Italian Lakes

Jan 3rd, 2013, 03:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Italian Lakes

My Wife and I were thinking of hiring a car (small one) from Milano and drive round the Italian lakes in September fopr 14 days. However it has been suggested that we look for accomodation (4* hotels) when we get there, but I am apprensive as I like to have things arranged before we go (control freak?).
Is this a good idea or not, but perhaps 3 different bases could allow us to visit all the lakes?
Never been there and don't know what to expect - any advice would be welcomed.
TonyD is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,614
Sept is on the shoulder so there will be accomodation but you may not get what you want (so 4star may not be certain). If you have easy access to the internet I'd take the chance and either book the hotel with at breakfast before I set off or just wing it when you get there. We were just a little south of you last year in Sept and did just that.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,110
We stayed on Lake Como for 10 days a few years ago. It was is mid Sept. and we booked The Grand Tremezzo ahead of time:

We purposely left the last night open thinking we'd find a small botique property on our travels around the lake to end our adventure. Not coming across anything quaint and unusual in our sightseeing we inquired at the desk a few days prior to our departure.

The desk clerk said something in Italian to her co-workers and they all laughed out loud. "Don't you know it is Monza weekend" she asked? You won't find a room within 300 kilometers on that night.

Help!!! I have to say that they did help us. "Have you ever been to Bergamo" she asked? It was a bit of a drive but we thoroughly enjoyed our night in Bergamo near the pedestrian part of the city. The shops, restaurants, and a street festival were all charming.

LESSON LEARNED: If you don't have a reservation, avoid Monza weekend! I think I would also check if there are any other events that would book up the hotels.
TPAYT is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
I love the lakes and have visited each of the 5 major lakes at least twice each.

I think 3 base location is ideal. You can combine Como/Lugano and Maggiore/Orta but Garda is by itself and worth your time. With a car, I would stay in Menaggio for Como/Lugano----Stresa for Maggiore/Orta, and Limone, Riva, or Malcesine for Garda. I would make advance reservations.

Holler if you need more---you will love the lakes.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,826
When you encounter "it has been suggested," it is always worth digging further what it really meant to see if it is relevant to you. Sad to say many inexperienced travelers accept suggestions at face value and live to regret not having asked more questions.

Under what circumstances did the suggestion come about? Which city? What time of the year? What were the expectations? What were the constraints?

You can easily estimate your odd of finding accommodations at last minutes by using booking engines to probe vacancies or ask the hotels directly. If you find out in June that the targets dates in September have no vacancies at desired locations and only a few expensive rooms at undesirable places, you are really relying on serendipity to find a desirable place at an acceptable price. You don't have to wait until you get there in September to find this out.
greg is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,112
"It has been suggested we look for accommodation (4* hotels) when we get there..."

Are you aware that the number of stars given a particular hotel does not reflect quality or luxury? Stars are determined by the amenities offered by the hotel, some of which may not interest you, like conference facilities or a business center, 24-hour room service and reception/front desk coverage, pet friendly policies, on-site spa or sports facilities like tennis courts, etc. This is why most of the charming, small boutique hotels and B&Bs usually have fewer than 4 stars and may only have 2 stars.

You should look for the lodging that appeals to your tastes, needs and budget, using the number of stars as a merely a starting point for your search.
Jean is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 05:52 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 999
Stresa-Hotel La Palma
330east is offline  

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