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Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior
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Reviews (3,210)
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Reviewed September 30, 2012

Just returned from a great holiday in Lake Como. On the positive side this hotel is in a great location. It has a bus stop right outside with good local buses running a regular service to Como. The ferry stop is just across the road and the resort tractor train also stops directly outside the hotel. The hotel is attractive and the decor is lovely inside. The rooms are small but comfortable and they provide most things you require other than tea/coffee making facilities. On the negative side the food was awful and I was extremely disappointed as we had paid for all inclusive but didn't find much that inspired us. It was also a shock when we arrived and found that the majority of people staying at this hotel were 60 plus. The bar was down stairs and was very hot and airless at night and the entertainment, if any, was poor. Most people spent the evenings playing cards. There wasn't much night life in the whole area which was a shame. There is a good bar just up the hill beside the hotel that locals go to and it is the best place to go in the evenings if you are young and want to get out. We also found that there was a big difference between what people paid for this holiday. We paid £329 for five days but some people paid double to this and didn't get anything more other than 2 days. Overall for what we paid it was good but I would have been very disappointed if I had paid £600. The trips that the hotel run are very good and get booked up quickly, so book early. It was nice to go on a coach trip that didn't include going to an outlet or shop where they are trying to rip off the tourist. We went on the St Moritz and it was a fantastic day out and I would recommend it. The hotel does have a bar attached to it on the other side of the road called Lidos but the staff were very unwelcoming and the drinks are only all inclusive until 9pm. We went three evenings but there was never any entertainment on and it was obvious serving us was too much trouble so we never stayed. It was a shame as it has a lovely outlook onto the lake and the swimming pool is also there.

Room Tip: Lake view is worth the extra as you have lovely views and the rooms seem to be larger
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank suedewdrops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

this is the worst hotel I have ever visited
We had stated what standard of hotel we were looking for and the Thomson shop sold us this claiming a 3 star in the Lakes was the same as a 4 star elsewhere, do not believe that if you are ever sold this line by a tour operator
the standard of the hotel was unaceptable it is not three stars it would be at best 2 stars
The dining room was filthy with broken wine jugs, cups, staff wiping tables using old food tubs with dirty water, staff picking up cutlery after dropping it on the floor and putting it back onto a table, chefs trying to fix leaking units where the food was served from with their whites on, food that was the worst ever with no way of knowing what it was as no way of identifying it,rolls that were as hard as rocks,likely days old, and friut that all came from a tin
Very hard to get tea or coffee as the staff had great fun in ignoring you
The reception area was unhelpful, early morning call booked never came, seats soiled in reception area and damaged and torn covers with chairs levelled with old magazines under legs, coffee cups left all night and table tops all stained and you could write your name in the dust
The rooms also disappointing with cheap fixtures and fittings and also very small, one seat in the room so we had to pay to get a balcony so we both could sit, too old to sit on a bed
Loung bar like a working mans club back in the 60's and only one barman serving so queues could be long
Toilets in that aera were a disgrace,filthy no soap and towels and stunk to high heaven
We had blood on curtains in first room and also blodd on bed sheet but by a miracle this turned into jam after receiving a second letter from Crystal
Swiming pool used as kids club on weekdays so unless happy with forty odd kids in the pool with you shouting and screaming you have no option but to avoid
We made official complaint to Crystal Holiday rep and followed up on our return home although I would have left after a couple of days
Their response was after twelve weeks of investigation and a complete twist of events was a fifty pund voucher to use on one of their holidays, they must be joking as will never use them again and will likely never return to Italy again

Room Tip: book another hotel and dont wast your money going to grand hotel britannia
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank westthorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Stayed at at the Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior at the beginning of September 2012 for four nights, the hotel is in an excellent location for staying on Lake Como. The lobby areas and dining room are very ornate as other reviews have also commented, the room we stayed in was a large room more like a family room and being at the rear of the hotel was very quiet at night but with no view. We only stayed on a bed and breakfast basis and it was a bit like feeding time at the zoo and you had to be in the dining room early to get the best food, also we found sitting near to the food serving area was best as the staff serving tea and coffee tended to stay at that end of the room.
We had no complaints with the hotel during our stay, but the staff seemed to be just doing there job, when we checked out no asked if we'd had a nice stay etc, which I know is not a major thing but its nice to feel that they've also liked you to stay in their hotel.
Another point Wednesday check-in is madness personified, the world and his wife checks-in that day, it's a very popular hotel with coach holiday companies and 2 coach loads of people were checking in that day also there must have been a groupon offer to stay as there were about 30 other people checking in and there wasn't enough rooms for everyone as we over heard that they double book then when there is no room send people to other hotels in the area which is naughty.

Overall - the hotel is not bad to use as a base to tour Lake Como

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

This is an update from our post of 23/08 by tangerine81 booked with holidays.booked, which I feel we should post.
After a mixed stay (from reading some of the other posts) I realise it could have been far worse with only 1 night in a different room, but still at the correct hotel.
Put email of complaint into holidays.booked the day we got back. Main problem really was the pre-paid transfer for us.
After the 28 days they wanted to investigate, started chasing them up. Transfer co in Italy had still not responded to them. They have since refunded the taxi fare we had to pay ourselves to make our flight. If you're out of pocket, keep persisting, they did need a lot of chasing, but worked for us in the end.
I would say for all those with positive reviews, if you had not got the room you expected/paid for then you would have had a whole different experience!!! The final room we got was excellent, but we did see both ends of the spectrum! We paid for the lake view upgrade, which was worth it. We did try before the holiday to email the hotel direct for confirmation, but never got any reply.

Our expectations were realistic (we realised the hotel is 3*) and we just assumed basics like our transfer would actually show up and we would get the room we had booked/paid for.

Lake Como is still very lovely and would not put us off going back to the lake - would be a different hotel next time though.

Room Tip: Get the lake view! Standard rooms seem to struggle to even open the door without hitting the bed.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nick999_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

just come back from lake como staying at the grand brittannia excelsior hotel and after i had read the reviews that i came across before i went i thought i was going to be disapointed with my holiday (a lot of them were complaints ) anyway i kept an open mind. well i think who wrote the bad reviews especially about the food must have paid cheap prices but wanted top notch 5 star service or just have nothing better to do except complain about the smallest fault yes there were things that could have been a little better but all in all you get what you pay for and for what i paid for my holiday i think i got a bargain we were checked in quickly on arrival our all inclusive offer started straight away our room was lovely clean tidy spacious and a wonderful view of the lake (allthough we did pay extra for a balcony with lake view but worth every penny ) the food was lovely for all the 9 days we were there well cooked hot and plenty of choice but if you are expecting lush italian food then yes you will be disapointed as they cater more to the english taste
the staff were very helpful and efficient our room was cleaned every day and the cleaner allthough struggling with english was very pleasant towards us the location of the hotel right on the lake side is really nice but the one thing that might annoy people which is not mentioned in brochures is the road in front of the hotel is very busy and can be noisy during the day ( this did not bother us as we were out most days sightseeing ) the only fault which i can bring up about the hotel if you are a bit younger than the high percentage of senior citizens that use the hotel then the entertainment is greatly lacking there was only entertainment on three nights that we were there and it was the same on all three nights the usual singer with guitar singing the old dean martin type songs again though it suited the elder cliental but not for the younger and middle age generation and not my cup of tea . all in all though we had a really good holiday there. one last thing caddenabbia were the hotel is, is very quiet not a lot there but you are only a short journey both ways to small typical italian towns/villages walking or on the little road train which stops off right outside the hotel or better still two minutes across the road to the ferry to tour the beautiful lake and towns all round holiday rating i would give 8 out of ten

Room Tip: pay for a balcony and lake view it will make your holiday and perhaps high floor as the traffic can be noisy during the day
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank samwhit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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