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2 - 7 of 624 reviews
Reviewed 4 October 2019

This hotel is all glitz and, well, not much substance - and in some respects distinctly unacceptable. Our room was small and made to feel even smaller by the outdated heavy furniture and furnishings. Likewise the bathroom. The public areas are grand which is fine if you like ostentation but we’d prefer to have genuine style rather than pseudo-glamour. Similarly, there are ornate outdoor grounds. We were staying with a group with limited menu offerings at dinner but even then some dishes were very poor quality; over cooked fish and undercooked meat. Breakfast was just about acceptable. However, it is unnecessary to be so obviously divisive by having signs conspicuously directing 'private guests' to another dining area. The attitudes of some staff were not acceptable. Some dining room staff were sullen delivering food in a slap-dash way at the table. And something we have never encountered before: they had the audacity to leave envelopes on each table seeking tips! A reception supervisor was downright rude when we sought to pay for extra charges the evening before our departure. She offered spurious reasons for this restriction and eventually agreed to take our payment! Fundamentally, this hotel was not to our taste; we found it pretentious and unwelcoming – even more so its sister Hotel Dino. And in any case some staff attitudes were unacceptable in any standard of hotel. We’d find somewhere convivial and with genuine style and good service to stay if we are in the area again.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank rogermargaret2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2019

When you first enter the hotel it looks large and impressive in the ground floor public areas. However, the rooms are fairly small, especially with two people and two moderately sized cases.

Our room had a good size bathroom and a small balcony with views of the car park. The room had an Italian style décor with yellow/lemon walls but it lacked ‘warmth’ as a room to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. However, it was acceptable for a one night stay.

Date of stay: August 2019
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Lindsay R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2019 via mobile

We stayed at Simplon during the last week of September and booked the holiday as a last minute package with Tui. It was worth to wait until two weeks before as we were able to get a lake view room that previously would have cost an extra £250/week! This was the last week of the Tui organised season and generally late in season so things were generally very quiet around the lake. Please be aware of midges and mosquitos, you’ll need to cover up and use a spray as the bites can be really bad.

Here are some tips and main points about our stay and getting around in general:

Hotel Simplon:
We had a flawless stay in a decent size room on a bed and breakfast basis - really worth it with freshly made mini pastries, cake, local honey, cold meats and cheeses, salad items, fruit salad counter, yoghurt, fresh orange juice, toast and other local breads, cooked items (bacon, sausage, scrambled / boiled egg, spinach/tomato, pancakes). We found the hotel coffee decent enough.

Our room was on the first floor facing the lake, big astroturfed terrace with sun loungers and table and chairs. Glorious sunrises and a place to sit at night watching bats and lakeside lights of Pallanza. Get a room on a higher floor for a better view, ours only got a bit of the lake. Comfy big bed, very hard pillows that weren’t the best but still slept well. Bathroom good, shower had good pressure, fixing a bit fiddly to get it to point straight down. Lovely toiletries and towels. Can be noisy with gurgling shower drains and cleaning upstairs or air con. Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper, although generally hotel was quiet. There’s a safe and a minibar that we used to store some cheeses and meats.

Lovely staff, great bar area and outdoor gardens with different seating areas and loungers. Expensive drinks but you do get excellent Aperol Spritzes! Get free salty snacks with drinks too. Didn’t get a chance to try the pool as it wasn’t heated but looks lovely. Simplon guests get access to the sister hotel Dino by the lake - but only to the indoor pool. Again looked lovely! Dino has a gym and saunas but these cost extra to access. Now the real “wonder” to check out is the corridor connecting the two hotels - it really is something interesting to see with glitzy shiny hallways with paintings and plush carpets.

The only minus about the hotel was the one evening meal we had. Real disappointment, for the price you would expect fine dining but we were disappointed with the food. I had carpaccio which was ok and my partner had duck ragou which was average. My main, pike perch, was not great quality and quite bland, served with bitter greens. I would have expected the fish to need just a bit of butter and salt but it was just tasteless. My partners mignon was not medium but too well done and not that tasty.

Do go to Dino hotel and their Last Hall restaurant - incredible fine dining with local ingredients and impeccable food and service!

Baveno:

We wanted to book somewhere quiet but with public transport options, plus spaces to relax in. Baveno is a good base if you want a quieter location - there isn’t much going on and you can’t walk far. There are restaurants and some cafes, a beach bar, lovely little church and a tiny granite museum. On a Monday the local market comes to town and its a good opportunity to buy local cheeses and meat.

Transport: You can get an hourly bus towards Stresa or the other way to Pallanza and Intra and it’s the cheapest way to travel - 2€ to Stresa and only about 10 minutes away. Be prepared to wait for the bus, they were 15-25 minutes late each time. It is possible to get a coach to Malpensa airport but we didn’t use it as had our own shared transport arranged. There’s a train station but it’s not as well connected as Stresa so research the times. The local ferry stops at Baveno and is a good way to go see the Borromean Islands or other towns. It is quite expensive so again research where to go to get the right ticket. We did the Lake Maggiore Express (train plus ferry to Locarno and back) and added and extra 10€ to get a full day rover ticket for ferries too. Worth the money even thought Locarno was not worth it to spend 4 hours in.

You can walk to Stresa in theory but part of the road has no pavement and is dangerous. There are walking paths and hiking trails that could work.

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Y1967BJlauras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2019 via mobile

This is a beautiful property that understands the importance of cleanliness, friendliness and following up with great service. We were part of a group. Our rooms were ready early and there was no wait for ridiculous hunt snd pecking on a computer...our room assignments were already made. If you stay ask for room 442. Two balconies, two bathrooms and the bedroom upstairs in a loft area. Balcony views of the lake were spectacular. The hotel is easy walking distance from the town center. A wonderful stay. We will return!

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank HebbieDacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2019

We stayed for 3 nights as part of a Saga group.On arrival the reception staff were friendly.Our room was small but comfortable had a tiny balcony.No Kettle but had a fridge.The bathroom was small but had a bath and bidet shower.Our friend who had a single room had a much larger one.The hotel's public areas are very luxious and clean.The outside spaces are amazing.Large assortment of seating a bar and one of the most beautiful pools I have seen.The underground passage to the Hotel Dino is amazing filled with paintings of the lakes.Both hotels have had huge amounts of money lavished on them.
However the hotel lacked warmth and felt very corporate and impersonal.
We had a set evening menu which we choose the day before.The food was awful.The soup was bland and tasteless.The main courses tasteless more like ready meals.No choice of sweet.The waiting staff were the rudest I have ever experienced! They banged the plates down on the table in front of all of us.They snatched my friend's bread roll away when she had just buttered it and was about to eat it.You had hardly finished and they watched you like hawks starring at you and made you feel very awkward and pounced on your plate upon your last mouthful.There was only one choice of desert and every night but one was fruit salad which was fresh the only food they did not manage to ruin.1 night there was Tiramusu which I do not eat so I asked the waiter if it was possible to have ice cream instead.He never came back and everyone had finished their desert.So I asked another waiter he said no and dumped a dish of fruit salad in front on me. They seemed polite and obsequious to other tables that were not part of a group! All our group thought them rude.
The drinks were expensive.A tiny beer 6 euros and a gin and tonic 10 euros.
My advice if you are part of a group is avoid the set menu and dining room and turn left down the hill.There is a charming resturant called Sottosopra with a lovely little garden or you can sit indoors.We went for lunch.The staff were friendly and the food delicious.
They do carafes of wine as well as bottles.A wonderful experience and very reasonably priced.
We stayed in 4 hotels on our lake tour and all the others I would go back to in a heartbeatThis is the only one I would not return to.I do not want to be treated like a second class citizen!
I

Room tip: Pay extra for a larger lake view room
Date of stay: September 2019
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JudihE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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