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“OK WHEN YOU FINALLY GET BOOKED IN AND CAN GET SHOWERED”

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Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior
crewe
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“OK WHEN YOU FINALLY GET BOOKED IN AND CAN GET SHOWERED”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

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.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank jmtigercrewe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Just returned from Shearings 9 day inclusive Holiday Britannica Excelsior Hotel. Upgraded to balcony and lakeview room well worth 40Euros. Enjoyed excursions and worth going to St Moritz spectacular views. Hotel room very clean, Food was fine and staff very helpful. Bellagio 10 minute ferry trip a must. ask for oap discount cost us 15 euros return for 2 adults. Was a bit disappointed that Hotel allowed half of dining room to be reserved for other Europeans and we were not allowed to sit in that part of dining room which didn't really affect myself and my husband but did upset some people. Our Drivers John and Rob were absolutely Brilliant. John had a lot of interesting knowledge about the area which made the holiday. Journey was bit tiring but lots of stops which was fine would definitely return to this Hotel.

Room Tip: Upgrade to Balcony and Seaview fifth floor was ideal
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Helen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We travelled with Shearings on an overnight trip, one of five coaches going to the hotel over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The journey was not as tiring as expected with short stops approx. every two hours. Arriving at Cadenabbia at 9.30am we were required to wait for two hours at reception before queuing & finally booking in at 12.15pm. Although this point has been mentioned in previous reports, laying the blame on poor organisation by the hotel, my take on the situation is that re-scheduling the Stop 24 departure would have resulted in a much more sensible arrival time.
We were offered an upgrade to a Lake view room for 30 Euro & ended up in the superb room 433. An absolutely spectacular view, although the ongoing lake swimming pool installation with accompanying crane jib did slightly impair certain angles, giving the professional whingers an easy target. The room itself was ageing gracefully, spacious, comfortable & clean.
The food was the typical Shearings Euro all inclusive fare, varied choice, plentiful, and of a good standard bearing in mind that this is a three star hotel. A choice of Red or White wine with lunch & evening meal, with a packed lunch available if required. All the staff where friendly & helpful.
One problem that is noticeable is the lack of space during the evenings. On first impressions the basement entertainment area appears adequate but late arrival soon reveals the truth, with five English coach parties plus German & Italian visitors plus regular overnighting coach parties not only the basement but all other seating is soon taken up, others having to retire to their rooms or seek entertainment in other local bars or hotels. With just a single bar long queues are inevitable. The occasional entertainment did however leave a lot to be desired.
Our drivers Noel & Glynn were very professional but didn’t impart the usual local information that we have been used to on previous Shearing holidays.
Overall this was a thoughly enjoyable trip, the undoubted highlight being the trip from Tirano on the Bernina Express thru’ the Bernina Pass to St. Moritz. A wonderful two & a half hour train journey with spectacular scenery whichever way you looked, not to be missed. Several of our coach party were doing this trip for the third time. St.Moritz, when we arrived was slightly disappointing, as being out of the main skiing season was mainly closed.
One point that should be noted is that due to the ongoing swimming pool construction the jetty has been demolished, meaning that the free water shuttle to Bellagio has been suspended. The standard ferry is needed to visit Bellagio, at 9 Euro each,return.
While on this point :-
A Short Guide to Shearingspeak.
As the title implies this is a translation from the Shearings ‘Your Holiday Itinerary’ to the reality of the excursions….
Itinerary, Day 3 Monday.
‘After breakfast we enjoy a full day included lake tour around the shores of Lake Como. Enjoy the scenic delights with photo stops and free time along the way in some of the most delightful villages. Relax & enjoy the views of quaint lakeside ports, magnificent mountain scenery & splendid lakeside villages’.
The reality.
Everybody in the coach for a three quarter lap of the lake, NO photo stops, NO free time along the way in some of the delightful villages, NO relaxing & enjoying the quaint lakeside ports. On to the town of Lecco, dumped for an hours stop, nothing to do as it is closed on a Monday. Then onto Como Town for a 2 hour stop, at least the lakeside activity is a slight diversion as is the window shopping. Bank Holiday Market a nightmare. Return to base for what was nothing more than the using up a day.
Itinerary, Day 4 Tuesday.
‘Today you have the choice of free time to relax & explore the surrounding area or join us on a full day’s excursion to Bergamo. Made up of two distinctive parts, the lower city is a mixture of cobbled streets & the majestic Piazza’s that are a joy to explore with History in every corner. Take the funicular railway to reach the upper part of the city situated on the hilltop with spectacular views.’
Bergamo £18.70p per person.
The reality.
A half day trip to Lugano, which according to the drivers, has been on the agenda for the last 2 years. Window shopping & a nice fountain. At least it was ONLY £12.50p per person.
Itinerary, Day 6 Thursday.
‘This morning we enjoy an included jaunt to Como Market. Soak up the atmosphere of the bustling market, the old streets & the magnificent cathedral of Como. This afternoon we offer an optional Lake Cruise with wine tasting offering you the chance to see the famous villas along the shores, home to Hollywood stars & scenes from many films including one of the great James Bond movies.’
Lake Cruise. £14.50p per person.
The reality.
Having suffered the mayhem of Como Market on Monday a fair percentage of our coach party declined the included tour. So, onto the ‘Lake Cruise with wine tasting’. This turned out to be a one hour trip around a miniscule part of the lake in a 30 seater TAXI BOAT.
Villas of obscure Italian nobility were pointed out followed by an estate that had been purchased & turned into luxury holiday accommodation by Richard Branson who had never visited the place, Oh, and George Clooney owned lakeside Villas near Como but they were too far away to see!!!!!. We where then taken to Bellagio & left for an hour while the Taxi boat resumed its normal service, before being returned to the Hotel with not a wine bottle in site...

We will be returning to this hotel in the future but apart from the Bernina Exress trip will be ploughing our own furrow. Try to visit the Villa Carlotta, a ten minute walk from the hotel and well worth a walk thru' the Villa & in spring & summer the Gardens will be superb. You can also purchase a day ticket on the ferries & explore the lake properly.

In conclusion.
A good overall trip marred (not spoilt) by bureaucratic errors & inaccuracies, no doubt with the bottom line in mind.

Room Tip: Upgrade whenever possible, even in overcast conditions the lake is stunning.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank thesuccessfulfailure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

We had a great holiday here - hotel rooms were great as was the position on the lake. Food was ok and was all inclusive. However, disappointing facilities....floating pool was only delivered halfway through the week were were there and will certainly not be available until at least mid May. (Website of Shearings and the hotel itself state April 2013.) Free shuttle boat to Bellagio was also advertised....this again on website and is not available due to the pool installation.
Shearings excursions almost non existent for air passengers and all were cancelled with the exception of Bernina Express and St Moritz which really made the holiday - well worth it.
If you are going with Shearings the coach passengers definately had the better choice - excursions were available daily.
The area of Cadenabbia is amazing, Villa Carlotta is definately worth a visit. The villages around the centre of the lake are beautiful and again made the holiday.
I would sum up the holiday as good but would have been better should those extra amenities have been available.

Room Tip: Facing the lake, balcony if you can afford it.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank M H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Obviously a grand hotel when built, it now caters for coachloads of tourists from around Europe, and does a fairly good job of it. It has a good location halfway up Lake Como overlooking Bellagio on a promentary where the lake splits, and across to Varenna on the far bank. The hotel is less than 100yds from the ferry terminal from which to explore the lake.
The public rooms reflect its old status, the lounge area is tastefuly furnished, but quite small for a hotel with 190 rooms.On entering the restaurant there is a grand piano which is played some evenings during dinner. The resaraunt is elegent with chandeliers and drapes, and overlooks the lake. The L shaped bar area is in the basement and gets very busy since everyone is on "All Inclusive" from 10-00am to Midnight. Most evenings there is musical entertainment. There is a lift from the bar to a large sun terrace overlooking the lake which I suspect eases the situation in the summer months.The hotel has several lifts and free Wi Fi.
The hotel has a swimming pool 100yds. up the road " Cadenabbia Lido" which is owned and oprerated by the hotel, but open to the public, and I hear gets overcrowded in the summer.
They are,therefore, building an additional floating swimming pool directly across from the hotel, and due to open this summer.
BEDROOMS. I booked this hotel as part of a last minute 7 night all inclusive air holiday with Shearings. As a solo traveler I was allocated a small double room at the back of the hotel which was OK but no view. After negotiating with the receptionist I was given a very nice double with balcony overlooking the lake for only 40 euros per week (Room 337). The room was tastefuly furnished, air conditioned, with a large ensuite comprising shower, WC,bidet, and basin. All very clean no fungus.
FOOD. Incudes breakfast, lunch and dinner.All drinks served to table including wine with lunch and dinner. Breakfast a typical continental buffet, with some hot dishes for the Brits.
Dinner. The food is typical 3 star Euro Hotel Buffet. the starters include soup, pasta, pizza,and a good salad bar. the mains include 2 meats and a fish (often cooked on site) with chips potatoes etc. but the green vegetables are disapointingly overcooked. The deserts are unimaginative ie. sweet cakes, ice cream, and the same plastic containers of tinned fruit as offered at breakfast and lunch.
Lunch is similar to dinner, but a packed lunch can be ordered from reception for days out.
SERVICE. The staff are all very pleasant and helpful.
CLEANLINESS. The hotel is clean and well maintained considering the number and variety of people using its facilities.
If I wanted to return to the area, I would certainly consider staying at The Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior again. Good value for money.

Room Tip: Try negotiating with reception to get a room uprade ie. balcony and lake view for a small charge, it...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
10 Thank ronjon17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We stayed here last June, and whilst the owners were very friendly and helpful, I was a little disappointed with the hotel. The rooms are nice enough and comfortable, but I found it to be a little outdated. The lifts were small and rickety, and as there are lots of floors, the stairs aren't really ideal if you have mobility problems. The food was basic and unlabelled so we didnt know what we were eating. (what I thought was pasta turned out to be squid!) Also, I found the dining room a bit squashed as it was hard to walk past all the tables and chairs. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad, as the pool bar across the road was nice enough, and everyone was friendly. Personally I wouldn't go back, but this is just my view, and they could have made changes by now.

Room Tip: Ask for a lake view
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Bonster85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013 via mobile

We have just come back from an all inclusive 9 day coach trip with Shearings
Lake Como was beautiful we went on all the trips and enjoyed this was our first all inclusive holiday the food was much better than expected with lots of choice plenty of wine with lunch and dinner
Would recommend this holiday and would use this company again
Hotel was good with hard working staff and our coach drivers who looked after us all
We met a lot of very nice people all in all a very good holiday

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Pat H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior

Property: Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior
Address: Via Regina 41, 22011 Cadenabbia di Griante, Italy
Location: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Cadenabbia di Griante
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cadenabbia di Griante
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior 3*
Number of rooms: 284
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

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