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Palace Hotel Villa Cortine
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Reviews (296)
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All reviewsextensive groundsconcierge stafflake gardaswimming poolmurano chandelierspiano musican amazing hotelmain restauranttrue startranquil retreatrooms are beautifulbeach barold townclassic stylehotel servicehuge bathroomclose to town
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

Agree wholeheartedly with Marsha 123. We have just returned from a week in Sirmione staying at Villa Cortine. Firstly the good points; a magnificent location, excellent bedrooms, fantastic balcony with the most wonderful view of Lake Garda and the sunset, superb pool area and beautifully maintained gardens. Unfortunately this was not matched by the most disappointing, poor quality and badly presented food we have ever had in a 5 star hotel anywhere in the world. Really disappointing with a restaurant totally lacking in atmosphere.Hardly surprising when on the two occasions we had dinner in the hotel, there were only half a dozen guests. We had actually paid for half board but the food and restaurant were so disappointing that we ate out at some lovely restaurants in Sirmione most of the time. The poor quality was typified by a serving of Mozzarella and Tomates with Basil which consisted of 3 slices of mozzarella, an under ripe, green tomato, quartered and one sprig of basil; €18. An italian staple but the worst we have ever had. Will we go again?; to Sirmione definitely,to Villa Cortine NO. We will go back to Hotel Grand Terme where the food/restaurant puts Viila Cortine in the shade. Oh and Reception staff who need a lesson in courtesy and good customer relationship fortunately offset by a charming pool attendant and a couple of typical Italian lovely waiters.KWT

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 71KWT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Cortine Palace to help celebrate a special birthday & we couldn't have chosen better. The hotel is situated on a hill just above the town of Sirmione, Lake Garda. The town itself was extremely busy from morning till night, & therefore noisy. However, once you get into the hotel grounds the hubbub fades into the distance & you enter a different world. The calming, picturesque gardens are a delight to walk around, with plenty of seats to stay awhile & admire the surroundings. There's a tennis court & a swimming pool which is really lovely & has the benefit of a lifeguard on duty throughout the time it's open - which is all day, towels are provided. The bar/lounge area is in the oldest part of the building & is very beautiful. Our bedroom had a balcony overlooking the lake, we got the impression most of the rooms did, but probably worth checking if that is important to you. We thought the room was lovely, but to be honest, a couple of extra touches would have made it even better ie: more clothes hangers & a mirror in the bedroom, not just on the wardrobe door & in the bathroom. The bathroom was marble, good sized bath, but the shower wasn't generous & quite dark. Useful additions were an excellent hairdyer & bathrobes, slippers also provided in the cabinet beside the bed. Throughout our stay the weather was incredibly hot so we had the added delight of breakfast on the terrace overlooking the lake, surrounded by ancient trees & interested sparrows. Down on water level there's a private jetty with loungers & umbrellas for shade, plus a bbq style restaurant. If its luxury & beauty you're looking for, then this is the right place. However, if you're driving to Sirmione be warned, getting through the centre of the town is a driver's worst nightmare, & you do need to get through town to get to the hotel. We had a taxi take the strain, our driver was clearly no stranger to the unusual road system & he clearly found it very frustrating. I've never been able to window shop from a car before!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank JandMDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

We stayed in Villa Cortine one night in early autumn of 2012. I knew of this hotel from exalted reviews in all reputable travel books, but the rate was always prohibitive to us, until one day I ran into a non-refundable deal on Booking.com. And what a deal it was!!! Although still very expensive, it was a rare instance when we would pay more for the entire splendor we got. We were also extremely lucky with the weather – it was cloudlessly sunny and warm, and the whole Sirmione shone like a jewel.

The drive through town, after checking at the police station, who had the hotel’s guest names (!!!) added to the suspense, and we arrived in true magic. The park was indescribably beautiful, and we were assigned a room in the oldest, authentic part of the building – the reception was apologetic, since that room did not have a balcony, but we were elated – we were back to those times in elegance, with enormous splendidly adorned bed, parquet floor, intarsia furniture, 5-meter ceiling, huge Venetian chandelier, marble bathroom with huge bathtub – everything was of the incomparable quality of the bygone days. Then we discovered an open terrace with amazing views, then the private beach, so marvelous. Everything breathed of opulence and elegance.

The staff were extremely courteous and attentive, they offered us a complimentary drive down to the hotel's private beach, on a tiny golf car. The drive itself was scenic, and the private beach area was absolutely fantastic. We regretted we arrived there around 18:00, when it was closing for the day; the water was also cold to swim; but there were lots of birds to watch and the whole panoramic view just takes the breath away. One can see the mountains on one side and the tower of Sirmione castle on another.

The location is just superb; we discovered that Maria Callas' villa is just across the hotel's main gates, so it speaks for itself. Besides, Grotte di Catullo was also very near, and perhaps this explains the special Catullian properties that this place emits - its beauty is indeed very uplifting and inspirational. The bed in our room was accordingly luxurious and huge.

We were so enthralled with the hotel that we decided to have a dinner there and not in town. The food and service were quite good, if not exceptional; the risotto was excellent and the lamb, too, but the shellfish invention entree was rather bizarre. All that was still charming and marvelous; alas, the impression was tarnished by the piano music that started half-way around 9:00 pm, and the romantic atmosphere was somewhat ruined by the poor choice of music.

The breakfast was excellent, as befits a 5-star hotel, with a huge buffet choice of many delicacies, including salmon and spumante, two staples for a true 5-star Italian hotel.

It is certainly one of the best hotels I've ever stayed. Compared to Lago Maggiore’s Il Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées, Villa Cortine is in a much more privileged location, boasting its own large park and a private beach, with no road separating the hotel from the lake, assuring total ambiance to its guests. The room was also much larger and with higher ceilings; it was very quiet, even though the bar was under it – the soundproofing in the old construction was obviously excellent. Parking was free and secure; WiFi was free also and worked well.

Less pleasant surprises:

The only critique would be the piano music at dinner, which started later when the piano stopped playing at the bar. The pianist played beaten-up tunes which in the USA make a good part of the elevator music, or some other too familiar popular tunes. It ruined the elegant atmosphere somewhat. I think he should have played something more agreeable for everyone, some pleasant quiet nocturnes and classics. Music is a controversial issue and not everyone wants to hear sounds of the street pizzeria or an American elevator when in a place that makes one oblivious to the crudities of life outside. One comes to a hotel like this for certain magic and it better be preserved at all senses. I wish the hotel would pick a more tasteful piano repertoire or better yet, no music at all in the dining room – it’s best to consign it to the bar, as it was done at the beginning of the evening, and that is how it is usually done in similar establishments – Grand Hotel Quisisana, for example.

Next unpleasant surprise was a group of extremely loud and inconsiderate Dutch tourists at breakfast, who spoke loudly table to table and would enter the breakfast room in bath robes, barefoot, right from the swimming pool which was quite far. They acted in total disregard of the other guests. Another older Italian couple in the corner was talking nonstop on their own mobile phones. Of course, in a hotel like that they don’t tell guests how to behave, and it was sad that clients abused the elegance of the place.

Unable to cope with the unbearable noise in that dining room, we moved to another, adjacent one. Perhaps it was that non-refundable rate sale that brought in such unpolished public. This issue is hopefully transient, and next time we’ll just choose an empty breakfast room to avoid poorly behaved neighbors, and chose time when the hotel doesn't run a rate promotion.

Also, beware of a very slow drive through the heart of Sirmione,a pedestrian zone which at the time of our arrival at 2:00 pm was extremely crowded. Some might find such driving frightening, surrounded by crowds, moving at 5 km/hour.

However...the hotel is a rare and unique gem, its grounds spirited by Catullus and Callas; it left unforgettable memories, and I strongly recommend it to those looking for extraordinary beautiful and exquisite stays.

Room Tip: Choose a room in the oldest and original building.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Gradiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

An amazing hotel, it was like stepping back in time but in a wonderful way..... the staff are helpful and friendly. The views out of this world. The rooms beautiful. The setting just perfect for our mini moon. This is certainly a place I will continue to go back to as a special treat.

Room Tip: Its worth every penny to go for a suite!
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lizzie534
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We were given a room on third floor with small window. We asked for larger window and a miserable receptionist told us it would be 40 euros per night to upgrade in an already expensive hotel.

We decided to check out instead. Any member of staff with a modicum of intelligence would have reckoned that if she just upgraded us to keep us, they were better to have the room paid for the next night instead of empty.

The beach deck was badly in need of repair and quite run down as were large parts of the property.

Very tired and old fashioned décor in the main body of the hotel, from the 1960's with lots of fake antiques. Pretentious breakfast area/service but the breakfast was basic and quite ordinary.

Very very average place badly in need of a revamp.

Room Tip: No idea but ours was small/airless
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marsha123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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