Hotel Villa Stupenda

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Old Oct 23, 14, 12:09 pm
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Hotel Villa Stupenda

Hotel Villa Stupenda

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Hotel Villa Stupenda

Via Lecco, 3 23822 Bellano Lecco, IT

Hotel Villa Stupenda (0 Photo)

Hotel Villa Stupenda

Mr. Ericka had a business meeting in Lake Como, Italy and was kind enough to invite me to meet him. I flew CO BusinessFirst into MXP on a 767-200. This aircraft had the old bark-o-lounger rather than the new lay-flat product which was fine for napping but not suitable for any serious sleeping. I opted for the single middle seat to ensure privacy. The one thing that really surprised me about this seat was the amount of “bouncing” that occurred every time someone walked by on either aisle. The food was good enough with a definite Italian theme even down to the order of the courses. CO really downplayed their wine service though…not listing options on the menu or able to tell you or show you what you were drinking much beyond a simple red or white. Wine was poured in the galley. We rented a manual transmission Alfa Romeo Guiletta through Hertz (with a GPS) and agreed after the trip that we wouldn’t want anything bigger. Once Mr. Ericka got used to the narrow, winding, steep roads and the crazy motorcyclists, he found the driving to be quite fun. The MXP airport was about 1.25 hours from the main points of interest on the lake. We knew we needed to spend two nights on the east side of the lake since that was where Mr. Ericka’s meeting was. We also opted for one night on the west side. As this was a last minute trip, we found that Villa D’Este was booked. Note: Villa D’Este is probably the best hotel on the lake making what we are about to review “2nd tier” luxury.

We needed to stay on the east side of the lake for Mr. Ericka’s meeting and we discovered the most amazing little bed and breakfast called Hotel Villa Stupenda. It was located in the tiny, un-touristed village of Bellano. Hardly a grand dame, the villa had been fully modernized while still retaining its Italian villa character. We’re including it as part of this report not because it qualified as a luxury hotel in the traditional sense, but because it was just that beautiful! The main building was literally clinging to a cliff side and there were steep stone steps leading up to multi-leveled sun terraces and private seating alcoves. The braver we were, the higher we could go. The views over the Bellano harbor were spectacular and the setting was so quiet compared to the other side of the lake. We were able to hear the sound of church bells and the overall setting felt very authentic. The exterior of the villa was a delightful combination of painted stucco and stonework. Inside there were gorgeous marble floors, imposing fireplaces, a billiards table, and a contemporary well-stocked bar that served complimentary evening cocktails.

The hotel

View over Bellano

Public areas

Service

Service at this hotel was very limited because as a bed and breakfast, there was only one person on duty at any given time acting as both desk clerk and concierge. But that person always had enough knowledge to answer our questions and make arrangements for us. We corresponded via email before our arrival and they answered our questions in great detail, taking time to attach photos, etc. The people were very pleasant and spoke excellent English.

Suite 101

Suite 101 was very generously sized with a bedroom and separate sitting room with a daybed. We loved the white on white theme (white walls, bedding, linen bed canopy and drapes). We especially liked the exposed brick original to the villa, and the knotty pine and wrought iron throughout. Ten foot doors led from both the bathroom and the bedroom to a private stone veranda with a partial lake view. The bathroom had a roomy shower, white tiles, a large pedestal sink and clean/simple chrome fixtures.

Room and terrace

Room

Dining

There was no restaurant at HVS, just a small breakfast room that served hard boiled eggs, fruits, cheeses and pastries. The staff made awesome espressos and cappuccinos and we ate on the terrace looking down over Bellano. For dinner, we walked into Bellano one night, but the better restaurants were in Varenna which was a 10 minute drive or a quick train ride. The train station was also very close to the hotel.

Activities

While the hotel provided guidebooks and offered suggestions for what to do on Lake Como, we decided to keep it simple and take ourselves on a walking tour of Varenna. We chose this village as we had heard it was just as beautiful as Bellagio but with fewer tourists. It was certainly pretty but someone who wanted to get serious about shopping would probably be happier in Bellagio. We should also mention that parking could be difficult at the Hotel Villa Stupenda. Arriving by car, we faced a steep, one-lane climb. The staff often came out to assist us in creating a parking spot. There were no parking “lines”, they just knew where to put the cars to allow as many on the main level as possible.

Summary

We absolutely loved Lake Como and were pleasantly surprised with how beautiful it was. The mountains surrounded nearly the entire lake. The villas, old and new, were beautiful and there was so much history in the area. We even saw wild swans with their babies. It was a nice way to spend our 4th of July weekend. If we would have had one or two more days, we would have considered driving the few hours to Villa Feltrinelli. But now we have a reason to return to the area. I’m curious though if Lake Garda is as beautiful as Lake Como.

Hotel Villa Stupenda

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