We are planning to visit Lake Como - Bellagio and Verenna. Any suggestions for places to stay or stay away from?
We just returned from Bellagio, having a horror story and great fortune. Deal with hotels that either come highly recommended, a TI or a bonifide travel agency. The TI in Bellagio & Verenna are excellent resources.
Gaia Apt [listed on VRBO & bellagio.co.nz] had terrible spiders & webs. When we asked Gaia (the daughter) to take care of the problem, she refused giving us 10 minutes to pack & leave. We requested an official receipt, which Victoria (the mother) initially refused. [Anyone renting rooms in Italy is obliged by law to issue an official receipt to customers when money exchanges hands.] You are required to make the beds from a stack of fresh linens, remove all the bedding, clean the rooms & throw your trash in the church's bin when leaving. Ironically, they charge the same rates as others who have a cleaning staff.
When reserving rooms, advise you will need an official receipt upon arrival. If they won't rent to you because of this, you'll be much happier!
We loved Hotel du Lac in Varenna and would go back in a second. It was expensive, we thought, but we enjoyed it and felt it was worth the splurge! We had a balcony (tiny) with a view of the lake and the room was spotless and in a good location. Just take a taxi from the train station...the walk was rough with our rolling suitcase!
Tom and Sherry
If it is an apartment that you want, look in Menaggio or the town of Como. Bellagio and Varenna are smaller and probably more expensive for lodging. Transportation between Varenna-Menaggio-Bellagio is quick, inexpensive, and frequent by ferry. I have stayed at Olivedo in Varenna and at the hostel in Menaggio; as a luxurous treat I stayed one night at the Hotel du Lac in Varenna: great views, great breakfast buffet. Try www.varennaitaly.com, www.varenna.net, or www.olivedo.it.
I loved this apartment in Varenna. Quiet, clean, small, centrally located. No TV or phone. From my perspective, that's ideal, but may not be your cup of tea.
We stayed in Bellagio at Il Borgo apartments a RS recommendation last December. The apt we had was very clean and well maintained. It cost us E75 a night for a family of 4 - we were there for 2 nights. I'd go back in a flash.
In 2004 we stayed in an apartment overlooking the Lake , rented by Hotel Montecodeno. It was a 3rd floor walkup but was clean and well-appointed w a glorious view and ducks below to serenade us. Nothing like making your own meals from local produce and nothing like living in such atmosphere.