somewhere we will definitely be returning too!

Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Melbourne
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2010

My wife has always wanted to spend time in the Italian lakes, so a stay at Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como seemed like a natural birthday present. This is one of those rare properties which age does not seem to dim. Rather it enhances it. What is good about this place is first and foremost the staff. We arrived from Australia at some ridiculously early hour in the morning. Instead of being told to wait for our room, we were instantly ushered to another room and offered breakfast downstairs at no extra cost. I had mentioned that it was my wife’s birthday: on the appointed evening a beautiful fruit flan with candles was produced, complete with five waiters singing Happy Birthday – and there was no charge for the cake. My wife wanted a loop in the belt of some trousers sewn up: within minutes a uniformed housekeeping staff member arrived, and returned the garment duly mended an hour later – and this was on Sunday at 8 am.

Then there is the property and the location. What makes a truly great hotel apart from staff is a perfect location and a beautiful property. As to the location on the shores of Lake Como, no more need be said. On the latter, this means wonderfully appointed restaurants and beautiful public spaces more reminiscent of a club that an hotel, and Villa d’Este has these in spades. The whole of the ground floor has an endless array of beautiful rooms: a bar, a drawing room, a stunning ballroom, a room for playing bridge and another beautiful reception room. The food is wonderful and the service superb. The building and the surrounding grounds are breathtaking.

Yes, it’s hideously expensive and you think that it could never be value for money. Until you get there and it just is! On rooms there, one simple piece of advice, spend some extra and get one of the larger rooms giving on to the lake. Lovely as it is, you don’t go to Villa d’Este to look at the garden.

I’d like to have something to criticise, but frankly I can’t think of a thing.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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London
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
81 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
204 helpful votes 204 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2010

This hotel is all about the location... it is drop dead gorgeous!!! Was there to spend our 5th Anniversary. It's one of those places you have to go to at least once. We spend 3 nights there. Rooms were huge and nice - we were upgraded. It is expensive but since it was an occassion it had been accounted for. We did not have our meals at the hotel but went just outside the gates to the restaurants in the town... Giardino (sp) was excellent and reasonable priced.

Make sure to have a rental as it is worth driving around.

Lugano is a waste of time.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa d'Este

Address: Via Regina 40, 22012 Cernobbio, Italy
Location: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Cernobbio
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa d'Este 5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the splendor, the grandeur, the intrigue and the magic of Villa d'Este- an opulent hotel overlooking glorious Lake Como. Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this famous resort destination has been widely praised for its beautiful gardens, exquisite cuisine, gala celebrations, impeccable décor and extraordinary hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa d`Este Hotel Cernobbio
Hotel d Este
d Este Hotel Cernobbio
Villa Deste Lake Como
Villa D'Este Lake Como/Cernobbio, Italy

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