L’Albereta, Relais & Chateaux
What We Love
- World class medi-spa designed by the editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest Italy, with treatments from French wellness master Henri Chenot
- The 19th-century villa’s hilltop setting, surrounded by vineyards and overlooking untouristed Lake Iseo
What To Know
- Access to the Henri Chenot spa costs $33 per person
- While the hotel can arrange bike rental and car service, if you really want to explore the area, you’re probably best off renting a car
- Except for the spa, the decor, while charming and frequently refreshed, does tend toward the traditional
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This ivy-covered, salmon-hued, terra-cotta-tiled villa exudes rural-chic charm. A conservatory-like entrance hall, all glass walls and botanical prints and paintings, gives way to an open-hearthed lounge and a cream-colored breakfast room filled with natural light. Beyond, the cozy Library Lounge bar and Music Room are done up in shades of deep orange and burgundy, with gently vaulted whitewashed beam ceilings and endless views all the way to Lake Iseo, six miles away.
Bed and Bath
The designer daughter of the villa’s owner has decorated all 57 rooms and suites individually, and many have recently been updated. Nearly all have balconies. Flowing curtains, antique furniture, hardwood floors, marble inlays, hand-painted wall details and prints, stripes and plaids combine to create a comfortable blend of traditional styles. In the marble-decked bathrooms, amenities from the fashion brand Etro await, as do separate soaking tubs and showers in most rooms.
The oenophile offerings at the Library Lounge, include reds, whites and bubblies from the owner’s wineries here and in southern Tuscany (some of the grapes can be seen growing in the vineyards right around the hotel). The spa, meanwhile, combines methods Western and Eastern, medical and therapeutic, dietary and aesthetic, according to the designs of Henri Chenot, a French wellness innovator who has a handful of outlets around the world.
How to Get There
We stayed 4 nights here, on the recommendation of a friend who is a regular visitor. He asked the hotel to book 2 rooms for our family (2 adults and 2 kids) and we thought we would be looked after. But unfortunately when we checked in Friday night, we were given surely the worst rooms in the hotel (25 and 26) down in the basement, with a tiny balcony and no view.
Next morning we were woken around 7am by the laundry van, returning clothes to an entrance next to our room. The engine was left running while big trolleys rolled by, all next to our window. Later room 26 was infested by ants - which were removed after we complained - but had returned again by that evening.
By now we were frustrated and at least on Monday (when the hotel was no longer full) we were moved to much better rooms (9 and 2). This is a different experience, and as other reviewers have noted, the lottery of room allocation matters more here than at most hotels.
Still, for a hotel with these prices, we can still pick holes. The rooms only have showers in the baths, not separately. There are no coffee machines. The chairs on the balcony, and elsewhere through the hotel, are iron based and uncomfortable. So you can’t relax easily outside your room and read a book.
We borrowed the 4 bikes outside to ride to Iseo, which was a great feature, but it rather sums up the management’s attitudes that these bikes do not appear to have seen any oil for some years.
The final frustration was when I arranged a transfer back to malpensa, and was quoted Euro 260 for a 1 hour 15 minute journey. The hotel said they could not help more. I did a quick Google search, found a local company, and with one phone call arranged the journey for euro180.
The breakfast buffet is perfectly serviceable, but small and lacking delights. The same selection is presented every day, with only three cheeses on offer (one is processed), no live stations, and tiny amounts of fruit. The staff don’t smile.
The food and wine here is awesome, we enjoyed the fine dining restaurant twice, as well as the onsite pizzeria. Both are world class. And of course the gardens, vineyards and wines are to die for. So all was not lost, but we leave feeling the problem here is the GM, who appears simply unwilling (or unable) to drive his team to ever higher service levels.
Zero customer service and zero willingness to accommodate my need to have breakfast at 7:15 instead of 7:30 - the lady at the reception didn’t even offer a coffee and simply said “NO NON SI PUO, IN ITALIA COLAZIONE APRE ALLE 7:30” (no, we can’t give you breakfast before schedule). Is this the kind of service you get from a luxury stay? I had to leave at 7:15 for a business trip and simply asked for some food before departure to complete the stay, since I paid for it! Not happy! I DO NOT SUGGEST THIS PLACE.
Luxury 5 stars resort in Erbusco (BS), beautiful location in a botanical garden, near Iseo Lake with three very good restaurants, very nice rooms and different types of suites, offers you also the possibility to relax in the wonderful Espace Chenot with all his services. Excellent.
My spouse and I stayed 3 nights in March 2019. An easy hour’s drive from Verona, we arrived before check in time of 3 pm.
The hotel is a beautiful ivy covered red brick building, in chic country style, beautiful interior decor and just stunning greenery all around. First impressions were great, and it felt wonderful to be here.
We headed to the reception and was welcomed by Melinda. Our bags were taken in, and the porter valet parked our car in the covered secure carpark. Check in was done swiftly and we were informed a room was available for early check in.
We were shown to a newly refurbished room on the 3rd floor of the main building. It’s a cosy beautiful room in rich chartreuse fabric and canopied bed, but ceilings were low and windows tiny. We asked to see an alternative, and we were shown to another room on the 2nd floor. So take note, all the rooms are different, ask to see an alternative if you’re not sure.
The size difference in the same category is vast. The second room was decorated in antiques and it was almost twice the size. Large sofa and armchairs, generous wardrobe space, huge windows that open out into lovely expansive views. Bathroom was spacious and had a separate shower and whirlpool bathtub. Generous toiletries, fluffy robes and bedroom slippers. Bed is king sized and incredibly comfortable. Only issue we had was that the air conditioning was turned off and we were informed would only be turned on a month later so we had to make do with open windows at night or it was far too warm. Air conditioning should be made available no matter the season, given the prices of the rooms.
Housekeeping standards are top notch. Sparkling clean, and consistent. Bottled water was supplied everyday, and replenished at night.
We made our way down for a late lunch at Vista Lago. Beautiful views, it just invites you to slow down, do absolutely nothing and linger over a bottle of Bellavista Franciacorta, made by the owners of the property.
We had booked our rooms through an agent and our booking included a complimentary welcome bottle of wine and fruit basket. Interestingly, these never arrived.
Breakfast was included in our room rate and this was served in a charming room behind the reception. This was plentiful and enough to start the day. Prosciutto di Parma carved fresh. Freshly squeezed juice is included but never voluntarily offered to us. You have to ask. I subsequently realized there was also an egg menu but we were never offered. This seems to be the trend in this luxury hotel.
Someone mentioned in another review that service was lacklustre. I’d have to wholeheartedly agree. No one was rude, but mostly disinterested. No one bothered to ensure you have everything you need during the stay. We were never asked if we wanted any suggestions on what we can see or do in the area. I quickly learned that I had to ask specific questions, some answers of which were oh I don’t know, you can find it online. This being a relais et chateau property, I find that kind of response disconcerting. What took the cake (literally) was my husband had made arrangements for my birthday to be celebrated. My husband’s requests were either simply disregarded or no one could be bothered or they plain forgot. In the end, my birthday was never acknowledged, nor were his requests carried out. A first for me in my many years of travel. We didn’t expect freebies, my husband fully expected to be charged for his requests, but it still wasn’t done. Only upon check out when I mentioned the oversight was a bottle of wine taken off our bill. That completely missed the point, the damage was done.
This is an absolutely beautiful property. It’s tranquil peaceful and inviting. Interior decor is warm, elegant insanely chic. Housekeeping standards are top notch. Unfortunately service staff are almost begrudging in the way they treat guests. The lady who goes around lighting candles for the evening must be the most brusque hotel staff I have ever met. There is just one nice gentleman who bothers going around greeting guests, and one young lady at breakfast who warmed up to us after our second day. But generally, this is not a particularly friendly or welcoming hotel. Such a shame that the service you receive is an absolute let down for such a beautiful property.
We stayed at the hotel for a week having reserved the Detox Package
The programme was ideal. The staff were very friendly and efficient and ensured we were very comfortable during our stay.
The rooms are very comfortable as are all the other facilities. We clearly couldn't try the different restaurants/bar as out of bounds but we were well looked after under the Detox regime
There was a little bit of inconsistency with the food offer and the temperature of the food but we achieved our desired results