need hotel 1 night in Varenna

Jan 21st, 2006, 09:13 AM
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need hotel 1 night in Varenna

This is for next September....

We will be coming by train from Milan after a long trip from San Diego. Need a hotel for one night only as we are joining a tour the next day. The tour is at another hotel which is full.

Can anyone suggest a place? I know we will be exhausted. If it's near food that would be great. I am assuming we will take a taxi as we have luggage. Thank you.
loisco is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 07:43 PM
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I can recommend the Hotel du Lac. But I'm curious -- which hotel is the tour booked into?

It's possible to walk from the Varenna train station to the center of town (all down hill) or take a taxi to your hotel.

As long as you stay at the hotel in the main part of town, several restaurants will be nearby. Depending on when you arrive, you could also ferry over to Bellagio for dinner. (I can recommend Bilacus in Bellagio.) Just make sure you check the ferry schedule and not miss the last ferry back to Varenna.
Jean is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 08:58 PM
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I disagree witrh Jean is possible to walk to the ferry dock which is all downhill from the railroad station but to get to a hotel such as the duLac I would not walk from the train station...because that trip to the real center of the village is definitely not "all downhill"...take a taxi, especially after the long trip you have had.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 08:03 AM
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The tour starts at the Eremo Gaudio....I wrote the Hotel du Lac but no sounds good and has air conditioning.
loisco is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 08:20 AM
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Hi, Loisco...

We were in Varenna in May. Although we didn't stay at this hotel, I remember Hotel Du Lac appeared to be very nice but I don't think you would want to walk there from the train my opinion....especially with luggage...even just carry-on luggage.

It is at the opposite end of town from the train station. And as *I* remember it, the walk seemed to be more UPHILL than downhill from the train station into the hotel area going towards Hotel du Lac.

We stayed at Albergo Milano....which, if I remember accurately, was about half-way between the train station and where Hotel du Lac is located. Albergo Milano was very charming but there was NO air-conditioning. My recommendation would be to find a place with a/c.

However, the restaurant at Albergo for dinner....was outstanding....and an excellent value. Very beautiful setting on the water, lovely service, very romantic. (I wouldn't recomend bringing children for dinner there.)

It is a tiny restaurant. They book up several days in advance. You can email the hotel for a reservation in advance....which is what I would recommend. You can find their menu on their website too. I think this is the restaurant website...Ristorante La Vista:

Have a wonderful trip.
suntravler is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Albergo Olevedo is good (probably two star) place at the boat dock. They have a restaurant on their ground level.
It is definitely down hill from the train station.

We have stayed there in both 2002 (2 nights) and 2005 (5 nights) and it is listed in Karen Brown guidebook.
Jan 22nd, 2006, 08:01 PM
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We stayed at Albergo Olivedo last summer. An easy walk from the train station and directly across from the ferry dock. Some have complained about the noise from the ferry announcements but we were never bothered by them and our room was on the front side facing the dock. For Hotel du Lac, a walk from the station is doable but not necessarly easy or comfortable. The hotel looks lovely, just not as convenient. We really liked the Olivedo but be aware that Laura, the proprietress can be gruff and a bit off-putting. We enjoyed her but not all are amused by her attitude. We found that a snile, please and thank you went a long way and she was especially kind to us and our requests. We had a great time in Varenna.
lukehead is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 09:19 PM
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I would highly recommend the Hotel du Lac, we spent a terrifc 3 nights there in September. The Villa Cipressi looked quite pleasant also, it is cheaper than the Hotel du Lac but for one night it could be fine.
schnauzer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:10 AM
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I would strongly reccomend trying out the local tourist info office - they can get you affordably into hotels that appear booked up or don't answer email. I believe their site is where there is email contacts and a FANTASTIC map.

I would say only the most feeble would have trouble with luggage up to the center of town (not inland-uphill from it tho) except for one issue which is the lack of sidewalk space on the main drag near the center of town. See on the map where you can drop one block closer to the water to walk parallel with less traffic IIRC. I was able to get a hotel a short downhill walk from train station from above site, when all other inquiries couldn't help.
viking is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Well, geez. I thought I was just an energetic middle-aged woman, but I must be verging on superhuman status. I think the walk from the Varenna train station to the du Lac is pretty easy. Walk downhill to the ferry dock, turn left onto the (beautiful and level) lakeside promenade (don't walk on the road through town) and go the approximate equivalent of 3-4 city blocks to the du Lac. Of course, if you're arriving late in the day (less daylight) or in poor weather, definitely take a cab. For me, there's nothiing quite like that walk down the hill, seeing the lake appear. It gets me every time.
Jean is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 02:41 PM
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We would take a taxi..! After all the hours in the air and on trains, etc. I will be walking on my knees.
I wrote to Hotel du Lac but no answer..not sure how long to wait. I do want ac so that limits us...
loisco is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:21 PM
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The du Lac will still be closed for the off-season. You could try phoning them, but I doubt that would be different. Try again in February and March. BTW, most hotels in Varenna and Bellagio close at the end of October, although I think the Olivedo in Varenna (mentioned in an earlier post) stays open all year. It's not as nice as the du Lac but is definitely centrally located opposite the ferry dock. Its restaurant is OK if you're too exhausted to wander around.
Jean is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:59 PM
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Thanks so much. I never thought they would be closed....!! I will try again.
loisco is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 02:33 AM
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I wouldn't assume a taxi will be available - this is a deserted (unmanned) train station with maybe not even a working pay phone with everyone using cells. Even the ticket machine may be broken, so get round trip tix in Milan. Have your map as a backup.

Maybe it was because I arrived southbound from Switzerland rather than from Milan, but only about 2 schoolkids got off the train in Varenna, and that was the last live humans to be seen until I had found my way half way to hotel.
viking is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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Well we are joining a tour in Varenna the next day and these are the instructions we got...from Varenna we go somewhere else so we can't do round trip....hopefully your experience was unusual.
loisco is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 11:55 PM
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I also emailed the du lac to learn they are closed. I'm curious how they fill their hotel for the first week or two once they open for the season if they don't take reservations until they are open.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 12:51 AM
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I agree with the other posters. The train station in Varenna is very small. I think my friend and I were the only ones that got off there, and I don't recall any taxis waiting around, but then we weren't looking for any. We stayed at Albergo Olvedo, which is the closest hotel to the train station...a very easy walk. I think for a night, it would serve you well.
BrentA100 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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We also did a five night stay at the Olivedo, although it has been a few years. Sra. Laura can be a bit off-putting, but as we speak enough Italian, we were fast friends instantly, we managed well with her. Our room overlooked the lake, we loved the dinners (the gnocchi is unbelievable) although the breakfast was a little sparse for us. I would, however, find out if Laura is still hosting the Rick Steves' tour buses - once or twice a week, and then avoid those dates. These people completely took over the hotel,and behaved in the way that gives new meaning to 'ugly American'. I would NEVER stay there again without finding out first. Other than that, it was a delightful experience.
oliverandharry is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Then there is Laura's ritual reciting of the menu options. Ah the memories. Laura is fine. I have never seen the Tour Bus thing, but if I was running a hotel in that situation, I would probably eliminate the small talk as well.

The chef at Albergo Levedo made a special meal for my son. One that was not on the menu. He said it gave my wife's spagetti competition for No 1 spagetti in the world. Later, we were able to get the recipe by e-mail.

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