With spectacular scenery and no end of grand waterside palazzi, Lake Como is perfect for a holiday with a touch of luxury. Earlier this year, I accompanied a few of our Italy Experts on a fact-finding trip to Lake Como, and took the opportunity to scope out the area’s best luxury hotels. While they all had their own distinct personality, one thing they had in common was exceptional service – from the warm welcome on arrival to the attentive service at dinner, these hotels really know how to spoil their guests. Ready for your luxury escape? Read on to find out more about three of Lake Como’s most luxurious hotels…
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
What you can expect: Dating back to 1850, this Belle Epoque beauty has a very old-world feel to it. Breakfast is served in a grand ballroom, beneath a painted ceiling and 19th-century chandeliers, while next to the spa you’ll find a tiny museum showcasing old photos and letters from the hotel’s long history. Rooms feature high ceilings and Murano glass chandeliers, and the restaurant count includes a Michelin-star venue serving daring molecular cuisine.
Personal highlight: I loved the location of this hotel. It’s in the heart of chic Bellagio, just a minute’s walk from all the lovely boutiques and wine bars.
Top tip: Order the ice-cream at Mistral, the Michelin-starred restaurant – it will be made at your table using liquid nitrogen.
What you can expect: A former palace set in immaculately landscaped gardens, Villa d’Este is as grand as they come. It’s set directly on the waterfront in the little town of Cernobbio; the swimming pool floats out on the water and is an incredible place for a few laps. Bar and restaurant terraces run alongside the lake, while indoors there’s a fabulous spa.
Personal highlight: The bedrooms – they feature painted ceilings, antiques, luxurious drapes, chandeliers and marble bathrooms.
Top tip: Try the sparkling wine – it’s the hotel’s own label and is delicious!
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
What you can expect: Although it has 100 years of history, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo feels surprisingly young and contemporary. The sleek spa has an infinity pool with a glass wall to enjoy the lake views; the man-made beach plays host to summer parties when the weather’s good, and there’s an al fresco pizzeria and cosy wine and fondue bar as well as the formal fine dining venue.
Personal highlight: Dinner at La Terrazza restaurant was really special. We enjoyed saffron rice with an edible gold garnish and lobster in pepper sauce with incredible views across the lake to Bellagio’s twinkling lights.
Top tip: Villa Carlotta is just next door – and the hotel has taken its cue from their famous gardens. Have a wander behind the hotel and you’ll discover a 20,000-square-metre park filled with magnolias, azaleas, hydrangea and rhododendron.