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Hotel Olivedo
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All reviewsferry terminalpumpkin gnocchilake comocorner roomtop floorold world charmhotel restaurantcroissantsno liftquiet at nightvarenna esinothird floorour room was spaciousthree nightsgreat roomsmall balconysitting area
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Reviewed May 9, 2010

Varenna Is a beautiful calm quiet place to relax for a few days. The train station is a 5 min walk from the hotel, which is at the welcoming end of the lake ferries. I enjoyed a lovely room with a balcony and open shuttered windows, allowing me to watch the visitors disembark below, and offering splendid un-obstructed views of bellagio, and lake como to the north. You can't beat the location-- for being so central in this small town, everything is still very quiet, and almost like your stepping back in time.

Laura, the 3rd generation owner welcomed me graciously, and as a single traveler made me feel at home.

Their no fuss namesake resturaunt is on the main floor of the hotel, and offers patio seating, or a gorgeous old world dinning room. The food is in a typical Italian format, with a schedule of courses, but you can get as little or as much as you like. My favorite was the homeade pumpkin gnoicchi in butter sage sauce, and Laura's homemade raviolis. However, I did see couples induldging in the full offerings, including veal, fresh fish from the lake, and seasonal vegetables.

The hotel looks exactly like the pics posted on their website, except with even better views!! It's just a little stroll to the main square, which is a pedestrian only walkway.

Laura gives you as much attention as you like, but also respects couples privacy and is not a nosy innkeeper. Plus she has a great staff of pleasant waiters and hostesses, who hussle and get orders out quickly....all with sincerity.

Only an hr by train from Milan, this location offers a great chance to unwind.

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Thank AndrewCA94920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2010

Following a 21 day Mediterranean cruise, my wife and I picked up a car in Milan to travel throughout Northern Italy for 18 days. Our first stop was Lake Como and following the hotels recommended in the Rick Steves Italian book, we settled on Varenna. With no reservations and rain looming for the next two days, our first stop was the Hotel Olivedo facing the ferry dock and the snow-capped Swiss Alps in the distance. Laura, the manager was so warm and gratious we booked one night. Following an absolutely wonderful dinner in her quaint dining room and a filling breakfast, we extended our stay one more night. The dinner on the second night outshined the first. With hugs and kisses upon departure, we felt like we were leaving a dear family member.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank NinCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2010

Olivedo is conveniently located in front of the Varenna ferry terminal and if you have a room with a lake view, it is spectacular. We were lucky enough to have such a room and were really impressed with it. The bathroom was modern and the hotel was very clean. (Be aware there was no shampoo, conditioner, lotion or other toiletries you may come to expect in similarly priced European hotels when we were there, and we couldn't easily find any place to buy these items, so bring some if you need it!) We found during our stay that it can be a bit loud. You can hear other guests come in and there was noise from kids coming back drunk to their cars parked at the ferry at 3 am. My husband was able to sleep through some of it, so it's probably only an issue if you're a light sleeper. Our main gripe was with the service. We live in Europe and travel a lot and we understand and appreciate differences in culture and custom and by no means want or expect American-style customer service. That said, we didn't really appreciate being told "Not now!" and being sworn at in Italian (we understood a lot more than she thought) because we asked when we could have our passports back. I think we could have laughed it off a lot easier if every transaction weren't so painful and curt, which was a real shame because it's nice to get a local idea of the town and some offbeat things to do in the area. Starting a conversation or asking a question was definitely not welcome here! The other staff were pretty friendly however. As other reviewers mentioned, it is cash or travellers cheques only, so get Euros from one of the ATMs in advance of checkout. The breakfast was meager in European standards, but it was free at least. All in all, the hotel was good, but quite overpriced for what you get compared to other hotels in Europe, in our estimation.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank CHtoady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2010

We arrived in Varenna by train from Milan with no reservations. The night was snowy and very cold. My husband does not appreciate the fact that I like to travel without reservations on occasion but he tolerates my quirkiness. We walked from the train station in the dark to Varenna not knowing where to look. My husband actually waited with our luggage while I went on in search of our hotel. I went down one street and found a hotel that was closed and another that had a group of men standing in front smoking. I decided to bipass the smokers and keep looking. I choose another street and discovered ALBERGO OLIVEDO. I walked in and the innkeeper (who we later learned was Laura) immediately came to my rescue/assistance. Laura offered to pick my husband up but I declined, silly! She said that she would turn the heat up in our room. Laura also asked if we would like to eat there, I said yes. We got back to Olivedo and Laura gave us Room #22. We headed up the stairs to find a warm, large, beautifully furnished, immaculate room. After putting our wet clothes on the heated towel rack in the bathroom and freshening up we headed down for dinner. Laura was again there to direct us to the Dining Room. The Dining Room was a beautifully furnished room with nice lighting and cheery yellow tablecloths. Laura lit our candle and asked if we would like to order off the menu or the fixed priced dinner. The fixed price dinner is the way to go. The food was amazing and the service was impeccable.
When we woke up the next morning we were treated to the most amazing view of the lake and the snowcapped Little Alps right from our balcony. We had breakfast in the hotel and asked what Laura would recommend that we do. She suggested a walk into Varenna and a ferry ride to Bellagio. We took her up on her ideas and had a beautiful, relaxing day! We would not hesitate to stay in ALBERGO OLIVEDO again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Laura and staff!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank WorldlyPortugal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2009

We had a lovely visit in Varenna, just adored the town. It was so relaxing. I'd like to say that our reviews of our stays etc. come from an understanding that a traveler can not expect service to be the same and that demeanor of those we meet will not be the same as those in the U.S. We like that, that is why we want to travel, we don't want to feel like we are at home and we really enjoy the ways of other cultures. I think with that in mind, we enjoyed Laura. We even got her to crack a few smiles while we were there. Hotel Olivedo is a beautiful hotel with large beautiful rooms decorated wonderfully and were comfortable. The bathrooms are ample by European standards, very clean. Our first two nights we had a room with a view and it was just spectacular!! I could lay on the bed and enjoy the lake. The breakfast was good as well. On the downside, we were disappointed after booking three nights room with a view, that Laura confirmed in email, she contacted as days to a week later and told us that the last night that she was going to have to give us a room with no view. We were disappointed to say the least and asked that if she had anyway of holding to what she had originally promised we would greatly appreciate it and we got no response, no sorry, nothing. We still wonder to the day if we were taken advantage of. The room on the third night was so hot, it was a small room on the top floor with two small windows at the floor. We tried turning the air on and it wouldn't work. We asked Laura why and she said that she had the AC shut off until June (this was the end of May). So we were very uncomfortable our last nights stay, but again, just a difference of traveling in Europe. I would just advise in the warmer months before the AC is available, make sure not to get one of those top floor rooms. The other disadvantage of Hotel Olivedo was the noise. We were on the side near the ferry and the bar behind the restaurant next to Laura's room. The ferry is loud, it honks it's horn in the morning routinely (may not be a problem if you are an early riser) and the bar was very loud that night with many people out in the street in front until 3 a.m. Also, while we were there, Laura locked the doors at night.... it was at 11:00 or 12:00, can't remember, so not a problem if you don't like to be out late, but we were quite surprised and were grateful that we didn't decide to stay out late that night and get locked out. Overall, I would recommend this hotel if you can't get into some of the other recommended hotels and if you can get a room with a view.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank runnerchic79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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