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“pleasant but could be better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Continental

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Hotel Continental
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Giorgione 14, 37016 Garda, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 50 Hotels in Garda
new york city
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“pleasant but could be better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2009

The Hotel Continental is modern and on Lake Garda. The terraces have very nice views but the chairs are small and very uncomfortable. Therefore, there is a really beautiful view, with a lovely awning for shade and two small chairs for sitting. We chose to sit at the beach downdstairs but the umbrellas downstairs were small and gave very little shade. The service in the restaurant was beyond excellent. The food was good but only a few dishes were special. There was no access to the computer altho the hotel had computers they denied use of any computers to guests and there was no internet cafe in town. There was also no fittness center.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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100 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
North West
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2009

Upside: Very good location, near the Ferry terminal & Bus station. Lovely pool with plenty of sunloungers to be had at any time of the day. Food good with 3 choices of starters & main courses plus 4 choices of dessert. Downside: Bathrooms definitely need refurbishing. Rooms seem to be stuck in the 1970's. Couldn't fault the cleanliness and hospitality though. A very peaceful and safe hotel.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2008

around 15 of us stayed here in july for my wedding which took place in the nearby torre del benaco castle. This hotel suited our need perfectly. the hotel itself is on a quiet side street, within a couple of minutes stroll you are on the lakeside with its many bars and resteraunts. garda town itself is a great base to see other lake resorts by bus/ ferry and rail like to milan/ venice very good too. we went to gardaland italys largest theme park which was fantastic. this is a very quiet laid back hotel with no entertainment and no music by the pool which suited us fine. this is the type of holiday where you come home feeling you have actually had a holiday. evenings are either spent by he lakeside or on the hotels lemongrove terrace (the bar closes at 11pm!) the waiters in particular were very friendly and the food was of great quality(even my dad didnt complain and he is very fussy!) we most definately will go back to garda and satying at another hotel is not an option!!!

  • Liked — food peace
  • Stayed July 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
196 helpful votes 196 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Continental for 13 nights in June/July, 2008. The hotel is family-owned and is smartly and tastefully decorated, inside and out. It has 48 double/twin rooms, all with a view of the swimming pool, and many with a view of the lake in the distance, and a few single rooms at the back, with a shared balcony. The rooms on the 4th floor appear to be slightly smaller than those on the other floors, but have a bigger balcony. Generally, this indicates that families requiring extra beds for children would probably be located on the lower floors – an advantage for some….

Reserving our room was easy. Gustav Mendinelli is very responsive on email, and booking was therefore a very smooth process. The hotel took note of our credit card details, but did not charge a deposit. I emailed Gustav a week before our arrival to check that everything was OK with our reservation and he replied immediately. We arrived at 12.30pm, thinking that we could just leave our bags and get some lunch while our room was being prepared, but we were given our keys immediately and were able to get unpacked before spending a relaxing afternoon by the pool. Our request for a non-smoking room was ignored, but this wasn’t a problem, and we were quite pleased to get a room on the ‘quiet’ floor.

Our room (418) was located in the centre of the hotel, near the lift, so was a little noisy in the mornings, but this was only a minor irritation. We had two comfortable single beds pushed together, so plenty of sleeping room, adequate storage space, a small TV (with BBC1 and 2), and a minibar/fridge with a small area to store personal things. The room was average size, but the balcony, with two chairs and a small table, was quite spacious. The bathroom was again average-
size, and had toiletries and a hairdryer, but no tissues. Towels were changed whenever they were left on the floor. The air conditioning worked quietly and efficiently. The whole feel of the room was smart, comfortable and clean.

The location of the Continental is ideal. A street away from the main road, so fairly quite, five minutes’ walk from the many lakeside restaurants, and about the same from the bus station and boat pier. Several minimarkets are located within the locality, and there’s an ice cream shop a short walk away that stocks 28 different varieties!

The hotel has a good-sized lounge, with several TVs, a bar and a computer. I can’t comment on Internet access as I didn’t try it. There is a generous sized lagoon-style swimming pool with Roman steps and a handrail, but no children’s pool. There are more than enough sunbeds, so it was always possible to get one at any time of the day. However, many of these are of the slatted plastic variety, and are uncomfortable to lay on for any period of time, particularly as there no mattresses provided. There are some of the canvas variety, but these are the first to be nabbed in the mornings - and there is a lot of reserving of sunbeds before breakfast - and of course the culprits often don’t appear until after lunch. Some rules and supervision on this subject would be useful. The other (slight) criticism of the pool area I would raise is the serving of drinks in glasses around the pool while some (sometimes boisterous) kids played with balls. To me, they don’t mix in a pool area. There was also some noise on several days from the young kids with a group of locals who used the pool–friends/
family of the owners, we guessed. However, these are minor criticisms of a spotless pool area that had more shaded area from the trees than many I have used.

The staff at the hotel (many of them members of the family running it) were generally very visible and always very helpful and willing to answer questions. The hotel has been in the family’s hands for 40 years, and they know the area extremely well. The one exception to the friendly staff is the guy with glasses that often tends the bar (a member of the family, I was told). This guy was sullen and unfriendly, and hopefully will return soon to a profession befitting his charms skill – I suggest prison warder.

It is in the restaurant that the Continental achieves its highest standards. The team of waiters, led by Ercole, are absolute gems. They are friendly, efficient and flexible. At your first meal you are given a table which you keep for all your meals during your stay, so no queuing or elbowing for the best table. Breakfast is buffet-style, served until 10 o’clock, with (watery) fruit juice, a wide choice of fresh and tinned fruit, cereals, meats, cheese, yogurts, scrambled egg and bacon, tea and coffee. Oh, and the first hotel toaster I have ever encountered that toasts bread perfectly, first time! Most guests were on half board, and one of the positive things about the meal service is that you can choose whether to take lunch or dinner. Every morning at breakfast you are given the lunch and dinner menus, and are asked to choose what you want for lunch or dinner. Each meal consisted of a choice of three starters (often including a pasta and a soup) and three main courses (often with a British-style option, such as lamb, chicken or pork). Desserts are chosen at the mealtime, with a choice of ice cream, fresh fruit and cake. At dinner a salad bar is also available. We experienced a number of examples of the flexibility offered in the restaurant; for example, on one day we were offered lamb chops (my favourite) for lunch, but we had planned to go out during the day. Could I have the lamb chops for dinner instead? ‘Of course – no problem.’ The lady at the next table to us didn’t seem to like any of the starters and ordered melon at every meal. The response? ‘Of course – no problem.’ The quality of the food was top class, and this from someone who has the reputation of being extremely impatient with any restaurant offering poor food or service; but do remember you are in Italy, not Brighton, so it will be a bit different. Ercole and his team also bring your drinks from the bar – which are extremely competitively-priced – and your bottle of water and/or wine will arrive with your room number on it, so that it can be stored in the fridge and brought out again at your next meal. How can anyone criticise this level of effort in a three star hotel?

For guests who decide on dinner, there’s a small snack bar menu for lunch, all very reasonably-priced. There’s a seating area with parasols, between the pool and the main building, where these snacks can be eaten.

The mix of guests during our stay was mainly British, some German and Irish, with a small number of other nationalities. There were a few families with children of varying ages, but the age profile was overwhelmingly elderly. In fact, this hotel would make an ideal adults-only hotel - something for the owners to think about…?

There are no daytime activities organised at the hotel, and no evening entertainment, so ideal for the quieter holiday. You can always go to the lakeside for live music, where several of the bars have live entertainers, although these tend to be of the nondescript pop music type. You can sample a little of the local culture by going to the small square off the alleyway just past the La Losa bar at the other end of the town, where they have interesting events of a local nature. On Monday evenings, the local brass band perform, on other evenings there are dance events. You can take a seat at the bar in the square and watch, or be like some tourists and join in.

Eating out is part of the culture around Lake Garda. Garda itself has a multitude of restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours and snack bars. Pizzas are available at about 6-10 Euros (large size), pastas from 7-15 Euros and other snacks (paninis, crostinis, etc) from about 4 Euros up. Wine is generally about €2.50 a glass and beer about €4-4.50 for a 40cl glass. We only ate out three times because of the high standard of food at the hotel, twice at the San Vi, both of which were fine, and once at the Giardinetto, which was disappointing. The latter specialises in seafood, another favourite of mine, and is always crowded, so the signs were good. We ordered and the first courses were delivered. My main course arrived when I was halfway through my starter, so I sent it back. It was represented ten minutes later, but the food was only warm. I tried to get a waiter to return it, but by this time the restaurant was full and the service was chaotic. I was halfway though it by the time it was too cold to continue, and I told the waiter the problem when he eventually collected the dishes. He deducted half the cost when he brought the bill, but then proceeded to tell me he didn’t believe me that the food wasn’t hot. I told him that it wasn’t a good idea for a waiter to call his customers a liar and left without leaving a tip. It was the only bad eating experience of our stay in Garda.

There is plenty to see around Lake Garda, and a good transport system to help you. Our favourite place was Malcesine, with a lovely castle (I understand it’s still used for weddings) and the cable car to Monte Baldo. This is a fairly benign experience, chugging up the mountainside, never more than about 10 meters off the ground, so it’s suitable even for those of a nervous disposition. You have to change cars halfway, so if you get too scared you can always get the next car back down. Cost is about 17 Euros per adult return, and if time is important to you, note that at peak times it can take almost an hour each way by the time you have queued for the two cars.

We also visited Sirmione, where we saw the only example of graffiti and a little rubbish, and they were also getting ready for an event, so areas were cordoned off. Good for expensive designer shops, though. Riva, at the very northern tip of the lake, was interesting, and a walk round Torri, the next town to the north of Garda, made a change.

The transport system consists of the lake boats, the local buses and – if you’re up to it – bicycles. The boats are the ‘different’ way for us townies to travel. They run to a timetable, are sometimes a little late, but are fairly infrequent and quite expensive. The real negative is that intermediate stops are not allowed. So to go to Malcesine, Limone and Riva (all on the same route) would necessitate three trips, and it takes 2 hours 40 minutes to get to Riva! The local buses are air-conditioned and have comfortable, coach-style seats, and run to a schedule that bears only a passing resemblance to the published timetable. However, they are frequent and much cheaper than the boats, and give you a different perspective on the scenery. Bikes can be hired by a half day (8 Euros) or by the day (10 Euros), and if you are travelling south, can be used on the lakeside ‘prom’ without using the roads.

My advice would be to plan which mode of transport to use depending on where you’re going. Use the boats for the towns that are difficult to get to by bus – Salo and Limone on the other side of the lake, Sirmione on the peninsula in the south. Use the buses for the Garda side of the island, such as Malcesine, Riva, Bardelino, Lazise, etc. You can also get the bus to Verona if you want to spend some time there, but I think the buses finish long before the opera ends at the Arena! If you’re brave, hire bikes to cycle along the lake to Bardelino and Cisano. To give you an idea of prices, a return ticket on the boat to Malcesine is about 17 Euros. A return ticket on the bus to Riva (much further) is €7.20.

Some general advice on your holiday spending money. The hotel will change Sterling and travellers’ cheques at a fairly good rate – much better when compared with the local banks than in many holiday hotels. While we were there they were offering €1.20 to the pound. The banks will not change travellers’ cheques, and you also need to take your passport to change notes. There was also a problem with VISA cards that we had, as well as several other guests. There seems to be a line communication problem that stops the cash machines at the banks from issuing money, but the message seems to indicate that your bank is rejecting your card – very worrying if you are relying on the card to pay for meals/hotel, etc. Sometimes VISA cards work and sometimes they don’t. I don’t know whether this an on-going problem, nor whether it also applies to Mastercards. But don’t rely totally on your card to get cash.

A few words about the Lake Garda area. It’s the paradise most of us would like to live in. That safe feeling when walking about at night. No graffiti. No rubbish. No scrubland. When you look at the mountainside you see smartly-planned landscapes. Everything seems to be finished properly – no half-completed pavements, piles of rubble or holes in the road like you get in other countries. Just a generally peaceful environment that we can’t wait to go back to. And the Hotel Continental will be high on our list when we do.

  • Liked — Food and service in the restaurant
  • Disliked — Noist kids around the pool
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 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.
Bradford w.yorks
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2008

We stayed at this hotel from the 18th to 28th June 2008,and had a fantastic time. Our party consisted of my mother and father in law, and my wife. our rooms were nos 430 and 432, these were on the top floor with the biggest balcolnies. The rooms were very comfortable, with air conditioning which worked superb. Whilst we were there we had a new shower cubicle fitted, so the hotel are refurbishing as they go along. The food was excellent,a large buffy type breakfast with loads of choice and all very fresh. The waiters were fantastic, especially Roberto and Franchesca. The swimming pool was fantastic,nice and refreshing when the temperature was reaching 34 degrees in the shade, evan the Italians were complaining about the heat. The lemon trees were a beautiful site on both sides of the pavement leading up to the hotel. The seafront was only a 4 minute walk, and to the boats. The guy who runs the boats at Garda is a real character, and runs his dock with military precision. He makes sure everyone is in a straight line and nobody pushes in. someexcellent places to visit are sirmione, Limone, laizi, malchesni, gardoni, and of course Venice. We went to Venice on a paid tour through Crystal, the guide they sub contacted to was called Gabrielle, who was a very camp man. But he made us laugh all day, and have very fond memories of him, I think he was very sweet on my father in law,as he kept winking at him.Venice is very beautiful, the extra boat trip was well worth the additional 13 euros when you get there. Also the gondelar rides are good value at 18 euros each. We were concerned about the rumers that Venice was expensive, but it is not. If you walk down one of the side streets at Marcs square, you can buy a sandwich and a coke, for only five euros in a cafe bar. Also drinks in pubs and ice creams, are just the same in Venice as they are around the Lake Garda.
Just to finish about the hotel, the drinks in the mini bar are very cheap, most expensive 3 euros, also the bar drinks are very cheap, 3 euros for a large beer, 4.5 euros for a massive G&T, out around the lake you will pay up to 7 euros for a large G&T.

  • Disliked — NONE
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2008

The hotel is just a short stroll from the lake, front shops, restaurants and the ferry port.

We didn't find the front of house staff particularly friendly or welcoming including the bar man who was quite surly though the waiting staff were fine.

Our room/bathroom needed to be refurbished as it was shabby and dated. The beds were really hard and uncomfortable.

The food was basic and not good.

Stayed May 2008
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2008

I had read all the differing reviews before we went,but kept an open mind. Having dropped off at a lot of other hotels on the way from the airport, first impression was that, location wise,we had chosen the best in this price range,only the La Perla looked as good.The weather for our week was excellent -.28 deg most days although we were told that it had been awful prior to this so we were very lucky.Hotel is five mins walk from centre and another two to the ferry point. Despite some other reviewers complaining about the food at the hotel we found it excellent.It is true that there are only three choicesof starter and main for dinner, and breakfast is the usual rolls, cheese, hams, yoghurt, cereals, fruit, toast and bacon and scrambled egg but this is a 50 bed hotel so cannot produce the variety that a 300 bed hotel can.The staff are friendly and helpful.There was some noise from refurbishment of a nearby building,hammering,sawing etc but this didnt last long, or,intrude on the beautiful and peaceful tranquillity of the area.One small complaint I do have is the balconies.These are open with no separation.One time we had people in the rooms either side of us having a conversation across our balcony,so there was no privacy - I like my little space.Also, the air con does not start until mid June so it was very hot in the room. Rooms were small but clean.- excellent shower! For other travellers - dont underestimate the size of the lake - its massive and can take a long time to get to other lakeside towns by ferry (which are very well run and punctual).All in all,a great place to go (but expensive),beautiful scenery,great trips to Milan,Sirmione and Venice and I would definitely stay at the Continental again.

  • Liked — food,location,views
  • Disliked — no privacy on balcony,no air con.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Continental

Address: Via Giorgione 14, 37016 Garda, Italy
Location: Italy > Veneto > Province of Verona > Garda
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Garda
#13 Romantic Hotel in Garda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Continental 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Continental Hotel Garda
Hotel Continental Garda, Lake Garda

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