Just returned from a week all inclusive here. Arrived by hire car at 9.30pm from Milan Malpensa airport & thank goodness we had borrowed a friend's satnav or we would still be lost now! Reception staff said we had missed dinner but set a table in dining room with salads, cold meats & cheeses & said they had upgraded our room to a lakeview at no extra charge! Very elegant, old style hotel. Room was fairly small but beds very clean & comfortable, shower small but worked well & we had TV with BBC & ITV & a free in room safe! Magical views from bathroom & bedroom were across Lake Como to Bellagio - perfect. Room had ceilng fan & aircon. You could leave balcony doors open but road outside quite busy & noisy (& this was low season). Food was a let down. You won't starve but there were problems & you need to arrive at the start of each meal otherwise it is too chaotic & some food choices will have gone. All food buffet style & a crowded servery area. Breakfast juices were dire - tasted like supersweet squash. Bacon was typical european i.e very fatty: Scrambled egg was quite nice unless you hit a 'rock hard' day or a 'runny day' or sometimes you were faced with an empty tray of dried up egg which was never replenished. You could also have cold hard boiled eggs, tinned fruit, natural yoghourt (scrumptious), muesli or rice krispy type cereals or porridge (not tested). Bread rolls had rock hard crusts - watch your teeth! Coffee from the waiter had an unusual tang & was drinkable if you were desperate. Coffee from the machines was poor but the hot chocolate was good. Tea - not tested! A fruit basket was usually on offer although much of the fruit was bruised or looked of poor quality. Lunch was included, and the soups/pasta/pizza/cold salad plates were good but everything else was mediocre apart from fish which other diners said was very good. The salad plates appeared to be left on the refrigerated servery area until the evening meal & the cubed (Spam?) was looking decidedly dry around the edges by then.Desserts were usually cake based or tinned fruit , although I was told that the ice cream choices were excellent. Red or white wine & beer was free at mealtimes as was sparking or still water. If you didn't want lunch in the dining room the hotel did a packed lunch consisting of 2 large soft baps, one with cheese & one ham, a bottle of water & a jam filled croissant. This never varied so you wouldn't want it everyday! You have to pre-book a packed lunch by 7pm the previous day. Dinner was almost a repeat of lunch. Meat courses were usually beef or pork, sometimes chicken. Alcohol & soft drinks were free from 9am until 11.45pm and they were varied & plentiful. Staff were very helpful & friendly. For the price we paid this was a very reasonable holiday & we knew in advance from Trip Advisor that the food was not the best. About half of the guests were on Shearings or Leger coach trips, the rest were a mix of Italian, German & French who certainly seemed to enjoy all the food. There was a singer in the bar on a couple of evenings but we mostly took our drinks onto the upper sun terrace & chatted to other guests as both the bar & dining areas were very hot. The weather was excellent while we were there & there was a lot to do. Dont miss Villa Carlotta 5 mins walk from the hotel - fabulous gardens - admission 9 euros if under 65. Bernina Express & St Moritz trip was good, cost 50 euros each for full day out. Boats criss cross the lake & stop a few hundred yards from the hotel. Hotel also has it's own shuttle boat & I think you can buy a weekly pass on that. Don't miss Bellagio across the lake. Menaggio is another nice little area a bus ride from the hotel - a couple of cafes there have fabulous ice creams with no additives. We drove to Lake Lugano & Lake Maggiore. Take the ferry from Stresa on Maggiore to Bella Isola - beautiful island with lots to see & great little shops on cobbled streets to wander around. If you decide to hire a car make sure that you can take it across border to Switzerland, some companies don't let you & the Swiss border is not far away from Cadenabbia. Also borrow a satnav with euromapping = lifesaver. Parking is a problem around the lakes - usually 1 euro per hour but there aren't a huge number of spaces. There is free parking at the rear of the hotel but not many spaces & I think you would seriously struggle to get one in high season. Free WiFi in reception area & staff were happy to research things on their computer & print bus timetables, route maps etc. They also gave us their business card when we left & said if we had problems at the airport (French air traffic working to rule) we should contact them if we needed help. Luckily our flight was only delayed for an hour or so but we appreciated the gesture.
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- Also Known As:
- Britannia Excelsior Hotel
- Hotel Britannia Excelsior Cadenabbia
- Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior Lake Como/Cadenabbia Di Griante, Italy