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“Superlative service, staff, grounds, and rooms” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

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Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli
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5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Rimembranze 38-40, 25084 Gargnano, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Gargnano
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Superlative service, staff, grounds, and rooms”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2009

The Villa Feltrinelli represents the pinacle of small boutique hotels. Sitting on the shores of lake Garda, the villa, rooms, and grounds are fantastic. With only 20 rooms the service is beyond excellent. The staff is wonderful and the food is on par with top Italian restaurants in the US and Europe. Boat rides to the towns ringing lake Garda for sightseeing and dining make for wonderful getaways or day trips. One of the best places in the world to relax.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Ormskirk
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

Having returned last week from a 3 night stay at the Villa Feltrinelli, I am already planning my return visit! We found the hotel by accident after a bad experience in Sicily and chose to come here mainly based on the reviews given on this site! We have stayed and visited many highly rated hotels....from the Burj Al Arab Dubai, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, Cala di Vople Sardinia, La Residencia Mallorca, San Domenico Palace Sicily, Reethi Rah Maldives, aswell as various four seasons etc; and I have never seen such amazing and consistent reviews!! I felt we had to come!! We were by no means dissappointed!! The hotel lived up to and went beyond our expectations....which is very rare. I think the review below is a very comprehensive and accuarate review. The only additional information I can add is that we didn't stay in the main villa..but stayed on the ground floor suite of Casa dei Fiori. We had to stay here as we had our 4 year old daughter, and they don't allow children in the villa. There was no other children, nor would I have chosen to take my child as it is definitely an adult place, except she was already with us and the trip was extemporaneous. Having said that, we weren't made to feel uncomfortable, and the staff were very accomodating and made her anything she wished! It's not what I would chose as a family holiday with young children as it was stressful trying to keep her quiet so as not to spoil the romantic ambiance, and we shall return without her. They also arranged a baby sitter for us at short notice! I absolutely loved our room in Casa dei Fiori. It was huge with a beautiful living room, and large bathroom and bedroom. It had one huge terrace which was more like an outdoor living room ,and a small one leading from the bedroom, both with lake views. I viewed the best room in the villa, and although it was much more ornate and in keeping with the main villa, I loved the spaciousness and privacy our room afforded. Our room was more simply furnished but still elegant and beautiful. The beauty of the place was breath taking, and we were very pleased with the food as we like fine dining. Every single course....and there were many, was stunning. You could order small or large dishes, but on the advice of another reviewer we ordered small dishes as there were so many courses. Dinner started wherever you chose with an aperitif with beautiful olives and caper berries, followed by maybe 4 or 5 delicious canapes, followed by the amuse bouche, then starter, main course, pre dessert, dessert and then some petits fours (which were more like another selection of 5 small desserts) plus a huge fruit platter!! All the herbs and flowers used in the cooking where grown here also.The service was impeccable, not too cold, nor too friendly....just perfect. The complimentary laundry was lovely and all my daughters clothes came back wrapped up in tissue paper with lavender. I have never in all the top hotels I've been to had a complimentary mini bar (except soft drinks at Emirates Palace.) The little town of Gargnano was so lovely and charming although we only saw it briefly. It was within walking distance of the hotel. We also hired the boat for an hour in order to take in the breath taking scenery. To conclude.....I concur with all the reviews (except the one negative one!) It really is the best hotel in Europe, if not the world. It is an experience not to be missed! Please go and see for your self.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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NYC
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2009

What's so special to me about Villa Feltrinelli is that it has all the intimacy, polish, and luxury of a great 21st century hotel/resort, combined with the aesthetic of the late 19th century. The public spaces on the grand floor are stunning--the original woodwork, frescoed ceilings, glass, lamp fixtures, etc. from the 1890s have been restored and combined with 21st century luxury and a lighter aesthetic sensibility than was prevalent in 1892.
It is quiet, tranquil, absolutely relaxing, with nothing but the sound of the water of Lago di Garda lapping. There are pairs of lounging chairs artfully positioned along docks, between oleander trees, and along the lawns, as well as chairs along the pool. I was there over a weekend, but it frequently felt like we had the property to ourselves, being the only ones at the long, simple, elegant granite temperately heated pool, even going back out to it at 1 am for a late night swim in the moonlight (which was of course absolutely fine with the property owners--they very much want you to feel as if you are at your own, private lakeside villa for your stay).
Walking around the property in the evening, with all the soft lighting of its dining pergola and interiors aglow, is a breathtaking experience. If I could own any one hotel property in the world, this would be it.
Regarding the rooms. 7 of the 20 rooms are in two buildings on opposite ends of the park, each a few minutes walk from the villa itself. I have not seen the interiors of these rooms, but in terms of space, they are a better deal than rooms in the villa itself. 4 of these rooms (La Limonaia and the 3 rooms in Casa Rustica) are built within and alongside a limonaia, the masonry structures that are used along Lago di Garda in which to protect the lemon trees during the winter. They've mostly been abandoned, but Villa Feltrinelli has restored theirs and uses it as a lemon grove and also to grow the herbs used in the meals. That area of the property has pots of gardenias all around, and cobblestoned paths, giving the feel of being in an Italian village. Lovely.
3 rooms are in the Casa de Fiori. Nice outdoor spaces for the guests there. I haven't seen the interiors, but I'm sure they're very nice. This area of the property is shaded by large trees, and is alongside the private gate by which you can leave the property (if you ever choose to do so!) for a stroll into Gargnano. The Tortuga restaurant there is good, with 1 Michelin star. (Although I prefer the experience of dining at Villa Feltrinelli on their magical jewel-box of a dining loggia.)
I've stayed twice at VF, and each time have stayed in the main villa, since the experience of being there seems to me to be part of the magic and illusion of being at a private 19th century home. No guest rooms are on the main floor, where all the public rooms are located (a library with facilities for screening DVDs on a large-screen TV; two dining rooms; a sitting room with grand piano; a covered porch looking out to the lake; an octagonal game room (chess, drinks, etc.). The first floor then contains 5 guest rooms, with very high ceilings. I've stayed in "Al Lago," which has a large terrace looking out over the lake, frescoed ceiling, and a bathroom occupying the entire octagonal tower of the villa--the most exquisite bathroom I have ever experienced, with unrivalled water pressure, nickel fixtures, a gorgeous free-standing porcelain tub, and windows all around. I've also stayed in "Muslone," which is simpler--no frescoed ceiling, but beautiful 19th century proportions, an excellent bathroom. Of the other rooms on the 1st floor, a star is apparently the "Magnolia" room, which was Mussolini's bedroom, and has a small balcony, and partial views of the lake (somewhat obstructed by a gigantic magnolia tree outside the window). Also on that floor, the "Nordica" room into the interior of the property, so no lake view, but still nice views, I'm sure, of the croquet lawn. The "Fiorentina" room runs along the front of the villa--on the opposite side from the lake, and appears to have access to a terrace over the front entrance to the villa . . . but I can't be sure. Up on the second floor are the remaining rooms, and they have lower ceilings, but are apparently lovely in their intimacy. I asked the management to rank their favorite rooms in the villa for me and this was what they said:
1. Al Lago
2. Magnolia
3. Il Poeta
4. Il Torre
"Poeta" and "Torre" are the two 2nd floor rooms that run along the lake-side of the property. "Torre" is very small, in the octagonal tower (the first floor of which is the "Al Lago" bathroom, so that gives you a sense of how big the "Al Lago" bathroom is . . . or how small the "Torre" room is. Despite its small size, people seem to find it very charming in its octagonal format. "Poeta" two artfully shaped small windows looking out the the lake, and is apparently also very well liked--I've seen it referenced by travel writers as one of the rooms to prefer.
You can request that your bags be unpacked and stowed, which adds to the feel of being in another era (and the unpacking service, to my mind, is wonderful--and very nicely performed as you enjoy the public spaces of the property). The laundry service is also exquisite. From the moment you arrive, the service is exceptional. Each time, they've walked out to meet the car with a perfect small bouquet of roses for my female companion. All the details are gorgeous and evocative: the paper in the room has been made to 19th century preferences on a particular type of cotton bond preferred then; the room guide has page after page of history and detail about the villa and its restoration. Free minibar with wine, beer, soft drinks, and plenty of water. Because the expense to run the property is prohibitive (20 rooms are supporting a huge landscaping effort--the grounds are stunning--as well as the maintenance of such detailed interiors), the hotel relies on very young interns to perform some of its basic service tasks (pool service and breakfast/lunch service), and their inexperience was occasionally evident on this most recent trip, but there's always a more experienced staff person nearby to regularly check on them and monitor their performance . . . but truth be told, the interns were sometimes gauche and awkward. But the rest of the service was impeccably discreet and professional.
The chef just won a big award for the book he published last year, and has worked alongside Alain Ducasse, and at El Bulli, etc. The food was a bit too decadent/fancy for my taste, but the experience was wonderful nonetheless, so artfully prepared and served with so many "in-between" courses.
I find myself surprised that I can love so much a property that is so expensive, and lacks even some of the basic features of a luxury hotel: a gym, a spa (treatments are in your room or outdoors in the lemonaia). But there's just something about the feel there--so tranquil and unique and relaxing and lovely. So it would be terrific if food beyond breakfast were included . . . but when I think of how difficult it is for them even to keep such a property open, let alone running it in such tip-top fashion, I can feel ok about the exorbitant prices. You really are paying for the experience of feeling as if you are at your own lakeside villa, and the aesthetic of it for me tops any other hotel for sheer beauty.
The photos on the Website all do the property justice, so you can get a sense as to whether it's the sort of "look and feel" that appeals to you. It's certainly not for those who strongly prefer late 20th century minimalism. But neither is it gaudy and overwhelming--it's just richly detailed and exquisite.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2009

nothing to say other than amazing. not the cheapest but awesome in every department. you cannot fault anything about the property. rooms, food, staff and location all first class. maybe a little quiet for some but the perfect place for r and r. everyone should experience this place once in their life.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
Top Contributor
223 reviews 223 reviews
220 hotel reviews
Reviews in 138 cities Reviews in 138 cities
473 helpful votes 473 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2009

This just might be the best hotel in the world I've stayed in, and I've stayed at a lot of them. What makes a hotel get judged at this level is that extra special thing that goes beyond luxury and excess, at a certain point it is something money can't buy. Every inch of this villa is the Real Thing -- everything is gorgeous, tasteful and makes sense that it is there. The trees on the property have some of the most lovely smelling flowers I have enjoyed anywhere. Of course, the real estate is beautiful with lovely lake and mountain views. Then there are lots of unique touches such as putting rose pedals in your bathroom toilet every evening in perfect formation; writing your room name on every memo sent to you that reads like somebody took the time to decide what to write you(although I can't seem to remember the name of my room considering all those notes I got)-- but it was a lovely junior suite on the first floor above the lobby facing the gardens with a partial lake view and it was a beautiful room with nice art, furniture and lighting, a satellite TV with hundreds of channels to choose from, and a sumptuous bathroom. Service was top notch and you get to really know the people working there; there are 90 on staff for 40 guests. I had a massage in the lemon garden and a boat ride on the lake and make sure you see the island with the countess's castle when you go on it. The swimming pool is heated; there is no gym. Breakfast is very good; dinner at the restaurant was over the top -- I had a 4 course dinner but they give you so many intermezzos that you are quite stuffed before you get to the main course. I ordered small size plates ( you can order large or small size dishes); even as small plates they carry a lot of punch and you can really get a good sense of the food. The cook must have realized that I prefer sweet to sour so by the second day I was getting more sweets in my food; maybe a coincidence or maybe not. I enjoyed some home-made gelato here and you can snack on biscotti left around the lobby bar. Management is really hands on here and you really see them at work among the staff really tending to things. Guests are half American and half others; I didn't really talk to anyone and I think most guests here just want to be left alone and many seemed to be in a romantic mood. I have stayed at the Villa D'Este; the Villa has music and dancing on the terrace on summer nights and this place doesn't. I think the decoration of this villa is more authentic and the overall atmosphere is less commercial here. The Villa D'Este has those fortifications you can hike up and Cernobbio is more of a top-flight shopping bazaar; the local town here is very small but nice and you can eat in the local restaurants decently for one-fifth the price of the food in the hotel. The staff is definitely more warm and they don't nickel and dime you with the minibar or the laundry -- at the Villa D'Este, I asked for some water when I went to walk in the gardens they charged me 5-7 Euro for it. That kind of non-hospitality I still remember 4 years later and you could be sure that kind of thing would never happen at this hotel. Basically, here you pay a very large sum up front and then forget about the little things. The clientele here are perfectly happy with that arrangement. A wonderful place to chill out for a day or two and forget about everything else, or to snuggle with a loved one.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2009

Of all the luxury hotels and resorts I have stayed in over the last 20 years this is without a doubt the best and most luxurious experience I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. The level of detail, the staff, the quality of the hotel and the location all combine to make this a dream destination. Admittedly this does come at a price, however I was also surprised by the eventual bill as so many things are included. The memories of this place will stay with me forever and of all the amazing places we stayed on our honeymoon this is the one which we will remember.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Memphis, TN
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2009

As i write this, I am sitting on the patio of my cottage,Gelsomino ,at the beautiful Villa Feltrinelli. The temperature is perfect, no humidity. I can hear the waves against the shore as a boat passes by.
Let me tell you how it started. We arrived to several people greeting us, with a bouquet of roses for me and my 6 year old daughter. They took us straight to our room, which was amazing. What can i say-you must see for yourself. Complimentary mini bar, fresh roses everwhere,a wonderful sound system and a staff to die for. I have recently left a very famous hotel in Como, where the staff seemed untrained and cold. You could get a drink if you went up to the bar to get it. You could get a cushion, if you wanted to carry it to the pool yourself. Here, your wish is their command. Can my daughter pick a lemon off of the many lemon trees-YES. May we pick the flowers? YES. Anything you want. Suggest a restaurant? Reservation is made, we will drop you off and be waiting when you are done. Their are many beautiful villas in Italy-in Lake Garda- but you must come here. If only for your laundry, complimentary, wrapped in tissue and fresh lavender. Yes, service lives on at the Villa Feltrinelli. Please enjoy the oudoor shower by the pool.

Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

Address: Via Rimembranze 38-40, 25084 Gargnano, Italy
Location: Italy > Lombardy > Province of Brescia > Gargnano
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Gargnano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Gargnano
Grand Hotel Feltrinelli
Villa Feltrinelli
Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli Lake Garda/Gargnano, Italy

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