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Hotel Castello Lake Front

After our all-too-brief one night stay in downtown Verona, it was time to move on to our next stop, the picturesque town of Malcesine, Lake Garda, and Hotel Castello Lake Front.

The drive to Malcesine takes you along a beautiful stretch of road alongside Lake Garda for nearly half the journey – as we watched picturesque town after picturesque town go by, accompanied by a plethora of small low-rise hotels and, strangely, campervans.

Hotel Castello Lake Front is, as the name suggests, right down by the lakefront and you can actually take a few steps from the garden and already be dipping a hand in the lake. Meanwhile, on the left of the main hotel building as you look out towards the lake, the castle stands tall, eclipsing the hotel buildings.

Hotel Castello Lake Front

Check-in was quick and enthusiastic, and we were promptly escorted to our room, the Peler Suite, for our 2-night stay.

The Peler Suite’s showpiece feature, aside from an expansive balcony from which to enjoy the unfettered lake views, has to be the freestanding bathtub that at first glance, appears to have been plonked in the room – but also comes with views out over the lake when the blinds in the room are left pulled back.

Hotel Castello Lake Front - Peler Suite

The room was spacious, with a suspended king-size bed awaiting. Along the other side ran a desk with TV, kettle and further back towards the door, a number of cupboards for storing or hanging clothes.

Hotel Castello Lake Front - Peler Suite

The views from out on the balcony are outstanding and we spent countless hours just sitting there, enjoying the sun, using the awning for shade when we needed, and basking in the views of the lake, and across to the other side.

Hotel Castello Lake Front - Peler Suite Lake Views

The bathroom, which adjoins the aforementioned freestanding bathtub is well appointed and comes with modern fixtures. I will however say though that we quickly discovered that the shower floor can be extremely slippery – think almost hazardous – and hot water was occasionally a challenge, especially, we noticed, late in the evenings.

Hotel Castello Lake Front - Bathroom

I’m not sure what caused this, but it was a little bit of a let-down, that, along with one or two other things made the stay perhaps not as wonderful as we might have hoped (We were never asked by the lady if we’d enjoyed our stay or if anything could have been improved, so decided not to volunteer either).

The second area of minor irritation came at night time – the room had a surprising amount of lighting between the TV, and the bedside lights which emitted a strong blue light on the on/off button, and then in our specific case, the wardrobe lighting which refused to shut off despite being closed until we removed the key card, let all the electricity shut off, and then re-inserted it again.

Hotel Castello Lake Front - Bedroom

Notwithstanding having to cover things with our clothes late night, breakfast was served downstairs in the basement each morning and consisted of a hearty spread, with freshly-cooked egg options, pastries, breads, meats, a range of juices, fruits, and even ice-cold prosecco to ensure an extra strong start to the day!

Hotel Castello Lake Front - Breakfast

Seating was arranged throughout, but the seats right by the window afforded excellent views out across the lake and seemed to be – as you’d expect – the highest in demand.

The property is also very conveniently located on the slightly quieter end of Malcesine town, but not more than a 10-minute walk to the tourist ‘central’ area, and probably only a 5-minute walk up a steep hill to the nearest shops and bars, including a great big Spar.

On our last morning, we decided to spoil ourselves and elect for the (paid) late check-out option. Unfortunately, in sync with the check-out time, both the wheel fell off one of our suitcases, and the handle wouldn’t pull out of our other one – I have never had reception call so promptly (within 10 minutes) to tell me that the cleaners were being held up, and that was delaying subsequent guests from checking-in.

I found it to be bordering on rude, and quite unacceptable – a better approach might have been to call, remind about the late check-out time and ask if any help was required.

So in the end, I feel quite conflicted about our time at Hotel Castello Lake Front in Malcesine; the property is stunning, the views are amazing and breakfast was fantastic. But aside from that, and for all the style, some of the ‘substance’ seemed to be missing from such an otherwise plush hotel; issues like the unreliable hot water, the lighting issues in the wardrobe, and that farewell check-out reminder. Considering the cost of the stay, despite some amazing positives, I’d definitely be thinking twice, unfortunately, about Hotel Castello Lake Front again.

Reformed backpacker & former ultra-cheap traveller, Andy now atones for his past by overspending on premium travel experiences and failing at making the most of the miles & points game. Former expat now returned to Ireland, he is a product manager by day, and travel aficionado by evening and weekend.

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