Just an hour from Milan, Hotel Villa d’Este is a triumphant testimony to Italian poise and antiquity. This dazzling palace overlooking the glorious Lake Como is a definite must see for historians, movie lovers, car enthusiasts, and romantics alike.
A breathtaking spot
If ever there were an award-winning hotel deserving of the title, it’s Hotel Villa d’Este. Not only has it been voted Best hotel in the World several times (Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Forbes Traveler), it is located on Lake Como, Italy’s world famous romantic and idyllic body of water. The hotel offers a little something for everyone and Hollywood fans should know it is a beloved favourite of countless international celebrities, literary heavyweights, and fashion icons. Alfred Hitchcock – who described Villa d’Este as the most beautiful place on earth – filmed his first movie ever, entitled The Pleasure Garden, in Villa d’Este in 1925.
A place of history
Car lovers will be elated to know the hotel had a world renown Alfa Romeo Coupé named after it in 1949. History buffs will relish in the 16th century narrative of the building’s creation and historical use. Erected by Cardinal Gallio in 1568 as his residence, the Villa has since hosted a Sultan, an Empress, an English queen, and various aristocrats from both times gone by (Mark Twain, for example), and contemporary society – Gianni Versace for instance. The estate was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873. Lombardy, Como – the Province’s capital – and the surrounding towns, offer tastes of Gothic Renaissance merged with a cosmopolitan feel.
Luxury and refinement
The neoclassical estate offers 152 lavish rooms, each distinct in size, décor, and with exclusive vistas of Hotel Villa d’Este’s 25 acres of embroidered gardens – including 130 granite basins. From regular rooms and suites, to the Presidential or Cardinal suites, each room is furnished with period antiques, paintings, silks, etc. For those seeking a more unique experience, Villa d’Este has also renovated four 19th century private villas available for rental.
If you are looking to while away a romantic afternoon overlooking Lake Como, or hoping to try out the “George Clooney experience” (he lives in the area) for an afternoon, Hotel Villa d’Este offers open access to its restaurants, bars and opulent terraces. Five spaces with amazing views on Lake Como await the visitors: the Veranda restaurant where you will experience the delicate cuisine of executive chef Michele Zambanini, the Grill, Il Platano, the Canova Bar, the Terrace bar and the d’Este Club.
The Hotel Villa d’Este’s undeniable elegant style and archaic history make it an absolute necessity on any luxury traveler’s itinerary in Northern Italy.
More information at villadeste.com
Check out our article Lake Como, a place of remarkable diversity