I spent 7 days here with my mother, travelling with New Market Holidays. It was a late booking, allocated on arrival, and after a couple of other unpleasant experiences (not with New Market), we were cautious – why is it 2 women together are always given the poky room over the kitchens?? Anyway, we arrived: it is a “boutique” hotel with minimalist feel: a shiny Vesper parked by the reception desk, and ‘Some Like it Hot’ playing on a never ending loop over split screen on the other side. There are 4 storeys, and the building is essentially in 2 halves (structurally detached). One ‘half’ has balconies front and rear; the other doesn’t. Our room looked over the back in the half without a balcony, and it was small but adequate. However we had 2 issues: A/ the air con duct ran right up by the window and was very noisy when in use, and B/ it was above the enormous flat roof (over the kitchens!), which had a fire escape leading down to ground level that anyone could access. This ruled out leaving the window open at night – a necessity given it was 35 degrees when we arrived. As we were recessed back from the balconied half we also had next to no view: for instance we didn’t realise there were gardens with a pool right below us. The room also had a fridge, air con, a free safe, and satellite TV (although the English channels were limited as ever to Sky News, BBC World News & occasional sports coverage). ). By the 2nd night we realised we could, after all, block out the dawn light by pulling down the previously unseen steel shutters, although they were so stiff this would surely have qualified as one of the labours of Hercules. The maid, very helpfully, fully opened them each morning – suppose it spoilt the look of the hotel from the outside.
Next day we asked the rep if we could move rooms outlining noise and safety concerns, not thinking it would happen, but it did! They even moved our (hastily repacked) cases for us whilst we went out. So from the first floor at the back we moved to the 3rd floor at the front. This time we had views of the mountains and the edge of the lake, but be warned, the main through-road runs right below the windows, and it is noisy for most of the day and the best part of the night.
The room itself was identical, and clean. Other rooms had baths, but ours only had room for a shower cubicle in the corner, and to say it was Lilliputian is an understatement: anyone even moderately obese would be touching all four sides at once. But I expect they are built for the petite Italian, not the hefty northern European! However unlike in most Spanish hotels, the bathroom itself was well maintained and spotlessly clean – always a good sign.
Have mentioned the pool: it wasn’t huge, but big enough for the size of the hotel, and with loungers all the way around it: not enough for all the guests, but there were always a few spare when we were there. Sadly, however, they were ‘towelled’ by several German and English families before breakfast. Get a life. Downstairs is a lounge and bar, with free internet access.
Food? We both thought it was very good, especially breakfast: warm pastries (mmmmmmm), fruit, 8 types of cereal (including kiddie stuff), cheese, ham, rolls, juices, etc, etc, and you could go back for as much as you like. The staff were also friendly – even the maids waved hello - and spoke good English.
Out & About: it was a 10 minute stroll along the main road into Riva del Garda itself – one of the larger towns, but still fairly compact, easy on the eye, and with a smattering of cafes and restaurants along the water side. However a much nicer walk (which we didn’t discover until our last day!) was the road opposite the hotel that runs by the back of the car park. It takes you straight to the water’s edge: turn right into Riva, or left for a lovely lakeside walk (keep going for an hour or so and it takes you to Torbole, a smaller town and windsurfing mecca).
Riva del Garda is the start/end point for the ferries in the area: pick up timetables everywhere, and buy tickets from one of the metal booths lining the quayside from c.20 mins before they leave. From one end of the lake to the other is around 4 hours (one way), so we stuck to catching the ferry to the neighbouring towns of Limone, Malcesine, and back from Torbole. Limone: pretty, but not for people who want lots to do, and also hell on hot market day (which mostly sells tourist tat anyway). Malcesine is larger, but still very pretty, with a castle, and a cable car to the top of the mountain. The latter takes you there in 2 stages. We watched the monitor count down 74 people into the car, but you wouldn’t guess that to look at the size; in fact one girl fainted in ours from the overbearing heat, as did another earlier in the week we were later told. However the views at the top were lovely – the lake down one side and green hills over the other. A large, clean and surprisingly well priced restaurant is at the top, plus a herd of pretty alpine cows – complete with cowbells – wandering about trying to lick the salt from tourists’ arms. Parascenders also launch themselves from the top.
Unlike, say, Nice, Riva is a very well maintained area: clean and verdant, but sadly something of a menace due to the hundreds of cyclists that travel here: I’ve no problem with cyclists generally, only those that insist on pedalling at speed on pavements, whizzing in and out without warning, so always look around before you move off at an angle!
For anyone interested, we took the day trip to Venice – far too complicated to organise it yourself – as we had been before at Christmas and wanted to revisit. Mistake: very humid, very crowded, and masses of garish advertising hoardings over scaffolding (previously, hoardings at least had prints of the buildings they covered). And strangely very few gondolas. My advice – go off season.
- Also Known As:
- Feeling Hotel Riva Del Garda
- Hotel Luise
- Feeling Luise Hotel
- Hotel Luise Riva Del Garda
- Feeling Hotel Luise Riva Del Garda/Nago, Italy
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located near the centre of Riva del Garda and just 200 m from the lake shore. A 4 star hotel complete with every comfort – combining an attractive modern design with the warmest hospitality, for a relaxing holiday on Lake Garda. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, Venere, Travelocity, Tingo, Hotels.com, Expedia and Otel so you can book your Feeling Hotel Luise reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.