Hotel Crimea

, Chiavenna, Italy
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Hotel Crimea

, Chiavenna
3 star

Rooms: 30

Viale Pratogiano 16 - Chiavenna - 23022 - Italy 34334343
14 Traveller

Reviews - Hotel Crimea

9/10
A great location for a midwinter break in the Alps
Submitted by: Barbara and Peter in 07/01/07
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
For several years we have avoided the post Christmas blues by flying out to Milan from the UK on boxing day and returning just after new year

Generally we hire a car for a day and last year headed up past Lake Como to Chiavenna, a historic alpine town at the foot of the Majola and Spluga passes

We liked the town so much we decided to stay there for several days over new year 2006/2007

It was not particularly easy to identify any hotels in the area but this website did throw up several names and phone numbers and eventually I contacted the hotel Albergo Crimea by the simple expedient of ringing them up from the UK and a booking was made for 3 nights by exchange of faxes

In fact the hotel does have its own web site but it is rather crowded out by the websites which act as booking agents, if you search for Chiavenna hotels although the hotel web site is easier to find if you search against the name of the hotel

We eventually rolled into Chiavenna in our rental car on the 30th December

The old mediaeval centre has been by passed but the hotel is not difficult to find provided you take the appropriate right and follow the direction to "Centro"

The hotel turned out to be a modern chalet style hotel built on a cobbled street with a steep rock face to the rear and a small park and car park at the front which on the day we arrived had been taken over by the local market

My initial impression of the hotel was how new looking and clean everything was with masses of light coloured wood

Our room was a single room with a second bed added and a balcony and obviously the usual en suite facilities in this case a shower and bidet

The focal point of the hotel was the dining room at first floor level no doubt to afford the best view of the snow capped mountains which tower above the town

We had the half board package which included a buffet breakfast with plenty of choice, and an evening meal with a choice of several starters, main course and for a modest extra price a sweet

This seems a town little touched by international tourism and so far as I could determine the clientele were entirely Italian but we had help in translating the menu from Matteo, a waiter who could speak english

The food was excellent...hearty pasta starters,meaty main dishes and delicate sweets which took account of the environment..the alps in winter yet seemed to be produced by and for people interested in and discerning about food

Yet the cuisine remained essentially Italian lacking the stodginess of Swiss and Austrian cuisine we have encountered

Our package included the so called St Silvestro dinner, a special new years eve meal comprising 7 or 8 small courses including such things as cheese souffle, home made ravioli with lobster filling, baby lamb chops with mint marinade and a cut of beef with a kind of mushroom paste and tea sauce!

So what is there to do in the town?

Well, the town is clearly very old and bears further exploration

The church bell tower is dated 1597 and dates back to the days of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth the First

It also makes a good base from which to explore the delightful towns on Lake Como

Above all though it is about one and a half hours drive (for us at least) from St Moritz with the excitement of a drive over the Majola Pass

At first the climb is gentle but beyond the Swiss border the hairpins get more numerous and steeper and seemingly endless but the road has been engineered to cope with buses and the climb is worth it..suddenly you reach the top at about 1800 metres and enjoy the novelty of driving along in company of shoals of langlauf skiers following the tracks by the road under a deep blue sky

The expression - friendly ambiance is one much loved by hoteliers and sometimes is rather hollow but we feel it is justified in the case of the Albergo Crimea and we look forward to returning
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