We had some fears about staying at this hotel after reading previous reviews but should not have worried.
The location of this hotel is ideal. We had a deluxe room overlooking the mountains. Room was clean and large and had a great, large flat screen TV with loads of English channels. Beds were comfortable. Bathroom was clean and large with a good shower. Air conditioning did not work too well but as we were at the back of the hotel we were able to have the window open and heard little outside noise. Housekeeping was done every day and clean towels were left during the week. The room and bedroom looked as if they had been recently refurbished and the only thing to let the bathroom down were the cheap shower enclosure doors which kept falling off their runners. This also happened to our friends who were staying at the hotel in another room. The room was quiet and we did not hear any noise from other rooms.
All staff, bar a few in the dining room, were extremely friendly, helpful and cheerful. They all worked extremely hard although it appeared that they were quite understaffed at times. The bar staff worked very hard and had so much to do that sometimes the bar was left unattended for up to 20 mins at a time.
We did not find the downstairs bar to be dark and dismal, just a little dated. Drinks could be taken to the roof terrace. Choice of drinks was good. Gin and tonic was fine as was Campari and also sparkling wine. White wine did not taste very nice. Choice of lager or dark beer. Entertainment was a little dated. Just a man playing the organ on several nights.
Breakfast was OK with a hot choice between 8 and 9. Had lunch a couple of days and this was good.
Choice at dinner was very good. We had steak, swordfish, fish from the lake, lovely homemade pizza, soup, salad. All food was fresh and well-cooked. My husband had the best ribs he has ever tasted. Home made trifle, tiramisu and crème caramel were good and the many flavoured ice creams were lovely, particularly the butterscotch flavour.
We made our own way from Milan Malpensa airport by getting the free shuttle from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 then the Malpernsa Express train to Sarrono, change of train at Sarrono to Lake Como Nord (last stop) and then walk out of the station over the road to catch the C10 bus (direction Colico) which stops at Cardanabbia just outside the hotel. It is very simple but takes a few hours, particularly on a Sunday. The bus drivers are very helpful and will tell you where to get off. A taxi or transfer from the airport would have cost 170 euros but by doing it on our own it only cost 12 euros per person for the entire trip. make sure you get the train ticket at the ticket office before you travel and buy the tickets for both train journeys. Don't forget to validate each ticket in the machines before you get on each train.
We also got the free hotel boat to Bellagio but you need to book this the day before you want to go. We visited Varenna by boat and walked up to the castle. We also visited Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbianello which was outstanding. The best way to get to this villa is to get the C10 bus to Lenno, walk down the road to the lake and get the taxi boat to the villa entrance. We did the Greenway Walk from just outside the hotel to Colonna and visited Como including the steep funicular for stunning views. We booked the Bernina Express train trip into Switzerland at the hotel Cannot recommend this trip enough.
The weather was in the high 20's during our stay but it did rain all day on the Sunday.
Overall we had a fantastic holiday and would return to this hotel again
- 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