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“Breakfast-rich, ambiance abundant, iPoor Pironi.”
Review of Hotel Pironi

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Hotel Pironi
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Cannobio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 13, 2012

For my one month Vienna-Venezia voyage in September-October 2011 I booked Hotel Pironi first and far in advance - and even a few months prior to my stay I already could not get the room on the exact day I originally wanted. I changed my itinerary slightly to accommodate for one night stay there - such was the enduring fame of the place.

Naturally, I have been so influenced by unanimously rave reviews starting from Michelin Hotel guide through any other travel guide of the Lakes and finally by exalted comments on this site. And as it often happens in such cases, it did not impress me unequivocally - when the expectations set so high, it is hard to match it, although overall it is a pleasant hotel.

I start with the positives:

For me, the best thing about Hotel Pironi was the breakfast, specifically a marvelous frescoed room in the appendix of the main modern breakfast buffet room. That not very large room was truly stunningly beautiful and full of ambiance, with large windows allowing splendid morning light to illuminate the colors of the walls. The hotel is a converted monastery, and the room is probably a piece surviving from the old glorious times. The breakfast itself was extremely rich and varied, with fresh breads, cheeses and fruits, and an omelet was free, too. I'd say the breakfast is one of the best for the hotel of this class.

Next was the bed, with a very comfortable mattress and pillows. But my disappointment with the hotel started with polyester blankets that were provided by default. I had to call for wool blankets, which were brought right in, but still for a mountainous hotel of high reputation it was strange to find synthetic blankets for the bed make-up.

The bathroom was shining clean, with an excellent array of toiletries. I think that even a Swiss will not find anything to flaw in such an immaculately clean and well-appointed bathroom.

The staff was very helpful. I could not enter the parking lot from the first attempt and the steering wheel of my Fiat Bravo got locked up. The lady from reception came to help, she knew these Italian cars well, and so we parked the car safely. Next day she drove with me to show the way to get the closest to the hotel for bag packing - my Garmin GPS, even with updated European maps could not figure it out.

The reason why I needed to minimize the bag-carrying distance is that the road is all cobblestones, not very suitable for bags on wheels, and the hotel is about 25 meters from the closest possible car parking, which is not really a parking place - you have a few minutes only to do your luggage business.

Now, some negatives:

The luggage service was uneven - I was puzzled by a comment in the morning at the check-out that I was lucky in the previous evening of the check-in that there was a man around to help with the bags. I think for the hotel of this fame and rate the help with bags should be seamless. What would happen if the man was not there? The thought that you could be left on your own without the luggage help was not very comforting.

Maybe more importantly, I found the room very small (I was a solo traveler), with period-looking peasant-antique furniture which was quite useless - there was no adequate desk for a computer or for simple writing. There was also no reading light at the head of the bed, so if you want to read in bed, it will have to be with the ceiling light.

The room door opens right to the floor corridor, and the is no soundproofing. In the morning, the street life starts early and it becomes very noisy, because the hotel is on a narrow street right in the center of town, so if you want to sleep after 8 am, it might not be possible due to noise from other guests coming and going at the floor corridor and from the outside street.

Another huge drawback was the absence of Internet in the room. Wi-fi exists only in the big communal reading room, which is well-frequented by guests and therefore there is absolutely no privacy for your internet browsing. The signal was OK, but it was not enough for Skype talk over my Android phone with USA.

The hotel is very popular, and perhaps due to that fact it feels crowded - although the breakfast frescoed room is gorgeous, most likely you will have neighbors all around, speaking loudly of their affairs and ruining somewhat the morning tranquility of the place. The same happens in the Wi-Fi communal room. The problem is that the hotel is not very large but it is so well packed that it feels as you are touching another guest elbow. I personally prefer a less crampy environment.

There is ambiance of the hotel being a converted abbey, but the aforementioned practical inconveniences diminished the appeal to me; I found the hotel poorly equipped for a modern single traveler who uses the computer daily and prefers to be connected to the Internet in the privacy of her room.

The location is nice, but the town is small, so other hotels have a similar, if no better location on the waterfront Lungolago. I found Hotel Pironi somewhat overpriced for what it provides, and although it was a good stay, I will probably try another hotel that caters more to a modern traveler with a car next time in the charming Cannobbio. Yet I think the management is maintaining the place very well, and for those in love with this type of accommodation Hotel Pironi might be a great choice. I also rate it as Very Good and not Average due to the very attentive staff.

And Cannobbio itself is a true gem, its waterfront lined with splendid buildings in Venetian style reminds of Piazza Bra in Verona or Zattere in Venice. The restaurants look incredibly inviting and vivacious, and the view on the lake bordered by mountains is excruciatingly beautiful at the sunset. The Renaissance church of Madonna della Pieta is an imposing elegant building in Lombard style, richly decorated inside; it boasts a picture by Gaudenzio Ferrari, a great artist of Milanese school, a contemporary of Leonardo and Bernardino Luini.

The waterfront promenade is filled with pleasure. If you descend to the pebble beach, swans curious about food may approach. The town is magic!

Room Tip: My room number 8 was rather small. I would call or write the hotel explaining your needs.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank Gradiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 115 of 408 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2011

The moment we stepped inside, just knew it would be good!!!!! Lovely hotel in the ancient city of Connobio. Location is a bit tricky, but well worth the find. All the ammenities in this uniquely restored hotel. Very helpful staff at the front desk and the breakfast room. Magic in Italy!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank huggyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2011

Stayed only for two days in this charming hotel. Friendly, helpful and attentive staff. Very good breakfast and the rooms are clean. Will definitely return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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Thank winthorp35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2011

We traveled with friends to Lake Maggiore in late September and statyed 2 nights at the Hotel Pironi. Our only regreat is that we did not stay longer. The front desk staff was welcoming and very helpful, the breakfast room was beautiful with a wonderful array of food. Our room was lovely, old world but very comfortable.
The town of Cannobio is not to be missed, very charming as is the Casa Bava wine store and the amazing Osteria Vino Dinvino.
We are already planning our next visit to this jewel of a hotel!

Room Tip: Well worth the little extra for a room with a lake view.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank anitabitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2011

We spent three night here in the middle of August. The staff were very helpful and friendly, the room lovely and spacious (beautiful four-poster bed, pretty tiled bathroom), and the breakfast very good. Would recommend this hotel to anyone looking to stay in Cannobio.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Annie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

A really great 3 star hotel right in the centre of the old medieval town of Cannobio [in the main a pedestrianised town where real people live and work etc..] close to the Swiss border.

We stayed 3 nights in mid September - and found the resort quiet and peaceful but with a good choice of bars and restaurants. A really relaxing place even on market day where the whole waterfront area is temporarily transformed by a huge market , busy with tourists and locals alike.

The hotel is easy to find -approach from the northern end of the resort , drive along the lake front road and then turn right at the signpost for the hotel. You can't miss it unless you're captivated by the scenery as we were one evening !. It's up a steep narrow road but you can park outside just to load and unload. We pre booked a secure underground parking space @ 10EUROS per night a 2 minute walk from the hotel and a receptionist escorted us to and from the car park and showed how to operate the doors and gates. Easy and convenient access 24/7.

The hotel is an odd wedge shape and very quaint really unusual and extraordinarily designed and decorated which means that every room in the hotel is a different shape size and design. Hats off to the architect and interior design team- it’s quite special.

Although it has a lift the elderly and infirm may well have difficulty not only with the hotel itself [which is all on different levels (not all served by the lift) ] but with the surrounding cobbled streets.

Our room was on the top floor facing south with a small balcony and a view over the lake. Its not lakefront - the view although quite elevated is initially over rooftops but its really charming as its a medieval village . The balcony had a table 2 chairs and a folding canopy - great for sipping that bottle of Gavi from the minibar.

The bedroom was very comfortable internally the sleeping area was down a steep flight of stairs with bathroom above. The ceiling as a result was tall with a large picture window and glass door leading to the balcony. The room was well appointed , bed comfortable and very clean - not large and the bathroom was newly renovated – but again not suitable in our opinion for elderly or infirm guests. Chatting with the receptionist we were told that not all the rooms have new bathrooms – they renovate a few each year.

The hotel is not airconditioned but on one hot sultry night they provided [without our asking] an electric fan although we chose instead to sleep with the window open and slept really well.

The breakfast room is amazing and breakfast very good - big choice ,excellent service unhurried , eggs cooked to order and great coffee.

There is a comfortable lounge with TV and internet access which we didn't use it.

The hotel doesn't have a bar as such although there is a wine bar open to the public [we think in the same ownership as the hotel or maybe licensed out] in the basement which we tried to use just once just for a pre dinner aperitif but found them very unfriendly so we simply walked out. Really the only negative experience we had in Cannobio – but there loads of other friendly good bars very close by.

We found the hotel staff friendly and extremely efficient and highly recommend it

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank billymax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MassimoAlbertella, Direttore at Hotel Pironi, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2011

Thank you for your very positive comment on our property. The bar hosted in the old cellars is actually not part of the hotel and is run separately, but we will let the manager know your remarks in order for him to take care of these lacks as soon as possible.
Best regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2011

Pro's:
1. the hotel is indeed beautiful, rooms are memorable. we saw about 4 different rooms and chose the one we liked the most. it's interesting that each one of the rooms is different from the others.
2. the building is old styled, yet, renovated and feels like a luxury hotel.
3. breakfast is very good and includes high standard products and personal service (in addition to the buffet). you can get your fresh omelet and good fresh coffee. besides, breakfast is served in an amazing dinning room.
4. bicycles can be taken for free from the hotel- very nice.
5. service was good- we got good recommendations regarding what to see, where to eat, and where to go in addition to good advises regarding driving routes.
6. location- very good- exactly in the center of the charming alleys.

Cons:
1. we called the day before in order to make the reservation and were offered room for 150 Euros per night. I would have expect the hotel to run some "last minute" offers, especially when the hotel isn't fully booked. (this was the case here)
2. the parking lot is located about 5-10 minutes walking from the hotel, and includes a path that which isn't so convenient to pass through with a trolly (a flagging with small boulders). I would have expect the hotel to offer some assistance, or alternately have some concierge service. especially when rate for BB is 150 Euros for a couple.
3. in order to use the internet one have to be in the lounge. no signal in the room. in addition the password is half an hour based, i.e. one has to renew it every half an hour. very inconvenient!
4. Due to the high price we paid, we were quite disappointing that there was no bath, only shower.

overall it's a very nice hotel, good location, feels like a luxury hotel, yet, based on our experience, a bit overpriced.

if some of the disadvantages aforementioned would have been fixed, we would have rate this hotel as excellent.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank reliabletraveller777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MassimoAlbertella, Proprietario at Hotel Pironi, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2011

We thank you for your comments on our hotel, we have appreciated both your positive remarks and the critics, that help us improve our service.
We just want to underline the following: the hotel is situated in the pedestrian zone in the historical centre of the town, the parking is located 200 metres from the building, for our guests it is always allowed to drive along the lakeshore up to the hotel to load and unload luggage.
Due to the particular structure of our property (a XV century building that has been recognized historical monument) the wifi service has been guaranteed till now in the common areas only. It is possible to use the service both in the salon on the first floor (hotel’s internet point) and using your own laptop/smartphone. If you use our internet point we give you a 30-minutes-connection, this in order to let also the other hotel guests take advantage of the service. If you have your own laptop/smartphone the password given is valid for your whole stay. The service is free of charge.
Best regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Pironi

Address: Via Guglielmo Marconi 35, 28822 Cannobio, Italy
Location: Italy > Piedmont > Lake Maggiore > Cannobio
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Cannobio
Price Range: $165 - $212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Pironi 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Pironi is a charming boutique hotel housed in a 15th century palazzo, once a Franciscan monastery, located at the heart of the old town, just a few steps from the lake. With its unique history and atmosphere, the Hotel Pironi is sure to surprise and delight its guests, none of whom will be able to resist its magic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pironi Hotel Cannobio
Hotel Pironi Cannobio, Italy - Lake Maggiore

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