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Lake Como- anyone familiar with Relais Villa Vittoria in Laglio?

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Jan 21st, 2015, 05:26 PM
  #1
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Lake Como- anyone familiar with Relais Villa Vittoria in Laglio?

I'm considering the Relais Villa Vittoria in Laglio with my husband and 2 girls (9 and 11) in July. I had originally planned to stay at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo until I found out that they would require us to book 2 rooms in order to accommodate my children- which would make it twice as expensive to stay there (and it's already pushing the budget for just one room).

So I found the little Relais Villa Vittoria in Laglio and it looks beautiful. Small, yes, but has a 2 bedroom suite that accommodates children, a beautiful infinity pool, a restaurant, and best of all, it sits right on the lake with outstanding views, all in quiet and elegant surroundings.

My concern is Laglio- I wasn't planning on renting a car. Flying into Milan from the Midwest US, and had planned on a car service to the hotel in Como, since we will be exhausted and carrying three weeks worth of luggage for 4 people (thought it would be too difficult to manage the train on little to no sleep, no Italian skills, and tons of luggage).

But I hear there is no ferry stop in Laglio, so if I don't rent a car, will I be stranded? If I do rent a car, will it take forever to get to Varenna and Bellagio or can I catch the ferry somewhere close by?

Or should I just try for the Grand Tremezzo at twice the cost per night? Help!

I should mention we will be continuing on to Wengen, Switzerland via train and Swiss Pass, once we spend our 3 days in Lake Como and conquer the jet lag.
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Jan 21st, 2015, 05:49 PM
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Why don't you ask the owners of the villa for a full list of the transportation options are for July? To guard against being snowed, ask for link to bus and ferry timetables and the typical costs of a taxi ride to the nearest ferry dock and to Menaggio (where you can be sure to find taxis if you are coming back from a day trip to Bellagio/Varenna by ferry if the buses have stopped running). Ask how long does it take to walk to the nearest ferry dock and is that road safe for children? What might be the cost of hiring a private water taxi?

Have you looked at reviews of the relays on booking.com and Tripadvisor? You should under any circumstances, but previous travelers might have posted reviews about the necessity or non-necessity of a car.
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Jan 21st, 2015, 06:38 PM
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Without a car, Laglio makes little sense. There's almost nothing to do there. Even with George Clooney, the town is a sleep fest. One goes there looking for quiet. The views are nowhere near as spectacular as they are mid-lake. At night, Grand Hotel Tremezzo's view is spectacular. July is their busiest month. They typically sell out. Their floating pool is so much fun. Your kids would meet other kids, and will have more to explore. And it's so much easier to get around the mid-lake area by ferry. It's also easy to get a car service from MXP to GHT.
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Jan 21st, 2015, 08:54 PM
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Sandra, that's good advice. I'll ask the owner those questions. It sounds as though a rental car is a necessity though, if we choose to stay there.

FoodSnob makes a good point about the Grand Tremezzo. So much better for us in every way... If I can stomach the cost of having to book 2 rooms. Ugh.

Europe definitely does not make it easy to travel as a family!
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 01:36 AM
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We loved the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Easy transport with the ferry stop in front of the hotel, and those gorgeous views towards Bellagio. We have 3 kids, and had a 2 bedroom suite in the building next to the main building. It's a few years ago, I can't remember what these were called. It's the lower building on the left of the hotel if you look at it from the lake.
It is expensive, but it's such a perfect location. You're probably not going to visit Como every year...

If you're going to stay somewhere where you need a taxi just to get to the ferry, that could add up too.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 03:43 AM
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To get special rooms during the busiest month of the year, you have to book way in advance. July is wedding month on Lake Como, and you can imagine how far in advance some brides plan their dream party.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo is expensive, and the price is premium in July. One could debate whether their somewhat campy Belle Epoque decor and the sometimes gruff service is worth the price, but, in the mid-lake region, on the west wide of the lake, this hotel is the very best choice.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 04:00 AM
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Whatever you do - cut down on your luggage. One carry on per person - and see Rick Steeves, etc - other sites for how to pack/tgravel light. Just plan on doing some easy wash and wear laundry in a sink every three days or so (undies, jeans/ shirt/blouse) - or visit a laundromat halfway thru the trip - or send it out (more expensive)

The last thing you want to do is drag heavy suitcases around with you - when with some pre-planniing - it could be soooo much easier (and less expensive - checking baggage fees, etc).
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 04:04 AM
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BTW - if you are going to Wengen - have you considered car-less Murren - just across the valley. A great starting point for hikes, waterfalls galore - INCREDIBLE views - and you can visit the Schiltorn - the famous revolving restaurant at the top of the mountain. Cable car up and hike down.

https://www.google.com/search?q=murr...2&ved=0CB0QsAQ
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 04:22 AM
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Not trying to talk you off the GHT, but have you considered booking an apartment in Varenna? If you do that, my guess is you should hurry to do so in order to get one close to town and the ferry stop. Be careful of apartment rentals that say they're "close" to town but really aren't.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 05:11 AM
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Also loved our stay at the Grand Tremezzo. Dinner at Al Veluu (about a 10 minute drive from the hotel) outside overlooking the lake was just wonderful. Breakfast on the balcony of the hotel looking across the lake to Bellagio was excellent. The kids would like hiking up the hill behind the hotel with the tin foil bear at the top.

We came from the midwest to Milan and the drive to Tremezzo was quite easy. Taking the boats to the small towns was very efficient and there was a boat dock quite close to the hotel. Tremezzo is a small place with just a few shops, restaurants, and Villa Carlotta within walking distance of the hotel.

The only town we did not like was Como---too big, busy, and full of graffitti.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 01:59 PM
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Tulips- thanks for the insight. Sounds wonderful!

FoodSnob- thanks for the heads up
regarding booking early. Good advice.

Tomsd- good point on the luggage. I'll have to figure out how to condense our clothes. The trouble is that with the Switzerland trip, we'll need warmer and bulkier hiking clothes, which take up lots of space. Big luggage might be unavoidable but I'm certainly going to try. Will definitely need a laundromat in Switzerland. By the way- I did look at Murren (the Eiger Hotel is my backup), but I decided Wengen is a more centrally located base for the things we plan to do. Less travel time to Brienz and Grindelwald and Mannlichen. Wengen, like Murren, is also car free.

Vincenzo- I did consider Varenna, as it looks beautiful and I plan to visit for the day. But I couldn't find a hotel that fit our needs. Most apartments require 4-7 night minimum stay, and we will only be there 3 nights.

TPAYT- GHT sounds perfect for the kids. The penthouse suite is the only one now that will allow 4 people, and the rate is too high for us. I am considering booking 2 connecting rooms. Did u rent a car to get from Milan to the GHT or did u have a car service?
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 02:30 PM
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Would you consider Menaggio?

You might find short stay apartments for rent there, or conjoining rooms in hotels that are within your budget if you don't need a kitchen.

The www.booking.com website will allow you to plug in your dates for 2 adults + 2 kids and then also filter your search for apartments and amenities like wifi or kitchen. Might be worth a look if you haven't done it already.

Menaggio is sometimes given short shrift on message boards because it is a lot livelier than the tinier villages that dot the other parts of the shoreline. But a lot of kids actually prefer that liveliness -- and the boat rides and other transport connections couldn't be better.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 05:02 PM
  #13
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Thanks Sandra- I'll look into that. I don't know anything about Menaggio. Anyone?
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 05:24 PM
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Consider Residence La Limonera apartments in the middle of Bellagio. They will take a 3-night reservation, and they're showing availability for some random dates in July that I tested.

http://www.residencelalimonera.com/
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 07:42 PM
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Yes, we rented a car right at the airport and even with jet lag it was an easy drive up to GHT. We then took the boats to the small towns on the lake. We used the car on our side of the lake and once drove to Lugano Switz. which was a pretty drive. Al Veluu restaurant was so great that we went there twice.

Menaggio is up the road from Tremezzo. It's bigger and a bit plainer but more shops & restaurants. We really didn't check out the accomodations there but it appears they would be lesser quality than GHT. The waterfront was pretty though.

I guess if we went back we'd return to GHT and our 2nd choice would be Bellagio across the lake. It's a bit bigger with very inviting shops & restaurants.

Another place your kids would enjoy hiking is on Isola Comacina---small island in the lake reached by boat.

I see on your profile that you enjoyed our favorite Caribbean getaway to Turks & Caicos. After 5 visits there we just can't get enough of Grace Bay.

I'll be watching for your TR on Lake Como. It really was one of our best adventures.
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 08:29 PM
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Jean- thanks for the suggestion, but my kids will want a pool. I'll keep looking but likely will end up coughing up the money for GHT!

TPAYT- yes, we loved Grace Bay as well. Would go back in a heartbeat!
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Jan 23rd, 2015, 08:06 AM
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I'm with your kids. In July, I must have a pool.

Menaggio is an OK place to be, but for me, it lacks a certain pizazz. If you like sun in your face, the views from Menaggio are fine, but they don't have the same visual impact as Varenna or Tremezzo.

The Grand Hotel Menaggio should remove the word "grand" from their title. The hotel is tired and offers no charm. The Grand Hotel Victoria offers more charm and grandness, but it's a little more remote and the views from the pool at both hotels are completely blocked by trees, bushes, and other things. Nowhere near the excitement of the GHT's floating pool.

There is no other hotel in the mid-lake region that offers what the Grand Hotel Tremezzo offers. If you can afford two adjoining rooms in the month of July, then you should grab the reservation before it disappears. To settle for something that costs less, you will have to take a sizable step down to achieve a so-called luxury experience, and, IMO, you wouldn't get much luxury at all.

If money were a serious concern, and if you were relying on public transportation to get to the lake, then I might recommend the 4-star Royal Victoria Hotel in Varenna, which has new interior decoration. Their pool area is cozy and tends to be quiet, and it leads to a small, stony beach-like inlet where the kids tend to hang out. Some of the rooms are quite large and a few have terraces, but the decor is more a high-quality traditional. Some of the upper rooms offer spectacular views. Varenna is a fun town to live in. Several of the locals have teenage kids. It's a different kind of luxury experience; more fun, less cost, less glamour, but very worthwhile. At this late date, I'd be surprised if you could find rooms. Varenna is the leading attraction for July brides on Lake Como.
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Jan 23rd, 2015, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the information, FoodSnob! Really appreciate all the help. Time to make a decision and book...
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