First of all some positive impressions: The quiet, uphill location with a great panoramic view over the lake, everything within a short walking distance from the very center of Malcesine. You might also like the nice swimming pool and the hotel interior in really good shape. These were "Pros" and now come "Cons": Our beds were extremely short as if the beds were tailor-made for Mr Danny De Vito (sorry for this comparison). Neither me nor my 18-years old son (187 and 182 cm) could put our feet on the bed while sleeping. And next - very poor breakfast's buffet matching no standards we found elsewhere in Italy (the same, repetitive buffet's choice for the 7 consecutive days, no croissants, no youghurts, no fresh fruits but fruit salad, no juices but something tasting like Fanta, one kind of cheese in slices which tasted rather cheap etc.). And the dinners (HB) was another awful experience. They probably tried to please their German guests and instead of some cooking success they offered the guests some food one could place in between the German and Italian way of cooking. The result was bad and hard to consume (I will always remember the "trout" you would not probably guess it was a fish because of it nasty taste and look). To be honest: once we found their pear"s dessert excellent and the last dinner was also amazingly acceptable.
The service it is a story itself. During our stay they accomodated perhaps 40-50 guests and had only 2 waiters for serving dinner. Absolutely insufficient number of personnel in terms of time we had to wait until they served us the complete dinner. The fellow guests were predominantly (over 90 percent) from Germany and we, as Poles, were every day the last to be served irrespective of whether we came sooner or later to the dining room. Personally I have nothing against the German people but the hotel management probably had something against us because of our nationality, I do not know. We should have been treated the same way like other guests were because the money we paid them were the same, not fake. But we were not. The last dinner ended with a very unpleasant incident - my wife wiped away herself empty dishes from our table while we had to look on it seating idle for about 40 minutes and the staff ignored us all the time passing by. But there was still no reaction from the staff and we left the dining room before we were offered some sweet. This extremely low, demonstrative service happened only to us and obviously to a very gentle couple from France (our personal greetings to Jean-Louis and Monique if they read us by chance). Monique was also irritated and said to us before we left that it was a remarkable lack of kindness. She was right but I would say that it was an unprecedented arrogance as well. We have never before met with such a rude treatment in any hotel elsewhere in any other country. We were very happy indeed leaving this hotel the next morning. Mr Sama did not feel apologetic for what has happened. He said to me that perhaps he made a mistake. But what kind of mistake? And why I should pay for his mistakes? He did understand nothing from the situation and did not took the lesson. I think the hotel management is much pro German and probably Sama family has some problem with their national identification. All the information you can find in their hotel is written in German. The safe instruction, the wheather forecast on the reception desk, all the labels in their bathrooms, everything in German only. It can be disturbing if you do not understand German like me. I can speak English, French and understand written Italian but not German. Malcesine is within the region of Veneto, rather Italian speaking part of Italy. But even in German speaking parts of Italy like Alto Adige we have never found hotel with German inscriptions only. Always Italian came first and then other languages, not only in German. I am almost sure what they do in Villa Smeralda is not in line with the Italian specific law.
And the last question I cannot comprehend. There are 14 hotel Smeralda reviews on the Tripadvisor. 9 out of 14 reviews (almost all very complimentary) are published by non German guests. How it can come with the fact that 90-95 percent of the guests are from Germany? Iwould like to see the authors of these compliments. Strange thing anyway.
My overall estimation of the Villa Smeralda is maximum 1 point only out of 5 scores because of the very, very disappointing service, very bad atmosphere and very poor non Italian cooking. This downscale my review. Otherwise Villa Smeralda would get an average note. Villa Smeralda was by far the worst place we popped in over the period of 2-3 years somewhere in Europe. This is a hotel you would not like to come back even if you paid nothing on your return trip over there.
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- Also Known As:
- Smeralda Hotel Malcesine
- Hotel Villa Smeralda Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy