Lake Como holidays offer more than just awe-inspiring views. The picturesque setting is a landscape of luxury; here's where we'll be staying...

Words Helen Brown

Undoubtedly one of Italy’s most picturesque landscapes, Lake Como is a favourite for those looking for luxury. Surrounded by Alpine peaks and wooded hills, the area offers sporting activities, enchanting views and is a haven to relax.

WHAT TO DO?

An ideal starting point for Lake Como holidays is the town of Como itself. It’s a charming historic centre just waiting to be explored. Next take the sweeping road up to the charming lakeside village Bellagio. The grounds of the neoclassical Villa Melzi d’Eril await here along with dining at Terrazza Barchetta.

Villa Carlotta lies a short ferry ride from here. This palatial 17th century home boasts spectacular gardens. A trip to the southeast side of the lake is well worth a visit, not only for the scenic lakeside route down. Here you settle upon the historic town of Bergamo.  It’s home to the Duomo di Bergamo, the city cathedral and a mass of tangled, cobblestone streets. Also here are the Romanesque Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the grand Cappella Colleoni.

5 OF THE BEST PLACES TO STAY

GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO

This palatial hotel benefits from its prime location on the waterfront in Tremezzina, on the eastern side of Lake Como. It’s been in the ownership of the same family for 40 years and they done wonders at maintaining its exceptionally high standards. Along with bold, attractive interiors and awe-inspiring rooftop suites, Grand Hotel Tremezzo has an excellent spa. The restaurant – named La Terrazza – is reason enough to visit. It features a terrace overlooking the lake and is helmed by the one of Italy’s most highly esteemed chefs, Gualtiero Marchesi.

Rooms from around 740 EUR per night, grandhoteltremezzo.com

VILLA LARIO

This all-suite resort is impressively carved from the rock cliff, surrounded by gardens and free from the bother of traffic. It’s a real gem for those looking for sheer glamour and space from their Lake Como holiday. Looking to splash out? Book a stay in the Pavilion suite. It has enormous lake-facing arched windows and two bedrooms floored in French oak. The hotel gets bonus points for its 20m infinity pool, with its teak decking and surrounding lawns.

Rooms from around 400 EUR per night, villalario.com

VILLA D’ESTE

Villa d’Este has been one of Italy’s grandest hotels since opening in 1873. Originally built as a summer palace in the 16th century, the place continues to attract a star-studded guest list of celebrities, politicians and aristocrats. It boasts a gigantic waterfront terrace and floating swimming pool, and offers a spa, sports centre and water sports.

Rooms from around 720 EUR per night, villadeste.com

IL SERENO

This elegant yet relaxed hotel draws the eye with its interiors made from local wood and stone. It has floor-to-ceiling windows that deliver one of the best views of the lake. It also has an exceptional restaurant, serving simple Italian dishes with a contemporary twist. While you’re there, be sure to stroll by the vertical gardens which were designed by acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc and are truly spectacular.

Rooms from around 950 EUR per night, serenohotels.com

CASTADIVA RESORT AND SPA

Luxury joins with nature at CastaDiva Resort & Spa, which sits amid a green expanse on the lakeside. It’s one of the more romantic spots on Lake Como and offers first class spa treatments. Each of the 73 suites and rooms has a unique interior and there are private villas for those looking to push the boat out.

Rooms from around 1,205 EUR per night, castadivaresort.com

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