Hotel Olivedo

Piazza Martiri, 4, Varenna, 23829, Italy

1 Review

Hotel Olivedo
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  • Roaminmn's Profile Photo

    Great place to stay... but set your expectations


    I have stayed here several times and have found this one of my favorites in Italy. It is peaceful (even with the ferries coming and going) and the price is great! I have found the owner, Laura, to be extremely kind and helpful as well as crass and direct at times. I really like her style but you need to be ready for either response.

    I stayed there in 2009 with my 14 year old daughter and Laura went out of her way to make sure my daughter had a very good stay. She treated her so nice and always kept an eye on her, didn't get annoyed with her questions and internet use several times a day, and even helped her with a dress she bought at the local market.

    The views are fantastic, the food is really good, very convenient to get to, rooms are very modern with excellent facilities, Laura speaks english very well.

    I would encourage you to stay here, let me know if you have any questions I can help with!

    Unique Quality: This is why I like staying here...

    This place has great rooms with amazing views
    It is right next to the ferry line so it's easy to get across the lake to Bellagio
    Has good food at a good price
    A great little bar right behind the hotel
    It's easy to park your car next to the hotel
    Great quiet spots to sit along the lake at night and listen to the water with a bottle of wine
    My favorite gelato shop is a few minutes walk along the lake - try the cherry, it's the best!
    I have come to really really like Laura, she treats me very well

    Some downsides...
    Varenna is small so there isn't a lot of action (which is nice when you want to unwind)
    The towels are thin (like many places in Italy)
    Limited internet access
    The ferry accouncement during the day can get annoying
    No laundry service
    You have to pay cash

    Directions: Right across from the ferry stop, just down the hill from the train station. It is actually a 3-5 minute walk from the actual village.

More about Hotel Olivedo

A terrible place to stay

by A TripAdvisor Member

Hotel Olivedo does not live up to any of it's positive faces a loud parking lot and ferry dock that is mobbed with tourists..there are so many nicer hotels to stay at in this lovely town of Varenna...why even waste your time or money here. We arrived to meet Laura the owner and see our "little house" on the Lake that we rented for three nights to find the first floor not finished as well as the third floor not finished, but the second floor was done with three beds..each with incredibly thin mattresses and a small bath...that was big room. Sorry, one room does not constitute a house....I complained to Laura and she says fine, give me the key....she had already taken our deposit and was unwilling to find us appropriate replacement accomodations for two adults and two children. I would never recommend Hotel Olivedo to
anyone...I can't believe anyone ever would. It's hot, noisy and pretty rundown.

Great for single woman traveler

by A TripAdvisor Member

I spent three nights here on a whim and adored it. The proprietor Laura made me feel so welcome, and my room was small, cheap and with a million dollar view. Dinners were the best I had in Italy. Magical town and lake. Strolled the waterfront path after dark, all that was missing was the man. I swore I would come back here for a honeymoon.

Glad we stayed at the Albergo Olivedo

by TripAdvisor Member herrek

Varenna has much less activity than some of the other places on Lake Como. If relaxing makes you nervous, don't go there. However, we had a great experience at the Albergo Olivedo. Laura is in charge, and you will have a great experience if you can accept this. (My elderly parents adored her.) We had a slight misunderstanding about our reservation, but I kept smiling and showed her my documentation and everything was quickly resolved. The food and the views are tremendous. We stayed at the guest house next door and had a lot of personal space for relaxation. The ferry did not seem that noisy, and I enjoyed the activity. The night club next door noise could be a problem, but I am a sound sleeper in the first part of the night--so I can not complain.

A fun family gathering

by TripAdvisor Member Lukehead

My husband and I were two of a group of family and friends totaling 17 peiople that had a great 4 day stay at the Albergo Olivedo. Trying to accommodate that many people (from early 20's to mid 60's) at the height of the travel season is no easy feat. Laura did it admirably! She contacted my sister (hotel arranger) re ages and physical limitations before making room assignments. She supplied us with a glorious cake for the birthday of one sis-in-law. She provided wines for our oicnics. She has a terse demeanor but also a sense of humor. Amazing what please and thank you on the part of a guest can result in. We were there for the fireworks down the lake. No problem to make arrangemnts for a late return to the hotel.

Meals were not spectacular dining but certainly more than adequate. The "local fish with green sauce" was very good as were the lamb chops. Breakfast was basic but ample and the coffee was very good and plentiful.

Our room was up the beautiful winding staircase (check out the circular stained glass window) and down a littlw hall, just off a public lounge. We were never bothered by noise from the lounge or from the ferry stop even though the room faced the lake and had windows on two sides. View was spectacular. Very firm but comfortable matresses - we slept well.

Very convenient to train station and tourist office. The walk along the lake to the main village was very nice - hydrangeas were everywhere! We look forward to returning.

Rudest service ever

by A TripAdvisor Member

I am an American having traveled extensively in the US, Europe, etc. and I have practically lived in Milan for 4 years, so my Italian is decent. NEVER, and I truly mean 'never' have I ever been treated so rudely in a hotel/restaurant in my life.

In short, the worst of it was when 2 Italian friends unexpectedly joined my friend and I. Our server, an older woman, proceeded to conscisouly ignore them after a younger server had given them menus (and no one offered to get them drinks), forcing them to sit there and watch us eat our dinner without even a glass of water (I offered mine). Mind you, the place was not incredibly busy and we offered to eat quickly and leave together as to not impede their 9p dinner hour. After we finished our dinner, then the woman came over and offered to take their order, at which point my Italian friends told her it was too late, and she replied 'benissimo' (very well) and abruptly walked away.

Varenna is gorgeous, picturesque Italian village. I've visited @5 times. I highly recommend that you keep moving to the other side of the village, away from the ferry port, where you'll find more charming hotels (particularly Villa Cipressi) and restaurants.

Buon viaggio!

Glad We Stayed here

by TripAdvisor Member Vancouver reviewer

Varenna is a beautiful little town on Lake Como - we preferred it to the bustle of Bellagio. We stayed there for a night while on a cycling tour of the area, and happened upon the Hotel Olivedo. The owner Laura is a no nonsense type of person who speaks several languages fluently, but she was pleasant and accomodating to us. We had a beautiful corner room furnished with antiques with the most idyllic view of the lake. The ferry across from the hotel did not bother us. The dining room is lovely, and our dinner was good, if not memorable. My only negative comment would be that the breakfast was pedestrian - only corn flakes and a basket of bread.
We would stay here again.

Don't know what all the fuss is about....

by TripAdvisor Member mtbchik

The room was beautiful, but I felt like I was visiting my parent's old home and tip toed about so as not to disturb anyone. Not exactly a 'private' honeymoon experience. The beds are VERY hard - the worst we slept on in two weeks, creaky floors and thin walls made for some loud nights.

The only thing memorable about the dinner was the first cours options. The second course left little to be desired. And breakfast was weak coffe, bread, and jam.

Overall, I felt it was not a good value for one of the most expensive hotels we stayed in during our trip.

Olivedo: a good option and a fair value.

by TripAdvisor Member Johnathon

My wife and I recently returned from a trip to Italy. We stayed at Hotel Olivedo for three nights. I must say that after reading the mixed reviews on this site that I was somewhat apprehensive about my decision. I picked Olivedo because it is recommended by Rick Steves, and in the end I felt his advice was on the money.

After our stay, I am pleased to report that I do not concur with most of the concerns that have been indicated on this site. I'm not saying others are wrong; perhaps we just have maybe a little different perspective. The following are my thoughts. First and foremost, we did not find the owner, Laura, to be impolite in any way. In fact, we really enjoyed talking with her, though she is quiet and sort of no nonsense by nature. She was very kind to us and was willing to help with anything we asked. Second, we had a corner room nearest the ferry (amazing views) and I did not think noise was an issue...we could hear a faint horn sound. If anything, it made it more atmospheric for us. Third, the food was the best we had in Italy, particularly the ravioli and the egglant first courses. Oh, and the tiramisu is great too. Because it was, by far, the best food we had in Lake Como, I wouldn't be too turned off by the full pension in the summer requirement. Fourth, the beds are very firm. They are more like futon mattresses than typical American mattresses. It didn't bother me or my wife, but if you have a back condition or something which requires you to sleep on a very soft bed you may want to think about it. Fifth, the breakfasts are basic, but the cappucino is great. And finally, the showers... The rooms don't really have showers so much as they have large bathtubs with detachable shower heads, so you sort of have to be careful where you spray the water. Again, this was not a problem for my wife or I, but if you are elderly or have mobility problems, you might think about this...or just take a bath.

Overall, I thought Hotel Olivedo represented a very fair value: it was very clean, smartly decorated with many well worn antiques, and perfectly located. We would definately stay at Olivedo again and when we do hope that it is still being run by Laura (it has been in her family for 56 years). For about $100 USD, I don't think there is a better option anywhere on the lake.

Loved the Olivedo

by TripAdvisor Member MarCaban

We loved the Olivedo and it is suggested by our Rick Steves Guide. Great food, great room with a view. Thunder over the lake was unforgetable. Laura and her staff are very professional. We are going back next year.

Noisy, hot, average food

by A TripAdvisor Member

It was relatively inexpensive and did have great views, but the Olivedo was extremely loud. I can't believe people have written they barely heard the ferry. The refrain "Solo Belaggio, solo Belaggio" has become a running joke in our family because we were subjected to the ferry announcements at all hours of the day and night. The car and motorcycle traffic waiting to get on the ferry made the seemingly quaint piazza very noisy and fumey. Since the tables for all meals sat in the little piazza, all dining experiences were marred by this. The food was average, but after two days "fish with green sauce" or "ravioli with meat sauce" got very old. I feel sorry for people who thought this was their best food in Italy - food from the ubiquitous reststops "Autogrill" was much better, let alone the numerous other restaurants we happened upon elsewhere in Italy. In fairness it is in a beautiful spot and the lake was beautiful but we expected a relaxing time on the lake and did not get it at all. Laura was brusque, but I would not say she was rude. She also graciously declined to charge us for our 3 rooms when we left 3 nights early (we had to leave since we were all so miserable).


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 Hotel Olivedo

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Olivedo Hotel Varenna

Address: Piazza Martiri, 4, Varenna, 23829, Italy