Romance is a testimony to hope and the eternal. So often we try to express our love for each other––but how gorgeous it is when we can just feel it, maybe not uttering a word.
The destination where romance is about the eternal.
Romance is a testimony to hope and the eternal. So often we try to express our love for each other––but how gorgeous it is when we can just feel it, maybe not uttering a word. Enjoy taking your loved one to this place on Lake Como, one of the world’s fairytale hotspots for amore. Speaking of fairy tales, most of these enchantments turn into pumpkins in the winter months, so be sure to ink your visit during the April to November sweet spot.
Villa La Cassinella
Bellissimo! • Enjoy sailing to the golden-hued Villa La Cassinella on the western shore of idyllic Lake Como with its wrought-iron gate and stately cypress trees. As secluded and private as the setting, your arrival finds your boat docking at one of the world’s most exclusive retreats, the experience like arriving at a private island getaway rather than a peninsula. This paradise was originally constructed in the 1800s and includes the main villa, a guest house, and a secluded pool––courtesy of designer Maggie Austin who was rumoured to have spent hours in a rowboat staring at the villa to find its private location. With 8 double bedrooms and a studio, the estate can sleep up to 18 guests. Views of the lake can be enjoyed throughout the estate in three-dozen rooms with classic Italian interiors and European art objects. Modern amenities are served up with an excellent staff who see to your every whim while helping you explore new realms of pampering. Lavish surroundings are matched by architectural details like 22-carat gold reflective tiles in the exquisite infinity swimming pool. Manicured gardens set the stage for the enchanting Terrace House with panoramic lake views and private terraces. villalacassinella.com
Relais Villa Vittoria
Fall head over heels • Enjoy this slice of heaven in the little village of Laglio with a charming terraced lakefront garden and only 12 rooms. Loved by the glitterati, breathe the calm and secluded air here, where romance takes its cue from an enchanting history of entertaining poets, writers, and world travellers. You will not only fall deeper in love with each other but with every experience offered here. Begin your stay in the luxurious Lakeview Suite Prestige designed in classic black and white with extraordinary crystal chandeliers featuring an antique pink marble fireplace. Enjoy the large bathrooms with a Jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower.
Linen curtains and light furnishings underscore the airy romantic design. A terrace with forever views of Lake Como will find you enjoying a cocktail before a night on the town, or perhaps you’d like it in the sitting room. Enjoy the local cuisine where homemade desserts include tiramisu. The extravagant vibe allows for homey touches that find you boiling your own egg if you wish. Once used as a cultivating ground for the first famous silkworms that put Como on the world map for stunning silk fashions, the villa’s journey from a Milanese family estate to hotel kept all the original charm of the ancient villa. relaisvillavittoria.com
The seduction of heart-pounding history • Built by a cardinal in the 16th-century as a summer residence, these enchanting ten acres transformed into a luxury, family-run hotel in 1873, becoming a darling of European aristocracy. Set on the magically romantic shores of Lake Como, and considered one of the most beautiful examples of the 16th-century architecture, the villa designed by Pellegrino Pellegrini is surrounded by gorgeous private gardens which include the Nympheum by Pellegrini, as well as the Hercules Fountain and Telemachus Statue. 152 unique elegant rooms, all furnished in the Renaissance style, come equipped with every convenience where the grand vistas of Lake Como are echoed within the opulent interiors, featuring glittering Murano chandeliers and lavish staircases.
Palatial rooms decorated in subtle shades reflect the palette of the lake and surrounds. Gorgeous terraces are adorned with statuary and mosaic artwork. A historical gem, you will enjoy discovering a variety of important artwork from the French school and Canova school with decorations by Andrea Appiani. Stay for a few weeks and view something different every day. Relax at The Sporting Club’s large indoor swimming pool, or enjoy the floating pool on the lake after a romantic hike over the grounds. Kick the romance up a notch with sailing and water-skiing adventures. villadeste.com/en/property
Sprawling seclusion • The secret Garden Suite provides the utmost in forested privacy here at the exclusive all-suite Villa Lario. The Pavilion Villa serves breathtaking views from the salon, if you make it that far, as there are equally stunning views from the bed. Private sunbaths and your own terrace and gardens are all available here at your independent two-bedroom retreat set on the cliffs. Ceiling-to-floor arched windows let the sunshine in with light and bright interiors featuring neutral tones which keep the focus on Lake Como.
Secluded, the hotel sprawls over a hillside about two hundred feet above the lake. From the lakeside garden enjoy a stroll to the village of Pagnana Lario, refreshingly free of tourists. Full of clean lines and sophisticated interiors, you will enjoy the experience here of staying at a private villa rather than a large resort, with only six suites on the property. And get ready to unplug because there are no TVs. The alfresco restaurant serves modern Italian cuisine with sweeping vistas of the lake. Every week the chef conducts cooking classes for guests just in case you are dying to make perfect pasta when you return home. villalario.com
Casta Diva Resort
Enchantment never sounded this good • Once the home of Soprano Giuditta Pasta, Villa Roccabruna opened as CastaDiva with a spa set on one of the most romantic places on Lake Como, the old boat dock of a former palazzo. The relaxation room at the spa perches on the hillside and juts over one of the moorings allowing guests to experience the peaceful sound of the ocean lapping the blue-green glass floor. Enchantment never sounded this good, the water sings like the estate’s former owner, the rumoured muse of Vincenzo Bellini, a nineteen-century composer.Named after one of her famous arias, Casta Diva, the luxurious villa gets its fairytale on with 75-rooms featuring regal appointments like heavy silk curtains and mirrored closets with gold paint. Located between Bellagio and Como in the enchanting village of Blevio, arrival by boat is the only way here and docks in a cave at the estate’s rocky foundation. White-pebbled walkways ring the elegant grounds, framed with large pine trees. Take a dip in the elaborate floating pool on the lake in front of the property then sample the sweet delicacies offered at L’Orangerie with seasonal cuisine that matches the stunning panoramas of the lake and celebrates the grandeur of life. castadivaresort.com
Modern love • Millennial luxury comes alive at this Patricia Urquiola designed award-winner where the most luxurious of the thirty suites feature The Penthouse, a lake view showstopper with its own private terrace and garden retreat. Why would you ever want to leave your private penthouse? A cruise on the lake aboard two all-wood yachts, also designed by Urquiola, of course. Or hike along forested hills along the lakeshore. There’s also the enticing offerings of Chef Raffaele Lenzi to coax you out with simple, imaginative twists of your favourite Italian classics at Michelin-starred Ristorante Berton Al Lago. And just in case you can’t get enough of the cuisine, partake in a cooking class and wine tasting to bring the region’s romance home with you. Unique interiors feature architecture as art, so everyday design elements bring joy, including gorgeous, sculptural architectural details like the hotel’s Jenga-inspired spiral staircase, a twist to mid-century modern. Botanist Patrick Blanc joined the party to create intricate vertical gardens and awesome sculptures, living works of art––Le Mirroir Vert du Lac, Le Canyon and Les Racines Echasseesm––the world’s only tryptic exhibition of Blanc’s artwork. serenohotels.com/property/il-sereno/
Vista Lago Di Como
Year-round passionate pursuits • Sure, infinity pools are great, but the rooftop infinity bar ups the luxury here with exquisite views in one of the world’s most romantic hideaways. Right in the heart of Como, the village’s first 5-star hotel offers the pleasures of the city right at your pedicured feet. On the upper floors of a 19th-century Venetian-style palazzo, the trendy hotel comes out of an 18-month renovation full of Italy’s finest finishes in 18 rooms and suites with the spacious Corner Suite boasting a Turkish bath. Picture windows bring warm natural light into rich interiors featuring wood floors and gorgeous Dedar drapes in jewel-tone colours. Marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and showers put a modern spin on historic luxury.
You pick your adventure here from sailing the waters on an Italian Riva all-wood yacht to a seaplane flyover, but it really doesn’t get better than cycling. Pursue your passions on the rooftop as you linger over sunsets at the infinity bar, or unleash your literary side at the rooftop library. Yes, we said the rooftop library. Or enjoy a decadent meal at the only rooftop restaurant in town. One of the few hotels open year-round, you will enjoy adventures from personal shopping in Como to the winter wonderland of the surrounding mountains. vistalagodicomo.com
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Of grandeur and glamour • Under the curation of Enea and Maria Gandola, this century-old landmark came to life at the end of WWI––which brought the idea of the vacation with it. The art nouveau style reflects the period of its construction and leverages the gorgeous setting, which borders on the gardens of Villa Carlotta, one of the best views of the Lake Como. Greta Garbo once mentioned the Tremezzo in the movie Grand Hotel in the 1930s, when the Sampietro family took over, seeing the property through the tumult of WWII.
Today, Grand Hotel Tremezzo follows the fine tradition of the Gandolas and Sampietros by also being family owned. Unleash your inner starlet with a stay at the Suite Greta, inspired by Hollywood’s Swedish-American darling. On the first floor of the palace, the opulent suite features one bedroom, a living room and two bathrooms with marble accents and a central whirlpool bath. The private terrace finds you enjoying stunning views of Bellagio on the water’s edge. Enjoy Sala Regina’s opulent accoutrement including period furniture with blue and gold decor, and ceiling-to-floor windows which allow for stunning views of the lake and mountains. The restaurant’s large terrace provides a great place to host romantic I do. grandhoteltremezzo.com
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Bellagio
Playful opulence • Close to the narrow, cobblestone streets of Bellagio, you are a world away at the village’s only 5-star hotel and one of its oldest. This grand dame serves up peace and quiet along with molecular cuisine at Mistral, serving Michelin-starred delicacies at the lakefront. The fun starts with a poolside drink, then continues at Villa Serbelloni SPA and is topped off with a daysail from the private dock––the best way to take in the storied gardens here, particularly when the azaleas are in bloom. Two pools, and tennis and squash courts top off the outdoor fun.
Built as a luxurious getaway for a wealthy family from Milan in 1852, twenty years later the estate opened as a hotel. 19th-century opulence abounds with frescoes, marble columns and staircases, trompe l’oeil, and Murano chandeliers. Ornate ceilings portray floral patterns in light pink hues. Spacious and elegant rooms boast high ceilings and exquisite antiques, including inlaid wooden furniture. Frescos create a dramatic environment as do the white or red marble bathrooms with water views or views of Bellagio. Enjoy a nightcap with the one you love on the outdoor terrace admiring panoramic views of Lake Como at your feet. villaserbelloni.com/Bellagio ◼
© This article was first published in Oct-Nov 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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