NORTHERN ITALIAN LAKES
The Italian Lakes are as scenic as they are idyllic. Crystal clear water flanked by mountains and vineyards, mild climates, pretty towns, great food and fantastic shopping… these lakes have got a lot to showcase.
The most popular times to visit are spring, through to autumn. May, June and September are all good bets. It will be warm, but not stiflingly hot and travel will be less expensive than in peak summer holiday time. Always a bonus!
If you’re mad about flowers, head to the lakes in April and May, when the tulips, camellias and azaleas will be in full bloom. Sounds great, right?
WHERE TO STAY
Best vibe: Il Serno
Highlights: Across the lake from Villa d’Este, Il Serno is an idyllic 5 star hotel with a contemporary vibe reminiscent of Milan. This spot is beloved by couples as it is very romantic, and provides the quintessential Italian lake experience.
Best romance- Lake Como: Villa d’Este
Highlights: Villa d’Este is a very traditional, old world spot, with sophisticated and luxurious design. There are multiple buildings on site, as well as a beautiful garden with lots of space to explore. This spot is family friendly, but definitely feels more adult and formal.
Best romance- Lake Garda: Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli
Highlights: Villa Feltrinelli is incredibly popular for wedding takeover bookings– which is no surprise considering the grandeur of the property. Split between two buildings (only one of which allows kids), the rooms are gems of historic accuracy. Feltrinelli is an extremely historic spot, known for being where Mussolini was sent in exile.
Best value Lake Como: Filaro
Highlights: While still expensive, Filaro is a good alternative for all the other Como properties (like Il Serno). This spot is contemporary, has beautiful rooms, is right on the lake, and equipped with a gorgeous pool.
Best value overall: Villa Aminta
Highlights: Nestled on Lake Maggiore, Villa Aminta is more of a local place, but with all the grandeur associated with being a Virtuoso property. Rooms start at ~300 euros a night, which is on the lower end for lake stays, but you are still guaranteed a wonderful experience.
Best for families: Tremezzo
Highlights: Tremezzo has very traditional Italian design, with rooms that either overlook the lake or the mountains. There is a very large beautiful villa - 8 bedrooms that can be taken over for groups or large family stays. There are two pools on site– one chillier one floating in the lake, and a heated one behind the hotel. Very family friendly, with plenty of connecting rooms for families (plan ahead), and a few suites for families that can fit up to 4 people.
Best for groups: Eden Reserve
Highlights: Eden Reserve has 5 villas, with 9 rooms and suites, all designed by Richard Meyer. Truly an architecture buff's dream. An unbeatable high end, boutique getaway. The views are iconic, and the floor to ceiling windows allow you to soak it all in.
Runner up: For a more residential, lower budget option, look at Laqua by the Lake in Lake Orta. It is definitely a more value oriented way to get a residential style hotel!
Best for wellness: Le Fay
Highlights: Nestled on top of a hill, Le Fay is ideal for those who want to be close to the quintessential lake experience but are also there for a retreat. This spot is new and contemporary, with a gorgeous wellness center and spa.