[Wide open 2024 availability] A return to the Hyatt / SLH Grand Resort Victoria, a dream inside a dream

Replace 10/12/23: A few readers reached out immediately to let me know that the Grand Resort Victoria has vast open availability for Summer season and Fall 2024 dates. Remember the fact that Hyatt might permit Globalists to e-book even should you don’t but have the factors in your account (you need to have the factors a minimum of 7 days upfront of your keep or your reserving could also be transformed to a money fee). Some readers have identified that this coverage doesn’t lengthen to SLH properties and that if an agent books a factors advance reservation at an SLH property, you’ll doubtless obtain an electronic mail inside a number of days indicating that you might want to put collectively the factors or cancel.

Final yr, in my preliminary assessment of the Grand Resort Victoria Idea & Spa, I wrote the next letter to my long-time location love, Hawaii:

Expensive Hawaii: Our love affair has been passionate and heartfelt for a few years and it doesn’t matter what I’ll all the time love you, however I owe you an apology. It’s not you, it’s me. You see, I’ve fallen deeply in love with Lake Como thanks in no small half to an SLH property known as Grand Resort Victoria Idea & Spa and issues will simply by no means be the identical once more. I hope I can nonetheless come to go to the Grand Hyatt Kauai and we might be buddies, however should you don’t see me for some time, it’s as a result of I’m again at Lake Como once more. I hope you’ll forgive me. -Nick

All of that has confirmed true. Final week, I returned to the Grand Resort Victoria Idea in Menaggio on Lake Como, Italy (and I haven’t been to go to the Grand Hyatt Kauai within the interim!). In case you learn nothing else on this publish, skip forward to the outline of the spa — and acknowledge that my photos don’t do it justice.

The Grand Resort Victoria Idea & Spa is a Small Luxurious Resort of the World that’s bookable with Hyatt factors. My first keep in 2022 was just one night time lengthy and I gushed poetic about it. This time round, we stayed for 5 nights….and it was even more durable to go away this time than final time. I hadn’t found the outstanding spa on our first journey and this time round we had extra time to walk Menaggio and I solely got here to take pleasure in it all of the extra. I mentioned it earlier than and I’ll say it once more, this time with extra expertise to again it up: you probably have any curiosity in visiting Lake Como, this place must be at or close to the highest of your listing.

A toast to the Grand Resort Victoria from the balcony of my barely upgraded room (from the bottle of prosecco that they appear to offer for each visitor).

Reserving & advantages

World of Hyatt Class 7

I booked the Grand Resort Victoria whereas it was nonetheless in World of Hyatt Class 6, although it has since moved to Class 7. That signifies that an award keep at this property prices:

  • 25,000 factors per night time off-peak
  • 30,000 factors per night time normal
  • 35,000 factors per night time peak

As room charges for normal rooms at this lodge throughout our week have been 1600 Euro per night time (about $1750 in USD), I wouldn’t count on a lot off-peak pricing if any. Count on to pay 30K or 35K factors per night time if you wish to keep right here. That’s a steep value, however it’s properly price it for what you get right here — and when you think about that you just might be able to get sufficient factors for 3 nights from a single new bank card bonus (and while you evaluate that to the money value of a spot like this), the worth can actually stand out.

Word that discovering availability is hard. You’re going to should hunt it out far upfront and in shoulder seasons. I acquired fortunate and a reader tipped me off once they discovered availability. I simply don’t assume this property takes many award bookings. That doesn’t appear altogether unreasonable while you learn the way incredible the place is, but it surely doesn’t make it much less irritating that discovering award nights is hard.

SLH advantages when reserving via Hyatt

The advantages of reserving SLH properties via Hyatt: All SLH bookings made via Hyatt (together with award stays booked with factors!) get every day complimentary continental breakfast, free wi-fi, a one-category room improve based mostly on availability, and early check-in (midday) and check-out (2pm) based mostly on availability. That is for all members, no matter Hyatt elite standing (and with no extra advantages prolonged based mostly on Hyatt standing).

Throughout our Instagram Reside, one viewer requested whether or not the entrance desk workers was conversant in SLH advantages when reserving via Hyatt. My first thought was that the workers at this lodge was so universally terrific that I wouldn’t anticipate having an issue with something.

That mentioned, the advantages of reserving via Hyatt are fairly easy and acknowledged to my information. I assume that each one company will get complimentary breakfast on the Grand Resort Victoria (and if that’s not the case, then I can a minimum of verify that we weren’t charged for breakfast). The breakfast contains fantastic pastries (and I’m not utilizing the phrase “fantastic” as a filler, they are fantastic), chilly cuts which might be sliced on a slicer subsequent to the buffet, eggs (scrambled are on the buffet, however you possibly can order eggs as you want them – my spouse acquired an omelet a number of occasions), numerous yogurts, cheeses, stewed tomatoes, baked beans, cereals, breads, hash browned potatoes, and extra. It wasn’t probably the most intensive buffet I’ve ever seen and it was principally the identical every day, however every thing tasted prime quality. You can too order espresso as you prefer it — Americano, cappuccino, macchiato, iced, and many others. That they had almond milk and soy milk on the buffet and a gluten free pastry every day additionally.

When it comes to an improve, I simply wouldn’t depend on one being accessible more often than not (a minimum of throughout the summer season) as I get the sense that this property is fairly steadily offered out or near it. In our case, we did get an improve this time to a room with a balcony, although it was a balcony with a mountain view relatively than a lake view (I’ve not gotten and wouldn’t count on a lake view room with out paying for it). The “upgraded” room was really a bit smaller than the bottom courtyard view room — they instantly pointed that out at check-in and provided to maneuver us to a courtyard view room if we most popular to have extra space. Because it turned out, I appreciated the structure of the balcony room for the reason that desk space was behind the mattress / sleeping space, which made it potential for me to work on the pc at night time from the room with out disturbing the household (which I solely did a few times since I used to be on trip, but it surely was useful these one or two occasions.

I by some means did not get an image of the desk space, but it surely was an extended desk behind that headboard, which was good since I might hold my brightness low and work again there with out disturbing my spouse and youngsters in the primary room. You may’t see it right here, however we had a rollaway for our 5yr outdated and a pack and play for our almost-three-year-old that featured a very plush mattress. This room wasn’t large enough for 2 rollaways, which they defined at check-in, however that was completely effective for us. They did supply us the choice of the usual “courtyard view” room with two rollaways.

We didn’t want the late checkout this time. Final time, we had no downside getting the late checkout. I count on that this property could be as accommodating as they might be in that regard.

I’ll additionally be aware that valet parking at this lodge is complimentary for all company. Once we arrived, the workers unloaded our automobile, parked it, and delivered our baggage to our room earlier than we even arrived in it. We by no means waited for our automobile — we merely known as down a few minutes earlier than leaving the room and it was there after we acquired to the driveway.

For extra photos of the usual room, see my earlier assessment of this property.

The Spa at Grand Resort Victoria is a dream

Dave Grossman of Miles Discuss had booked the Grand Resort Victoria for a similar precise week as I did, arriving a few days forward of me (that wasn’t deliberate, we simply each discovered availability for a similar week).

Final time, my household solely had one night time on the lodge. I’m not likely a spa particular person on the whole and I’d by no means have thought to convey my youngsters to the spa, so till Dave messaged me the day earlier than we arrived and talked about the youngsters hours on the spa, I had completely forgotten about it. I’m glad he talked about it instantly, as a result of this time round we made certain to test it out — and after going there the primary day, we went to the spa on daily basis of our keep. We really deliberate our days across the spa, and I don’t for a second remorse that in any respect.

You may not take my phrase for it on how good the spa is since I already admitted that I’m not likely a spa man. Some skepticism is truthful. Nevertheless, my spouse is a spa particular person and assures me that this place was very particular (and that the spa itself was extra spectacular than Miraval Berkshires, the place she just lately loved a day spa package deal), significantly since entry to the spa is free for lodge company — you do not want to e-book a therapy to take pleasure in the entire fantastic facilities the spa has to supply. Dave has additionally been to his fair proportion of spas and says that that is the perfect he’s ever seen.

As is usually the case with this property, pictures is not going to do the spa justice. Facilities embody:

  • A really giant indoor pool with many various kinds of jacuzzi jets managed by buttons you choose if and while you need them (some that come up from the pool flooring, some on platforms throughout the pool the place you could possibly lay down on the jets, and many others), a steady waterfall characteristic, a twin waterfall that comes out of the wall on the push of a button, daybeds, loungers, and many others. There’s additionally complimentary tea and a few wholesome snacks within the pool space.
  • A “smooth” sauna
  • A Finnish sauna
  • A number of “water paradise” showers with 4 various kinds of water showers underneath which you’ll stroll
  • Different spa showers
  • An ice bathtub room (which is freezing chilly and has a bench and a bucket of ice)
  • A minty steam bathtub room that’s stored at round 40-45 levels Celsius and 98% humidity
  • A “Mediterranean” steam bathtub room that’s stored at 45-50 levels Celsius and about 58% humidity (this by some means smelled much more scrumptious than the minty room)
  • An oil-infused rest room with lounge chairs and soothing smells and music (this had a lavender form of odor)
  • A “studying room” that had an extended steady fire within the middle and hanging chairs that have been so snug on one aspect of the room and loungers on the opposite (I noticed folks taking a nap on this room a number of occasions by the crackle of the hearth)
  • A salt room with loungers
  • A smaller indoor pool with jacuzzi jets that was a little bit hotter than the primary pool
  • A walkway with alternating highly regarded and really chilly water
  • A locker room with robes, slippers, and many others

Dave and I did an Instagram Reside from the property and I didn’t double-check this, however he mentioned that the lodge sells a spa membership for individuals who stay within the surrounding space — apparently, a 6-month membership prices 7,000 Euro. I don’t think about they promote plenty of these passes — although then again, summertime charges at this property can simply exceed $1500 an evening for the bottom room (the week we have been there, the bottom room was promoting for about $1750 an evening). As soon as once more, I didn’t get the sense that many company have been there on factors (Dave and I have been and I met a reader who was additionally!).

Listed here are some pics of the spa:

All the pool space had this cool blue lighting and enjoyable music There have been lounge chairs and daybeds across the pool for enjoyable.
The “smooth sauna” wasn’t fairly as heat because the Finnish sauna.
Sauna is sort of in style in Finnish tradition and this one was far hotter than the “smooth” sauna.
The ice bathtub was too intense for me. The bucket on the best was stuffed with ice, so the temperature within the room was clearly chilly sufficient to assist that should you wished to shock your system a bit.
The salt room was simply off of the pool and featured enjoyable music and chairs.
This room was only for quiet rest / napping. The hanging chairs on the best have been so snug that I’m fairly certain my spouse goes to hunt one down.
The Mediterranean Steam Bathtub. It was exhausting to {photograph} these as a result of, ya know, steam.
The common steam room smelled like mint / menthol and had coloured lights that modified. This may need been my favourite room.

Kids are allowed within the spa from 8am-12pm and from 2pm-3pm every day. That was very nice as a result of I don’t assume I’d have thought to convey my youngsters to the spa, however I believe it was a great expertise for them within the sense that they acquired some semi-quiet / enjoyable time every day. And the workers was nice — they discovered robes to suit the youngsters in order that they’d get the total spa expertise additionally.

The spa is open till 8pm. The closing time is my one criticism: I might have gladly run right down to the spa for some time after the youngsters have been in mattress, however given the later eating hours in Europe they usually weren’t in mattress earlier than 8pm.

Nonetheless, we have been glad to eat breakfast after which head to the spa every morning and benefit from it till 12pm, then head out to discover.

My spouse finally did e-book a therapeutic massage for our final day there. Surprisingly, she didn’t love the therapeutic massage (the truth is, she was fairly sad with it and possibly wouldn’t e-book one other therapy, although certainly YMMV by way of the supplier of the service). Nevertheless, the great factor is that you just don’t have to e-book a therapy to benefit from the services. I might severely think about spending most of a day within the spa — the lighting and music have been simply that enjoyable.

Menaggio, Italy

One of many city of Menaggio’s many beautiful streets to walk.

The city of Menaggio is beautiful. The flowers weren’t fairly completely in bloom this time round, however the city had no much less attraction this time round.

There are fountains and flowers and incredible mountain views nearly all over the place you appeared within the coronary heart of city.

Menaggio has a stunning middle sq. that’s a simple stroll from the lodge. There are two gelato retailers proper within the middle of city and you actually can’t go fallacious, although we have been a fan of La Fabrica Del Gelato, which is the “natural” place. Considering of the apple cinnamon gelato as I kind this sentence is making my mouth water (think about contemporary apple cider — not the stuff with a bunch of preservatives you purchase on the grocery retailer, however the stuff you get contemporary at a cider mill — in a creamy gelato type). There are tons of cute retailers and eating places and persons are typically very pleasant.

Looking onto the primary sq. with the gelato that rocked my world.

Since we have been managing the temperaments of two younger youngsters on this journey, we checked out the mini golf course which you could attain by strolling a pair hundred yards from the lodge. The course itself was bizarre — it’s all exhausting surfaces, no “grass” (or carpet), however the views are terrific as it’s proper on the lake. In case you’re going to get caught “taking part in” mini golf with a 2yr outdated and a 5yr outdated (who actually simply need to roll the ball round a bunch and attempt to kick your ball relatively than really play mini golf), you may as properly do it with these views.

Taking a seat subsequent to the subsequent gap on the mini golf course as we waited for the couple forward of us to complete up. The views have been incredible.

We additionally wanted to do laundry throughout our keep as we have been departing Menaggio on our ultimate day to go to Genoa and board a 10-night European cruise (one of many free cruises we’ve got gotten via on line casino matching). We discovered a self-service laundry that was solely about an 8-minute drive away. You do want money for the machines and they’re open from 7am-12am, however the machines seem like on a timer to close off earlier than closing time. I arrived with a load about an hour earlier than closing hoping to scrub (the shortest cycle was 31 minutes) and dry (you pay per 8 minutes within the dryer and 16 minutes had been sufficient to dry a load beforehand), however the washers have been already off. I do know that this gained’t be related for lots of people, however I embody it as entry to laundry is usually necessary to these touring with younger youngsters.

Lastly, the placement of Menaggio is superb. It’s maybe midway up the western aspect of Lake Como, a couple of ~40-minute drive from the city of Como (which is on the southern finish of the lake). I believe the placement in Menaggio is prime notch. Menaggio is a comparatively small city and you could possibly drive a number of miles in both path to take pleasure in different small cities. Alternatively, you possibly can take a ferry throughout the lake from Menaggio to Bellagio (about quarter-hour) or Varenna (additionally about quarter-hour). The ferry itself is definitely worth the experience simply to get the views of the lake as you cross. Bellagio isn’t stroller-friendly in any respect because it contains plenty of strolling up steep sidewalked hills should you actually need to see the city, although we loved strolling the manicured walkways simply reverse the primary city middle. Word that the ferry can be a automobile ferry so you could possibly take a automobile throughout, although parking is so troublesome that I wouldn’t assume it worthwhile.

There’s loads to like about this lodge

The Grand Resort Victoria is clearly high-end in a manner that I really feel separates it from many luxurious inns. It’s exhausting to explain precisely what separates it, but it surely contains plenty of small touches. As an illustration, the tables within the restaurant had little brass footstools. I didn’t instantly acknowledge what they have been for, however my spouse shortly did — they have been stands so one’s purse wouldn’t want to take a seat on the ground or the desk.

That’s only a small mark of the best way issues are thoughtfully designed on this lodge. I can’t inform you what number of occasions I’ve been at a lodge and had the other expertise, questioning “Does the one that designed X or Y ever keep at inns?” The Grand Resort Victoria appears to have anticipated visitor wants fairly properly.

And that extends to the workers — as soon as once more, I felt just like the workers did a wonderful job of anticipating our wants and being genuinely glad to assist with any request. The agent who checked us in checked on us a number of occasions all through our keep after we noticed her within the foyer, asking whether or not the house in our room was OK and customarily ensuring we have been having fun with our keep. Once we pushed the button for service, our room was cleaned by the point we returned from breakfast. This lodge is a smoothly-operated machine.

There was a piano participant on the patio each night time and the musicians rotated so it wasn’t the identical one and the identical tunes every night time. One night time it rained and so they moved the piano participant contained in the constructing on the entrance to the restaurant with a keyboard (clearly that they had contingency plans in place!). Restrooms had fabric towels for drying your palms after washing, after we ordered wine within the bar space they got here with a tray of olives and nuts to accompany it.

The bar on the lodge at night time. We stopped in a number of occasions for espresso or wine. The lodge has an in depth collection of alcohol — together with the Krug 2004 that we just lately sampled in ANA first-class (it was 590 Euro a bottle on the lodge) and Hibiki whiskey, although not the 17-year variant.

Whereas a lot of the facilities on the lodge, just like the spa and pool and full-sized toiletries in your room and so forth) don’t value something, these issues that do value one thing further aren’t low-cost. For instance, a bottle of nonetheless water at dinner (faucet water isn’t an choice) prices 9 Euro (and so they might open a second bottle with out prompting, so sip slowly). Dinner for my household of 4 with a glass of wine every for my spouse and I ran round $200-$250 with out dessert (and although I’m certain it was an trustworthy mistake, we discovered that they by accident charged us for 2 bottles of wine relatively than two glasses at one meal — a mistake they remedied by eradicating the cost for wine altogether with their apologies). Don’t count on to eat low-cost on the lodge, although that’s to be anticipated at a property the place company are paying $1750 and extra per night time. There are many very cheap choices a pair hundred yards away on the town. I don’t really feel just like the restaurant within the lodge is a must-do exterior of breakfast. It isn’t disappointing (and we had dinner there twice on this journey, already figuring out it will be dear), however by comparability the 4 of us had no hassle consuming in Menaggio (and within the city of Bellagio) for underneath $100, wine included.

If you wish to hear Dave and I chat concerning the place and reply questions, see the Instagram Reside that we did from the property.

Backside line

The Grand Resort Victoria Idea & Spa is my favourite World of Hyatt redemption thus far. I had gotten that impression with my preliminary one-night keep final yr, however after 5 nights this yr (and 5 days in a row having fun with the wonderful spa!), I really feel much more strongly about that evaluation. It is a particular place that’s definitely within the working for our favourite lodge wherever on the earth. Given among the wonderful upgrades we’ve gotten at locations like Domes of Elounda and the Grand Hyatt Kauai or the terrific stays we’ve loved at locations just like the Conrad Bora Bora and St. Regis Bora Bora, I believe it says loads about this place that it’s amongst our favourite inns on the earth even and not using a significantly particular improve. No property can have common enchantment since all of us have completely different pursuits, however in case you are a collector of World of Hyatt factors, I believe this can be a property that’s worthy of a spot in your bucket listing redemptions if it pursuits you in any respect. I might be excited to return and spend days on the spa and afternoons on Lake Como once more. We now have plenty of locations on the earth that we nonetheless need to see, so I don’t know once I’ll be again — however I definitely hope to be again once more to go to the Grand Resort Victoria and Menaggio.

Wish to study extra about miles and factors?
Subscribe to electronic mail updates or take a look at our podcast in your favourite podcast platform.

Leave a comment