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“A hidden contemporary gem close to Lake Como”
Review of Casa sull'Albero

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Casa sull'Albero
Ranked #1 of 1 Malgrate B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A hidden contemporary gem close to Lake Como”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Lake Como had been on my wish list for some time and so my daughters booked Casa sull'Albero for my birthday, knowing full well that I would fall in love with its contemporary and minimalist design. The setting is beautiful, peaceful and discreet and well placed for touring Lake Como and the many beautiful lakeside towns. We hired a car and the hotel made a good base and a welcome retreat after a day of negotiating the narrow winding roads around the lake. However, if you want spacious rooms to lounge in and first class in-hotel dining then this will not be for you. Breakfast is at a long communal table - the coffee was the best I have had anywhere - and the hotel has an arrangement with the nearby Il Griso Ristorante for dinner if you don't feel like exploring. We packed in lots of exploring every day. Why wouldn't you!

Room Tip: Rooms with a view of Lake Como are the obvious choice but, if your budget restricts you, chose a roo...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gaby M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

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Remuera
Level Contributor
47 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2013

There's a lot to like about this contemporary lake house:

- setting, views & trees: stunning
- staff: warm, real & unobtrusive
- design: zen & tranquil
- breakfast: lovely
- free hot chocolates!

Some people will want more frills (towel rails, headboard, lamps, art etc) but for me the purity of design is perfect.

Only down is that the beautiful boardwalks are noisy & soundproofing between rooms would help.

Room 103 has glass on two walls, is spacious & has a glass ceiling in the bathroom.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank polloRemuera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kallo, Belgium
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Love here ! About the room.. clean...good view.... all window glasses around...comfort bed...
We wrrived on Sunday afternoon ...there was a lady asked us to spa or massage... N i really love to do it but not on that date ... Prefer the next day but its only on weekend that they do..
Breakfast really normal ...no choice only small bread and pieces of chees and ham, jam and few fruits plus yogurt but lovely coffee anyway!
I found only 2 girls that serving us the breakfast that are friendly and the other not at all... No greeting...nothings!
Difficult to find this hotell address...

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Apita V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I confirm everything SthlmFlyer from Stockholm writes about this "hotel". We have just returned from three nights in Casa Sull'Albero and we also thought that at the time of booking through designhotels.com this hotel seemed to tick all the right boxes. I would just like to add the following to his comments:

THE STAFF
The staff are all very friendly and when we asked for extra towels and bathrobes we received them immediately. They just seem very inexperienced with running a hotel. For example : no offer was made to carry our bags, they seemed more keen on asking us to sign disclaimer forms for using the swimming pool and gym rather than asking us if we had had a pleasant journey etc. We complained to the manager about the lack of Spa (which had been our main reason for choosing this hotel) and all he could say was that it wasn't his fault but his former partner's. He was apologetic but it never occurred to him to offer us compensation (even just a free drink would have been nice).

THE BEDROOM AND BATHROOM
Casa Sull'Albero means in Italian the tree house and the room we occupied on the second floor facing the lake certainly made us feel as though we were perched in the trees with its two walls of windows and a huge tree just in front. The decor is exactly as in the brochure with white painted walls and oak floors in the bedroom and slate tiles in the bathroom. However the room is not 20/25 sq metres as advertised. At the most the actual bedroom is no more than 12 sq metres with a small bathroom off it of about 4 sq metres max. There is very little space to put away your clothes (a niche 50 cm wide (and I'm being generous) with just a rod for hanging and a small shelf on top. In fact there is very little space full stop. For some reason there is only one bedside "table" (an attractive cube of wood).

There is nowhere to hang towels so we ended up hanging them out of the window which had the double advantage of drying them (luckily the weather was good) and hiding us from anyone looking up to our glass house. The guests on the ground floor don't have window sills so I suppose they must have just used wet towels if they wanted more than one shower in the day. To be fair though the management said that they will be receiving towel rails next week. If you use an electric razor make sure that it works on batteries or you have very good sight because the plug in the bathroom is about 1,5 meters from the mirror...The bathroom is flooded each time you take a shower...

We asked how to turn the aircon off and we were told to trip the switch in the electricity box...

I confirm that there is no in-room safe, no in-room mini bar (neither of which bothered us), no drawers and not enough space to store clothes, nowhere to store luggage - luckily we only had small bags (this did bother us).

The bedding is not ideal: the double bed is small, the pillows are low quality and even though there is a duvet it is used like a blanket (ie with sheets and no cover). Not great...

To compensate for the lack of spa, you can book massages which are supposed to take place in your room which is totally impossible unless they are planning on doing them on the bed or while hanging out of the window!

Unfortunately the lack of space and the minimalist design of the room mean that you have no choice but to live in a cluttered environment which goes completely against the original idea.

The glass walls (particularly on the ground floor) would make this hotel an ideal venue for a convention of exhibitionists or for a season of Big Brother!

THE GYM
As in the photos no more no less. There are no towels or water provided. No changing area, no toilet, no showers, no sauna or hammam.

SWIMMING POOL
About 10m x 2m. No shower. No towels.

PARKING
There is no private car park. There is a public car park in front of the hotel - our hire car was damaged on it so think twice before coming with your own car.

BREAKFAST
The breakfast was good but "formatted" ie there is no choice and you are served every day exactly the same thing.

EATING OUT
There are several restaurants in Lecco itself which is a 20 minute (very pleasant) walk from the hotel.

There is no ramp to access the hotel which makes access to it impossible for wheelchairs.

In conclusion, the hotel design is beautiful but totally impractical.

Room Tip: If you want to share your holiday with all the other guests choose a ground floor or first floor roo...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mlvc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaSullAlber0, Direttore at Casa sull'Albero, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Google Translation
Gentili Ospiti,

Innanzitutto grazie per i complimenti al nostro personale, ci fa molto piacere. Ci dispiace, purtroppo, il fatto che i signori abbiano pensato che ci fosse la SPA, gli ho spiegato che è stato un equivoco causato da un'altra struttura di Design Hotels che alcuni mesi fa aveva promosso la propria SPA utilizzando in modo improprio la Casa sull'Albero, problema che appena conosciuto, avevamo risolto, era il mese di maggio. Sul nostro sito e su nessun portale viene indicata la presenza di SPA, bensì di una suggestiva piscina in pietra di 12 mq per 3 mq, riscaldata in autunno/primavera, di una palestra TECHNOGYM con i migliori e più nuovi attrezzi. La piscina si apre sul parco che si affaccia da dieci metri di altezza sul lago di Como con una vista incredibile senza alcun disturbo o rumore.

La camera in cui hanno soggiornato i signori è di 20 mq, ci sono altre camere di 25 mq, dipende dalla disponibilità. Comprende il bagno che è spazioso, molto più grande di un bagno standard costruito con i materiali migliori e con grande attenzione e design e praticità, la presa di corrente è a pochi centimetri dai due specchi, uno occupa tutta una parate intera del bagno. Gli appendi accappatoi sono in fase di consegna, così come le tende da giorno che ci permetteranno di non avere più alcun problema di privacy permettendo la vista da dentro la camera verso l'esterno ma non dall'esterno verso l'interno. Non si era trattato di una dimenticanza ma di una precisa scelta dell'interior designer che abbiamo modificato ascoltando i commenti dei nostri ospiti.

Non abbiamo cassetta di sicurezza, non escludiamo di inserirla più avanti, ma non certo il minibar che va contro il concept della Casa sull'Albero basato sull'Honesty Kitchen, dove, offriamo un’accurata selezione di vini, birre, soft drink, acque minerali, succhi di frutta, yogurt, frutta fresca . Come funziona? Semplice: scegli, annoti sul blocco ricevute il numero della camera e quello che hai preso e consumi. Inoltre gli ospiti si possono servire di caffè, cappuccino, cioccolata, thè, latte caldo e macchiato senza alcun costo 24 ore al giorno. Prodotti di eccezionale qualità. Il design è minimalista, di grande impatto estetico ed emozionale ma certamente nelle camere da 20 mq sconta lo spazio per i bagagli che è ridotto.

I cuscini come i letti ed i materassi sono Simmons, probabilmente la migliore azienda produttrice nel mondo. Possiamo anche fornire su richiesta cuscini speciali che memorizzano la forma. La biancheria è di alta qualità, la scelta di composizione del letto, purtroppo, non è stata compresa.

I massaggi vengono fatti su prenotazione in una suite che viene messa a disposizione all'occorrenza. Lo abbiamo scritto nei volantini promozionali posti in Honesty Kitchen ed in reception, sarebbe bastato chiedere.

Alla casa sull'Albero, per la struttura delle ville e le dimensioni del parco in rapporto al ridotto numero di camere/suite, non ci si accorge della presenza degli altri ospiti se non a colazione. In molti casi con la struttura completa gli ospiti mi chiedevano se erano i soli in quel giorno e si stupivano quando gli rispondevamo che eravamo in over booking. Per vivere il proprio soggiorno in camera senza fruire delle parti comuni è meglio scegliere la Studio Suite di 35 mq, certo, il costo è diverso da quello della Room scelta in questo caso.

Ci tengo anche a sottolineare che non abbiamo mai affermato o pubblicizzato la presenza di una sauna o di un bagno turco (che, peraltro, abbiamo in programma di inserire in autunno con le docce emozionali). Di servizio alla piscina ed alla palestra c'è un grande bagno, e su richiesta sono disponibili teli e asciugamani.

Anche riguardo al parcheggio siamo stupiti del commento, così come per quello relativo alla colazione, perché non abbiamo mai pubblicizzato un parcheggio coperto ed interno, bensì, la presenza di uno esterno proprio di fronte alla Casa sull'Albero e ben illuminato. In questi primi mesi di attività non abbiamo avuto alcuna segnalazione di danni subiti dalle auto dei nostri ospiti.

E' fuorviante il commento relativo all'impossibilità di accesso per sedie a rotelle, perché abbiamo un sistema ad hoc che parte dai nostri box privati e che fruisce di un ascensore, e un volta saliti l'accesso alle camere, al parco ed all'Honesty Kitchen sono realizzati senza alcuna barriera architettonica.

In conclusione, la Casa sull'Albero ha certamente alcuni particolari in fase di implementazione : tende da giorno, appendi accappatoi, doccia in piscina, teli per la piscina. La Casa sull'Albero vuole essere vissuta come se fosse la propria casa, la propria villa sul lago.

Ciò detto, ringraziamo i nostri ospiti per i loro commenti e per il giudizio che risulta comunque positivo e li aspettiamo in una prossima occasione con un grande sorriso e una bottiglia di spumante ben fredda per un brindisi insieme.
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Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013

At time of booking through designhotels.com this hotel seemed to tick all the right boxes; brand new, cosy, only 12 rooms, salt water swimming pool, spa treatments on site, a reasonable price... But this is in fact a striking example of a hotel where practicalities are lost in a drive to show off minimalist design. Several normal room features are simply missing:

- No in-room safe
- No in-room mini bar
- No towel racks in the bathroom (!)
- No storage cabinet for clothes
- No place other than directly on the floor to store luggage
- A notable lack of towels (we were at one time told that "we are empty" when asking why there was no bath towel in the bathroom)

Also note the following:

Despite early advertisement by the hotel itself of a spa, there is no such thing and no apparent plan to include it.

The layout of the bathroom leaves a lot to be desired. There are no shower doors and no tilting floor, so water splashes everywhere in the bathroom. Plus there is no steam extractor.

Be aware that there is an appalling direct view into most room on the ground and first floor - some rooms even have bathrooms where the direct view is such that you see right through at people standing by the sink. Most of the time you will feel a need to draw the thick curtains and thereby of course obstructing all view (there are no blinds).

Some of these comments were discussed with hotel management and the reply was often that this is a "simple" hotel or not a "real" hotel (sic).

A warning regarding the area: There are very few nice restaurants within walking distance (with the exception of nearby Griso Hotel and a pizzeria down by the lake). Taxies easily charge 15-20 EUR for trips to recommended restaurants.

In short: Think twice before booking yourself into this hotel. The acceptable price for a stay at Casa sull'Albero is 100 EUR/night.

Room Tip: Rooms toward the garden have too much direct view from outsiders.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SthlmFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CasaSullAlber0, Direttore generale at Casa sull'Albero, responded to this review, July 21, 2013
Dear Guests,

when you arrived to Casa sull’Albero we knew immediately that you didn't feel well with us, and we tried to change it sentiment, but without success.
We are disappointed with us for that.
Is it true: Casa sull’Albero is a GUEST HOUSE not a traditional hotel, we propose a different way of hospitality to our guests: highest quality and maximum freedom in special location in front of the lake.
Casa sull’Albero is located in two villas that are built with the most innovative energy saving techniques (solar, photovoltaic, etc. ..), with natural materials (wood and stone), with the latest equipment (heating and cooling floor). Sustainability is also in the products we use for cleaning, Antique wood, found in mountain huts and worked by craftsmen in Brianza, famous throughout the world for their skills, make up the furniture of Casa sull’Albero.
Casa sull’Albero has a beautiful park, a very relaxing solarium area and a fantastic view on the lake. There is an outside swimming pool made of stone and a nice gym. Every Saturday and Sunday we offer a resident massager, that is possible to reserve during the week.
In our concept of hospitality, is central the Honesty Kitchen that is a space open to our guests 24 hours on 24, 7 days out of 7, with a careful selection of wine, beer, soft drink, mineral water, juice, yoghurt, fresh fruit, together with the pleasure of feeling at home, Cofee, cappuccino, the, milk are free and without any restriction. For this matter there isn’t a minibar in the rooms.
We are surprised because in the same days that you have been here a lot of our guests have made us compliments for the rooms and for the relaxing stay they have had. In particular different of them ask us to extend their stay of some days.
There are a lot of restaurants, bar, pub, ice cream shops and more, from 5 to 15 minutes walk along the lake from Casa sull'Albero.
We have given you a particular assistance and it very sad for us to listen your disappointment.
We have offered you personalized services that other guests have not received.
I tell you some of them;
1) An Iron that we have bought specially for you for your necessity
2) Hot eggs in the morning
3) Possibility to add you an additional table to put your luggage
4) The best suggestions for restaurants
Moreover we have always been ready to respond to each your request.

Best regards.
Fabio Dadati
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

The best Choice to stay on lago di como or close to Milano
We had the SUITE with a brillant view on the lake and Garden
Stylish top architecture like a private villa
Owners on site
Very helpful and friendly staff
Very recommended
We surely come back whenever we are in the milano como area

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peterandbun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg
Level Contributor
61 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

I stayed at this new design hotel - great place fine design, nice view on the Lago di Como. Nice surroundings, a really nice and cosy place in a fine environment but...hotel was not finished, lots of ongoing works, and lots of smaller destails which have to be done. With an additional budget of 1.000 Euro per room for design and high standard details, the place would be perfect. The butler by the way was nice, friendly and professional. As for the price, 50 % Discount should in this "preopening" stage be a MINIMUM. I only succeeded getting 20 % which was defenitely a joke for this stage. But again, big potential for getting a nice and cosy hideaway

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Okavangopierre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FabioDadati, Direttore generale at Casa sull'Albero, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Dear Guest, thank you for the review of Casa sull'Albero and your compliments.
I would like to inform you that in the past days we opened the pool and the gym and we improved the Honesty KItchen. This week, we have added to the rooms new parts of furniture such as antique wooden tables custom made, and the next week will be the turn of the photographic works of art that will be hung on the walls of the rooms and common areas.
We hope to see you soon.

King regards, Fabio
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Additional Information about Casa sull'Albero

Property: Casa sull'Albero
Address: Viale Penati 5-7 | (Via Sant Antonino), 23864 Malgrate, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Malgrate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Malgrate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa sull'Albero is composed of two attractive and modern villas overlooking Lake Como, surrounded by a 3.000 Square metre secular park. The innovative architectural project and the modern italian furniture are designed for demanding and international guests. Both the knowledge of the area, the direct attention to the protection of the enviroment and the valorisation of the local products make the dwelling the perfect model of sustainability. The rooms and the suites, twelve in all, welcome the guests with all comfort and the high qualified staff takes care of the guests with a made to measure service. Casa sull'Albero is a unique experience for unique people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Sull'Albero Malgrate, Lake Como, Italy

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