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A crystal clear glacial lake surrounded by forests and fields and with the imposing Alps as a spectacular backdrop, Lake Como has been attracting visitors since ancient Roman times. Its long, rich history, picturesque setting, and the warm Mediterranean climate have made the region famous throughout the modern world, attracting a well-heeled and glamorous crowd for over 100 years. One of the most popular tourism destinations in Italy, families can enjoy a relaxing stay in the beautiful natural surroundings, while couples can indulge in a romantic and cultural escape. Outdoor enthusiasts will be thrilled to explore the water sports, hiking trails and fishing opportunities available in the region. To cater to the annual influx of visitors, historic manors, ancient inns, and contemporary hotels offer a range of atmospheric accommodation experiences where old-fashioned service, antique décor, and modern amenities combine to create an idyllic Italian retreat.
Built over 100 years ago as an exclusive escape for the cream of the European high-society crop, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a luxurious and sophisticated lakeside destination. Guestrooms and suites are filled with opulent furnishings such as gold gilt bedframes, rich velvet upholstery, and ornate lamp fixtures, and they offer superb lake views from the wrought-iron balconies. The hotel features three swimming pools, including a floating pool on Lake Como itself, the tranquil garden pool surrounded by leafy trees and vibrant flowers, and an infinity pool located in the T Spa.
The T Spa offers private couple’s suites, hammam rooms, and beauty studios. Treatments include Turkish baths, steam rooms, ice showers, herb-infused body treatments, and Swedish, hot stone, and deep tissue massages. Five hotel restaurants and bars include the lauded La Terrezza, with signature dishes whipped up by Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi using only the freshest of seasonal local ingredients. Meals are served on a stunning elevated terrace, which offers unmatched views across the lake towards the town of Bellagio.
Best Budget: Hotel Olivedo
Situated in the town of Varenna, a short walk from the ferry and train connections and with uninterrupted lake views, Hotel Olivedo is a boutique, family-owned hotel filled with quaint charm. Housed in an Art-Nouveau building clad with a warm yellow exterior, guests enter via an attractive lobby lined with marble and featuring a chandelier and curved wooden staircase. The hotel's ten guestrooms are decorated in kitschy, homey décor, with floral-print quilt covers, wooden headboards, and colorful prints adorning the walls. Bathrooms are simply decorated with tiled floors and white porcelain fixtures, and in west-facing rooms, glass balcony doors open up to reveal views over the lake. Complimentary continental breakfast and home-cooked Italian dishes are served at the on-site restaurant, with an attached dining terrace for scenic alfresco lunches and dinners. The restaurants and bars surrounding the ancient town square of Piazza San Giorgio, the historic Villa Monastero, and Castle Vezio are all within easy walking distance of the hotel.
A recent addition to the wide array of boutique properties lining the shores of Lake Como, Il Sereno is a stylish, modern hotel that makes an eye-catching statement while still melding effortlessly with its historic surrounds. This synergy of old and new is nowhere more evident than in the full-service SPA, where historic stone walls alternate with polished Italian marble. Here, 30 guestrooms and suites offer expansive views through floor-to-ceiling windows and from comfortably furnished balconies. Furnishings are modern, minimalist, and designed for simplicity and comfort.
The Berton al Lago restaurant is quickly making a name for itself as one of the region's premier restaurants; it managed to snag a coveted Michelin star within its first year of operation. Guests can eat in the sleek dining room, on the alfresco arcade — with lake views framed by stone archways — or on a sunny terrace extending directly over the water. A large infinity pool and an adjacent sun deck make for a relaxing place to soak in the sun and take in the panoramic lake scenery.
Set on a hillside offering sweeping lake views, Hotel Belvedere is housed in a striking 19th-century building run by the same family over five generations. With beautiful tiered gardens extending down to the lakefront and the use of hotel bicycles for discovering the local area, families have space and privacy to explore and spend relaxed time together in a manner that can be hard to find in other more upscale hotels in the region.
Families can take advantage of private apartments which come with two or three bedrooms with double and single beds. The modern, stylish décor comes with just enough traditional accents to create a homey atmosphere, and the kitchenettes and living spaces make for a convenient and comfortable stay. Lake-view apartments come with furnished balconies where guests can enjoy private dining while gazing over the stunning lake backdrop. In the restaurant, classic Italian fare is given a gourmet twist with an emphasis on fresh local produce. Guests can dine in the natural lighting of the graceful dining room or on the adjoining alfresco terrace, and all meals can be accompanied by an extensive range of Italian wines.
With only 12 rooms in a quiet lakeside location, guests staying at the Relais Vita Vittoria are assured a relaxed and tranquil stay. Grassy grounds lead down to the lake’s edge and an exquisite infinity pool is situated in an atmospheric courtyard of stone columns, flower-covered trellises, and soaring pines. The spa contains a large Jacuzzi, steam room and a relaxation corner with lake views. Guests can enjoy a range of Oriental, Arabian, and Mediterranean massages, as well as aromatherapy and hot stone sessions and facial treatments.
Guestrooms strike the perfect balance between antique and contemporary, with linen window drapes, mottled beige color schemes, and hand-carved furniture lending an elegant and timeless air. A number of romantic experiences are offered by the hotel, including intimate private candlelit dinners under a jasmine-covered gazebo, sunset boat cruises on the lake, and custom picnic baskets for casual wining and dining in a secluded corner of the grounds. With complimentary bicycles and kayaks provided, guests can also cycle around nearby towns and countryside or take a paddle on the lake.
At CastaDiva Resort & Spa, a range of rooms, suites, and villas all feature unique décor but are typified by graceful furnishings such as delicately carved headboards, sumptuous velvet couches, and intricate antique furnishings. Guest accommodations come with garden or lake views, many with furnished private balconies. The top-end suite has a private pool terrace. The spa is a standout feature of the resort; it has unique and atmospheric treatment rooms created in a range of alluring styles, from the massage rooms in a natural stone cavern to the clear glass floor of the lounge and the swirling patterns within the steam room. There are also couple’s rooms and a Turkish hammam. Therapies include caviar facial treatments, almond oil and Himalayan salt exfoliations, and signature aromatherapy massages.
With both enclosed and alfresco dining terraces, the property's two on-site restaurants take full advantage of their premium lakeside location. The refined L’Orangerie serves delectable Mediterranean dishes and classic Italian cuisine is available at the Giardino Dei Sapori & Grill. The Bar Bellini serves snacks alongside hand-crafted cocktails, premium wines, and top-shelf spirits.,
With two superb restaurants and three bars offering distinct atmospheres, the 95-room Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is a paradise for lovers of good food and fine wine. The only five-star hotel in Bellagio, guestroom and common areas within the palatial villa building are filled with neoclassical touches. The flagship Mistral Ristorante is a Michelin-starred spot which offers guests the finest of molecular dining, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients on its indulgent tasting menu. La Goletta offers traditional Italian flavors in a warm and welcoming atmosphere of wood-paneled walls, hardwood floors, and subdued lighting. The gourmet pizzas and focaccias can also be enjoyed at the Bar Terrazza Darsena, a stylish alfresco terrace with gorgeous lake views, and from the casual beach bar, which is located next to the outdoor pool just steps from the beach on the lake’s edge. Alternatively, Verri’s Bar is a historic venue in which to relax on plush padded lounges and chairs while enjoying a refined ambiance and soothing live music. As well as the superb dining and drinking options, the hotel also features the full-service Spa Serbelloni, a sauna, steam room, and both indoor and outdoor pools.
One of the newest hotels in the Lake Como area, the Vista Palazzo Lago di Como is a marvelous example of understated luxury and superb contemporary decor that is sympathetic to the history and culture of the surrounding region. Guestrooms are meticulously and simplistically designed, with polished hardwood floors, finely-detailed rugs, and modern artworks adorning the walls. The bathrooms are a spectacular blend of glass, enamel tile, and polished marble, with deep soaking tubs and separate zero-entry showers.
The Ristorante Sottovoce and Infinity Bar are quickly building a reputation as the most fashionable places to eat and drink in town. The peaked attic ceiling and plush seating of the restaurant create a welcoming atmosphere, while floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a rooftop terrace. This elevation offers some of the best lake views to be found in Como. Alternatively, guests can choose to dine in the privacy of their suite, with a personal butler on hand to attend to their every need. In the nearby marina, a boat and a seaplane await to take guests on thrilling adventures either on or over the lake.
Best Lakeside: Villa d'Este
Having hosted royalty, film stars, and the well-to-do since the sixteenth century, Villa d'Este is a celebrated lakeside palace nestled on almost 25 acres of meticulously landscaped garden. Richly appointed guestrooms and private villas feature antique furniture and décor in a classic Renaissance style. The grounds contain tennis and squash courts and an excellent 18-hole golf course winding between oak and pine forests. On the water, a floating pool terrace sits directly on the lake, and sailboats and canoes are available for hire. Guests swimming in the pool or lazing in the gardens can take advantage of the light snacks and refreshing libations served at the casual sundeck bar.
When it comes to dinner, guests can retire to the refined enclosed terrace of the Veranda, where they can enjoy Italian-inspired dishes while gazing over the gardens. The Il Platano restaurant offers simple but sophisticated fare on the alfresco terrace with views over the lake and gardens. As well as the sun deck, guests can enjoy a beverage at the Canova Bar, a sumptuous and elegant space filled with marble columns, crystal chandeliers, and plush seating.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular Lake Como hotels. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different hotels and read over 80 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.