Arriving at Villa Monica you may well be forgiven for feeling disappointed. The roadside entrance gives nothing away about what waits within. The secure parking area is easily accessible, once you get the hang of the gate system and just about copes with the number of guest vehicles although space is tight. Villa Monica is predominantly a German tourist hotel and does tend to cater for German visitors needs more fully. This is apparent in every aspect. English is spoken but in a limited way, all of the staff speak German. Newspapers are German, the available TV channels are mainly German and the menu tends to be a blend of Italian and German cuisine.
The staff are all very friendly and genuinely seem to enjoy their work, they are efficient in every area of the hotel. Once through reception you are taken to your room. Although not large, every room has a balcony offering a spectacular view of Lake Garda. The rooms are spotless and well maintained. The hotel has both an indoor pool and an outdoor pool together with its own private beach. The beach is stoney but very well equipped with sun loungers, umbrellas and towels.
The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner overlooking the lake. The quality of the food is good and, again, the staff are lovely. The breakfast offers an excellent range of options with as much as you can eat. At breakfast you are asked to complete your selection for dinner. Dinner comprises 4 courses for Euro 20. While the options are limited, there is usually something there for everyone. Compared to many hotels we have stayed at, Villa Monica offers value for money. Your food and drinks are all good quality and reasonably priced. It should also be remembered that there are plenty of other eating options located close to the hotel.
Yes, the hotel caters for its German clientele but if more Brits book it and promote it the owners will make you welcome. We had 5 days at Villa Monica and enjoyed every moment. We even improved our German!
This hotel really has the potential to be a jewel at the lake Garda if some investments and improvements were made. But unfortunately, it is not... at least if you don't put your usual expectations aside just because it is difficult to find anything better around there anyhow.
To start with the positives: it has a great location, directly at the waterfront with its own nice private beach, which is quite unique in this area and offers an excellent base for water sports if you look for it. The staff is very friendly and helpful. All rooms have a balcony / terrace with lake view.
The regular rooms are extremely small and if you go for one of the larger "normal" onces, the price goes up substantially which is quite ambitious for a three star hotel and for the outdated equipment and design the hotel offers. And here we go: then I am not willing to tolerate that there is a strong unpleasant smell in the room (and also other parts of the hotel), coming probably from the pool facility, that the room is not being properly cleaned, that the breakfast - despite relatively large variety of items for Italian standards - is composed of products of very low quality so some products taste like plastics and that the price of drinks you take at the bar is being charged at the end of the stay with partially higher amount than indicated on the drinks menu. The menu for the dinner (changing every day) most of the time doesn't sound very inviting so we have not tried this but given our experience with the breakfast and the fact that we met many other hotel guests at the Pizzeria on the other side of the street (which btw is not too bad!) so my guess is that the quality is not very convincing.
So again, it is a pity but we will continue looking for another place at this beautiful lake, not coming back.
When we arrived at the hotel reception we were greeted by the two reception staff, who were lovely. One person then moved to deal with another couple who followed us in. The gentleman took us to our room, so unusual nowadays, and showed us bits and pieces in it. The room had a balcony and the view from it was amazing. The entrance to the hotel does not give away what is on the other side of the hotel. The hotel is right on the front of the Lake. There are a number of beds and umbrellas on the stony beach, available for hotel guest to use. There are also some mattresses that can be found in a cupboard on the beach to be used on the sunbeds to make them more comfortable. There are also towels in the room to be used on the beach, which is a nice touch. The bar area was being run by Enzo who introduced himself to us and asked our names too. He made us a wonderful latte which he finished off at our table by adding the coffee and saying it was being added with love. All the staff treat the guests with respect and in a joyful way, it feels like they are there because they wish to be rather than because they have to be. The guests are not a nuisances. Whilst we spent our one night there we noticed a number of people arrive and being welcomed as though they were returning customers, greeted like long lost family. the food was beautifully served, and plentiful. Guests are asked to complete a menu, early in the day, of what they would like for dinner in the evening. Dinner is served in the restaurant over looking the Lake, and guests are asked to enter the dining room from 7 until 8. It is a 4 course meal with a help yourself plentiful salad buffet to start, followed by 2 courses chosen by the guest, and then a set dessert. we certainly enjoyed the home made cannelloni, trout and a wonderful homemade tiramisu. We had drinks on the veranda before and after dinner, which was lovely. The hotel is about 10 minutes from Malcesine, by car, and is in a wonderful location. There are a number of types of room - rooms that accessed straight out onto the beach, with a veranda area to sit in, the other rooms were comfort, comfort plus and superior on the 1st and second floors, all with balconies so a view of the lake. There is also an indoor pool, but we did not use that. Being English we were definitely in the minority, but were not made to feel out of place. We will be back next year, and know we will spend our time laying on beds, drinking in the scenery and relaxing, such a little gem.