Overall, this was a most enjoyable holiday. Lovely scenery and generally good organisation from Riviera Travel. Frederica proved to be an excellent tour manager for our party of 28 people, who all got along really well.

We were a little unlucky with the weather – it rained quite a bit, although not as badly as the forecasts would have you believe. Having so many mountains around will always make the weather hard to predict with any accuracy. It was certainly changeable, but temperatures remained in the low 20s at least.

The hotel was a little disappointing. We had paid for an upgrade, which, given reports from other members of the party, was a smart move. We had plenty of space, a decent balcony and a great view of Lake Maggiore. However, it was showing its age. Old furniture, cracks in the plaster, rather shabby and outdated décor and an inflated sense of its own importance gave a rather negative vibe. As a classic art nouveau hotel, it must have been magnificent in its day. It needs significant investment for today’s market.

The food wasn’t great, either. Too much of it, and rather mediocre for the most part. It’s a large hotel, geared to tourist groups and business, so personalised menus were at a considerable premium.

We felt a little rushed at times. We would also liked to have seen a lot more of Lake Como. My recollection from childhood was of a really beautiful lake, but we were stuck in one narrow leg of it when we visited.

The overall experience was generally better than our outing with Saga in Spain earlier this year. However, we’ve now tried both, so can’t be accused of not trying.

So endeth another adventure, albeit a fairly modest one. Next up is a trip to Thailand in mid-November. Assuming the stars align for us, I hope you’ll join us for that.

Bye for now.

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