10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Charming & Romantic
"My husband and I stayed at this exquisite villa hotel after finding it on the Leading Hotels of the World website. We were a bit apprehensive, but it looked charming on the site. Upon arriving, we were totally charmed from check in to arriving in our room 306 on the third floor overlooking the lake and Borromea islands. The room was small (about 300 sq.ft.) but was totally Italian elegance with Murano chandeliers. The restaurant was well priced for the meals at dinner which offered a selection of courses to choose from at a flat rate. The General Manager visted each table at dinner each night to ask how our stay was which I found impressive and unusual for a hotel executive. We also enjoyed "Il Mora" for dinner on two evenings. The staff was first class. Ask Adrianna at reception for dinner suggestions outside the hotel as we went to the "little lake" for dinner one night and it was a Michelin quality gourmet restaurant. The town of Stressa is very charming and had great selections of pottery which I bought and had sent home. Overall, we will return to this VERY romantic and charming venue because the hotel and staff are first class."
- Travel date: Wed 24th of August 2005
"the villa aminta hotel is well worth every penny! the rooms, lobbies and dining rooms are awesome, with beautiful antique touches everywhere you turn. the service is impeccable, the location is entirely convenient and the setting is unbeatable. we had an oversized balcony that overlooked the borromean islands, so we had a fantastic view both day and night.
the town of stresa is well worth a day to explore (we picked up some great parting gifts--soaps, candles and the like--at a shop called aqua di stresa on our last day), and a quick ferry to isola bella (one of the borromean islands) is a must (take the self-guided tour of the palace, and don't miss the white peacocks on the lawns).
for another day trip, rather than drive several hours to lake como or across the border into switzerland, we took a half-hour ride to lake orta, an unexpectedly picturesque little artist's town recommended by adriana, one of the very pleasant hotel staff members, who also helped arrange a special at the hotel on our last night in town.
so two thumbs up for villa aminta. we just wish we were there again right now!"
- Travel date: Sat 20th of August 2005
a very classy hotel
"we stayed there in 2001 and found it to be one of the nicest hotels we have stayed, and at our age we have stayed in plenty (72 & 68) It is a longish walk into Stresa from the hotel however it can be done in about 15 minutes. the free mini-bus does go down into Stresa if you are not keen on the walk.
The decor is very attractive and the lovely glass and gold leaf gives the place an air of luxury. the rooms at the rear overlook the garden and if you are wise you will consider this, it may not have a lake view but it is quiet. This applies to all holidays by lakes and people shoud give this more thought when booking there rooms instead of blaming the hotel for this.
The staff we found to be very good and the meals adequate and well prepared, we stayed half board and we felt satisfied with all aspects of the hotel and would certainly stay there again as it surely has the best view of the lake from the terrace and pool area.
If people are used to the brash costas they will not appreciate the finesse of this hotel and I suggest they return to Spain."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of August 2005
Not 5 Star
"We booked to stay here for our honeymoon, arriving at Malpensa airport on the Sunday following our wedding on the Saturday. One thing to say if you're travelling independently like we did - get a quote from your taxi driver at the airport. We were told the trip should have cost no more than 100 Euros but we were ripped off and paid 220 Euros. If you're told that the toll on the autostrada (motorway) is expensive, it's a lie - it's 3.90 Euro.
Moving onto the hotel and it's location, we were very disappointed. Like many Trip Advisor reveiewers, were are well travelled and these are our thoughts, take tham or leave them.
1. Rooms - very elaborate furnishings failed to mask their rather small dimensions. The walls are not soundproofed and we were awoken each morning by the sound of our neighbours running their bath (at 7am). The balcony had two wrought iron chairs and a table and it overlooked the very busy road below (more later) and the gardens. Although billed as a 'private balcony', there was no real privacy on our floor from our neighbours as the screen separating us was a latticed fence. Other floors benefitted from hedging or walls.
2. Service - I didn't check on booking whether the rate quoted was bed and breakfast or room only. It turned out to be the latter. As a consequnce, we were charged 19 Euros each for a very poor selection. On checking out, they tried to charge us for two mornings breakfasts. The hotel operates a minibus service to and from Stresa. This runs until 6pm only. Drinks are very expensive - 16 Euro for a small glass of beer and a single gin and tonic
3. The road - the hotel is located on a sharp bend on the road into Stresa. If you want to walk into the town, be very careful as for the first 300 metres there is no footpath. After this point, their is a lane next to the petrol station that leads you to a lake-side path into Stresa.
I was told that the hotel used to be 3 star and was upgraded folowing extensive works.
Go to Locarano in Switzerland by Hydrofoil from the large stone building on the lakeside - it was the highlight of our stay.
We decided to spend the last 4 nights of our honeymoon in nearby Milan which was a good idea in retrospect. I though the Villa Aminta to be poor value."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of July 2005
A Beautiful Hotel, Just excellent!
"The hotel is now a 5 star facility. TripAdvisor has it listed incorrectly as 3 star. The hotel has undergone a renovation and is absolutely top drawer. My wife and I stayed there for 4 nights in May of 2005.
Easy drive from Malpensa Airport. About 1 hour.
Check in and room.
Check in is very easy and quick. The person to see at the front desk is a young lady by the name of Adriana. She speaks 5 languages and is an absolute delight. Our room on the 3rd floor was ready and waiting. Very clean, excellent selection of amenities. Sliding door opens to a small porch which has a table and two chairs along with an absolutely beautiful view of the Borromeo Islands. The chandeler and sconces are Murano Glass. Beautiful. The bathroom has two sinks, shower tub combination, commode and bidet. The tub/shower combo is very functional, typical Italian, no shower curtain so you have to be careful about splashing.
Breakfast and Dining.
The breakfast is very ample. Eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, plus all the usual European breakfast items. Breakfast is served on the patio overlooking the lake. A beautiful setting. The wait staff uniform is white jackets and black trousers. Very stylish. We ate one dinner at the "Le Isole" restaurant. Excellent food and service. The Restaurant "I Mori" is A'la Carte. Rather expensive but excellent.
Hotel and Grounds.
The hotel is very open and airy. Marble, Murano glass and fine detail is everywhere. The pool is excellent and I saw the staff clean it everyday.
There is a WIFI available at no charge in the common area in front of the registration desk. There are a few tables there to accomodate a laptop but no real privacy nor work area. I tried to connect in our room but couldn't connect on the 3rd floor.
There is ample area to park at no charge but the lot tends to fill up in the evening.
Some European hotels are very stingy with ice. When we ordered ice from room service a very ample amount was delivered in a large ice bucket.
I saw several previous comments regarding the weddings. While we were there the hotel hosted 2 weddings. I didn't think they interfered with the atmosphere of the hotel nor were disruptive. The Italians have wedding receptions at hotels and if you travel there in Summer you're going to get wedding receptions. I would recommend asking the hotel when you book if there will will be any weddings. That way you can book around them or get a room away from the festivities. We were not bothered at all.
I would not book this hotel if you have small children. It isn't a "kiddy" establishment. The children will be very welcome there but the kids won't find it a fun place."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of June 2005
"We stayed in Villa Aminta in the first week of August, 2004. The hotel is charming and offers a breathtaking view over the lake. The personnel is extremely friendly and helpful. The room (suite) is not particularly big, but very stylish. The food in the restaurant was above average.
We were there with two young children (age 3 and 1) and although the hotel appears not to be used to having young children around, everyone wanted to make us and our kids happy. The children really loved it there, although the water in the pool was indeed quite cold. We can certainly recommend this hotel, even with children."
- Travel date: Sat 15th of January 2005
Beautifully grand but not stuffy
"The first impression I had of the hotel was of its typical italian beauty. It is extremely well furnished and the staff were all friendly and helpful, especially marco and elisa. The food was gorgeous and the views magnificent. The hotel mini bus was useful, but could do with its availability extending to after 6pm. Nicest hotel I have been in. I would definately return."
- Travel date: Fri 17th of September 2004
Beautiful Hotel with excellent food
"We spent the first week of August at the Villa Aminta and I would heartily recommend it.
The Hotel is a mile or so from the centre of Stresa and having a car is beneficial. Apart from Stresa it's a short journey to Arona which has some excellent shoe and fashion shops. The headquarters of Alessi are also nearby and they have an excellent factory shop.
Travelling with our seven year old son we booked a junior suite, which was on the first floor with a large balcony. The room was very comfortable and the views over the lake superb. I understand some of the rooms are quite small and facing the lake is definetly what you want to do, so booking with care is advisable.
The hotel does suffer from having the lakeside road running past but nowhere near to the extent mentioned in another review here. Besides, all the lakes are busy places - if you want total peace and quiet don't go there or find a hotel inland. Within a kilometre or so back from the lake it's very rural.
All the staff were very friendly to us (some travellers do bring out the worst in people) and the half board food was very good indeed.
The hotel itself has beautiful public rooms and is awash with marble and Murano glass.
The pool is cold but lovely when you get used to it. With the temparature being in the low 80's a place to cool off is preferable to a pool heated like a bath.
The mix of visitors when we went was good - Dutch, German, Italian, French and English - which was good for us but not if you're looking to avoid "foreigners" !
Overall I would be pleased to recommend Villa Aminta to anyone wanting a stylish, cosmopolitan holiday in a beautiful lakeside setting."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of August 2004
No stress at Stresa
"We stayed in the Hotel Villa Aminta in July 2004. We booked the hotel because it looked nice in the brochures. After booking it we read the review on trip advisor and were a bit apprehensive. However the hotel was EXCELLENT. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday and this was largely due to the hotel.
The room was very clean and had beautiful frescos on the wall. We has a park side view but you still could see the Lake from the balcony. There was a small room adjoining our room where you could hang clothes and leave your suitcases (very useful)
The food was excellent and there was a good choice. Breakfast is from 7.30a.m to 10am and is a buffet style. Dinner is served from 7.30pm to 10pm. You have a choice of starters, main course and dessert. Everyone ate outside which was great. You had the most beautiful views of the Borromee islands. There is candle on each table. It was very pleasant and romantic.
We found the staff very charming and helpful. All speak excellent english. The manager often went around the tables at dinner and spoke to people asking them how they were and whether they were enjoying their holiday.
The hotel is about a 25 minute walk away from Stresa. The hotel has a shuttle bus service which finished at 6pm. I think it was better to be located here than in the town (where there are many hotels together). You defintely had better views.
We will definately recommend this hotel to friends and probably go back to it. We travel a lot and this hotel was definately one of he best we have been in if you are looking for charm, great views, relaxation and great food."
- Travel date: Thu 5th of August 2004
Front Desk out for every buck!
"I write to warn others of a situation that emerged for us. We paid for a suite and paid for extra beds for our children. When we saw the suite, it was too small for all of us so the front desk manager Alessia Villa offered us a 'special rate' of 150 euros (equivalent to the extra beds for which we'd paid) for a small box room for the kids. Hence there should have been nothing extra to pay.
When we checked out it emerged that she planned to charge us the FULL rate for the box room (twice the 'special rate'), and deduct the extra beds rate- leaving us to pay an additional 150 euros each night. When we protested she said that this was what she had meant and we were forced to pay.
I would advise people to be very careful about rates- she commented to me that some people only pay 100 euros per night for their rooms but this was not our concern and that the hotel could charge clients whatever it wanted to charge! Not a helpful front desk."
- Travel date: Wed 4th of August 2004