Hotel da Mariuccia Information
Hotel da Mariuccia
Via Don L. Pozzi, 43
20020 Malvaglio di Robecchetto, Milano
Tel. 0331.875.546 (Fax 0331.876.133)
See room rates, pictures and updated information on the hotel's website: www.damariuccia.it
(In the upper right corner you can choose an English version)
The following information on this facility was initially provided by Mark Spezia several years ago. He is a frequent visitor to the area. Mark has stayed at this hotel on several occasions in over the last 10 years. Please check their site for updated information and pictures.
Location: The hotel is located in the little village of Malvaglio. Malvaglio is located between Cuggiono and Robecchetto, just a few miles from Cuggiono.
Reservations: The room price includes coffee and pastry in the morning. You can have your coffee at the bar, or you can sit in the dining room. The buffet table in the dining room will frequently have additional offerings such as juice, bread with a variety of spreads, and other pastry selections. It isn't a big breakfast, but it's enough to get you going. A nice dinner in the hotel restaurant was 12 Euros in 2001.
There may be rooms available on a walk-up basis, but I wouldn't chance it. You'll probably be pretty tired when you get there, and you don't want to spend your day driving around trying to find a room. Make a reservation. Specify the date and time of your planned arrival. Due to my inability to speak Italiano, I've always e-mailed a friend or relative in Cuggiono and asked them to make the reservation for me. If that's not an option, you can always send a fax message with your request. Be sure to give them a method of contacting you so they can advise you of room availability. UPDATE: I would suggest using their website to contact the hotel.
I'm not promoting this hotel over any other, but I've found it to be a good value. If you choose to stay here, I want you to enjoy your visit. To that end, I've tried to identify a few things that might require additional explanation. This hotel is fairly new. Its furnishings are basic, but it's clean, reasonably comfortable, and definitely affordable. None of the staff speak conversational English, but they've been very kind and we've always managed to communicate. The hotel is bordered on three sides by farm fields and there's a small horse stable and a corral in the back.
Checking in: There's usually only one person tending the bar and managing the desk. You may have to go into the bar to ask for your room. As in most European hotels, the rooms are normally not available until some time in the early afternoon. Check at the reception desk. They may be able to find something earlier. The receptionist will probably hold your passport until checkout. This is a common practice in Europe.
If your room isn't ready when you arrive, you may want to use the restrooms that are accessible from the lobby. There's a stairway across from the registration desk and the restrooms are downstairs. See the safety note below! The counters are large enough to accommodate your toiletry kit, so you can clean up a little before you head out to explore the area.
Energy conservation is very important. The hall lights are on timers so the halls are often dimly lit when you first arrive. The location of the light switches can be identified by a small amber light on the switch itself. Turn the light on and it'll turn itself off a few minutes later.
SAFETY NOTE: There is an elevator in the lobby. The stair steps and the hall floors are made of dark green marble. The steps are very difficult to see in low light conditions. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt the use the stairs until the lights have been turned on. The stairs to the lower level are especially dark! (I discovered this the hard way!) One other minor note about the floors. There are a couple of places where the floor ramps a little to make a slight elevation adjustment between different sections of the building. It's a small point, but if you're exhausted from a long trip, and you're shuffling along a dark hallway with a couple of heavy bags, it could cause a tumble.
Security: I haven't seen any thing that would indicate that security is a problem, but it's always best to be cautious. Property theft seems to have a sport-like quality in some parts of Italy. I have a suitcase that I can lock. I always put my things into it and lock it before I leave the room. The room doors at the hotel are quite sturdy and the door locks are excellent. Locking and unlocking the doors can be a little awkward though. The lock is a dead bolt and you have to use the key on both sides of the door. Two full rotations of the key are required to properly close and open the dead bolt. This is a fairly common type of door lock in Europe, but I've seldom seen anything like it Stateside. Once you've used it a couple of times it won't be a problem.
The hotel windows are covered by a heavy metal screen that's electrically raised and lowered by a switch on the wall next to the window. Closing the screen will completely darken the room at any hour of the day. It's a great feature for sleepy travelers!
Sound proofing is pretty minimal. Ask for a quiet room away from the reception area. (As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in a room directly above the bar and it's pretty noisy.) Heating has been adequate during the winter months, but I haven't stayed here during the summer. I can't comment on the effectiveness of the air conditioning system. (Don't come in August. Everyone's out of town, and many of the shops and businesses close for weeks at a time. The weather is almost unbearably hot.) The beds are no more than a mattress on a frame. They're not the most comfortable, but they're adequate for a few nights.
The following information on the Hotel da Mariuccia is provided by Mr. Tom Fortin who was a guest at the hotel in March of 2003.
We took Mark Spezia's advice and stayed at the hotel da Mariuccia. The hotel has been recently renovated and the rooms were very nice. The staff at the hotel was wonderful and it is just a very short drive to Cuggiono from the hotel. If you expect it to be the Hilton, you'll be disappointed, but if you go expecting the Red Roof Inn, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Take my word for it, the hotel is quite charming. It is much nicer than many of the other 3 star hotels we stayed in on our trip. The staff was especially friendly and helpful. I can highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the Cuggiono area. We were charged 90 euros per night (our stay was in March 2003) and that included all taxes and breakfast. It is immaculately clean, everything in the rooms was newly renovated; and although the rooms are simple and somewhat spartan by American standards, they are nonetheless quite nice. It may not have some of the luxuries you'd find in an American hotel like shampoo, mouthwash, alarm clock, etc., but what it does have is clean, new, and nice.
We were offered eggs and meat at breakfast. They were not on the buffet, but rather, Guerino or Mariuccia would stop by our table and ask us if we'd like some eggs and meat. They made the most delicious scrambled eggs with chunks of prosciutto ham mixed in. They brought a large plate of eggs, family style rather than individual plates, from which we served ourselves. Breakfast there was actually quite filling.
I was able to make my reservations through e-mail with the hotel.
Also worth noting, while the hotel da Mariuccia cost 90 euros a night (2003 price! Check current rates on their site), which to some may seem expensive, please note that it is one of the least expensive 3 star hotels we found in italy. For some unknown reason, hotels in Italy are extremely expensive relative to what Americans may be accustomed to paying, unless of course you are from New York City. If you have never been to Europe, I would strongly advise against staying in any hotel with less than 3 stars. Three star hotels are what most Americans would consider as a very basic hotel, and while many are very nice, they are often quite spartan. I would compare them to an Econo-Lodge or Red Roof Inn. If you go below 3 stars, you may find that the room does not have a bathroom in it, but rather a shared bathroom down the hall.
A word of caution for travelers with children; at this hotel and most others in Italy, at night, the television shows can get quite revealing and there is much nudity. You may want to be cognizant of this fact before you start flipping around the stations while your children are in the room. To those who haven't traveled to Italy before, you may want to pack a small travel clock, since many hotels do not provide a clock in the room. Most will give you a wake-up call, but it is nice to have a clock in the room anyway.