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“Second time around”
Review of Hotel Olivedo

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Hotel Olivedo
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Varenna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 25, 2012

I first stayed here 22 years ago with our daughter and loved it. This time my husband was with me; he also loved it (despite four flights of stairs to our attic room). The staff were wonderful and the meals were delicious. We ferried or walked everywhere in spite of the rain and visited some of Italy's loveliest gardens, and the foaming Fiumelatte. On our last day the sun shone and we had dinner outside on the terrace; perfect. Grazie mille for a wonderful few days; I only hope we can return for another visit.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank epitheta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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439 - 445 of 758 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2012

We enjoyed our stay here. Laura was very kind and welcoming. Recommend eating at the hotel restaurant; excellent food. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. Except we stayed in room 15 the first night(corner unit) and found the bathtub to be unacceptable. It was too narrow and round on the bottom which made it difficult to shower and bath in. Also we heard music and people from the bar next door till 2:30 am on Saturday night only. The other night we stayed in room 26, which had a much better bathroom. Had some issues with the wifi being slow. Overall it was a nice experience. I would stay here again

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank Dugson37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

My husband and I spent a few days in Varenna on Lake Como at the Hotel Olivedo three years ago and fell inlove with the whole Lake Como area. We had such a perfect stay in this really quaint small hotel where Laura made everything perfect...including the best dinner of our month long stay all over Italy. Well, this August, we took our trip of a lifetime all over to some of the places we had not been in Europe, Kenya, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. The only place we chose to visit again, was Lake Como, and of course, Laura and Hotel Olivedo. We saved it for last, thinking, at first that at least it was a sure destination of pleasure. After a month of fabulous travels, where everything seemed so good, we were afraid we would be disappointed this time...to our amazement, it was even better the second time. Still our favorite!

Room Tip: All the rooms are good and all have a great view of Lake Como and the mountains...our favorite is #1...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AnitaJim12Coppell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We - me and my friends - were very happy to stay in hotel Olivedo.
We loved the hotel, the interior was so so Italian!!! - you couldn't wish for more.
As we went to sleep very late, there was no problems with noise, just in the morning I heard the ferry horn. The hostess was very kind, lovely and caring. The dinner in the restaurant was delicious. The breakfast was OK like they are in most of hotels.
We were very sorry that we have planed to stay there just for one night, because the city and the lake are so so fantastic!!!
Thank You Laura!!! :)

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Gotfridsone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

My wife and I checked out of Hotel Olivedo yesterday. We have been staying there since 2004 and it is our 4th stay.

I've read some of the mixed reviews, and I'm hoping that my experience with this hotel can provide some clarity.

First, don't come to Varenna (or lake Como at all) if you are looking for a party or for an American style hotel experience. This isn't the Hilton, and you wouldn't want it to be. Lake Como is a throwback to the 19th century. It's a place where you learn to enjoy your days watching the people walk by and the ducks swim in the lake. It's also a working town, so yes, there is a ferry dock, and (gasp) they have garbage pickup every day. Laura, the owner, is a stern but sweet lady - a true Lombard who will treat you like a favourite aunt. If you are respectful and not too noisy then she is very warm, but I have seen some boisterous American tourists walk in like they own the place, and Laura just doesn't put up with that crap.

The rooms are adequate but sparse. Small TV works, and the bathrooms are relatively modern. Other reviews noted that the A/C was a bit dated, which may be true, but we didn't notice as the clouds and rain came in on the day we arrived (note - in no way did the weather ruin our stay). The view is beautiful, with a view of Mennagio accross the lake. Yes there is a ferry dock below, but I actually like watching the Italians coming and going to work or on their family day trips.

Dinner is to die for. It's included in the room, and you get bread, a primo (pasta, soup, etc.), a secondo (veal, lamb, chicken, fish, etc.) and a dessert. The wine selection is great if you're drinking red (she has some finer reds like Barolo), and decent if you're drinking white. Laura sneaks up on you and verbally starts to rattle off your choices for each course. Pay attention! My wife and I think this is one of the most endearing parts of Hotel Olivedo when Laura comes to take your order each night.

Breakfast needs some work. The croissants are pre-packaged and heated up, and the orange juice tasted like canned Minute Maid. In no way is it a deal breaker, but the breakfast does not compare at all to the amazing dinners.

I agree that there is a bit of a late night noise problem in Varenna, and it has gotten worse over the years. Varenna now hosts about 100 weddings each year, and the parties sometimes go well past 1am. I hope that Laura is doing what she can to work with her neighbours on this issue. If you're a light sleeper then bring soom ear plugs, and ask for a room that is away from the beach club.

The staff is wonderful. There is a man and a woman that help Laura run the restaurant, and they are the same that have been there since 2004. I left me sunglasses on the breakfast table on the last day, and the man drove up to the train station to find us. They are both wonderful.

Our room cost 175 euro a night, and included the view mentioned, a huge dinner for two, and breakfast. By comparison, we paid 190 euro a night for a tiny B&B in Monterrosso that was amateur compared to Hotel Olivedo.

Hotel Olivedo is not perfect, and yet our experience is always amazing. If you want to stay in a real part of Italy, with real Italans, and become part of the family, then Hotel Olivedo is your place. If you want all of the perks and conveniences of home then you probably shouldn't come to Italy at all.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a lake view terrace.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank HotspurVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

The hotel has physical charm and a beautiful view of the lake. It is fun to watch the comings and goings at the ferry landing. We had a lovely, large balcony from which to watch the lake and look across to Menaggio. However at around midnight the nightclub next door begins to crank out rock music at ear-splitting volume making sleep impossible until 1:30 or 2:00 am. It is hard to imagine anyone within a mile radius is able to sleep. If you like that sort of nightlife every night then this is the place for you!

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Carl C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Varenna is a small place and there appears to be a shortage of accommodation. As a consequence of simple supply and demand the accommodation prices are high for what you get. If you do not know the town as I didn’t the choice is daunting, not vast just difficult to get value for money.

Without a doubt the Hotel Olivedo has a good location, the breakfasts were reasonable and taken outside in front of the hotel overlooking the lake and ferry terminal. A woman, who is incredibly efficient, runs the hotel. She has an unusual manner and is extremely likeable, the more you get to know her.

The hotel appears to have two types of room, ordinary rooms with big window and a lake view and the top floor rooms, that’s the fifth floor, which are a little cheaper, a little smaller and windows which are situated in such a manner that you either have to crawl on the floor or stand on a bench (provided) to see the lake.

Unfortunately I chose the cheaper room (to save 50 euros), which, not knowing at the time, entailed a thrombotic climb up 76 steps. This deters you from nipping back to your room too often during the day. Also there is only a bath with a shower extension. With my skill this allowed me to soak the floor in a matter of seconds. Though the bathroom was quite large the shape of the roof would not easily lend itself to installing a shower.

Once you start ascending the stairs, the quality of stair that you see in the hotel’s pictures disappears and the steps are rough concrete in appearance and the corridors plain albeit dotted with some interesting furniture and ornaments. All the show is on the ground and first floor.

I cannot say the hotel was bad in any way, just that I did not feel that I had had value for money. I had a cheaper room but not at a cheap enough price to compensate for the climb to the top level. I would also have been disappointed with an expensive room on the third or forth floor.

There is a secure car park, for which, you are charges extra, but at least you have peace of mind your car is safe.

Here’s the crux. Should I have paid more for a better room? But, then I might have still have been on the fourth floor! Or should I have chosen another hotel? I’ll never know!

Room Tip: Ask what floor your room is on, If you do not like it cancel.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Hightrav3ller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Olivedo

Address: Piazza Martiri della Liberta' 14 | Lombardia, 23829 Varenna, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Varenna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Varenna
Price Range: $155 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Olivedo 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Little charming hotel on the edge of Lake Como. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Olivedo Hotel Varenna

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