Magic in Italy Hotel Review: Hotel Ideal

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Trip Report Index:

Getting There
Hotel Review: St. Regis Rome
Hotel Review: Hotel De Russie
Visiting Rome
Hotel Review: The Westin Europa & Regina
Visiting Venice
Hotel Review: St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace (previously reviewed)
Hotel Review: Hotel Sirmione
Day in Sirmione
Hotel Review: Hotel Ideal
Night in Verona
Lake Idro
Lake Iseo
Lake Maggiore
Hotel Review: Sheraton Milan

The Hotel Ideal prides itself on being a family run establishment that caters to families. Across the drawbridge to the peninsula of Sirmione, up some dusty winding roads we suddenly came to the hotel’s gates.


Parking the car was easy in the lot just in front of the hotel.


Some steps led up to a patio but the lobby was straight ahead under the hotel’s name.


I wasn’t so sure about the appearance of the hotel. There were bars on the window which didn’t seem like a good sign.


The lobby was cheery if a bit kitchy with its bright red sofa, but it was clean and had an inviting feel. I figured the window bars were probably just a precaution.


The hostess at the front desk was busy behind the desk but there was no one else in the lobby. After waiting for a bit she acknowledged me and started the check-in process. I asked for a quiet room with a view, she assigned me a corner room on the third floor and said that I’d have great views of the lake as well as of the pool. Sh gave me a rundown on the property since I hadn’t been there before, and the key fob I was handed looked like a small buoy. It was bulky enough that I wouldn’t accidentally misplace it in my belongings during my stay.


I had the option to take the gracefully curved staircase but instead chose the elevator which was just large enough for both of us and our luggage to squeeze into.


The room was simple but had all the things I needed during my stay. The room was decorated in soft blues and greens, reminiscent of the lake.

There was a place to put our luggage while unpacking and a chair near the windows.



The bed was comfortable enough. Small reading lights were affixed to the headboard with a handy switch just below.


Bedside tables were positioned on either side of the bed, along with soft powder-blue rugs.


The bathroom was spotlessly clean, and even though the sink didn’t have any counter space the mirror had a shelf just below. The window opened onto the outside patio space, which was a good way to get some fresh air circulation.


There was a bidet, and the toilet flusher was up on the wall.


The shower water pressure was good, and the adjustable height meant I wasn’t stuck under a stream of water meant for a child.


From the bedroom I could immediately see the view from any spot.


The views were spectacular. I could see the grottoes of Catullus, which are actually the ruins of an impressive ancient first century Roman villa. Surrounded by olive trees, there are 3 levels in the villa and you can spend a good couple of hours exploring. There’s also a museum right at the entrance to the grottoes with jewelry and fragments of mosaics and items found during the initial archeological dig. Note that the Grotte di Catullo is not open on Mondays and bikes/strollers are not allowed inside.


I could see across the lake, and also had a good view of the pool down below. There were occasional shrieks of laughter from kids playing in the pool, but with the sliding glass doors closed I didn’t hear anything.


The corner room was a good choice, and the balcony wrapped around two sides. The other room balconies weren’t really separate, but were blocked off for each room.


Many of the balconies had towels and clothes draped off the sides from daily trips to the beach or pool, and there was even a clothesline of bathing suits on one. During my stay I also got the feeling that many guests were staying for a lot longer than I was, perhaps on holiday for a few weeks.


After unpacking and enjoying the view for a bit, I went downstairs to check out the rest of the property. There was a patio area off to the side that was popular at lunchtime.


A path ran alongside the hotel that went straight down to the waterfront.


The pool was just a few steps away from where breakfast would be served in the morning.


As the sun started to set, the pool area quieted down and the pool took on a calm glassy appearance.


Sunset over the lake was gorgeous.


The pool at sunset looked pretty too.


Evening sunset.


In the morning I went to check out the breakfast area.


Adding to the relaxed feel of the hotel were several fun items that you might find in someone’s home, like this ship.


The breakfast area had plenty of seats.


There were also little areas where people could sit and talk without staying in the main breakfast room.


More seating.


Some hotel breakfasts in Italy have a lot of packaged breads and crackers. Not Hotel Ideal. There were plenty of fresh bread loaves, along with a whole table full of quiches, breakfast pastries and cakes.


There were fresh fruits and housemade yogurts.


Bottled juices came in an array of flavors.


A table held the empties, and shortly after I took this picture a staff member came and cleared them into a recycle bin.


The sliding glass doors were open to the patio, and since it was a nice day I decided to sit outside for breakfast.


I carried my tray to a little table right next to the railing, and enjoyed fresh air and lake views while eating.


After breakfast on the way back to the room I noticed that there was a bar area for the evenings. The prices were reasonable and the bar area felt like I was in a time warp back to the 60’s.



The room was comfortable and clean and the pool was refreshing. The proximity of the lakefront and Grotte di Catullo was great and check-in went well. A couple times I had questions and the staff was not readily available in the lobby. The only real drawback to this hotel was that once I’d seen the ruins the location was too far away from the main shops and restaurants so instead of walking around we ended up driving back into town.

Hotel Ideal

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Good To Go

+ Corner room had great views and large wraparound balcony
+ Entrance to Grotte di Catullo ruins is very close
+ Clean swimming pool and short path from hotel leading right to lakefront for easy access
+ Staff is friendly and welcoming

Good To Know

- Too far to walk to all the shops and restaurants in town

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 3.5/5 Magic Stars
  1. Denise L

    I may have missed this in your previous posts, but why did you stay in 2 different hotels in Sirmoine – Hotel Ideal and Hotel Sirmione? Just curious. We are frequently in that area so I appreciate the reviews of both!

    • Melinda

      I usually stay at Hotel Sirmione but this time it was fully booked for all the days I wanted. This way gave me the chance to try out a new property too. Thanks for reading Denise!

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