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“Centre of Varenna - but noisy”
Review of Albergo del Sole

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Albergo del Sole
Ranked #5 of 12 Varenna B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
346 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 370 helpful votes
“Centre of Varenna - but noisy”
Reviewed November 2, 2009

Albergo del Sole is a well established and long running hotel located in th Piazza San Giorgio in Varenna. The Piazza is the centre of Varenna and is close to the Villa Monastero, Chiesa San Giorgio and the maze of interesting stairlanes of the town. It is however also very noisy from very early in the morning with the delivery vans, school buses and the garbage collectors arriving. The church bells ring all night. Albergo del Sole is a small family run hotel. The non particularly friendly owner also runs the expensive ladieswear shop in the Piazzetta. There is a very small elevator. Parking is in front of the hotel in the tree covered piazza.
The rooms are very clean and comfortable. Our room looked out over the Piazza. The shower and toilet were also very clean. Large towels were provided. Bathroom has facilities for aged or disabled people. Breakfast was somewhat sparse and served in the restaurant only after the school bus has left (if you want an early breakfast - forget it). Hot chocolate was provided reluctantly. If items ran out they were not replaced. The breakfast room had interesting photographs/sketches. There is an outdoor restaurant for warmer weather.
Free wifi internet is provided - a bit slow.
In the Piazza is the newsagent, ladieswear shop, butcher/grocer, bar which serves light meals, a great gelato and take away pizza shop and the restaurant to another larger hotel. There are several pricy restaurants nearby in the stairlanes. Despite the noise, we were happy to stay at Albergo del Sole rather than others closer to the ferry landing. It is a long walk to the station if carrying heavy luggage. If not, then it will be a mere 15 mins.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rasputin21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2007

Previous reviews give different opinions of this hotel and in many respects both are correct. It just depends on what is important to you and what you do and don't like.We stayed for 5 nights in early September and had a suite on the top floor. A large clean room with good views of the lake, but bigger than we really needed and probably not worth the extra cost. We arrived late on a Monday night, given a friendly welcome, and were able to order some Pizzas (very good). The owners and staff are not fluent in English but are very helpful and accommodating, particularly if you can manage some basic Italian. If you are only there for one or two nights some of them might appear to be a little indifferent, but I think your opinion will change if you stay a little longer. We would recommend the hotel restaurant.
The hotel is located in the small town square where parking is limited (there is a charge during the day). Free parking is available on the approach road to the town (5 -10 mins walk).
As an alternative to the hotel restaurant try Il Cavatappi. This is a small (5 table restaurant) 1 minute from the hotel. Booking is essential.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PeterMEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2007

Having been unable to book one of the top rated hotels in Varenna but insistent on staying in the village, we decided "del Sole" would be suitable for our needs. It was, just. If you want a hotel based holiday, choose somewhere else, but if all you need is a base for exploring then it is perfect.

The hotel is very centrally situated in the Village square, next to the church and across from one of the very few bars in Varenna (the fantastcially named VenteSetteMetriQuaddri) or 27m2 !

Rooms were on the small side but very nice, modern and more than adequate. Breakfast was a varied choice with delicious croissants.

Other than that there was nothing to say about the hotel, it has no other amenities apart from the evening restaurant, which I have to say does a mean, delicious pizza.

Overall, pretty standard hotel, no real complaints apart from the cost / value for money ratio. You dont get a lot for your money (120 Euro's per night for a double) but perhaps the same could be said for most Como resorts.

Varenna however was stunning. Our favourite eating/drinking places were Nilus, the aforemetioned 27m 2 and L'Orso, behind the Olivedo hotel.

  • Liked — Bathroom facilities, breakfasts
  • Disliked — Value for money (lack of)
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BlackDouglas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burleson, Texas
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2007

Let me start out by saying if you are handicapped, this is NOT the town for you! Walking anywhere requires using stairs! Old, cobblestone, uneven stairs. This hotel is not close to the train station OR the ferry depot. You must haul your luggage up these rough, long stairways. you truly must be somewhat fit for this experience. It is in the town square that is small, cute and quaint next to a church that built in the 7th century.

We were put in room 2 Batel and room 3 Freccia Del Lario. Room 2 is a triple room on the back of the hotel. It has 2 twin beds and a sofa
that makes out to a twin bed. It has one window that opens to a quiet
courtyard with tables and chairs. Room 3 is a double containing one queen sized bed and a desk and chair. It is on the front of the hotel
and has two sets of French doors that open on to the piazza. The view
is nice but it is a noisy little square. The first night a very loud crowd sitting at the outside restaurant that adjoined the hotel across the way kept us awake until 1 am. This hotel apparently did NOT have A/C so we had to sleep with the windows open. The church bells stop chiming on the hour at 10 pm (I think. Thank you!) and start up again at 7 am SHARP! It will certainly roll you out of bed! It is very loud!

The bathrooms are clean but a bit inconvenient. There is one small shelf for setting down toiletries and the shower is part of the floor. There is a shower curtain hanging from the ceiling that you swing around you in the corner of the bathroom. You must be careful to pull the curtain tight so you don't get the entire bathroom floor flooded.

The staff never smiled or was especially friendly. They seemed to be miserable and bored but were really never outwardly rude. One day it was pouring rain. I asked if we could borrow an umbrella. (There was an umbrella stand by the door with many umbrellas in it.) They told us no but we could go around the corner and buy one. That store was closed so we all got soaked. Later when we returned to the hotel it was still raining and when we arrived the hotel was locked. We knocked very loudly on the door for a while and waited in the rain. About 5 minutes later a small boy opened the front door. I have NO idea what that was about. Their English is not very good, neither is my Italian so we didn't communicate very well.

The rooms were only Euro 120 and Euro 140 per night and included the breakfast. Breakfast is nice and large enough to hold you until lunch. They have orange croissants, cappuccino, cereal, italian rolls, two kinds of meat, white cheese, milk, juice and whole pieces of fruit.

On our last night we told the hotel staff that we would need to check
out by 7:30 in the morning. To our surprise they had prepared breakfast 30 minutes early for us so we could eat before we left. I thought this was very thoughtful and appreciated their kindness.
There is an internet cafe catty corner to the left across the piazza.
This was a fun place! While my teens were on the computer I enjoyed a nice glass of wine and ate free antipasti and visited with other tourists at the bar. 1 1/2 hours of internet, wine, food and fun was only Euro 8! Best deal in town!

If you are a laid back traveler and don't let things get to you, there is nothing wrong with this hotel. If you are a picky person, the little things may drive you mad. Relax and roll with the flow. Things could be worse!

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank AFBT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
49 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2007

I booked this hotel because I didn't make reservations early enough to get a room at the properties closer to the lake. I specifically booked the room with 2 windows with lake view as described by a prior Trip Advisor reviewer in Oct. 2006. The room was nice because it had been recently renovated but already there were cracks showing up on the walls and the grout in the bathroom tiles were discolored. The worst thing that stood out was the shower curtain was moldy at the hem, something that would have cost the hotel a pittance to replace. The people running the place were not very friendly, only did the basics and mostly acted as if we were an inconvenience rather than clients keeping them in business. They took my husband's passport and did not return it promptly so the second evening of our stay, we asked if we could have it back. The young man at the reception desk went to get the owner (I presume) who pulled the passport out of the slot with our room number and turned to his computer as if to enter the necessary information right then. He seemed harried so we said it's okay if they need it longer. We said we would pick it up the next morning. The following morning, they still did not offer it back. We saw it sitting in the open slot under our room number until the next evening when we asked for it again.

I thought this was awfully careless to leave someone's passport where it can be seen by anyone passing by the front desk. If no one was minding the desk, a person could just reach over and take it. Believe me, there were periods when we showed up at the front desk and no one was there. At breakfast they do offer a large variety of food but again, the woman who mostly minded the front desk the 3 days we were there, just asked, made our cappucino and caffe and just left us in the dining room so we could never get any more coffee. I know the Italians only drink one little cup of espresso in the morning, but we are used to getting more than a demitasse.

Should you believe we are picky about service or want more grandiose accommodations, I want to say we are used to staying in small hotels, B&Bs or agriturismos and have travelled to Europe many times. The room was otherwise nice and did have the promised views. We just wish the people running the place were not so indifferent.

  • Liked — Room was good size
  • Disliked — Management/owners indifferent
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AmyK_of_Seattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
127 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2006

WOW were we pleasantly suprised by the Albergo del Sole! We tried to book a hotel in Varenna 8 months in advance & couldn't find a thing. We finally found a room through the local tourist bureau & didn't have very high expectations of what the last room in town would be like. Great location in the heart of the village square - totally refurbished with a wonderful restaurant & cafe on site. The included breakfasts were superb with lattes, cappucinos etc! It is family run and the owners worked very hard to make sure we were happy. Our room was on the top floor & had two windows that opened to lake views & the baby crib was already in the room upon check in (a rare treat). My daughter celebrated her second birthday in the restaurant which has a charming patio with a beautiful hand painted garden scene on the wall. We would definitely stay here again - thought it was really good value for the 150 euro per night we paid.

  • Liked — location
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank bernandpaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2006

We spend an amazing week at hotel Sole by Anna and Luigi.
our room was wide and confortable with the big windows and a balcon overlooking the curch's square.
the food was excellent, every day something different, the owners allways very helpfull.
We plan to come back soon.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank elisabeth.lancaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Albergo del Sole

Property: Albergo del Sole
Address: Piazza San Giorgio 17, 23829 Varenna, Italy
Location: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Varenna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Varenna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Albergo del Sole 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Albergo del Sole is a nice hotel in San Giorgio Square. It was totally renovated in 2003 and has very nicely furnished bedrooms and a suite overlooking the lake. It has also its own restaurant and pizzeria. Luigi, the owner, is the chef and restaurant manager. Car is not necessary as the hotel is located in the historical centre, only 50 meters from the old port, and 300 meters from the train station. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Albergo Del Sole Varenna

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