Il Cucchiaia di Legno is on the outskirts of the old town of Orta San Giulio. It is only a 20-25 minute walk from Orta San Guilio via the short cut, 30-35 minutes walk via the road (albeit uphill on the way back!) and a couple of minutes away by car. (You probably could manage without a car but it wouldn't be easy especially walking home late at night and also you'd need one from a point of view of getting around and visiting the other lakes - we'd not driven in Europe before and it wasn't as bad as I'd thought!!). The hotel hadn't been open long when we stayed and have to say we were very impressed. Staff were absolutely lovely and very, very helpful. We had a deluxe room which had high ceilings, was spotlessly clean and very comfortable - very large bathroom and a great shower too. It had stairs to a little loft are with another double bed so could have slept 4. We had a good sized balcony which caught the sun in the afternoon, perfect for retiring to in the evenings with a bottle of wine which can be purchased from the hotel. Breakfast was good, a variety of cereals, cold meats, toast, cakes and pastries and we felt that the staff had gone out of their way to make our stay comfortable. There were tea and coffee making facilities in the room, as well as a minibar/fridge which was REALLY reasonable. There is also a coffee machine downstairs which is free at breakfast time and 50cents if you want something during the rest of the day. There is also a water machine downstairs - they gave us a jug when we arrived so as and when you want more water you just fill it up and pop it back in your fridge which was a nice touch. I've seen some mentions of the railway on TA, yes it is close but to be honest, the trains aren't that frequent and go past quite slowly - they mainly seemed to transport lorries - you don't really hear them much once the windows are shut. They didn't bother us and I live in the country so am not used to much noise. We will definitely go back.. Oh and one more thing. Have a meal at their restaurant next door which can be booked with reception although we booked before we went and I'm glad we did as it was full. Great set meal for around 25 euros, and try a bottle of the Barbera d'Asti there.
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