The Hotel Krystal Palace is, without doubt, our favourite hotel. The place is utterly magical and we cannot wait to get back there.
We stayed at the Krystal Palace on the last leg of our honeymoon. We had stayed in fantastic hotels in Rome and Florence and were really excited about having 8 days in Lake Garda.
However, our first impression was not good. We arrived after 2 trains and a taxi from Florence. The reception staff were friendly and we were soon in our room. This is when we first had a problem. The room was lovely, a spacious junior suite but we were on the 2nd floor. We had been promised a 5th floor room. We knew we would not be having a lake view but we at least expected the lovely view of the hills that the website suggests. The view we had was of a car park. The balcony was very unprivate and not the sort of balcony you would want to chill out on or spend a long time relaxing. So, down we went to complain (or, the wife, as she’s better at this). The staff were nice and allowed us to access internet and print off the email which confirmed we would get a 5th floor room (not that being on the 5th floor would really have made much difference). The staff were very nice and tried to be helpful but they could not offer us the same room higher up. They tried to get us a better room but could not for the 8 days that we would be there. They gave us the option to have a higher room in a smaller room – we checked out the rooms but declined. Eventually we decided to stay in our room and the staff offered us 20euros per night off and a free meal in their restaurant. We thought this was generous. We returned to our room and opened the lovely bottle of prosecco that comes with the junior suite (also a bowl of fresh fruit).
We decided to check out the skypool. This was the main reason my wife had decided she wanted this hotel. As we came out of the lift on the roof we were amazed at the beautiful view to the north of Riva down the valley with the little castle perched on top of the hill in the distance. This was nothing compared to the view that greeted us as we turned the corner to the front of the skypool where the pool and bar are. Our jaws hit the ground in amazement. The view towards the lake is absolutely stunning. Without doubt the most beautiful view either of us had ever seen. The pictures on the website are just how it is. No camera trickery at all. Instantly, all the complaining we had made about not being on the 5th floor seemed ridiculous.
The skypool was where we would spend a lot of time over the next 8 days. It is a stunning place to sit and chill. The views of the mountain cliffs spilling into the lake, the mountains stretching off into the distance, the glistening blue of the lake, is something that we never got bored of. There are plenty of sun-loungers and it’s not necessary to worry about trying to get one (despite the number of Germans). The bar staff are so very friendly and funny. It was a wonderful experience to sunbathe for a few hours and then take a dip in the pool whist being surrounded by the incredible scenary.
Food wise, the Krystal Palace cannot be faulted. On our first night there we turned up for our free meal. We were guided to a cosy table that had been prepared in a romantic fashion. There were candles, ribbons, cute rolled up individual menus and even a present on our table (presumably because we were on our honeymoon). The meal was incredible and we decided to eat there another 2 times during our stay. We will need to decide whether or not to go full-board next time we go. The restaurant is very clean and modern with a really relaxed atmosphere. Each meal begins with an amuse bouche (or whatever the Italian term for it is) for example salmon wrapped in cream. There is a small menu that changes everyday. My wife is a very fussy eater but could always find something on the menu to her liking. Starters included pasta dishes and soups. Between starter and main course you are invited to go to the salad buffet for a salad course. This was very extensive and had lots of different food. Mains included beef in a beer sauce, pork with apple jus, veal, salmon and other beautifully presented meals. . Desserts included yet more beautifully artistic creations including crème caramel, chocolate tarts and, of course, ice cream. The chefs and staff at this restaurant are excellent and deserve praise. Thank you. Northern Italy just happens to produce our favourite wines so we were really happen with the choices. Lovely, crisp tasting whites. Whilst eating your meal there is live music by a pianist (no singing). This gave a really nice ambiance to the restaurant.
The piano player (Yari) after finishing his set in the restaurant goes up to the skypool and spends a few hours playing and singing more modern songs in a really chilled out, soulful style. Listening to Yari sing, whilst sitting at the skypool as the sun goes down and you’re sipping a cocktail (long island ice tea for me, some creamy Baileys one for the mrs) was a perfect way to end each evening.
Another few points to mention. Breakfast can be taken either in the restaurant (where there is more choice and hot food) or, at a slightly later time, on the skypool. We opted for the skypol breakfast. Sitting in the sun at 9am each morning, sipping coffee or fresh orange juice, eating pastries and fresh fruit, looking out onto the lake, was amazing. The reception staff were very helpful. Helping me with the internet and with my questions about visiting local places and helping book me a taxi to the airport. The lake itself is about 4 or 5 minutes walk. We walked there once but preferred to spend the day at the skypool unless we were going on a trip. There is an excellent gelataria about a minute away, and a few good restaurants for lunch within a couple of minutes walk. A supermarket and ATM are close too. Better restaurants for an evening meal are a bit further away. The skypool has gym equipment if you’re into that sort of thing. My wife says she’ll use it next time we go to prevent her putting on too much weight (instead of just laying off the creamy baileys cocktails) – I’ll believe that when I see it.
We absolutely loved this hotel and cannot wait to go back there. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long. We cannot recommend this place highly enough.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Kristal Palace - Tonelli Hotels Riva Del Garda/Nago, Italy