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Reviewed 1 October 2017

We have just returned from our holiday in Italy Lake Garder . We stayed at the Hotel Sportsman in Bardlino we booked the holiday thro Thomson's in Chelmsford Essex. The staff in the Thomson's travel agency where very helpful plus professional so this was a good start. The flight was from Gatwick on Thomson's aircraft it only took 1hr 30minutes . We arrived at Verona airport with lots of other holiday makers where we where told which coach to get on all going along as usual . However, we where drop off on a corner with a slope leading some where we couldn't see our Hotel or the beach . I had to ask the young lady rep where was the Hotel she said "down there turn left" then she got back on the coach and it drove away. We where on our own. So we went down the slope turned left and went into the first door we saw thank God this was the Hotel. The chap on reception was very nice hr told us where to dine for breakfast and dinner then he invited us to go on a Sailing ship around lake Garda free of charge on the following Wednsday. This is not to be missed. So Hotel very good Staff excellent food very good.

When we had to meet for our talk the next morning after we arrived we had to find our own way to an ice cream parlour with chairs out side where there where three reps waiting to take us around the streets of Bardlino this was ok but just not for me. We left went back to our hotel and continue a nice relaxing day on the strand out side our Hotel.

We had a visit from a chap called Matt very pleasant young man we explained to him our drop off and the fact we had to find our own way to the ice cream parlour for out welcome visit he wasn't very impressed either. He did apologise for these small mistakes which we where happy to except the best thing is he understood our feelings which we where grateful for. Other than that great holiday great hotel and I would absolutely go there with Thomson's again,

Room Tip: Pay extra and ask for a sea view
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Harrynumber1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017

Stayed 11night's(26/8/17 to 6/9/17)as stated this hotel is 30 minutes walk to the centre of Bardolino & 20 minutes walk to the centre of Garda,both are nice walks,beware of the bikes as some are travelling far to fast.
When you walk to them you pass lot's of campers,sun bathing on the grass & enjoying the Lake,which was quite funny to us as this was the first time we have went to a Lakes holiday,also there are quite a lot of dogs in the lake which we did not like!(i never swam in the Lake because of this) & people walking their dogs,a lot of German's go to Lake Garda as they can drive there! also put spray on as the Nat's/Migies are out in the evening!
The food in the hotel was very good,to much to eat some nights,we had the BBQ in the Dining room,as the weather was meant to be bad that night,food not as good as the other nights!( I was not happy with the price of the wine to expensive,cheapest was 17/19 Euro's for a bottle of Bardolino, which i don't like & 32 euro's for a bottle of Montepulciano) All the Staff are friendly & very hard working. Our room was very nice/big & the air con.very good & not noisey! bed was firm,pillows a bit hard.
The free excursion on the sailing ship, on the Lake was very good(8.30am to 12 noon,3hours on a Wednesday),worth taking as it was lovely,
We used the shuttle car that the hotel laid on to get into Bardolino,& used the local bus us to go to Verona & other places on the lake that where near,Torri del Benico is very nice to visit,Lazise also very nice,apart from the Thunder Storm,it lashed down for 3/4 of an hour, We also went on 3 Thomson excursions,Flavours of Trentino,The Grand Dolomites tour(go on the cable car,fantastic views)& the Original Lake Tour(coach) all very good, cost for the 3 just over 300 Euro's,bit expensive but worth doing!
Evening entertainment 3+ nights a week approx.( the music was middle of the road,not our scene) not many people in the Bar,not much atmosphere,Garda had live music some night's,as did Bardolino.
Had a very good holiday,would recommend this hotel if you like walking,a bit to far from the centre of Bardolino for us, we would not go back to this hotel because of this.

Stayed: August 2017
Thank George M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2017 via mobile

Had a very pleasant stay at the Sportsman, excellent location being a good walk or short cycle ride between Bardolino and Garda, both of which we found lovely. Rooms a little dated and would have been nice to have had a balcony with the lake views. Hotel staff very friendly and efficient, bike hire most welcome, breakfast was excellent. Had a dissapointed meal in the restaurant one evening, bit lacking in atmosphere and the BBQ food needed more cooking. Otherwise would recommend this hotel and hope to return.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2017 via mobile

We are just ending a 10 night half board stay at Sprtsman Hotel booked through Thomson. The hotel is clean, spacious and has good facilities including free kayaks for the lake. We were lucky to have a large balcony which was perfect for quiet sunbathing on sunny mornings and the pool and beach areas were lovrly. I didn't go in the pool or lake during or stay but my boyfriend did; the pool was apparently freezing and a swim in the lake more pleasant. The location of the hotel was perfect for us. 15 - 20 mins walk to Garda and 25 - 30 mins to Bardolino with a bus stop just outside.

The staff are fantastic. Friendly, hard working, helpful and attentive. I have no idea how they always knew our room number or constantly appeared so happy and bright despite working so much. Thank you all for such great service and attention to detail; we enjoyed some lovely nights in the bar with live music (the barman is fantastic).

The biggest star of this hotel is the food. Booking half board and having not travelled to Italy before, we weren't sure if this was a good idea or what to expect. We only opted for half board because it worked out to cost not that much more than B&B. It was a great choice. Breakfast is excellent with freshly cooked fried eggs, omelettes or amazing pancakes as well as so much choice of cheeses, meats, cereals, fruits, juices, breads/pastries and other cooked options. We particularly liked the juicer and basket of veg and fruit to create healthy juices. Evening meals were amazing; 5 courses with a great choice from the salad buffet, a cold starter, 4 choices of 1st and 2nd plates and a dessert buffet. Wine was reasonably priced (approx €20 a bottle) and kept for your next meal as needed. We had a few meals which we enjoyed less than others (bbq night being one) and we did eat out quite a few times but only because we wanted to explore other local options.

The free boat trip is definitely recommended.
Approx 3 hours sailing the lake from 2pm on
Wednesdays with some local information and a few drinks provided.

We have no complaints but my only small comments would be that the air conditioning did not seem great (min temp setting of 20°c and noisy - open door a cooler option during our stay), pillows felt hard and not particularly comfortable to us and desserts do not get replendished for evening meals so if you want a choice; eat early! As the previous poster commented; we experienced quite a few busy breakfasts where tables were harder to come by and also noted the preferrential treatment to one particular couple. We weren't offended by this as we felt the service was excellent anyway but it was quite obvious and did seem a little out of place.

I recommend this hotel. If I was to return to Lake Garda half board; I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank happytotravel82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2017 via mobile

We have just returned from a lovely two week stay at this hotel. There are many positives about this hotel: friendly and helpful staff, good quality food, clean and good sized bedrooms, regular shuttle bus to Bardolino and a fantastic free half day lake boat trip. We have however taken a star rating off as there were two mornings where we were unable to get an inside table for breakfast and had to return at a later time. I understand that the breakfast room does not have enough inside tables to cater for all guests and if the weather is poor everyone wants to naturally eat inside, however could the dining room or snack bar not be used for the overspill of guests? It was also very apparent during our stay that one particular couple were given preferential treatment at meal times. We were told on arrival that all breakfast tables are free and you can sit anywhere, however the same table was reserved every day for this particular couple. This was extremely frustrating when we were being turned away at breakfast time when this table was not even in use!! Furthermore, these guests were provided with 'extras' such as individual fresh fruit platters at breakfast and bread rolls, balsamic vinegar and olive oil with their evening meals. It is understood that the couple in question are return guests, however as return guests ourselves we received no additional benefits and feel that ALL guests should be treated equally. I think the hotel should be very careful with this 'favouritism' approach as it does alienate other guests and could affect those considering a return visit.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank JLA2504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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