Review: Sheraton Lake Como

Introduction: Italy, With A Refueling Stop In The Azores
Review: Air France Lounge Boston Airport
Review: Azores Airlines Business Class A310 Boston To Ponta Delgada
Review: Furnas Boutique Hotel, The Azores
Review: Azores Airlines Lounge Ponta Delgada Airport
Review: Azores Airlines Business Class A340 Ponta Delgada To Lisbon
Review: TAP Portugal Business Class A321 Lisbon To Milan
Review: Sheraton Lake Como
Why I Didn’t Love Lake Como
Review: Il Sereno Lake Como
Review: Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport
Review: Milan Malpensa Airport Lounge
Review: Air France Business Class A318 Milan To Paris
Review: Air France First Class Ground Experience Paris
Review: Air France First Class 777-300ER Paris To Houston


As I explained in the introduction post, we were spending a total of six nights in the Lake Como area. We booked the last three nights at Il Sereno months in advance, while just a few weeks before our trip we decided to book the Sheraton Lake Como for our first three nights. Of course I knew this wouldn’t compare to Il Sereno, but the plan was to use the Sheraton as a base for exploring the area, and then spend the next three nights at Il Sereno mostly relaxing. The Sheraton is one of the few points properties in the Lake Como area, which is why I figured it was worth a review.

The Sheraton cost 220EUR per night for our dates. Alternatively we could have redeemed 16,000 Starpoints per night for the stay (as this is a Category 5 SPG property), though paying cash seemed like the better value, since I value Starpoints at over two cents each.

Milan Malpensa Airport is under an hour drive from Lake Como, so the area is really accessible. I had arranged a car from the airport to the hotel directly with the hotel prior to our stay. The cost for this was marginally less the cost of a car service if booked at the airport, and it’s always nice to have someone waiting in the arrivals area for you, to expedite everything.

Even though I had confirmed this by email, the hotel forgot to actually arrange it. When we arrived we spent 20 minutes looking around the arrivals area for someone with a sign with my name on it (since it’s Italy, I figured there was a chance they were running late). Then we went to the food court to eat (since we were hungry after our service-less TAP flight), and then I called the hotel.

The associate said he’d call me right back after investigating. He called me back 15 minutes later and said “we forgot to arrange it… sorry.” So we arranged a car through the airport taxi desk. Hotels make mistakes, but what disappointed me was that the hotel didn’t make any effort to apologize when we arrived. I wasn’t expecting compensation, or anything, but an acknowledgement like “I’m so sorry about that,” or an email from the lady who had confirmed my car reservation, would have gone a long way. But no one said anything.

The drive took just under an hour. While Lake Como is quite large, the Sheraton is just a short drive from the actual town of Como, so it has a reasonably convenient location, even though it’s not directly on the water. The exterior looks both outdated and charming at the same time, in my opinion.


Sheraton Lake Como exterior

I thought the outdoor area was cute, as there were some tables with umbrellas, as well as an old Italian car.


Sheraton Lake Como exterior

The lobby was less charming, and felt like a typical outdated European Sheraton. Inside the entrance and to the left was the business center, while to the right was reception.


Sheraton Lake Como lobby


Sheraton Lake Como reception

By the way, don’t let the above empty lobby picture fool you. This is a conference hotel, and many times the lobby was buzzing with conference registration, etc.


Sheraton Lake Como busy lobby

The check-in process was efficient. The associate explained we had been upgraded to a club room and told us the hours of the club lounge. We also had the option of choosing restaurant breakfast in lieu of the SPG Platinum 500 point welcome amenity, which we did.

Within a few minutes we took the elevator up to the fourth floor, where our room was located. The elevators at this hotel are so terrible. None of the buttons work properly, so buttons just randomly light up, the ones you actually push don’t light up, etc. If I didn’t know any better I’d say the elevators were haunted. This wasn’t just a problem in one elevator, but rather in all three of them.


Sheraton Lake Como elevators

Once on the fourth floor we turned left to follow the signage towards room 419. The hallways were incredibly sleek, and it’s clear the hotel recently updated the guest floors. I was impressed, especially in comparison to the lobby.


Sheraton Lake Como hallway

The room was a good size for Europe. There was an entryway with the door to the bathroom on the right, and a closet to the left.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room entryway

Not only was the room a good size, but it was beautiful, definitely one of the nicer Sheraton rooms I’ve had. No, it didn’t let off the most Lake Como-esque vibes, but it was still beautiful.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room

The room featured a massive bed. This must have been bigger than a king. I’m not sure if it was two queen beds pushed together or what, but it was huge and comfortable.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room

Across from the bed was the area with the minibar and kettle, a wall mounted TV, and a desk.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room

The minibar was reasonably well stocked.


Sheraton Lake Como room minibar

There was no in-room coffee machine, but rather just a kettle with instant coffee. Would any self respecting Italian really drink that?


Sheraton Lake Como room kettle

Then in the corner by the window was a chair with a side table.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room sitting area

While the hotel didn’t directly face the lake, it did face the hills and some of the nice countryside.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room view

The hotel’s pool is located across the street, so the room had views of that.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room pool view

While there was a terrace, it was only big enough to stand on, and it also had no privacy.


Sheraton Lake Como king club room terrace

The bathroom was back near the entrance, and featured a sink, shower/tub combo, toilet, and bidet.


Sheraton Lake Como room bathroom


Sheraton Lake Como room shower


Sheraton Lake Como room toilet & bidet

Toiletries were the typical Sheraton Shine ones (though apparently Sheraton is changing these up now).


Sheraton Lake Como room toiletries

There was also a nice welcome amenity waiting on the desk, consisting of fruit and sweets.


Sheraton Lake Como welcome amenity

Overall I thought the room itself was lovely, and it exceeded my expectations. The room was in good condition, the wifi fast, etc.

In terms of the hotel’s other features, the club lounge is located one level above the lobby, and can be accessed using your key card. The lounge is a small space, but then again there aren’t typically that many club guests here. SPG Platinum members can access the lounge, as well as anyone with the SPG Business Amex.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge

The lounge had half a dozen tables, a couple of couches, and a communal table.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge

There was also a mini-business center.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge business center

Truth be told we never actually ate in the club lounge. Lake Como has endless amazing restaurants, so eating in a Sheraton club lounge would be sad, even by my standards. But I did visit the lounge during service hours to see what was on offer. The breakfast selection consisted of fresh fruit, cold cuts, cereal, pastries, rolls, cauliflower, eggs, etc.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge breakfast spread


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge breakfast spread


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge breakfast spread


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge breakfast spread

 


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge breakfast spread

To drink there was a Nescafe coffee machine, as well as an espresso machine.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge coffee machine


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge coffee machine

Then there was a fridge with soft drinks.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge drinks

The evening selection was available from 5PM until 7:30PM, and was pretty basic. It consisted of finger sandwiches, cheese, bread, a couple of rotating hot dishes, and cookies.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge evening spread


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge evening spread


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge evening spread


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge evening spread

There was also a selection of beer and wine.


Sheraton Lake Como club lounge alcoholic drinks

Next to the club lounge was a pretty cute little bar area.


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast restaurant


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast restaurant

We had breakfast each morning in the hotel’s restaurant, located in the same area. This restaurant was typically very full, as we always seemed to overlap with the conference attendees.


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast restaurant

I’ll let the food selection speak mostly for itself.


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet


Sheraton Lake Como breakfast buffet

It was a large selection, though for the most part the quality wasn’t that great. There was a station with made to order eggs, though they tasted funky (and it’s not often I say that). As much as I love a pancake machine in an Alaska Airlines Lounge, that seemed a bit weird at a hotel breakfast buffet.

On the same level as the breakfast restaurant was the gym, which was decent and open 24 hours. However, rather annoyingly, the water cooler was empty each time we visited.


Sheraton Lake Como gym

There was also an ironing room, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Apparently it’s illegal to iron in a hotel room in Italy (or maybe just the region?), so they have this room instead.


Sheraton Lake Como ironing room

And then there’s the reasonably nice pool, located across the street from the hotel.


Sheraton Lake Como pool


Sheraton Lake Como pool

In terms of service at the hotel, we had a mixed experience. On the plus side, Aurelia at the concierge desk was awesome, as she was friendly and competent. Other than that, though, service wasn’t great. We had the issue with the car on arrival, as I described at the beginning of the post. At breakfast it was a chore to get plates cleared. The rest of the concierge staff was pretty bad. One guy told us twice the wrong time for a ferry we wanted to take, so that put a dent in our plans. We also once called the hotel when we were in another town and asked them to call a taxi there, because the taxi operator didn’t speak English. They refused, and said they couldn’t.

Sheraton Lake Como bottom line

Given that the blog is about miles & points, I thought it was only fair to spend a few nights at a points property here. On the plus side, the Sheraton has modern rooms, and it has a convenient location, in the sense that it’s close to the actual town of Como, and also close to a ferry stop that takes you up the lake.

At the same time, there’s something decidedly not charming about staying at a conference hotel in a place like Como.

I don’t really have issues with the lack of a lake view from the hotel. Most hotels overlooking the lake are significantly more expensive (like the next one we’d be staying at).

I guess the bigger issue is that I didn’t love Lake Como. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful area, but it disappointed me a bit. Maybe I should do a separate post about that. I’m happy to have seen it, but don’t need to return anytime soon.

Anyway, the Sheraton is a good option if you’re looking for a base from which to explore the region. The hotel has a great location and modern rooms. At the same time, don’t get too excited in terms of the hotel itself, including the public facilities, the views, the service, or the vibe. However, there’s a lot to be enjoyed outside the hotel.

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Comments

  1. Stayed here for two nights last year; caught it just before it moved up to Category 5, so it was a steal on points. I enjoyed this hotel and the pool, and I loved Lake Como. I guess our travel tastes are different, which is just fine!

  2. I had a similar opinion. It was pretty nice, but didn’t find it amazing. Maybe Clooney created too much hype?

  3. Are you guys kidding? Italy is probably the nicest country in the world and lake Como is one of the nicest place ever.

  4. Did you get breakfast for free in the restaurant as an SPG Platinum even though you had club lounge access? Or did you pay extra for breakfast in the restaurant?

  5. @ Joe — No doubt it’s a beautiful place. Maybe I should write a separate post with my experience. It may have been the time of year, and maybe I was doing it wrong, but I found so many areas to be packed to the brim with tourists to the point that it took away any charm.

  6. Surprised to hear that you didn’t like Lake Como!

    I am absolutely in love with the Lake and the area surrounding it.
    Understand that the Sheraton isn’t the best hotel in the area, you should really check out some of the stunning vacation rentals in the area, for Euro 220 you could easily rent one of the more luxurious places!
    Have you taken the drive over to Lugano, Switzerland before for example?
    Great excursion for a day from Lake Como, only about a 45 minute drive away.

    Also, for an aviation geek there is the “Aero Club Como”.
    http://www.aeroclubcomo.com

    Since you are German speaking, check out below link . That’s how I found out about the Como Flying Club, I enjoyed watching the show and the information it provided.

    http://www.br.de/br-fernsehen/sendungen/freizeit/themen/wasserflugzeug-selber-fliegen-mit-dem-schmidt-max-am-comer-see-100.html

  7. @Lucky. Believe your Lake Como experience might have been nicer if you had stayed up lake perhaps in the towns of Varenna or Bellagio. I never like the town of Como and have had many nice holidays in towns further north – normally in the spring or fall. Give the lake another try – I’m certain your experience will improve.

  8. I don’t know how you call yourself a points blog if you literally never use points for any hotels you stay in.

  9. @ CalStanford — I used points for the last hotel I reviewed. I spend 300+ nights per year in hotels, does it seem realistic to you to use points for all of those?

  10. @Wolfgang, Ticino /Tessin should be a separate trip. I preferred Lugano over the Lake Como area.

  11. In terms of booking travel you have great powers. In being a traveler you come across as the most helpless person on earth

  12. Totally agree with Donna. The town of Como is not Lake Como. It is just a town and you certainly wouldn’t get a feel for the region by staying there. Varenna, Bellagio and a host of other towns further north may have provided you with a more authentic Lake Com experience. And nothing beats the the Italian-speaking Ticino area of Switzerland nearby. Lugano on Lake Lugano and Locarno on Lake Maggiore are well worth visiting.

  13. Lake Como is a gorgeous place. You def. need to visit it again. My first stay there wasn’t that spectacular either. We had bad weather and the hotel wasn’t great either, but the next time we stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb, had a wonderful view of the lake and perfect weather. I instantly fell in love with the place and the small cities around it. Esp. during a hot summer, it’s great to be able to jump into a decently cold lake and no salt water.

  14. I stayed in a suite here and the hotel was wonderful. A little out of the way but for a Sheraton it was great.

  15. I hate it when guests leave tongs on platters with the handles touching the food, defeats the purpose!

  16. For 220 euros a night, this is rather pathetic. Especially given that the hotel isn’t actually on the lake. I’m guessing, however, it can get away with the rates because it is a conference hotel. Still, the decor is pretty pathetic. That’s why Sheraton is such a weak brand. Marriott really should unload it, along with its similarity outdated Marriott hotels, mostly in suburbs and corporate office parks.

  17. “The elevators at this hotel are so terrible. None of the buttons work properly…”

    Ha! Exact same issue at Sheraton Four Points Bolzano

  18. @Lucky I wish you would be a less passive in pushing for service recovery when things don’t turn out great. Of course things go wrong in travel, but when a major hotel chain doesn’t send a pre-booked car, I think you should call them out on it. Then your readers can make a better judgement on the hotel/flight or whatever, when we see if the organisation does make an effort to do some service recovery or whether they just shrug and reveal contempt to their paying customers.
    In a 2 star Ibis I wouldn’t expect anything more than a ‘sorry’, but in the 4 and 5 stars hotels you stay at, mostly they can, and should do better.

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