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Hotel Review: Hotel Holiday Bolsena
In the cold winter season, hotels along the lakes in Italy often shut down for a few months because there just isn’t enough business. Last winter after a cruise, my husband and I hopped off the ship in Civitavecchia and decided to spend a few days in Italy. The first hotel we tried along Lake Bolsena was closed. The second was closed as well. Last year during a drive through Switzerland we had come upon an unassuming Ramada that turned out to be a gem of a property with a gorgeous view of the lake. For this trip I hoped to find the same. After driving around close to the water, the third hotel we came across was right on the water, and better yet – was open!
Called the Hotel Holiday, it obviously hadn’t seen a ton of visitors since Christmastime and there were only two other cars parked in the parking lot.
Rather than booking online through an OTA thus making the property pay the site an extra fee, my husband went in to discuss pricing right with the owner. The agreed upon price for two nights was 110 EUR, and the room was to have a front view of the lake.
The proprietor of the hotel helped with the luggage, and we went just one floor up and down the hall. As we walked I noticed that there were still Christmas decorations around. Maybe it was part of the “Holiday” name theme, or maybe there just wasn’t a hurry to change the decor yet since the summer rush wouldn’t be arriving for several more months.
The room was arranged so that there was a small single bed just inside the door, for a third person (which we didn’t use). The wardrobe was just across from the bed, and there were hooks on the wall for jackets and such. The bed and wardrobe were actually in a separate room from the main bedroom, which also would have provided more noise dampening if the hotel had been busier.
The bathroom was straight ahead, and I was struck by how marvelously spotless it was. It wasn’t huge, but everything was clean.
A small bath towel had even been laid out on the floor.
On the desk in the bedroom I found the guest book. It wasn’t just the standard information about the property either. Since it was a family owned and run business it also mentioned the names of all the people that worked there, and gave a bit of history about the Masey family. I found it to be fairly fascinating since typically the hotels I stay at are big chains where you really don’t know anything about the staff.
The room was gaily decorated in deep maroon hues, and there was plenty of seating.
The bed was a bit older, but was ok for a night or two. It was obvious that the same care was taken in cleaning the bedroom as well, since everything was perfectly in order.
The bedroom had French doors that opened onto a very large balcony that looked straight out over the lake. In the summertime, that room would have a prime location with such a huge balcony and great lake views.
Down below I could see that in the summertime the courtyard hosted dinners.
Peering at the row of rooms it appeared that we were the only occupied room.
The views were very pretty, even if the weather was chilly.
The room was very cold, so I adjusted the thermostat to the full-blast heat setting and then we settled in for the night.
Have you ever had one of those nights where you just can’t get warm enough? I used the blanket on the bed, the spare blanket in the closet, and I still wasn’t warm enough. I resorted to using the bedspread and the bedspread from the spare bed. Still, it wasn’t enough.
Morning dawned, and the sunrise over the lake was gorgeous. The shower was just a bit too tiny for my liking, and every time I turned around I smacked into the toiletry tray.
But warmly dressed and on the way downstairs to breakfast, the chill of the previous evening was almost forgotten. I asked the owner if he could please provide another blanket that evening, as it had been a bit too cold the night prior. He replied immediately that of course he would do so.
Breakfast was very good, and I came across a nutty cake that the proprietor’s wife had made herself. Delicious!
There was also local honey and jam, plenty of breads and yogurts and such.
There was a card at the table that offered hot items cooked on demand, and I tried the scrambled eggs which went well with the fresh bread.
After enjoying a day exploring the town, we returned to the hotel.
Little chocolates had appeared on the pillows, and an extra blanket had been added to the bed. It also felt as though an adjustment had been made to the thermostat though it was still set on the highest setting that I had left it at.
I had some work to do and tried to connect to the internet, but had a very difficult time. It worked intermittently, and the signal wasn’t very strong. I called down to the front desk and was informed that the router was actually right outside my door, so I took a look. Sure enough it was right outside on the wall in the hallway, but for some reason it just didn’t carry through the door well enough.
I tried to work with the door propped open but it still didn’t do much to improve the strength.
Giving up, I enjoyed watching the sun quietly set over the lake and then went to bed.
Breakfast the next morning was every bit as good as the previous morning, and there were more freshly made items.
We had the breakfast room to ourselves, with the gaily wrapped chairs and holiday decor.
The host asked me if I had been warmer in the night and I replied that I had, even though the extra blanket hadn’t been enough. It was just an older property that didn’t heat very efficiently, and I tend to run cold. He had tried his best though, and I think that the property was really intended to be more of a summer hotel.
Overall my stay was very good. The owner was kind, the price was fair, the room was clean, the view was what I wanted, and the breakfast! The breakfast was over the top when there were so obviously few guests staying at the hotel. Homemade cake! The owners clearly wanted to please their guests.
The main drawback was the internet, which was the sort intended for a single-family household rather than a hotel with multiple rooms and guests. If you aren’t as picky about wifi as I am then I’d recommend this hotel, albeit in the warmer months.