Our trip to this hotel took place the 2nd week of April, we arrived at 8.15am in time for breakfast at a cost of 10euros each as our all inclusive deal for meals did not begin until evening dinner, although we were free to take advantage of free drinks from the moment we arrived.
As we had travelled on the express coach we were anxious to get settled into our room so that we could organise our unpacking and freshen up, but were told we were unable to book in until 11am, so nothing else for it but to sit in the lounge and sip drinks. Just after 11am we went to reception and was told to return at 11.30am, however by that time long queues had arisen as there were 4 express coaches arriving from the uk that day. Due to medical issues we were not able to stand for long periods in a queue so decided to wait until the queue had gone down, but this did not happen until 1.30pm when we were finally given keys to our rooms. We took possession of our suitcases to unpack and were astonished to find that neither our room or my Aunts had been serviced. The beds were not made up and everything was obviously as left by the previous occupants. We decided to unpack anyway but even after doing so there was no sign of a chambermaid so we had to return to reception to let them know. Following this we returned to our rooms 40 minutes later and finally at around 4.30pm we were able to have a shower and get out of the clothes we had been wearing since around 6am the previous day. Our rooms appeared to be located at the side of the hotel, not much of a view but that was unimportant to us as we are happy as long as the room has all the facilities we need, and on that score we were not disappointed. We had twin beds pushed together, a double wardrobe, bedside table, tv, decent shower room and adequate power socket conveniently located. My Aunts room was smaller with a single wardrobe but she still got a double bed and her shower room also had a bidet. Both rooms had a safe that were free to use.
The rest of our time in the hotel was lovely, we had plenty of choice in the restaurant, and my only complaint was that there appeared to be some tables reserved for (we think) German guests and us English were not allowed to sit there even though there were times when it was busy and the tables remained empty for most of the time. As we could not book a table we did not think it fair that other guests were allowed to.
Entertainment in the evening wasn`t to our taste and consisted of an organist who sang in English but also in German for the benefit of those guests. No bingo or quiz nights even though this was advertised as entertainment in the brochure that began in January 2013.
The pool attached to the hotel across the road was there but you couldn`t use it as the water in the toilets was turned off and the changing cubicles were filled with various implements not in use, and the restaurant and bar was locked.
Another disappointment was that the brochure stated that from April there was to be a free shuttle boat for guests to go across to Bellagio but at the time we were there it was not available.
During the day there was only one young lady looking after the bar area and she had to serve drinks, replenish the coffee machine, wash up, clean up, and collect glasses from all the areas in the hotel, so very often you would have to wait a short while until she could serve you, but she always did so with a smile and although all the bar staff were helpful and friendly, she was especially so and I wish I had taken note of her name.
During the evening there were more bar staff and the bar was full most evenings, but despite this we did not have to wait too long to get served with drinks as the staff were quick and you could take as many drinks with you at a time as you could carry, no one drink at a time rule here.
A packed lunch was available if you were out during the day which consisted of 2 largish unspread baps, 1 ham and 1 cheese, a croissant and a bottle of water, so we suggest that if you prefer spread on your baps you take them into the restaurant before you leave and spread them yourself.
The weather during our stay was mixed and the best days were arrival and departure day. This was unfortunate because the chaos of arrival day meant we could not take advantage of being out and about in the sunshine, and on departure day most of the coach drivers loaded suitcases in the morning and passengers were able to put their hand luggage and any coats, etc onto the coach, however our driver did not do this so we were left confined to the hotel all day as we had too much stuff between us to carry around all day. The hotel did provide a courtesy room but we were reluctant to leave our belongings in an unlocked room that was acccessible to anyone. We did try to pay for a room for the day but the hotel was full so none were available.
The hotel restaurant looks out onto a gorgeous mountain view and this all the more pleasant when there is blue skies and sunshine.
All the staff appear to be trained to ensure your stay is comfortable and enjoyable and we did not have any issues with anyone. Even though arrival day was bad for us, it must be much worse for the staff who try their best to sort everyone out as soon as possible but they appear to cope well under pressure so top marks to them. We couldn`t get the english channels on our tv so we reported this to reception and it was sorted out the following day.
Towels were changed almost daily even though some days we left ours on the heated towel rail to reuse, and there were always several toilet rolls so no danger of running out. We did not know what to make of the hand towels as they were more like tea towels, no floor mats were provided so these tea towels could have been left for that purpose, we were not sure but decided to use them as such and use the bath towels as hand towels.
We would recommend this hotel to anyone who enjoys the all inclusive package as most of the niggles that we had were minor and did not stop us enjoying our overall stay there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Britannia Excelsior is set on the shores of Lake Como and is a former 19th-century inn. The beautiful guest rooms are tastefully decorated with luxury fabrics and antique furniture. The hotel boasts four bars four restaurants and two swimming pools open seasonally.RnrnJust 50 metres from the Cadenabbia landing dock, the Britannia Excelsior offers free parking and beautiful views of Bellagio. RnrnThe centre of Griante is a 10 minutes' walk away. Free public parking is available near the swimming pool. All rooms at the Britannia Excelsior Hotel are equipped with satellite TV and private bathroom with shower and hairdryer. Some rooms overlook the lake and some even have a balcony. RnrnFree Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and breakfast is a continental-style buffet available daily in the main restaurant. Both the buffet-style restaurant and the a la carte, lakeside restaurant specialise in classic Italian and international cuisine. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Britannia Excelsior Hotel
- Hotel Britannia Excelsior Cadenabbia
- Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior Lake Como/Cadenabbia Di Griante, Italy