If you want to get a feel of how the Italian Lakes were a century ago, this is the hotel for you. It was built in 1857 as a private villa and in 1879 Queen Victoria and her daughter Princess Beatrice, staying nearby, visited the villa because their entourage were being accommodated there. By 1908 the building had been expanded into a hotel and Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine spent their honeymoon in Room 124, now the hotel's largest suite. In the pretty hotel gardens there are statues of both to mark these visits, and there is plenty of information on display in the public rooms if you are interested to find out more. There is a definite atmosphere of the past here. We were assured that there were no ghosts, but instead a " mystery room" in the basement that has not been opened for years!
The hotel's public rooms are vast and opulent and almost make you feel as though you are letting the place down if you are not dressed in dinner jackets or ball gowns. The outside terraces, overlooking the pool and the glorious lake and mountain view, are the perfect setting for an evening aperitif.
Despite its size, the hotel is family-run and the staff are unfailingly cheerful and helpful. The front rooms, overlooking the lake (well worth booking) have huge French windows opening onto a balcony, from which you can watch the plying to and fro of boats between Baveno and the three small islands nearby, and the constantly changing light over the water. Our bathroom was slightly disappointing, being a little cramped, with rather dim lighting.
We had one breakfast (in the room) and two dinners at the hotel, and would rate these reasonably highly, though on the expensive side.
The hotel's location, just a short walk from the village centre, the station and the boat terminal,
is excellent. It is just a pity that one can no longer experience the tranquillity of the past, given the amount of traffic that has to pass along the lakeside road. This does, however, die down by late evening.
The Lido Palace will give you a most enjoyable experience, and we highly recommend it.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Lido Palace
- Lido Palace Baveno
- Lido Palace Hotel Baveno, Lake Maggiore, Italy