Top 10 best luxury hotels on the Italian Lakes

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (August 31, 2020): Top 10 best luxury hotels on the Italian Lakes

A must-visit destination on the bucket list of most discerning travelers, the world-famous Italian Lakes are as scenic as they are idyllic. There are five major lakes in the Italian lake district, from west to east: Lakes Orta, Maggiore, Como, Iseo and Garda. Lake Garda is the largest and also the most family- and water sports-oriented of Italy’s lakes. Lake Maggiore is ideal for history lovers, with palaces and islands to explore, while Lake Como is a celebrity hotspot with majestic villas dotted along its magnificent shores. Besides crystal clear waters, picturesque villages, and spectacular landscapes, this region also offer a wide variety of accommodations suiting all budgets; here’s my pick of the 10 best luxury hotels on the Italian Lakes.

There is more information (with review and YouTube clips) below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Leave a comment, or take my poll below!

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10. VILLA & PALAZZO AMINTA, LAKE MAGGIORE

With breathtaking views of Lake Maggiore and facing the Borromean Islands, Villa & Palazzo Aminta exudes an air of romance. Housed in a Belle Époque mansion from the early 20th century, the hotel was recently restored when its current owners purchased it. Guest accommodations include thirteen suites with lake views. On the top floor is La Borromea Suite, the jewel of the crown for VIP guests with private stairs and elevator and a private Jacuzzi pool overlooking the enchanting Lake Maggiore. The gorgeous lake setting, complemented by the Mediterranean-like gardens, also takes center stage at two gourmet restaurants, Le Isole and I Mori, the new Italian restaurant. The Palazzo Aminta Beauty & SPA offers exclusive programs to re-balance the body and soul.

VILLA & PALAZZO AMINTA, LAKE MAGGIORE


9. GRAND HOTEL FASANO, LAKE GARDA

The Grand Hotel Fasano is set within a lovely lake-side park filled with palms and banana trees. Located on the edge of the Dolomites, halfway between Venice and Milan, the property has welcomed guests with warm service since the 19th century. Once a splendid residence that served as a hunting lodge of the Austrian royal family, The Grand Hotel Fasano now offers a family-run oasis for travelers in an exotic setting. Rooms and suites impress with tasteful grandezza and warm cream hues that create an elegant lightness that encourages well-being. A day is well spent relaxing by the hotel’s pools, taking a stroll through the lush gardens, or enjoying an Italian meal with local sourced produce in the beautiful dining room underneath the original 19th-century ceilings of the residence.

GRAND HOTEL FASANO, LAKE GARDA


8. CASA FANTINI – LAKE TIME, LAKE ORTA

Nestled within charming little town of Pella on the lesser known Italian Lake Orta, Casa Fantini – Lake Time is an exclusive concept hotel with a peaceful, mystic aura that resonates from the lake. The property’s refined and contemporary design sits harmoniously amongst the old buildings of Pella. Ancient and contemporary design elements merge with balanced elegance, preserving their identities and languages. This dreamy, picturesque property is the brainchild of owner Daniela Fantini, who runs the hotel like an extension of her home – spaces are warm and inviting, the wine is made in the valley, and the food tastes like authentic home cooking. There are only 11 rooms, spread across a historic villa and contemporary addition, all of them decorated in muted color palettes and stylish furnishings.

CASA FANTINI - LAKE TIME, LAKE ORTA


7. LIDO PALACE, LAKE GARDA

The Lido Palace first opened in 1899 to rival the best hotels in Europe, only to become a legendary property in the early 1900’s. As one of the most striking locations on Lake Garda, Riva was chosen as the holiday retreat of the Hapsburg Royal Family, the upper middle class, artists and philosophers. After an accurate refurbishment, the Lido Palace’s liberty style has been brought back – restored, polished and enhanced by the contrast of resins, metal and glass. The hotel once gain is offering a discrete sense of luxury, contemporary designed guestrooms and suites with striking views of lake and surrounding mountains, two restaurants, a state-of-the-art Spa Centoundici (CXI), and two heated swimming pools.

LIDO PALACE, LAKE GARDA


6. VILLA CRESPI, LAKE ORTA

Just a few steps from Lake Orta, Villa Crespi is a spectacular property built in 1879. The villa’s arabesque architecture, stunning gardens and the hospitality of Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo and his wife Cinzia make a stay here magical. Antonino’s masterful cuisine is deeply influenced by the places and flavors experienced during his professional journey. His menu is an itinerary from southern to northern Italy, starting with a brochette of scallops and scampi and ending with pigeon and foie gras. From Villa Crespi you can contemplate a magnificent Italy, just 45 minutes away from Milan Malpensa: the medieval village of Orta and the Island of San Giulio, the famous site of Sacro Monte, and the Lake Maggiore.

VILLA CRESPI, LAKE ORTA


5. LEFAY RESORT & SPA, LAKE GARDA

Surrounded by natural terraces, woods and olive groves, Lefay Resort is a magical place with a superb spa at its very heart, together with delicious cuisine and comfortable, bright and spacious suites. Designed to blend in with the surrounding countryside, the 93 suites are a tasteful mix of warm olive wood, stylish oak furniture and bathrooms in Italian marble. Each one offers an amazing view towards the lake. Situated on 27 acres of parkland along the western shores of Lake Garda, this destination resort revolves around its guests’ total health and well-being. Lefay Spa is the exclusive temple of wellness, where body and soul are rejuvenated through the rediscovery of vital energy. Lefay Vital Gourmet offers a fresh, seasonal take on traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

  • Hotel website: Lefay Resort & Spa
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, one complimentary lunch or dinner for two, and $100 USD spa credit).
  • Review: read my review of Lefay Resort & Spa Lake Garda here.


4. MANDARIN ORIENTAL, LAKE COMO

With its unbeatable sceneries, understated luxury and unregulated beauty, guests at the Mandarin Oriental enjoy a rare sense of magnificent that will be discovered in every single minute of their stay on Lake Como. Mandarin Oriental’s first European resort plays steward to a lakefront botanical garden. Guests easily lose track of time wandering the landscaped pathways between the nine villas or lounging by the spectacular floating swimming pool. Water plays a central role at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como, blending East Asian philosophy with a Western approach. Italian cuisine comes with a twist at the fine dining restaurant L˜ARIA, while the CO.MO Bar & Bistrot is perfectly relaxed and informal; both restaurants offer panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding landscape.

  • Hotel website: Mandarin Oriental, Lake Como
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).

MANDARIN ORIENTAL , LAKE COMO


3. VILLA D’ESTE, LAKE COMO

One of the Italian Lakes’ iconic hotels, Villa d’Este occupies an enviable spot on Lake Como, amid 25 acres of luxuriously landscaped park. Accommodations are divided between two historic mansions, one dating from the 16th century, the other named after a Queen of England, where each room is uniquely decorated. Exquisite details include period furnishings, silk-brocade drapes, linen sheets, and oil paintings. But what keeps the loyal clientele returning time and again is the unmatched service. The gracious staff handles requests, from appointments for squash games to a private boat tour of the lake’s notable villas, with equal dedication. Guests also love the charming Beauty Center, as well as the “floating” pool that affords the most breathtaking views of Lake Como.

  • Hotel website: Villa d’Este
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and complimentary use of the minibar replenished once a day).

VILLA D'ESTE, LAKE COMO


2. GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO, LAKE COMO

Located in the heart of Lake Como, with unparalleled views of Bellagio, the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo is an authentic Art Nouveau palace offering the delights of a 5-star luxury vacation. With its 100 windows overlooking either the blue waters of the lake or the flowering greenery of the park, the hotel provides 75 rooms and 15 suites, including 8 exclusive Rooftop Suites. This historic hotel provides a comprehensive, multifarious array of comforts: 3 breathtaking pools (one floating on the lake!), lakefront classic-style lido, private Venetian motor-launches, a sublime spa, 2-hectares lush secular park including a floodlit clay tennis court and jogging path, and five different restaurants and bars offering the culinary art of the famous Italian Chef Gualtiero Marchesi.

  • Hotel website: Grand Hotel Tremezzo
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, 60 Euro spa credit, wine tasting, and complimentary entrance to Villa Carlotta and its botanical gardens).
  • Review: read my review of Grand Hotel Tremezzo here.


1. IL SERENO, LAKE COMO

Created by famed Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola, the all-suites Il Sereno is the best hotel on the Italian Lakes, featuring 30 oversized suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views. The hotel is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como. Decorated Milan restaurateur and Michelin star chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of this luxury hotel’s signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by Italy’s diverse regions. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular “green sculpture” art work.

  • Hotel websiteIl Sereno
  • Other accolades: Il Sereno also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in Italy.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of Il Sereno here.


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1 Comment

  1. I sincerely recommend : traditionally very useful information for unforgettable trip and relax ! Here is the real inspiration of Italy !
    Dear Friends and dear Fans !
    ✓Erasing any doubts make time to rest !
    *****
    Thank You so much dear The Great Expert for Your unique information !
    Sincerely Yours ,
    Vlado Orlandich.

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