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“" Too many shortcomings to be 4 star"”

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Hotel Excelsior Bay
Ranked #41 of 71 Hotels in Malcesine
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2013

The location is as perfect as described and the food and service up to standard in a pleasant restaurant and reasonably priced snack bar overlooking the lake. But from there it goes rapidly downhill.

Though we had requested an upper floor room when we booked some months earlier, this was blindly ignored and those rooms allocated to people ahead of us at reception on checking in. We knew this request could not be guaranteed, but it was clearly never even considered and we were horrified when we saw our tiny, drab and dimly lit 1st floor room, barely big enough for two very narrow single beds and with insufficient storage for clothes for two people. Eventually we were, moved to a larger room (which hadn't been let as it had faulty electrics); apart from its size, it was no better than the first.

There are countless other aspects of this hotel, albeit somewhat less important, that fall way below the 4 star standard we have experienced in numerous previous visits to Italy. These range from minute TVs in cheaply and inadequately furnished bedrooms (why no waste bin?), to all sun loungers being disabled so the angle of the backs can't be adjusted. I could go on...

The staff do their best but it's very obvious that they are under pressure from the proprietors (who make no attempt to engage with guests) to cut costs wherever possible.

It's a shame, but a beautiful location and breathtaking views of the lake and mountains cannot justify a 4-star rating.

Room Tip: Request a second floor room; but don't expect them to take any notice..
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Iflyer55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 - 125 of 277 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2013

As with all reviewers of this hotel the first comment will always, or should be, about the stunning location. Right beside Lake Garda, with no roads in between, at the far end of the lake, therefore with breathtaking mountains as a backdrop in all directions. Situated about 10 mins pleasant stroll from the centre of Malcesine the hotel enables clients to escape quickly from hustle and bustle. The swimming pool is large enough for bathers to swim properly with plenty of capacity in relation to sun-loungers. Do not bother paying the hefty supplement for a lakeside view. Views of the pool with the lake and the mountains in the background are splendid enough from the rooms at the rear. We went half-board and I would describe the food as average......easy and convenient but definitely not gourmet. The hotel has some outstanding staff.......Marcello enjoys his status as senior waiter....loves to portray a grumpy image.....whereas in fact he is as warm and friendly as can be and cares deeply about giving good service. Likewise Monika on reception.....outstanding. The owners are on site and are clearly the bosses. Madame sits formidably behind her desk and counts every receipt in her ledger. The evening entertainment was great and made for a magical atmosphere on the terrace, the sun setting over the lake. Would definitely return here.

Room Tip: All the rooms are ok. As stated there is no point paying for a lakeside view.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 937DennisR937
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We have just returned from our visit to the excelsior bay hotel.our first impression of the room was pokey and dark.we had a great view of the wall opposite. The room was small.no bin in the room area,no shower gel.we were stupid enough not to iron our clothes like we always do.we couldn't find the rooms iron or ironing board.we asked at reception and were told that guests were not allowed irons as this damaged the marble work tops.we sneaked off and bought one at a large shopping mall.that night we were like to naughty school kids ironing on the floor and giggling our heads off. We had twin beds I think they were about 2ft wide and hard.
We had a hire car.trying to park in the evening after a day out was another nightmare,we hardly ever found a decent parking space and on a number of occasions left the key with reception so that they could move the car when needed.the evening entertainment was good.like other paying guests we too had to eat inside at the same table every evening,we did not order wine or water with our evening meal,so was not favoured by the head waiter.we did tip him 10 euros but still got the abrupt waiting service from him.we thought the food was average,some of the menus were very strange.we did opt out one night and had a very enjoyable meal next door instead. The breakfast food was boring,the one egg cook chief was defiantly not a multi tasker and would cook one at a time although he had three pans on hand.wi-fi can only be picked up in the reception area, which was a right pain.I'm not sure how this hotel got its 4 star rating.thomas cook wake up!!!!
On the other hand the staff down to the cleaners were very friendly and helpful (not including the head waiter).and on arrival we were given a bottle of bubbly wine and water as we were celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary.the swimming pool was fab and the views at meal times lovely.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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3  Thank Georgiades1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The hotel has a fabulous location beside the Lake just out of the bustling town. The rooms are a little tired but comfortable. The staff are very friendly. I would recommend this hotel because of its fabulous lakeside position. It is a short walk into the lovely town of Malcesine, do not miss going into the old town with cobbled streets, restaurants and delicatessens.
Stay at the hotel for bed and breakfast and go into the town in the evening.

Room Tip: Choose lakefront.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank silversurfer65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Review of our stay at the Excelsior Bay Hotel at Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy (July 2013)

The Excelsior Bay Hotel at Malcesine is listed as a 4T–Gold Medal hotel in the Thomson Lakes and Mountains brochure. The location of the hotel is superb, being directly on the lakeside and less than 10 minutes stroll to the centre of Malcesine. Access from the transfer coach on arrival is at the third floor entrance at the rear and a good point is that the coach is able to drop you off (and pick you up for the return journey) so that you don’t have to risk your life in crossing the very busy lakeside main road. A lift takes you down to Reception on floor 1.
Although other respondents have commented that some of the rooms are small, ours was adequate, with twin beds. We also had a north-facing balcony that had little view, overlooking a central area, but was fairly private. Our main complaint is that there was not enough drawer storage space for clothes. Bedroom furniture consisted of two bedside units, each with a single shallow drawer and a large dressing table/desk, which also had only two shallow drawers, together with a fridge. Each bed had a wall-light. There was an additional light to the right of the dressing table, above a very small (10”) wall-mounted flat screen TV that must have been one of the early models. It worked but the only accessible English channels were Sky News, BBC World News and CNN. The small screen and viewing angle meant that you could barely read screen text when lying in bed. The best vision was when standing in front of it - and my eyesight is good in case anyone thinks that I should have gone to SpecSavers! The only spare electrical point for charging phones etc was in the bathroom.
The bulb in the light above the TV had failed. This was reported on the second day of our stay and chased up later, but nothing was ever done. Just how long does it take to change a light bulb in a 4T hotel? We were told that it was not an emergency –agreed- but it was somewhat inconvenient in the gloom at night. The room also had a wardrobe that included a safe but the wardrobe also lacked any drawer space or shelving, apart from a top shelf having additional bedding and a rather low shelf that supported the safe. The bathroom was of a good standard with bath, shower and bidet. Like many rooms there (so we heard), the glass shower screen on the bath had an incomplete bottom seal and so leaked water all over the bathroom floor!! Room servicing was excellent, however.
Restaurant staff are excellent and helpful. House wine on our first night was 19 euros, with an extra 4 euros for bottled water. Most wines were 18 euros and above. Food at breakfast was good, with hot and cold buffets. Dinner in the evening was, however, less good and no better than we have experienced at other hotels of a lesser standard on Lake Garda. If anyone wants to dine from the a la carte menu, residents are offered a 30% discount, so clearly package tour customers are very much second-class citizens for their food.
In summary, this hotel is a bit pricey and does not really live up to what one might expect from its 4T-gold medal status, apart from the location. We don’t think that we would use it again. Service from the local Thomson Crystal reps was excellent – the welcome meeting was not the usual talk and selling of trips but took the form of a walk-around Malcesine, involving brief stops at their recommended cafes, bars, pizza restaurants and ice-cream shops, with free drinks and samples on the way! We were also provided with a card that enabled us to get discounts at various restaurants and bars. The local ‘Oasi Bar’ near to the hotel provided good food and drinks and was an ideal base for lunch and for drinks in the evening.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dwdha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

The best view in Malcesine. Fabulous, friendly, cheerful and helpful staff.
Great outdoor tables for breakfast, coffee, lunch, pre and after dinner drinks. I was a little worried about the evening entertainment but we actually really enjoyed sitting with a bottle of Bardolino and people / lake watching. An evening stroll into town was always an option.
I really can't fault the dinner menu - we were happy with the options that we chose every night and had plenty of opportunity in the week to have lunch in more traditional trattorias and pizzarias.
Our room was quiet and comfortable. It was large enough though not roomy, the bathroom was adequate and clean.

Room Tip: Lakeside rooms mean you eat outside and have breadsticks on your table, we preferred to eat inside a...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ArchdaleP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Positioned right beside the lake, this hotel delivers on most counts. On arrival you need to be aware that you are, in effect, level with the roof and those that are older and/or less mobile may find the steps down from the pavement and the sloping access path a little challenging. Once inside the entrance area there is a small lift that takes you down 3 floors to the reception area. if you don't want to queue up for the lift you can carry your cases down the 3 flights of stairs - you will not meet a baggage attendant until you are at the reception desk. The receptionists are polite and friendly and your luggage will be taken to your room should you so wish.

Our room was somewhat smaller than we expected but it was comfortable enough, although the wardrobe was extremely "tight". One piece of advice I would give is to make sure that your room is one of those with a bath - ours was an en suite shower room with bidet, toilet and sink. Although my wife coped without a bath, she would have preferred having one - we presumed, incorrectly, that a bath would have been present.

The room was on a corner and overlooked the pool area. The balcony was a good size and the pool area was very quiet during the day as many people tended to go out for the day on sightseeing trips - perfect if you want a bit of peace and quiet whilst you sun bathe! The views from the room were of Monte Baldo and were superb.

If you want to get away from the pool, the roof terrace has stunning views of the lake and its backdrop - the Dolomites. We found the best time to sun bathe up there was around mid to late afternoon as a lovely breeze blew every day and it provided sime relief from the heat.

If you wish to take a boat to Limone and so forth, you can see the jetty to the right as you look out from the roof terrace - it's only a couple of hundred yards away!

Breakfast is quite a relaxed affair with self service and a waiting chef. When I say "waiting chef", "waiting" is the operative word as you find yourself standing in a queue waiting for him to fry you an egg, one at a time, in his frying pan!

Evening meals were excellent and choice was very good indeed. Waiters are friendly and very efficient. Hygiene standards are excellent.

The evening entertainmen is a solo guitarist/singer and, although he is Ok, the best part is trying to follow his pronunciation of the lyrics - some hilarious versions!

We spent a week in Malcesine and wanted to relax. It proved to be a perfect spot to do so. in terms of sightseeing, I can recommend the cable car up tp Monte Baldo - a bit of a squash on the way up but absolutely beautiful once you are there. For the more adventurous amongst you, you can buy a single ticket and come back down the mountain using the paragliders that are situated at the top! I also visited the local castle and have to say I really enjoyed it. Once you climb to the top you are rewarded with some great views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. If you like markets, Limone, across the lake, has one on a Tuesday but I have to say I would not go on a market day again because of the crowds.

Malcesine has a bar/restaurant area in the first square you come to in its centre (about 5/10 minutes walk from the hotel) but if you continue past this water front square you can access a smaller one through the narrow alleyways a bit further on - this, in my opinion, is much more pleasant and less crowded.

I could go on (some of you probably think I have done so already) so I'll finish by saying we loved the place. We really liked the hotel and we would both go back again for whatturned out to be a quiet, relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TonyM808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Excelsior Bay

Address: Via Lungolago 13, 37018, Malcesine, Italy
Location: Italy > Veneto > Province of Verona > Malcesine
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Malcesine
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Malcesine
#12 Luxury Hotel in Malcesine
#18 Romantic Hotel in Malcesine
Price Range: $191 - $399 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Excelsior Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 70
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Also Known As:
Excelsior Bay Malcesine
Excelsior Bay Hotel
Hotel Excelsior Bay Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy

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