More about Eremo Gaudio
Eremo Gaudio is terrific
The Eremo Gaudio is a hike up the hillside, but well worth the effort. A taxi from the train station with your luggage is a good investment, but after that the walk was enjoyable. The staff was very sweet and helpful, and they run the hotel very well. I have only wonderful comments to make on everything from cleanliness to the breakfast. They also gave me a discount (maybe 5%) because i paid cash. From the room,long distance phone calls via calling card were free, and local calls were less than a euro. They serve dinner and it smelled delicious and people seemed to be enjoying the meal, but I never got around to eating there. If I am lucky enough to go back, this is definitely where I will stay.
A little walk never hurt anyone!
If you're up for a unique and beautiful stay in Varenna, I would highly recommend the Eremo Gaudio. Other reviews have griped about how inaccessible this hotel is, but frankly, I thought it was a great adventure and worth the workout to see the view. It is a calm, quiet, serenity that can't be replicated without some isolation and effort. I didn't have any trouble getting into town from this hotel, a 5 minute walk tops! Waking up in the morning and seeing the fog hang over your panoramic view of the lake was a peaceful experience that was worth a short walk uphill- plus, the elevators are fun! Chalk it up to a unique travel experience. If you'd rather not break a sweat, skip the Eremo Gaudio, but you're missing out on something special. This is a view I'll remember forever!
Best Bargain and Views in Varenna
Eremo Gaudio can easily claim to have the best views in Varenna and is arguably the best value in town for the money. We stayed for four nights in the Bellagio room, which I highly recommend if your idea of a good time is drinking Italian wine on a balcony and taking in a stupendous Lake Como panorama. (Thank you to the tripadvisor members before me who recommended this room!)
This hotel has a lot of other pros. The room and bathroom was spotlessly clean. Breakfast is included in the cost of the room. There is also a reading lobby near the front desk and plenty of English-language local guides to assist you in planning your visit. However, as others have indicated, the décor of the rooms is uninspired. I am young and healthy, but even I got a bit tired from the 10-minute walk to town, and the two funiculars are scary until you get used to it, especially if you are afraid of heights. (This is not the hotel for you if you want to make frequent trips back to your room throughout the day.) The staff is not overly friendly or helpful, and I was frustrated to receive a phone call one morning from the front desk telling me that the housekeeping staff was "ready to clean my room." As it was only around 10 in the morning, I thought this was a bit rude and that the cleaning staff should just have waited until we left to clean.
But these inconveniences are quite minor especially when you consider that this is a three-star hotel (not the Ritz!) and the price is more than fair for all that you do get.
The restaurant at Eremo Gaudio is not recommended; our dinner and the wine were not very good. I second the recommendation for eating at Vecchia Varenna in town - be sure to call ahead and book a lakeside table. The best option, especially if it's raining or you just aren't in the mood to trek back into town, is to call the chef at Il Caminetto, who will come pick you up at Eremo Gaudio and take you to his restaurant free of charge (he'll return you home, too). His food is simply divine and very reasonably priced.
In conclusion, if you are fit and healthy and looking for a gorgeous view and clean accomodations at an amazingly affordable price, this is the hotel for you. It's an outstanding value! However, if you are severely afraid of heights, in any way mobility-impaired, or if you can afford more luxury accomodations, I would recommend staying downtown instead. But still, if you can, at least come check out the view - take a taxi up to the hotel and enjoy some wine and a snack at their rooftop terrace restaurant. You can't see this view of Varenna anywhere in town!
Truly Unique Hotel with a View!
We stayed at this hotel for 2 days in August and had a very enjoyable stay. The hotel itself is very unique because of its location - high up in the mountains with a stunning view of the lake and surrounding towns. The elevator ride up to the hotel can be daunting at first but is actually really cool because the view is so spectacular. We were pleased with our room (the furnishings were surprisingly simple though) but it was clean and a decent size. Our balcony was great! It was big and curved out and if you can get one of these rooms it is worth it (we stayed in the "Varenna" suite).
We even got to watch some fireworks one night across the lake!
As for the restaurant, breakfast is nothing special and was a bit of a disappointment (not too much variety at the buffet if you can call it that, basically there was cereal, some danishes, yogurt and some coffee). However, dinner was good and the view from the restaurant terrace is worth the meal.
The town of Varenna is very cute and it is a lot of fun to visit the nearby towns of Bellagio, Menaggio etc. easily by ferry. It is not far to town and the walk is certainly not horrible the way some reviewers made it out to seem. If you can climb a reasonably steep hill up or down you will have no problem. All in all, this hotel is a great value since it is not too expensive but offers great views and a decent room. Make sure you stay in a room in the upper part.
What a view!
The view from this old monastery is incredible! Food NOT up to par, but the terrace restaurant view is so beautiful, it's almost possible to overlook the mediocre (at best) food. BEWARE: Upon checkout, the proprietor insisted on charging more than my Expedius reservation quoted, and he insisted he had no knowledge of Expedius- I wound up paying it and am dealing with Expedius now. We also missed an extremely import phone call because it came at 4 am because of the time differnce. The caller was told, 'too late, too late', and didn't try again, assuming we had already checked out. The next morning, the same proprietor failed to notify us of the phone call!
Great accomodations, beautiful view, but verify the quoted rate on checkin, and don't expect phone calls--even urgent ones!
I was a little disappointed when we arrived and we did not get a balcony - but the windows to our room were huge and we had a fantastic view across the lake. Our room was called Torre. Anyway when you are on holiday you want to get out there and see as much as you can !!
I would stay here again and would recommend to friends as the ideal place for a bit of piece an quiet.
stunning vistas of beautiful lake!
We stayed here for a week recently and we had a really beautiful holiday. We were concerned when we read some of the reviews, but we needn't have been.
We had a lower price room in eremo inferiore, but we had a balcony and an incredible view! the room was spotless and was cleaned everyday. We loved to open the window wide and sit on the balcony and look out at the lake after a day out and about!
The breakfasts were ok, nothing to write about, but they did the job, and the views from the terrace were breathtaking!!!
The walk into town was an easy 10 minute walk, and a little more on the way back due to the mild gradient. We enjoyed our walk back every evening as it helped to walk off the pizza and pasta!
Varenna is a romantic sleepy place and we just loved it! there are some really cool hikes that you can take from the hotel... to the fiumelatte, and along the alpine way to the old castillo di vezio etc, with amazing views in all directions!
If you want to go to a beautiful place with amazing views, and don't mind a 10 minute walk into town to eat and have coffees, then this is a special place. The rooms are basic but clean, but its the view that makes it a winner!
We loved this small hotel, set up high in Varenna. It was quaint and very clean, with helpful staff. We were speechless when we first opened the curtains of our room. The view is magnificent. Be sure to get a room with a view! I actually enjoyed the breakfast...roll, jam, yogurt, pastries, and coffee. The terrace view where we had breakfast was also unbelievable. I would highly recommend this hotel.
The funiculars are a bit scary since they go up so steep on the side of the hill, but they are easy to function and of course, the view....
Milano & Como
Just noticed that I'd forgotten to put an English translation to my earlier post about Milano :) !!!
Anyway, will travel to Milano on 8-12 January and am looking for info about reasonably priced (and open) guesthouses in Milano, Como and perhaps Bergamo!
I also would like to know how good the transport system is and if there's a good place to hire cars where you can actually pay cash!
And it would be brilliant to meet up with anyone from the area or who's staying there at the moment.
Cheers for any info,
Re: Milano & Como
Maybe this website is helpful for all kind of accomodations in Italy:
Public transport in Milano is really good. It has frequent buses and and an underground.
Last but not least the trains between the big cities in Italy are very affordable. Check the following webpage for timetables and fares:
Re: Milano & Como
In May I visited Milan but stayed in small town Varenna which is of the many towns along the coast of Lake Como. The placed I stayed was Hotel Eremo Gaudio. The hotel rooms where large, very clean and food was good. Since the hotel is on top of a cliff, I had to take an elevator to reach it and the view is spectacular from up there.
Here is the website for the town
Here is the website for the hotel
The train ride to Milan was less than a hour. Good based to visited the other towns on Lake Como by ferry.
Re: Milano & Como
I'm from Italy and as often happens I don't know place where stay...but I know Milan is a very expensive city. So you could stay ther just for one night in the weekend to live nigthlife in Milan (very cool) and spend the other nigth nearby. I'll check on italian site about interest events but I anticipate you tha DUOMO's front is covered for restoretion.
I'll write you next days.
Re: Milano & Como
Don't laugh, but the Zuriga is a good mid-priced hotel in Milano.. near the Duomo and lots of good restaurants. I'm pretty sure they have a web site. In Cernobbio on Lake Como, there are a few good hotels (besides the Villa D'Este) - and be sure to see Bellagio up the Lake... it's beautiful.
Re: Re: Milano & Como
Thanks very much for the info! Found it all very useful.
I know that many guesthouses at Lago di Como are closed in January, but I'm surprised that most of the tips in my guidebook (DK's Milan & the Lakes) show many small restaurants to be closed as well until March! As Como isn't exactly such a small town, I'm a bit surprised... don't the locals want to go for a meal now & then :) ??
And if you have any other info - anything is appreciated!
Re: Re: Milano & Como
Maybe you need to change guidebook ;-) I doubt any restaurant in Como can afford to stay closed 3 months.
Milan YH is closed till Jan 13, unfortunately...