Already a working trattoria in the early 19th century, the restaurant was transformed in 1893 into the Trattoria and Inn della Barchetta, run by Pasquale Zaffaroni. Over time, it established itself as the best restaurant in town, offering risottos, roasts and the typical al Barchetta trout.
Several years later, the harbour area was infilled and turned into the present-day Piazza Cavour. The restaurant was expanded and became Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, whose bar very quickly became a favourite meeting place in the city.
In 1995, the Hotel Barchetta was acquired by the Villa D'Este group, which refurbished the building and added an adjacent structure to increase the accommodation available to 84 rooms.