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Orta San Giulio: Hotel Santa Caterina

Via Marconi 10 , Phone: 0322.915865; Fax: 0322.905877

Reviewed by: Janet Zinn from NY, review #666

When: July 2004

This was the perfect choice for us in Orta San Giulio; a great "last-night" spot before leaving from Milan.

The Santa Caterina is a modern hotel, but not without charm and character. It is modern in a rather Italian-mod-stylish way; for instance, the doors to the rooms are bright bright lucite red. So it does not exude the "old-style charm" of some of the other hotels of our stay.

But it was absolutely perfect, because for our last few nights--with a trunkful of luggage and wine and purchases--we were so happy to have comfort, space, and convenience. The hotel is three stories and has a small but modern elevator. It also has an underground gated parking garage.

Our room was large, with a large bathroom and stall shower, and of course modern furnishings. Plenty of room to dump out all our luggage and repack it. The bed was comfortable; the satellite TV had CNN and BBC. No air-conditioning, and unfortunately no fan either; which was a little uncomfortable in the July heat. This is my only caveat to staying there in summer.

The breakfast room was large and the breakfast the best spread we had of our entire trip. Fantasic and seemingly endless buffet spread of fresh pastries and cakes, fruits, meats and cheeses of many kinds, cereals, granolas, and a couple of hot dishes as well; fritatta, quiche. Too much food, and all delicious!

In the lobby there is an espresso machine where you can make your own (complimentary) all day long.

The location was a little further from the central part of town than we'd expected, but walkable; a lovely 15-minute walk downhill into town along the "Passaggiata"--but then of course its uphill coming back. (It's right across the road from the Villa Crespi, in fact.) However, it's an easy two minute drive to the parking lots outside of town and we never had a problem finding parking--there are two very large lots.

Finally, the price was very reasonable...we paid 85 euros a night.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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