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Hotel Stella d'Italia
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All reviewslake luganooverlooking the lakefirst floorlunch and dinneritalian lakeslovely hotelidyllic locationacross the roadboutique hotelthe water's edgeeasy accessbeautiful gardenweather permittingsit outsidesuperior roommany yearsromantic escape
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Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed here in July 2012 for 4 nights. Overall we really enjoyed our stay, however there are a few aspects that others might want to consider before choosing this hotel.

One of the most important things to us was a balcony with great lake views – that’s why we chose this hotel. We explained this in an email to the hotel and they advised us to book a room on the 2nd floor, which we did. When we arrived however, we were taken to a first floor room, from which the view was obscured by the vine “roof” of the outdoor dining area – this is why 2nd floor rooms are advised for people wanting good views. When I went back to the reception to query this they told me they had given away the room we had booked to some other people earlier in the day! Why??

After some negotiation (and no apology) we were given the last available 2nd floor room, from which the view was stunning. However, the balcony was small and not at all private – just some railings separating you from your very close neighbour! I have attached a photo to show this. There were plenty of rooms with much larger, more private balconies, so make sure you specify that if it’s important. Oh, and take the confirmation of the floor and balcony details with you, as I needed that in order to demand the 2nd floor room!

The room itself was large, and the AC worked well, if a little noisily. The room was well-equipped and very clean. Once we had got used to sitting so close to other people (!), we really enjoyed using the balcony with the stunning 180 degree views – without doubt one of the best lake views I’ve ever had. The bathroom, though large, let the room down somewhat though – there was black mould around the bath, an old-fashioned shower curtain, and a poor shower. At 160 euros a night, the bathrooms should really be renovated. The one on the first floor was the same, so I assume it’s a hotel-wide problem.

The location of the hotel is very peaceful, and sitting by the lake for breakfast in the morning was idyllic – we were lucky to be given a lakeside table each morning. The breakfast itself was OK but could be better – I’ve had better breakfasts at hotels costing much less. What there was was fine (apart from the bread rolls – only one type, the white tasteless ones full of air!) but there was a limited choice of everything and not many hot items (just eggs for boiling). They were happy to bring as many cappucinos as we wanted though, and we enjoyed lingering over breakfast before heading out each day.

The road from Lake Como to the hotel might put some people off – as you get near the hotel it’s very narrow in places and so you have to get tight into cliff sides as you negotiate the route with oncoming cars, buses and lorries! Just outside the hotel is a very narrow bit of road between the buildings, barely more than one car wide and on a bend, but we sat and watched vehicles as large as buses hurtle through it! It’s a busy road, despite it being a small one, as it’s one of the only routes between Lugano and Lake Como. However, once round the back (lakeside) of the hotel, it was extremely peaceful.

All these traffic issues make parking at the hotel rather stressful. There’s a very small area in front of the main door to reception (just large enough to pull in off the road and unload your suitcases), after that you have to park in one of two places – in the hotel’s garage, for which there is a charge (and I would not like to negotiate my way in and out of it as it involves backing out into the relentless stream of traffic) or alternatively they will give you a permit for a public parking area about 50m down the road. However, it’s not easy to find a space here. It’s also a hair-raising walk from here to the hotel, along the aforementioned road with no pavement! (Photo attached). Better to cross the road and go round the back of the buildings and walk parallel to the road until you get to the small square opposite the hotel.

We are seasoned drivers and enjoy driving abroad with all its challenges, and so in the end none of this bothered us, but more nervous drivers may not find this a very relaxing place to stay.

We ate in the hotel restaurant on the first night (there are not many places to eat in the vicinity) and although the food was fine, we thought it was a bit overpriced. There was quite a lot of ceremony involved in delivering and serving it, which seemed a bit unnecessary. It was a stunning setting though, sitting under the vines and looking out onto the lake and mountains.

We would certainly stay here again for its views and peaceful location, but for the above reasons it might not be to everyone’s taste.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mel_S_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

The room was lovely, with a great balcony on the lake. The restaurant had a reputation for good food, but was very expensive. The staff were polite, but did not make you feel welcomed, perhaps because we didn't speak Italian well. Parking was problematic as you had to walk along a busy road to reach the hotel. Be forewarned: there is very little infrastructure in the village of San Mamete so you will need a car. Recommend it with caveats.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kayhawk53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Just got back from this wonderfull hotel, this is our 7th time staying here. the superior rooms are very spacious clean and tidy, ask for room 308 wow. with its own balcony and stunning views of the lake. the staff and owners are very friendly and helpful. You can swim or fish in the lakes crystal clear waters, or use the hotels free boat and row out and explore the lake. San Mamete is a very quite little village with 2 bars and a few small shops across the road in the piazza from the hotel, a further bar/resturant can be found 2 mins walk from the hotel. Take a twenty min walk along side the lake heading back towards Lugano and you will find Simones bar, very good place to meet locals, great snacks and drinks. Even sells Pimms no1. Take a walk up to the vilage at the top of the mountain and check out the views. If you are looking for noise, loud music, rah rah, lager louts etc. then dont stay here. If on the other hand you want peace and quite, fantastic scenery, amazing food from the region, very friendly local people, and want return home having had a great relaxing holiday then this is the place to stay. see you soon Stella d.ittalia.

Room Tip: try and stay in a superior room well worth it, try room 308
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Waddo198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2012

Have just returned from holiday which included a few days in this hotel. We have visited Lugano and the other Italian lakes many times, but decided to try this one . Rooms are clean, spacious and dated, reminiscent of an English B & B. We booked a superior room with tiny balcony for 160 euros. Parking is a further 10 euros a day. Total bill for three days in excess of £600 for a very mediocre stay.
The hotel is situated on a very busy main road on the lakeside with no village or nearby town to explore in safe walking distance meaning that if you want to drink with your meal, you have to eat in the hotel as there are no other restaurants in the vicinity. Whilst the food is good, the menu is not particularly varied.
There is a delightful garden that is the outdoor restaurant and where the owner clearly states guests take turns to have a lakeside table. One reason why we booked. However, this is definitely NOT the case! You sit where you are told and are not allowed to choose your table. We spent three days sitting on the first table next to the kitchens with the waiters constantly pushing past our chairs. When we asked to move tables the Maitre d' was very cryptic, telling us we had not stayed long enough to qualify for a better table. All this whilst the lakeside tables were sometimes were empty. All extremely petty! The first time we've been told where we must sit since we were both at school!!
The hotel provides a few sun loungers next to the lake, but we found these were shrouded with other guests' towels by 8.30 in the morning.
There was an elderly man who sat in the foyer watching guests coming and going into the hotel, never speaking or smiling - just staring. At meal times he would stand and stare at the guests disapprovingly in the restaurant. We named him the Camp Commandant. It turned out he was the owner. His son was just as bad - the only time he deigned to speak to us was when he took our Barclaycard and said "hope to see you again". My husband retorted "I wouldn't think so!"
In short, there are masses of other lakeside hotels that are much, much nicer and where the owners think it important that guests should enjoy their stay. We suggest you try one!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank CarolineMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

indeed, the views are nice and the evening it is nice to dinner next to the lake, even when we found the prices overdone, for the meals we had. The rooms are really weating for a urgent restoration. Tiles were loss at our teras, and the bathroom is also waiting for some painting. There were some little holes in the sheets, coming from many washing. As some other of the guest said, : the staff, especcialy the male owners, father and son, are controlling everything,and are not friendly at all which you can feale at the nervous acting of the staff in gereral. That was what bouthered us the most. They were trowned out of michelin and that says enough.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kemmeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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