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“Magnificient”

Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees & Spa
Ranked #26 of 113 Restaurants in Stresa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $33
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: The Restaurant of the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees - Elegant - Gluten free - Reservations welcome.
Reviewed June 16, 2012

This is one of the most beautiful hotels in the area. The famous Hemmingway bar downstairs is lovely to sit and have a drink. You can easily imagine how he sat there. Obviously the atmosphere has not changed much over the years. The ladies toilet is the most beautiful one I have ever seen.

5  Thank piriot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 61 of 224 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2012

Ernest Hemingway's incredible love story " A Farewell to Arms" places The Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees as central to Frederic and Catherine's ultimate escape from Stresa, Italy across Lago Maggiore to Switzerland. Hemingway's description of the hotel and the lake led me to this place that an Italian acquaintance described as, "one of the three places that all Italians must visit before they die."
The beautiful 90 km drive from Como to Stresa via Italian Superstrade did nothing to prepare me for my entrance into Stresa! The drive down the twisting switchbacks from the hills overlooking Lago Maggiore into the city must be taken very slowly in order to negotiate the turns as well to take in the view of the Lake and the city as you descend. Hemingway, one of the most widely traveled men of the twentieth century, once described the view of Lago Maggiore from the Grand Hotel as the most beautiful in the world! It is incredible!
I found abundant free parking all along the Corso Umberto and found a spot directly across the street from the hotel. My plan was to take a long walking tour of Stresa and the waterfront and then to have a late lunch, al fresco, at the Grand Hotel. I was dressed in comfortable hiking clothes and carrying my red Camelbak, so I wasn't sure that I would seated, even outside. But later upon entering the ornate lobby, I was warmly greeted by hotel staff and my request for a table was immediately granted. They suggested that I leave my pack at the front desk and insisted that I move my car onto hotels grounds for free valet service.
I was was taken to very nice table under the canopy where I was presented with a menu suitable for lunch or dinner. I chose to have a light meal and a bottle of their best localPinot Grigio. Italian whites wines are typically light and generally available in half bottles, which I selected. My meal and the wine was superb and the service was impeccable. I left feeling as if the restaurant and hotel staff who served me were truly my friends. My waiter even warmly shook my hand and accompanied me through the ornate hallway back to the lobby bar where I had a great double espresso and grappa. Maybe it was two grappe! The feeling that Ernest Hemingway most certainly sat at this bar and enjoyed espresso and grappa, possibly at the very spot where I sat, was overwhelming! I will most certainly return to The Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees!

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10  Thank JimHutzler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011

Between the cover and water, 17 euros spent...portions are not large, so order at least 2 courses...service was indifferent to rude...there are better options such as Verbano

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2  Thank DougBstn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

I was staying at the hotel and decided to try the well rated restaurant out. The food was veery good. It was delicious and well presented. I had the melon and ham as an antipasti - probably the best presentation I have seen like this. Then I had an amazing blueberry risotto. Yes I said bleuberry. It was spectacular. Then as a secondi I had the lamb (which if did not have a prima you would have found a little small).

The gelato was ok - didn't feel anything like the other courses but still didn't stop me giving it 5 for food.

Overall though I marked the restaurant down to a 4 on two fronts. First the restaurant is big and open. It doesn't really have any atmosphere - style yes, but it felt a little cavernous. Second, for such a good food selection I was quite disappointed with the wine choice. Only a house red by the glass and little choice even of half bottles. I'm used to north american wider choices and travelling alone, a full bottle is a bit much when I'm driving the newzxt day (I'm on a motoring holiday). It would be easy to fix this!

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1  Thank thefrequenttraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

During free time on a Trafalgar tour, my wife and I had lunch on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees in Stresa. The hotel was so elegant-looking that we felt physically drawn into La Terrazza through the beautiful grounds, the opulent lobby, and the ornate halls. We were not disappointed. The lunch was just as delightful as the view from the terrace of the manicured garden and Lake Maggiore. We started with mushroom risotto that was flavored with blueberries. Our main course was veal with peach and foi gras. For dessert we had marinated figs with vanilla ice cream. We were unable to find a sweet white wine on the extensive wine menu, but we realize that the hotel’s guests generally prefer dry wines. Service was prompt and friendly, and the wash rooms were memorably ornate. We felt that the lunch was a very good value considering the service, quality, taste, and surroundings.

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8  Thank Staidthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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