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“Aesthetically and Scenically Superb”

Review of Casa Bellavista

Al fresco dining on the roof terrace
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Al fresco dining on the roof terrace
Dining area View through to lounge area
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Excellent
40 reviews
Al fresco dining on the roof terrace
Dining area
View through to lounge area
Designer kitchen with marble island
Family bathroom with His & Hers twin Travertine basins
Luxury en suite with enormous freestanding egg shaped bath
French style Master bedroom with en suite
French style twin bedroom with mountain view
Thai style double bedroom with walk-in-wardrobe
Travertine His & Hers basins in Master en suite
Telescope for close up of the islands
Renovated granite staircase
Renovated fireplace with decorative log feature in wall
Alcove with artefact from Thailand
View of the Borromeo Islands from the roof terrace
In memory of the perfect father and father-in-law...
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Piedmont

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 40 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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German first
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English first
Poophiles
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Aesthetically and Scenically Superb”
Reviewed October 14, 2015 for a stay in September 2015
2
people found this review helpful

For those who care bout history, Lake Maggiore is redolent of fin-de-siecle, aristocratic travel by rail and the glory days faded into the past. By contrast, Lake Como echoes the advent of the automobile and the independent and democratic ethos to which it gave rise. Como is warmer; Maggiore more magnificent and spectacular. The symbol of Stresa could well be the disused funicular now undergoing the first inspection in 40 years.

Casa Bellavista is a lesson about how imaginative use of space can be both functional and aesthetic. And it's an effective reminder about the charms of irregularly shaped rooms. Here, every place your eyes fall, you will see stunning surfaces, materials rich in texture both natural and synthetic. Although everything is neutral, you're left with an impression of a lush, polychromatic palette. This is superb, Italian modernism at its best. From cabinet pulls to vessel sinks, all has been chosen with deep awareness and deliberation. And everything is in perfect harmony with the owners' sensitivity to the Asian ethos.

All the beds are luxurious and comfortable. You will be torn between rising early to see sunrise on the lake or indulging in an extra hour between the sheets. The aroma of espresso from upstairs might tip the balance. Bathrooms are both beautiful and functional. The kitchen is fully equipped. Ever window reveals an awesome view.

September is lovely on the Lake. If lucky, you will experience a few tempestuous days. It's intriguing to watch the continual change of lightness, darkness and hues as clouds scud across the mountains and explore their nooks and crannies. The Borromean Isles become chiaroscuro in time, almost flashing as they are alternately washed with sunlight then enclosed in mist.

Parking is a continual concern. You may find a place, but as you leave to explore you'll be apprehensive that you won't find a place upon returning.
A three-wheeled truck parked in one of the few spots for our entire seven day stay. The driver of a hot, Italian racing red Honda Civic kindly offered us "his" parking spot. The best car for Someraro would be a FIAT 500. It's better to follow the signs to the village from Stresa centro and follow the Via Martini della Liberta that to take the Via per Stresa. Honk a lot on either road. Google maps are no help in finding the Casa: it's not where they indicate. Look for bright, green railings on the house opposite and a traffic mirror on your villa. For Americans with little practice in driving in tight spaces, the Savoini in Baveno is an excellent alimentari. It has ample, easy parking as opposed to the Carrefour on Villa Roma.

Stairs could be a struggle for Seniors, especially with luggage. When you get to level three, you'll want to stay as long as you can. There's a convenient WC. And there's the lake. Be careful though--the stair spacing is irregular.

The Wi-Fi was down six of our seven days, a bit of a headache. We were counting on TripAdvisor for excursion suggestions and Google for detailed maps. Unable to access them, we wound up limiting our range of activities. We had a great vacation. but different from what we had envisioned. Of less concern, according to the guest book, the TV was down twelve consecutive days.

Two members of our group were 76. Had either of them lain down to obtain the key he might still be there lying in the rain. Fortunately, Daniela is two decades younger. Still she had trouble seeing the numbers on the key box. She could not bring them into focus with her bifocals. We suggest finding another hiding place. Or, as other guests have suggested, employing a local agent for the simple task of delivering the key. Or restricting applicants to age 50 or younger.

The owners requested bank wire transfers. The fee for the deposit was $40 US. It was the same for the balance.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Liked best: Views and aesthetics
Liked least: Key box
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
16 Oct 2015
Thank you for your wonderful review. It is so evocative and beautifully written in a Travel Journal style. We are so happy that you enjoyed the house and the views. Those views certainly take my breath away every time we go to the house. We are just so sorry about your lack of internet while you were there. As you know, as soon as you informed us about this we arranged for an Engineer to go to the house. It transpired that our 'helpful' Broadband Provider had reset the router login information at the time of our Annual Renewal (without telling us), hence why you couldn't access the internet. Thankfully our Engineer fixed this straight away and I believe you had internet access once more. It was only after your holiday that you informed us the internet had gone down again. I asked the new guests (after you) to turn the router on and off and they did. The problem was solved and they had access for the entire duration of their holiday. I wish we had known because we would have told you to do the same and you would have had access once more. Sometimes in the Italian Lakes they have these crazy thunderstorms which sometimes interfere with the Internet and TV. It just requires the router being turned on and off after the storm has passed. It doesn't happen often but I think you were unlucky enough to experience this. I can only apologise for your lack of service while you were there. I wish we had known and we could have sorted it out for you again at the time. Regarding the television, as you know the engineer who attended during your stay found a broken cable and replaced that so you had a working television during the rest of your stay. We can only thank you for your patience and understanding with these two technical matters. We try our best to resolve a problem as soon as we are informed.

Yes, the roads around Casa Bellavista are 'quaint' and we concur that a Fiat is a good car to hire during your stay. We have driven both a Fiat and a large van; the latter certainly makes for an interesting drive. There are several ways to reach the house and we try to advise our guests to come in through the top of the village where the roads are wider. I am sorry that a three wheeled truck 'hogged' the spaces that are just outside our house. We haven't encountered this before but can only assume work is being carried out on a nearby house and they decided to take up those spaces - most frustrating for you. In that eventuality we would always advise our guests to park up in the village (30 second walk from the house) where there are quite a few more spaces and the roads are wider.

When we first started renting Casa Bellavista out we did leave the key with someone down in the town, but with guests turning up at all hours it proved quite tricky. Having the keybox has been a Godsend and most of our guests really appreciate it because it offers them flexibility and they can turn up whenever they like. With that said, I totally take on board your points about the location of it (quite low down in a hidden corner) and we will have a look at repositioning it a little higher.

We hope that the lovely views and magic of the house and lake made up for the few inconveniences you mention in your review. We take on board all your comments and really appreciate your feedback. Thank you for being such lovely understanding guests. I have enjoyed our emails back and forth to each other this past year.

Warm wishes
Joanna
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Susannah5...
Northamptonshire
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fantastic house and wonderful area”
Reviewed August 15, 2015 for a stay in August 2015

A wonderful house which is a real home from home. The view from the sitting room and kitchen across the Borromean Islands is stunning! We would love to revisit and highly recommend this house. The owners are really helpful and provided everything we needed - including recommendations for days out and lovely restaurants.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The view
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BigItalyL...
Hertfordshire
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Absolutely excellent in so many ways.”
Reviewed August 4, 2015 for a stay in July 2015
1
person found this review helpful

Gorgeous property decorated to a very high standard with quality furnishings. Views to die for. You can never have too much prosecco taking in the views from the terrace, or the lounge, or the kitchen, or the dining area .... Whether it was bright sunshine or dark clouds the views were fantastic. Extremely well equipped. Being the owners holiday home too, it had every convenience you can imagine. Excellent location. 5-10 mins drive to Stresa. Whilst some very fit people may walk the sharp incline / distance in the heat, I would suggest that most people need a car (and not a big one ! The narrow roads and "180" degree bends are challenging). The Stresa railway line takes you into Milan - perfect for variety. The property is on 3 floors. This was not an issue for us - but could be for those with bad knees/backs. We loved the bedroom on the ground floor as it was lovely and cool - despite the high temperatures outside. A very special property in so many ways - built and furnished with a great deal of thought and love.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Views
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandra G
Buxton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Romantic Rustic - Casa Bella Vista”
Reviewed June 15, 2015 for a stay in May 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We all had such a wonderful holiday in the beautiful ‘Casa Bella Vista’. Ideally situated
It was really interesting to look at the photographs of the renovation, a labour of love as I imagine it must have been really hard work? It is a really lovely modernised rustic property, a credit to the owners?
The views from Casa Bella Vista are simply stunning with the backdrop of the Alps and every time you look at them you notice something different. Amazing!
The weather was fabulous apart from a tremendous 24 hour storm and another shorter one during the fortnight.
We visited the lovely Borromean islands, our favourites were Isola Madre and Isola Bella.
The train day trip to Milan was really interesting and we managed to see the ‘Last Supper’ painting booked before we arrived on the 'Tick Italy' website. The Duomo is also well with a visit . Warning - If travelling by train which we did to Milan please be advised that you need to get your ticket stamped on the station before travelling by train - we were fined 53 euros! We bought our tickets at Stresa station and there was no explanation given about the process so perhaps purchase your tickets in Stresa
We ate at all the recommended restaurants ‘La Rampolina’ and La Bott were two of our favourites. The information in the the villa was very helpful.
We drove to Lake Orta which was beautiful and well worth a visit.
Mottarone was just amazing the views again spectacular.
The trip to Locarno on the ‘Maggiore Express' was spectacular and I would recommend you to start on the train journey then travel back by boat and although it is three hours on the boat you have the advantage of seeing so many charming places on the edge of Lake Maggiore trip 'dropping off' or 'picking up' passengers.
The house is very well appointed and the telescope in the living area a lovely idea. The views from the roof terrace are magical at any time of the day and particularly stunning at night. There is a lovely church just a couple of minutes walk up the hill.
The layout of the property maximises the stunning views of the lake, Alps and the islands. In short our party of five thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to NW Italy and the Italian Lakes. Brilliant holiday in a stunning house and beautiful location. Would definitely recommend.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saintchan...
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely Fabulous!!!”
Reviewed May 16, 2015 for a stay in April 2015

We typically stay in hotels but decided to take a chance renting a vacation rental for the first time. We had a car so wanted to experience more of a local feel therefore picked the sweet village of Someraro, primarily because Casa Bellavsita looked so fabulous from their website.

From the very first correspondence I knew I had made the right choice. Joanna (the owner who speaks english) was professional and lovely....she made renting her villa a very easy process. We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon to the most glorious views of Lago Maggiore.....seriously breathtaking! We began our stay at Casa Bellavista up on our rooftop deck with a bottle of Proseco just soaking up Italy!

We had dinner the first night at La Rampolina just down the road. Loved it and would highly recommend it....(one of Joanna's recommendations). We ended up staying in for dinner the next 2 nights because the view and feel of the villa were so nice. It was just the 2 of us and agreed how perfect it would be if we had had another couple or 2. Very Cozy and Highly Recommend!!!! Can't wait to go back.....

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The view and the updated feel!
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mrsjoss
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“We would love to stay again”
Reviewed February 14, 2015 for a stay in September 2014
1
person found this review helpful

We visited Stresa last year and spent a week at this beautifully presented villa. What struck me was that the family who had rebuilt the villa from a fairly deteriorated state had done so for the love of the region and for their own wonderful childhood memories spending holidays there. The villa felt more like a home that we were warmly welcome in rather than a holiday rental.

Coming from Australia and, first time ever in Europe, we felt well prepared and informed on what to expect, from the information provided by Joanna. It is easy to get around despite the really narrow streets which is a bit scary to Aussies at first.

We really enjoyed this experience and Casa Bellavista was everything we hoped for and more - the views were just breath taking from nearly every room and the home has been finished with high quality fittings, fixtures and appliances.

Thank you for your hospitality Joanna :-)

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The views and the comfort
Liked least: Narrow streets take a bit of getting used to but that's an Aussie thing!
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulineba...
Worrowing Heights, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great accomodation ,beautiful outlook”
Reviewed December 30, 2014 for a stay in November 2014

All information from the owner was spot on. Even though one in our group was very sick and was hospitalised all the help we got from Joanna via the internet was very helpful. The restaurant up the road 2 mins walk Cardinia was very good and the owners were very helpful about road closures because of heavy rain. We did a day trip to visit The Matterhorn and it was amazing. The only thing we didn't realise there would be so many attractions closed that time of the year but I guess it comes down to research . Every thing we needed was there the wi fi was no problem at all and apart from my husbands health we enjoyed our stay. Would go back again if the opportunity came up.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The view
Liked least: The road to the house the first time we did it in the dark
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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