Our two week honeymoon at the Hotel Maximilian (Malcesine) in June 2012 was spectacular! I had read reviews on here before booking and many had commented that, although it was their honeymoon they hadn't been upgraded, so we weren't expecting anything. Imagine our surprise as we're led up the spiral staircase, follow it around and in to the first door on the right to an outstanding suite. Huge floor to ceiling windows looking out over the lake, 2 balconies, whirlpool bath with a lake view, lovely living area, double hight beamed ceiling...it was absolutely perfect.
The hotel is gorgeous. We wanted to be right on the lake, rather than up one of the mountains, but also wanted to be away from the road that runs all around the shore. As the Maximilian is on a small peninsula, it is away from the busy road. The outdoor pool is set in a lovely garden area with plenty of loungers and umbrellas for shade. The pool was a little cold(!) on the first couple of days we were there but as the week got hotter the pool was actually a brilliant way to cool down. There is also a really warm indoor pool. The pool bar did a selection of things for lunch along with icecreams and really good iced chocolates! The staff in the bar were wonderful and so, so helpful.
The hotel has a brilliant little spa, which doesn't seem to be mentioned much in the other reviews. On the second day I thought I'd just try it out with a half an hour back massage and it was so good I went back for another 3 treatments! The lady was lovely, friendly and absolutely excellent. It's the best massage I have ever had! When we were there she didn't seem very busy at all and I just went in in the morning to book a time for later or, on a couple of occassions, went straight in for a treatment. I imagine that as they get further in to the summer it would be busier so it would be worth booking a treatment as soon as you can to make sure you get in. There is also a hot tub overlooking the lake which is really lovely. You just get a token from reception and they add it to your bill.
We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis but did eat in the hotel on a couple of evenings. The breakfast is good and the staff are very friendly. It was quite handy for us being able to see the dinner menu in the morning as it meant we could pick whether to stay or go out. From the menus we saw, the restaurant seems to follow the same formula every day so we preferred to eat in Malcesine most of the time. Our favourites were 'al Gondoliere ristorante' (Piazza V. Emmanuelle, 6) and 'Mignon' (Via Bottura 28). We ate in the hotel for the first couple of evenings and once in the second week - each time the food was excellent. The restaurant does lack atmosphere and they do seem to rush you through the food but when we asked the waiter to give us 10 minutes between courses he was perfectly happy to do so. We were asked to come later in the evening as they didn't have space for us before eight, which I thought was a little odd, but it was fine for us. The bar area and balcony are really nice and we had some excellent cocktails and hot chocolates there after a day out.
The reception staff are wonderful. One booked a trip to the Dolomites for us (well worth doing, it is so amazing up there and the tour guide was brilliant) as well as another giving us all the information about the bus to and from town. The walk in to town is lovely (you go up the little hill then turn left after the shops then down a steeper hill, then it is a flat walk around the lake in to town) with beautiful views of the lake, castle and mountains beyond but it does take around 30 minutes at a leisurely pace so we tended to get the bus in to and back from town (only takes 5 minutes, if that). There are restaurants along the lake walk and a few benches to sit and admire the view or have a little rest.
Along with our trip to the Dolomites we went to Riva and Limone (just buy your ticket for the boat from the office at the harbour), up Monte Baldo and to Malcesine Castle. There is also a nice walk along the lake in the other direction. The rest of the time we relaxed by the pool, sipping ice cold drinks and listening to the lake lapping against the shore.
This really is a wonderful hotel, with friendly staff and excellent facillities. We cannot thank them enough for making our honeymoon so perfect and will definitely be going back one day!
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- Also Known As:
- Maximilian Hotel Malcesine
- Hotel Maximilian Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy