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One of the most spectacular lakes in Italy, and arguably the world, Lake Como’s sparkling blue waters are surrounded by manicured gardens, grand estates, emerald forests and jagged mountain peaks. A popular day trip from Milan, it has inspired a host of visitors, including George Clooney who fell so in love with it he bought a home there. The breathtaking region is filled with charming little villages lined along the shoreline, and there are some fabulous hotels and resorts too, including these.
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The Grand Hotel Tremezzo not only offers an idyllic location right on the lake, but it’s also home to Europe’s top spa destination, complete with a floating pool on the lake, water limos and a picturesque terrace where you can sip cocktails while enjoying the view. The spa has a heated indoor infinity pool and an outdoor whirlpool and offers al fresco yoga classes too. There are multiple restaurants and bars right on site, while rooms offer a variety of views, the best come with a view of the lake, of course.
Hotel Villa Flori lies on the outskirts of Como, set right along the shore. Located in a restored 19th-century villa it boasts elegant rooms with gorgeous lake views – some of which include private balconies. All have flat-screen TVs, minibars, desks, safes and free Wi-Fi. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast of hot and cold items in the morning as well as meals at the on-site Restaurant Raimondi. There’s a mini-spa too, complete with a sauna, Turkish bath, solarium, and TechnoGym fitness facilities.
Set within a turn-of-the-20th-century building, Albergo Terminus is a family-owned villa hotel that has unique rooms with Art Nouveau–style furnishings and more contemporary rooms and suites, many of which have lake views. All come with flat-screen TVs and minibars, while some suites feature kitchens and terraces. One of the only luxury properties in Como, it’s popular among White House delegates, sports personalities and singers. Within walking distance of the Duomo, it has its own Italian restaurant, seasonal terrace, fitness center, sauna and bicycle rentals.
Dramatically set on the southwestern shore of Lake Como in Cernobbio, Villa d’Este is a grand hotel that’s one of the world’s most celebrated, impressing guests since the 19th century. Oozing elegance, the moment one arrives, the gestures of old world hospitality are put into motion, while surrounded by plenty of sparkling chandeliers and stunning interiors. The building itself is immersed in a 25-acre park with a beautiful garden, terraces and statuary. The property offers tennis and squash along with a gym and spa, but many prefer just to relax and soak up the incredible view.
Hotel Belvedere Bellagio is nestled on a hillside offering gorgeous lake vistas, housed within a striking 19th-century building that’s been run by the same family over five generations. It boasts stunning tiered gardens that extend down to the lakefront and provides complimentary bicycles for discovering the local area. Ideal for families, it offers private apartments that come with two or three bedrooms along with stylish decor, kitchenettes and living spaces. The lake-view apartments feature furnished balconies for private dining with the lake as the backdrop. The on-site restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine with a gourmet twist focused on fresh, local produce that can be enjoyed with a wide range of Italian wines.
Relais Vita Vittoria has just a dozen rooms and sits in a tranquil location on the lake, ensuring a wonderfully relaxed stay. The grounds are gorgeous with grassy lawns that lead down to the lake, and there’s also a fabulous infinity pool set in a lovely courtyard with pine trees, flowers and stone columns. Take relaxation up a notch by heading to the lavish spa that offers a variety of Mediterranean, Oriental and Arabian massage, facial treatments, a Jacuzzi, steam room, and a nook to relax with lake views. Rooms are an idyllic mix of contemporary and historic, and there are a number of special experiences that can be enjoyed like private candlelit dinners and sunset boat cruises on the lake. Kayaks and bicycles are provided on a complimentary basis for exploring.
Mandarin Oriental offers plenty of luxuries on the lake, including rooms with lake or garden views, many of which have a furnished private balcony. The best suite comes with a private pool terrace. The big draw here is the spa, which provides massage in a natural stone cavern, a steam room, Turkish hammam and a variety of treatments like caviar facials. Dining can be enjoyed in two restaurants, indoors or out, featuring Mediterranean and classic Italian dishes.
The Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni sits right at the lake’s edge and is especially popular among those who appreciate delicious food and fine wine. It has two outstanding restaurants and three bars, all with unique atmospheres. As the only five-star hotel in Bellagio, you can expect plenty of special touches throughout. In addition to fantastic dining and drinking options, there’s a full-service spa, sauna, steam room, and both indoor and outdoor pools. Rooms are furnished in an ornate style and some come with lake views.
Casa Santo Stefano has somewhat of an Airbnb-style feel as if you’re in your own home. Staff isn’t available 24 hours a day, but you’ll get your own key to come and go as you like. It offers lots of privacy and included a swimming pool surrounded by lush greenery, which is ideal for peaceful relaxation. It has a small gym with cardio machines and a complimentary breakfast buffet with a lavish spread provided daily.
Vista Palazzo Lago di Como is known for its understated luxury. Rooms have polished hardwood floors, modern works of art and marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. Its on-site Ristorante Sottovoce and Infinity Bar have become increasingly popular as the hot spot in town, with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open up to a rooftop terrace. Its elevated location provides fantastic lake views, and guests even get their own personal butler who will attend to every need.