The Italian lakes are both a scenic and idyllic holiday destination and with unforgettable views of crystal clear water, rolling mountains, vineyards and colourful historic buildings – these are just a few things that make the Italian lake district so special. Each lake has something very unique to offer especially when it comes to the luxury hotels that inhabit the shores, each with individual character and charm that is perfect for the ultimate summer getaway.
L A K E C O M O
Let’s take a look at Lake Como; one of the more well known Italian Lakes and running 28 miles in length, this spectacular lake is situated just 52 miles north of Milan and is surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty. Edged with small towns, Lake Como is also knows for its elegance and has been home to poets and artists alike in its long history.
Villa d’ Este was originally built in 1568 by architect Pellegrino Pellegrini as the summer residence of Cardinal Gallio and was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873 becoming a favourite destination for the European aristocracy. Today it remains as one of the most beautiful hotels on Lake Como surrounded by a 25-hectare park the hotel has 152 rooms to choose from each furnished with antique furniture and renaissance style. There are also four private villas located within the park for guests who prefer a more private, exclusive stay.
Amazing restaurants, bars, banquet halls, boutiques, the Chef’s garden, a refined Beauty Centre and the sports club equipped are all part of parcel of the Villa d’Este experience as well as tennis courts overlooking the lake, a jogging path and swimming pools including one floating on the lake. To find out more visit the website here.
The recently built Il Sereno Hotel is located next to the village of Torno and is 450 feet of simple elegance along the pristine Lake Como shoreline. The 30 spacious suites, ranging from 40 square meters in size to The Penthouse at 200 square meters, make full use of the natural light and awe-inspiring scenery with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the peaceful waterfront. The hotels restaurant Berton Al Lago is a Michelin star winning masterpiece. Set in a large outdoor terrace overlooking Lake Como, the restaurant offers artfully prepared regional specialities using only the freshest ingredients.
The property features a private beach, as well as a dock, allowing guests to arrive via one of the hotel’s boats, custom-built by Ernesto Riva. The 60-foot-long freshwater infinity pool suspended over the lake is without a doubt one of Il Sereno’s show-stopping features, and the large sundeck is perfect for spending a leisurely afternoon under the Italian sun. Vertical gardens and awe-inspiring sculptures can only be described as living works of art. Visit the Il Sereno website here for more information, or visit Silver Spoon for a more personal insight into Il Sireno and other incredible locations.
L A K E G A R D A
Just a 30 minute drive from romantic Verona, Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian lakes. Surrounded by small bustling villages and historic architecture this stunning lake is a must-visit destination.
Lefay Lago Di Garda resort & spa is quite frankly the place to visit if your holiday brief is to unwind in the midst of stunning surroundings. The resort is located in Gargnano in the heart of the spectacular and renowned Riviera dei Limoni and is surrounded by 11 hectares of natural park, gentle hills and natural terraces rich in woods and olive groves overlooking spectacular views of the lake.
The hotel has been designed to blend into the landscape to minimise visual impact on the surrounding scenery and prides itself on heating and cooling through clean, renewable sources such as biomass, cogeneration and solar panels, for a reduction in CO2 emissions. For more information on this environmentally friendly hotel visit the website here.
Grand Hotel Fasano is located 0.3 miles north of Gardone Riviera, a popular destination on the Western shore of the lake. Originally a hunting lodge built for the Austrian imperial family in 1888, combining the charm of the era with the comforts modern luxury. Overlooking the lake, it offers the peace of a charming location embraced by an ancient park for the relaxation of its guests.
The hotel boasts luxury especially when it comes to the rooms which are spread out over two buildings. The combination of Germanic and Italian style of the building is completely unique with original wooden balconies that overlook the lake and ornate plush furniture fill the spacious rooms. However, if relaxation is your goal there are plenty of ways to relax on site, including an outdoor heated swimming pool, an indoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool tubs, three saunas, two steam rooms and a glass-fronted gym offering lovely lake views. To find out more visit the website here.
L A K E M A G G I O R E
Lake Maggiore is the second largest in Italy in size but the largest of the lakes closest to the Alps (which is why it was given the name Maggiore). Geographically, it straddles two Italian regions, Lombardy and Piedmont, and a small part touches Switzerland’s Canton Ticino. Since the 19th century the lake has been one of the favourite destinations for wealthy families from big cities, as a result some of Italy’s most stunning villas now sit on it’s shores. The secret to Lake Maggiore’s success is its position just under Mount Rosa, a varied landscape, easy accessibility from both Milan and Piedmont, and a climate that allows the varied flora to thrive.
Villa E Palazzo Aminta is a quirky yet luxurious hotel positioned above the lakeside road only 1 mile from Stresa. Over the years, the hotel has been carefully restored to its former glory to ensure it provides the luxury expected of a five star deluxe hotel. Each guest room features antique furniture and so named as a tribute to the original owner’s wife.
Serving fresh local cuisine, the vibrant I Mori restaurant is set in a permanent gazebo giving diners the treat of an almost 360°c view out over Lake Maggiore. The hotel also has a nearby golf course, onsite spa and private beach to provide a comfortable and pleasant stay with a flare of old- world Italian charm. For more information on this delightful hotel visit the website here.
L A K E I S E O
Lake Iseo is located in Lombardy, northern Italy, between the larger and more famous Lake Garda and Lake Como. Like them, it is a long and narrow lake winding north-south and sheltered by mountains. It’s a more manageable size, however, and a great destination for travellers who have already visited and appreciated the principal Italian lakes, or simply for holiday-makers who prefer exploring off the beaten track.
L’Albereta is an ivy-masked villa perched on top of a vine-lined hill in Lombardy. Bursting with classic Italian glamour and boasting a superb spa, two wineries and impeccable service, it’s a haven for gastronomes and wellness fans alike. Let the award-winning Espace Chenot Spa cure your stress and aches, the local wine please your palate and the welcoming attentive staff take care of everything else.
A true gem of this hotel is the Cabriolet Suite, not only does it have a balcony facing Lake Isao for a beautiful view but it has a very special switch which opens up the roof to let the Brescian sun warm your king-size bed below. Whether you would like to rise to the clear blue skies with breakfast in bed or star gaze this is our new favourite hotel feature. For more information visit the website here.
Image Credits: 1, 2 & 3 Villa D’ Este, 4, Angie, Silver Spoon 5 Il Sereno Hotel, 6 & 7 Lefay Lago Di Garda resort & spa, 8 & 9 Grand Hotel Fasano, 10 & 11 Villa E Palazzo Aminta, 12 & 13 Credits for – L’Albereta (Stefania Giorgi, Fabio Cattabiani, Massimo Loda).