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“Stunning location”

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Grand Hotel Britannia Excelsior
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
117 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Stunning location”
Reviewed July 10, 2014

This hotel is on the shore of lake como, it has the best view on the lake, overlooking bellagio.
The rooms are decorated is very authentic Italian style , comfy beds, and the rooms at the front have stunning views of the lake, worth paying extra for.
Be careful the bathrooms are rather small.
Wifi is not very good in the hotel.
The deck bar is loverly, nice seating area , and a nice pool but very cold.
Overall nice hotel, in a fab location.

Room Tip: Pay extra for a lake view I paid 60 euros in May 14
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank essexcookie_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2014

This hotel has received some poor reviews. This has not been my recent experience. The hotel is well maintained, the entrance areas, dining room and public lounges are good. The rooms are good and clean,we did upgrade to one with a balcony but there was nothing wrong with the first room we were allocated, other than we wanted a lake view. The staff are helpful and friendly and the service in the dining room was excellent. The food is buffet style and don't expect to get bacon and egg every morning,but then the hotel is in Italy!
Free wifi is available in the lounges.

Room Tip: Better to ask for a balcony room
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2014

3 night stay. View marvellous. Bedroom disappointing. Corridors have a musty smell and carpets are well worn and unclean looking. Old world furniture. No wifi in bedroom. Breakfast room bright and pleasant if a bit chaotic. Bit overpriced taking everything into account. Visit Menaggio.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
2 Thank Mary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cadenabbia di Griante hotels

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2014

I stayed here with a coach group (Leger) 3 weeks ago and it is "Pot luck" which bedroom you are offered. Some people had very nice rooms but the majority of our group were disappointed with their rooms.

Hotel dates back to 1900 and is past its sell by date. The bedrooms in general are shabby and high ceilings surely mean that cleaning and replacing dud light bulbs would be a problem. As the hotel seems to be open all year round and has numerous coach parties in and out every day, they cannot do cleaning to a high standard. Staff are demoralised and there is a lack of Customer Service.

I had Bedroom 319 – single occupancy but double bed.
This room overlooked an inner courtyard of hotel – fountain on ground floor.
• The walls (uneven plaster) were painted yellow but very shabby and skirting boards in white had marks on them
• The carpet was thin and never looked as if it had been vacuumed as there were tell-tale tiny bits of paper on them.
• There was not much room to walk around the bed – bed was clean.
• There was a fridge which obviously hadn’t been checked as there was an opened bottle of water left in there by previous occupant.
• On arrival in the room I checked all appliances to make sure they worked – the air con didn’t. When I went down to dinner I told them air con remote probably needed new batteries. On return to the room the air con worked but the TV didn’t (had before) so deducted they had just swopped the batteries!!!! Can you believe it? I went down again and got them to put in new batteries in TV remote
• On the reverse of the door were fire instructions and 2 price tariffs – one for 2004 and one for 2011. These were tatty and just stuck up with blu tak
• There was a ceiling fan but noisy and didn’t continue to use as dreaded to think how much dirt/fluff would come cascading down onto bed!
• The tiny wardrobe had a knob missing from door and had about 6 coat hangers.
• There was a space next to the wardrobe where I had to store my case and use it as an overflow wardrobe.
• The bedside cabinet had a loose foot which I had to screw in!
• Inside the door was the fuse box/trip switch? which was uncovered.!
• No hanging notice to put on door (as most hotels have) indicating “Please make up my room OR do not disturb” When I suggested this to reception staff they just shrugged their shoulders and said they could type out a piece of paper if I wished – where would | hang it and how??
• At the window you could draw just net voile as well as heavy brocade curtains. On closing the latter realised that on the right hand side they had come out of 3 hooks – I mentioned this but it was done the next day – they had obviously stood on the table to do it as imprint of shoe there!
• There was a sheet of paper in the room (attached) with basic info on but didn’t mention anything about how often bed linen would be changed (wasn’t) or towels or how to work and obtain English channel on the TV! However my friend had found a glossy instruction folder displayed in her room. When I asked the Scottish receptionist if I could have one, she said “you have your sheet of paper which is up to date and those folders are out of date” and apparently she blamed the cleaning staff for leaving them there and asked us to return to her which we did! I then checked my drawer and found about 8 paper instructions including 1 in German and the afore said glossy folder which got taken down to her!!
• Isn’t there a head of housekeeping supervising staff – my friend said the cleaner she saw looked about 13 years of age!!!
• Bathroom of Room 319 – lovely crack in the floor, filthy air fan (high up) – only 2 sachets of shower gel the whole week, no bar of soap or shower hat
• Standard of cleanliness “lick and polish”

Reception Staff:

There is an older Scottish Lady with blonde hair whom we initially though was the manager but other receptionists said not. She appears to be on duty early evening when all the coach parties arrive. Our first impressions of her were that what she said went and you wouldn’t win an argument with her. We felt it was just best to humour her!
All the reception staff looked miserable as sin and if you were standing there they would ignore you for a while- you had to make the first move. They definitely need customer service training.
The reason they are like this is there is no evidence of any manager (no picture gallery with names of staff displayed) so don’t appear to have been given any guidelines on how to interact with customers.
Everyone that came to the reception desk had some kind of complaint and indeed the “Customer comments” box was full to overflowing and I imagine they are just filed in the bin!

Packed lunches:

As we were on “all inclusive” and had a transparent arm band slapped on our wrist on arrival, we were entitled to lunch in dining room or a packed lunch. As we were out on trips every day we had the packed lunch. This was identical every day: Ham roll, cheese roll, bottle of still water and a croissant type pastry with either jam or custard inside. I know it is a large hotel and they have hundreds to cater for but again if managed properly surely they could have a system where they varied the contents of the rolls - eg day 1 you issue ham & Cheese, , day 2 – Salami & Chicken, Day 3 – Tuna and tomato etc. It would have been nice to have had a piece of fresh fruit but this was something they lacked in general !

Dining Room –

This was huge and catered for large numbers – one evening I looked on the bookings sheet and counted up 7 coach firms! Food was plentiful but not the best.
• Tables very close together.
• Waiting staff coped very well considering they were rushed off feet.
• Evening meal- The menu was displayed at entrance to restaurant but at the buffet nothing was labelled up and often not sure what things were particularly the meats. Every night it was veal and pork and sometimes beef –never had chicken
• Food very un imaginative – tinned carrots, tinned fruit (hardly any fresh fruit), cakes for dessert were more or less the same every evening.
• There was fresh fish cooked. Pasta was boring (small shapes) we never had lasagne! Ice cream was melting.
• Breakfast – Limited cereals (no bran flakes) and in open bowls – would be more hygienic in twist and turn dispenser.
• Bread rolls – hard – no selection. Plenty of ham, cheese, croissants sticky buns, yogurts – NO FRESH FRUIT!
• Cooked breakfast only served between 8-9am so only had it once – scrambled egg only (other hotels give you a choice – poached, fried, boiled, bacon fatty, frankfurter sausages and Luke warm baked beans.

(Apparently the rail tour company Treyn had a separate dining room but looking at their comments on Trip Advisor, they were forgotten about in that they had to clear their own tables between courses!)


This was downstairs in the basement and resembled a working men’s club.
• The only positive aspect of this was that our drinks were free (all inclusive) and there was a very pleasant helpful English girl working there – year out from University.
• At the entrance to the Bar was a bottled water machine. Everyone wants bottled water and for some reason this was not included in all inclusive! WHY NOT? Consequently this machine was often empty and although a refund button for your euro this didn’t work –my friend had to go to bar and explain, to get her water but they weren’t bothered about reporting the machine out of order. In reflexion this was a way of collecting Euros from guests.

In summary this hotel is a cross between a 1950’s Butlins Holiday camp and “Fawlty Towers”!
I can see why all the UK companies use it – has 2 pools, on prime position on the lake for ferry across to Bellagio and it has a Layby for coaches to park although I understand they now have to pay for that because of a rule imposed by the local Mayor.

You definitely take a chance when you stay here! I notice that the hotel management do not reply to any of these Trip Advisor comments - I wonder why?!!!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7 Thank shortbreadlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2014

The remarks of Peter O of Brighton really sums this hotel up very well from an all inclusive point of view. The basement bar area was awful. But the Lido A La Carte very pleasant.
Despite the revamp a few years back, the décor, furniture and upholstery are very tired, especially the outside balcony furniture.
However, my wife and I booked privately via Booking.com, no issues with them at all I will add. We also booked transfers from Milan Malpensa via the hotel.
I should have realised from the very poor response to my many emails direct with the hotel, requesting confirmation, that this was going to be an inevitable failure, it was. No car or person to greet us at the airport, I made repeated phone calls to the hotel, who at first stated that I never emailed them, resulted in a local Milan firm being contacted and our transfer arrived.
This episode was not the reason for my review title, it was what happened on arrival at the hotel reception, there was not the slightest hint of an apology or acceptance that they failed to book it, just the comment, AH, THE AIRPORT PEOPLE, complete with wry smile, which completely sums up their attitude to customer service and this attitude always emanates from the top. On more than one occasion while at reception I heard other customers demanding the managers attention to discuss an issue without success, he/she was certainly capable of avoiding the issues, and left it to the desk staff to fend off frustrated customers.
Our return transfer was equally met with vagueness and i suspected a repeat episode and I could not confirm it, until a lady with a Scottish accent, forgive me if I am wrong, at the reception took over. She sorted it. 5 stars for her help and assistance.
Time and again we found the general management impossible to access or talk to,
If as I am led to believe, Shearings, run this hotel they need to address the poor management and support the staff with some customer service training.
I am so pleased I booked room only, as the location, local facilities and transport are excellent.

Room Tip: Go for balcony with lake view, these rooms are acceptable, others are very cramped. Book room only...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2014

This hotel is a total hodge-podge, but gets the job done for the money. Inside, staff rifle through actually paper to check you in (I've never seen so much paper in YEARS) in a lobby that looks resembles those large hotels on the "British Riviera." But, look past this and you get to your room, which has been newly rennovated (if tackily so), is clean, and perfectly adequate. Breakfast is mostly English, with some croissants and yogurt, but generous enough. Wifi is only in the lobby (this seems to be a trend in Italy). Staff are helpful. Pool is across the street and is quite lovely (although towels are an irritating 5 Euros). Drinks are 2, 3 and 4 Euros, which you can't beat. The restaurant connected to the hotel (across the street from the hotel and down the road a few paces) was good enough for something closeby. The hotel is near a ferry stop and a bus stop, which is super convenient. You are very far from Como (the town) so if you are looking for lots of stuff to do, this is not the place. But for a 2-4 day trip without a lot of frills, you can't beat this.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3 Thank Chartman12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2014

This is the second time that my husband and I have stopped at this hotel. Both times we have paid for a lake view and balcony and this is well worth the small amount of money that you spend as it gives you somewhere just to sit and relax if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle.
The rooms are comfortable and clean with sufficient space to store everything and a very useful safe. I would prefer a bath with shower rather than just a shower, but space is at a premium, and the shower was very good, high pressure and good temperature control.
The food was excellent at the buffet, and there is a good selection of drinks too, all included if you've booked all inclusive, which we did. the waiting staff are lovely and take the time to chat to you as they serve which is a lovely touch.
The entertainment is OK, there's a dj by the pool on weekend nights, although unless you are platinum you will need to pay a little extra to get in. The entertainment in the downstairs bar area is local, which we both enjoy. There are two gents, sometimes together, sometimes apart. The music is good and if you're lucky enough to hear Franco, he's a classically trained tenor who brought tears to my eyes with his rendition of nessum dorma. Wonderful!

The pool area is great now that the new lido is built. Although the sun loungers are, shall we say a little unstable! and the fact that it is floating can make for a dicky tummy when the wind gets up. Its clean though, and the staff can't help enough.

General cleanliness in the hotel is good, but attention is needed in certain areas. The loo seat in the ladies toilet by the bar has been missing since last year, and the soft seating in the bar area could do with recovering. Sadly the sun terrace is somewhat neglected now that the lido is open and this is a shame as most of the guests still sit there after dinner when the evenings are warm. Oh, and be careful of the cushion stealing guests who take the seat cushions to their room to make sure they have one (I'm serious.......)

There's good transport from the hotel also. The car ferry is just over the road, there's a bus that goes all the way around the lake too. The hotel also operates a free shuttle boat from the lido four times per day which takes you to the lido at Bellagio. Some people moaned that this was not in the centre of Bellagio and they had to walk, but it's free for heavens sake. If you want to land at the centre of Bellagio, pay to go on the car ferry. Simples.

As always, people do expect five star facilities from a three star hotel, but we were perfectly satisfied overall and would happily have stayed another week.

Room Tip: the lake view rooms are better than the mountain views in terms of light and view, but the mountain...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank vicky w
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
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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