Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
Last month, I enjoyed an incredible holiday in Italy, my first trip since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. You can read my hotel reviews here:
- Review: Bellevue Hotel & Spa, Aosta Valley (Alps)
- Review: Il Sereno, Lake Como
- Review: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como (today)
- Review: Grand Hotel Portovenere, Cinque Terre
- Review: Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino
Today (September 2, 2020): Review of Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como.
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: Grand Hotel Tremezzo Lake Como
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
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 features 75 rooms and 15 suites, including 8 exclusive Rooftop Suites. This historic property 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. Boasting over a century of ageless allure and traditions, the family-owned Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a vintage symbol of Italian hospitality and a place-to-be to enjoy the flavor of real vacation.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels on the Italian Lakes.
Have you ever stayed at Grand Hotel Tremezzo? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Grand Hotel Tremezzo is located on the glittering shores of Lake Como (aka Lario), a fabulous travel destination located at the foot of the Italian Alps. The lake has long beguiled generations of visitors with mesmerizing vistas of deep blue waters, dramatic mountains, medieval villages, Renaissance gardens, and luxurious villas. From European aristocrats to Hollywood celebrities, it’s easy to see why Lake Como became their summer destination of choice. Shaped like an upside-down Y, the three arms of the lake converge at the village of Bellagio, often referred to as the pearl of the lake with its café lined waterfront and quaint cobblestone streets.
- The hotel enjoys a magnificent waterfront setting in Tremezzo, a picturesque village set in the mid-lake region, arguably the most captivating section of Lake Como. Exhibiting the elegance for which Lake Como is known, Tremezzo is set on the lake’s western banks and looks across the water to Bellagio. From the hotel, it’s a short stroll to Tremezzo’s most famous attraction, the 17th-century Villa Carlotta, which is home to impressive gardens planted with a variety of the rarest plants and trees. The hotel is also ideally located to explore Lake Como, since regular ferry services to destinations around the lake leave from nearby Cadenabbia (a 15 min walk away).
- The hotel is housed in a spectacular Art Nouveau palazzo, which has lived through over 100 years of history. Enea Gandola opened the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in 1910 to great public fanfare. A gentleman from Bellagio, Gandola spent many years traveling through Europe with his wife Maria Orsolini. Upon their return to Italy, they decided to build a truly unique hotel, inspired by those they had seen on their travels in European cities, a place of sophistication that would meet the needs of a new, illustrious type of traveler. To this day, the hotel remains a place to escape everyday worries in the glamorous style of Greta Garbo, who referred to the Grand as “that happy, sunny place” in the 1932 film ‘Grand Hotel’.
- A gold-and-glass elevator leads from the street level up to the hotel’s opulent, high-ceilinged foyer, where guests are met by a huge bouquet of red roses in vast vases and panoramic views of the lake waters, Bellagio and the Grigne mountains. Although the building is more than 100 years old, the bold decor feels surprisingly hip, modern and fashionable, especially on the lobby level, which also houses several stylish lounges, a gorgeous bar and a billiard room. Lavish candelabras, wooden floors, and displays of century-old antiques are complemented by vibrant red, fuchsia and lime green velvet armchairs, loveseats and canapés.
- The Grand Hotel Tremezzo features 90 rooms and suites, with views of either the garden or the lake and with contemporary decors that perfectly blend with the glamour and allure of the historic palace. During my stay, I was upgraded to the highest room category – a lovely rooftop suite – which included a bedroom with a king-size bed (dressed with the softest sheets I’ve ever slept on), a sitting area, and a spacious bathroom (equipped with deep soaking bathtub, walk in shower, and double vanity). The suite’s highlight was a private terrace with a Jacuzzi, which offered spectacular views of Lake Como; the terrace was a tranquil place to relax with a glass of wine after a day of sightseeing. The complimentary minibar is a great perk!
- The property features three awe-inspiring swimming pools: one pool – with infinity edge – is located inside the spa complex (more on that below); a second pool is tucked away in a secluded corner in the lush gardens; but the real star is the main pool which floats like an azure oasis on the lake’s deepblue waters. The floating pool is located in front of the hotel’s beach area, which features two rows of bright orange, ultra-comfortable sun loungers with a beach restaurant and cocktail bar at its center. With real soft sand underfoot and refreshing little splashes of water, you may be tricked into thinking you’re at the seaside.
- The hotel’s phenomenal spa is housed in the 18th century Villa Emilia (next to the main hotel building). The spa gently coaxes guests into a state of relaxation with multi-award winning facilities, such as a heated indoor infinity pool with five hydro-massage areas, which overlooks the lake. The spa offers hammam treatments and signature massages exclusively designed by Santa Maria Novella. Other facilities include a Turkish bath, Mediterranean steam room, sauna, emotional showers , ice fountain, panoramic relaxation lounge, mosaic-lined nail studio and hair salon, and a well-equipped gym spread over three floors.
- With five restaurants and bars, guests are spoiled for choice at The Grand Hotel Tremezzo:
- The fine dining restaurant La Terrazza is located on the lobby level, offering great views of the lake. The venue serves dishes by celebrated Italian Chef Gualtiero Marchesi, the founder of modern Italian cuisine.
- One floor below La Terrazza is the more casual L’Escale Restaurant. Housed in a renovated wine cellar with a charming veranda, the menu features traditional local dishes with a contemporary twist. L’Escale also doubles as a wine bar.
- Nestled in the gardens next to pool is T Pizza, an Italian pizzeria where pizzas are made from stoneground flour, fresh tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella by expert pizzaioli.
- Located on the waterfront is T Beach, famed for its open-air barbecue and exclusive champagne bar. The menu here is filled with grilled fish, meat and cheese, as well as gourmet panini and tasty salads.
- With chic and classy interiors leading out onto a charming lakeside terrace, the T Bar is the place to go for watching the sunset with a drink in hand.
- The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is nestled in a beautiful park. Spanning some 20,000 sqm, it is one of the largest on the lake, and not to mention one of the most magical. Dating back centuries, the land used to belong to Villa Carlotta and its spectacular botanic garden. The park is a true treat for plant lovers: rare magnolias stand beside leafy palm and banana trees; azaleas, tulips and geraniums mix with rhododendron and hydrangea in a blaze of pinks, reds, purples and blues. Ideal for a morning jog or afternoon stroll, picturesque footpaths wind gently up the hills, revealing breathtaking panoramas of Lake Como.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- The only downside of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s superb lakefront location is that the main building is separated from the floating pool by a busy road, although there is always hotel staff on hand to halt traffic when guests intend to cross the road (so it’s not really a big deal). Moreover, the wide variety of leisure facilities, the incredible service, and the impeccably maintained gardens at the back of the property make up for it.
- While the hotel offers an absolutely amazing experience, I was less impressed with my 180 euro dinner (5 course tasting menu; excluding 60 euros for the wine pairing) at the main restaurant La Terrazza. Although travel budgets come to die at Lake Como, this venue was considerably more expensive compared to some of the Michelin starred restaurants in the area. You pay for the exquisite setting and not so much for the food, which was excellent but not mindblowingly good. What didn’t help was that there was a wait of more than one hour between two of my courses and that the dresscode for gentlemen was randomly enforced (I was sent back to my room to change my bermuda shorts for long pants, while another party of men wearing short pants was welcomed by the same waiter without any problem).
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: 10/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 9/10
- Service: 10/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Overall experience: exceptional 9/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks at Grand Hotel Tremezzo when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, Italian wine tasting at L’Escale Trattoria & Wine Bar, 60 euro spa credit, and complimentary entrance to Villa Carlotta and its Botanical Gardens).
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Grand Hotel Tremezzo (and/or receive many free perks).
- Room tip: the entry room categories are on the small size, so try to book at least a deluxe room, or even better, a suite. Also, half of the rooms look out over the garden, with the other half enjoys an open view of the lake, so do your homework before deciding in which room to stay. To have your every whim immediately catered to, stay in one of the rooftop suites, which come with decicated butler service and outdoor Jacuzzis.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Lake Como is between April and October, when warm temperatures and mostly sunny days. The territory is characterized as having a subcontinental climate, with cold winters and muggy summers; humidity is particularly high through the whole year. July and August are the hottest months and the best time for going to the beach and enjoying the cool breeze. In addition, water temperatures are ideal for many sports. July is also one of the driest months of the year. The best spring and autumn months to visit Como Lake are May & June and September & October, when temperatures are mild but sometimes there are days with torrential rains.
HOW TO GET THERE
Grand Hotel Tremezzo is easy reachable by car from Milan, from the Swiss border and from all the most important international airports of the area: Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Bergamo Orio al Serio and Lugano Agno.
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