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All reviews non guests gardens are beautiful lake como wedding reception fairytale wedding breakfast room church bells a lake view room a special place amazing views enjoy the view hotel restaurant ceiling fan an easy walk hotel du lac davide bellagio
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Reviewed 30 August 2011

It is very interesting to me that the reviews of this hotel have been so varied, because my wife and I had a phenomenal experience. So, let me idenitfy why we enjoyed our stay here so much, and speculate why others have not enjoyed theirs.
Highights included:
* Fantastic views of Lake Commo and the Swiss Alps. Our room was on the second floor, so we left our windows open at night to enjoy the fresh air. When we awoke each morning, we were greeted with an almost magical view of the lake, and the Alps rising in the distance beyond the lake. We could actually see the lake and mountains from the bed. That was very romantic for us, and the views alone really are worth the price of staying here. Let me add that we came in October, and did not have reservations, so we actually looked at the room before we committed to stay, to ensure the view was great and the room comfortable.
* Value. We felt like we got great value for such a large room and with such great views. Admittedly, we did not stay during the high season but if you appreciate great, romantic views from your room, then this place will be very special for you.
* The grounds. The hotel has really nice gardens and trails to walk along and take super views of the lake. You can relax with your spouse, read a book, and just soak up the incredible experience of staying on beautiful Lake Como. Not sure how many acres are here, but would estimate 20 or so. Plenty of room to enjoy and explore.
* Easy access into the town of Varenna, really only about 1 block from the main square, which is really quite charming. There are a couple great restaurants in the area.
Other factors (not really drawbacks, but variables that were not the best):
* The rooms are rather spartan. Not a lot of fancy furnishings. However, our room had wood floors, which were really nice, and was very clean. The bathroom is small, but very typical for most of Europe.
* Breakfast was fine, but not great. However, more than adequate for Europe.
* Hotel is about 1km from where the ferry docks, so a bit of a hike if you have heavy bags (and you will need to climb so stairs to get there). For those not fit, or with heavy bags, take a taxi to the hotel. For others, the walk is a nice way to get your energy going after enjoying the leisurely boat-ride up from Como.
Finally a general comment on reviews, and how to compare and weigh competing opinions. As I read some of the other reviews for Villa Cipressi, it appeared many complained of the lack of luxury for the price paid (about 150 -200 Euros per night, depending on the season). In my opinion, the views alone are well worth the price paid. They are absolutely breath-taking. However, if you do not enjoy jaw-dropping vistas of the majestic Alps rising above a massive, pristine lake, then do not stay here. You will not enjoy the experience. I think most people complaining about the cost have simply travelled too little and do not have a reference point. Locations with great views and in-demand settings are expensive (e.g. Napa Valley, Rio, Central London or Paris, etc...). And when you stay at one of these places and have a great view from your room, you will pay for it. Candidly, you do not get these types of views at most places, because few destinations offer the backdrop that Varenna does. When weighing a review, see how many reviews the writer has made. If only a handful, they probably are too inexperienced to offer a balanced perspective and naively believe you can get everything you want for very little cost, and believe that anything over $100 is expensive. Avoid placing any weight in such reviews.
The other common complaint was the noise. We did not experience any during our stay, but as it was in October and mid-week, there were no wedding ceremonies that occurred during our stay. It is possible that other weekends could be noisy, but ours was peaceful. Curiously, some reviewers have complained of the church bells going off at 7am. This is part of the charm of staying in old world Europe. Enjoy the experience, people. Moreover, the hotel does not control that. All the hotels and inns throughout Varenna would hear the bells because of the immediate proximity to the church. We actually thought it was a great way to greet the morning, rather than having to set an alarm clock.
One final point. The hotel has several bikes available for use, and we were not charged to use them for the day. If you have the opportunity, take them out and explore the eastern side of Lake Como - there is much to see.

Room Tip: Pay the extra 20-30 Euros and get a room facing the lake. It will make your stay magical and amp up the romance factor.
  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank TravelingAllCreation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2011

My wife and I first visited Villa Cipressi at Easter last year, instantly fell in love with it and booked it on the spot. Since then our dealings with Davide (Hotel Manager) and his staff have been nothing short of exceptional.

We're still pinching ourselves at how well the day went. Everything from start to finish was absolutely perfect. We only had 42 guests which meant we could have the ceremony in their gardens right on the edge of the lake which was amazing. That was followed by a fantastic buffet type lunch. We returned to the Villa after taking our guests on a boat tour of the lake, to have our evening reception which outside in their courtyard and the food was of the quality you would expect from a top London Italian restuarant. It really was top drawer and they even came out to offer seconds. The service was super friendly and the desert table was out of this world. The day was rounded off by a disco inside which was awesome and was a wicked party.

I know there have been people on here (1 oe 2) who have complained about the manager (Davide) shutting down their wedding but please don't worry about that. He is a super good guy who is very very good at his job and just wants to make sure you have the perfect day. We know why one of those weddings was shut down and believe me it was fully justified.

In terms of the actual hotel, its beautiful but if your looking for all the latest mod cons then you're not going to get it. This is a vintage old skool Italian Villa which is reflected in the rooms which you can tell were once residential. We absolutely love it, and the views of the lake are incredible, but it may not be for everyone on that front.

We can't thank Davide enough for his help in making this day better than we could ever of imagined.

On a separate note, I highly recommend the weekday lunch they offer which they do for just 10 Euros...amazing value for the view you get and the view. :o)

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Matthanach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2011

We held our wedding at Villa Cipressi and stayed in the hotel with 28 of our wedding guests. The experience from start to finish was FANTASTIC!
Hotel- We stayed in one of the two suites 'Manzoni suite' which was so grand and had the most amazing views over Lake Como. Our guests stayed in a variety of the rooms and all were happy with them but be aware that you get what you pay for! All were clean and tidy. The hotel staff were delightful- very friendly and accommodating to any requests we had during our stay. Davide was a 'hands on' manager- he seemed to be on duty 24/7!! One of our guests thought they had left something in their room and he was so helpful allowing us to look in the room after checkout. The breakfast selection was vast- the coffee was absolutely delicious and cleared the mind after a night drinking prosecco!
Wedding- This was organised by the brilliant Fede from the Italian Wedding Event who carefully liaised with us for over a year and planned our perfect day! She was so meticulous in her organisation down to the fine details and was so patient with us with our demands, requests or worries. The only thing she was not in control of was the weather and unfortunately it didn't just rain, it poured! We had a legal ceremony in the morning at Varenna Town Hall which was only attended by our parents and Fede (who translated). It was very official but a really nice way to start the proceedings. The main event was supposed to be al fresco but due to the weather we had to hold the reception and dancing inside. Fede and the Villa staff knew we had our hearts set on the ceremony being held outside so arranged for that and the welcome hour/ aperitifs to be beneath the veranda in the courtyard. It was a lovely surprise to still be outside :) We had a blessing late afternoon officiated by Dianne and Giuseppe (Blessings from Italy) with 39 guests which was so personal and moving. They sent us a questionnaire about ourselves which they used to personalise the ceremony. It was just lovely. Now onto the reception... a 7 course extravaganza! The food was exceptional, cooked to perfection! The cuisine could rival a Michelin starred restaurant. The spinach and ricotta ravioli with butter and balsamic glaze was out of this world, I have never tasted pasta like it- it just melted in your mouth. Absolutely divine! All our guests commented on how delicious the wedding breakfast was and agreed that it was by far the nicest meal they'd ever had at a wedding. The Italian wedding cake was fantastic too. We then had a DJ with our choice of music until 12, this was inside but had floor to ceiling windows out onto a balcony where guests enjoyed spectacular lightning displays- much better than any fireworks!!!
All in all this is a GREAT hotel! We had no complaints at all. I would STRONGLY recommend anyone to stay here or hold their wedding at this venue enlisting the help of Fede!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank JFH83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

We held our wedding at Villa Cipressi on 13 August 2011. The pre-planning and assistance given before the wedding by Davide (Front Desk) for all of our guests arriving from the UK and USA and Italy, and also on the wedding day by Davide (Manager) and all the hotel/restaurant staff throughout the wedding was exceptional. Not one of my 45 guests who stayed at the hotel (some for 3 nights) had anything negative to say about the rooms or the service provided. They were absolutely charmed by the location, the villa, the gardens, and the staff. We were informed about the restrictions regarding the music ( finished at midnight) which we respected and it was not a problem. The day was planned to perfection by the hotel and any request was granted by the Manager and his staff, such as making a birthday cake for my friend's daughter complete with sparkler! The 7-course wedding dinner received compliments all night long and was even still being discussed at breakfast the following morning. I will forever be grateful to Villa Cipressi for making my wedding day so special, memorable and most of all enjoyable and stress free. A heartfelt thank you to Davide and Davide and all the staff at Villa Cipressi.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank ddd275
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

We had our wedding reception at the Villa Cipressi and Davide (the hotel manager) was very accommodating and was clear about what to expect and not to expect. It was important to us that we have our reception outside. However, when it started raining later in the night, the staff was so quick and efficient in moving everyone and the tables indoors that the reception didn't skip a beat. The staff was very helpful to our guests and bent over backwards helping them arrange train tickets and other logistics.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank granite4brina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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