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The 3 reasons we keep returning to Lake Como

  • Published 25 June 2019

The scale of beauty across the Italian lakes is undeniable. If you could look from above, spikes of snow-capped mountains belonging to the Venetian Alps would encase pools of emerald water, with small brush strokes of colourful villages and emerald green forests painted randomly. Tranquility and serenity blind any stresses you have, with the shimmering water reflecting your new-found zen expression. The quaint lakeside towns dotted around the edge offer sanctuary from the sun in the form of shady bars where ice cold Aperol Spritz’ are on tap like water. But what makes Lake Como so special?  Our head of business, James Kenyon, just can’t get enough of this European paradise, returning year on year and trying out the different luxe properties around the lake. He shares his top three reasons why he thinks it should be your next escape. 

#1. The villas

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

When it comes to five-star hospitality, Lake Como does not hold back. Known for its quintessentially Italian décor and traditional flourishes both on the interior and exterior, standard hotels become glamorous villas where the highest profile celebrities are spotted. James himself has stayed at a number of villas, ranging from the intimate to the extravagant. “The level of luxury around Lake Como is unbeatable, no matter which spot you pick.” James said. “You’re transported to another world of fine dining, epic views and an elite level of service with every room in the top properties.” Forget about contemporary styling because Lake Como is renowned for its old school fittings, artwork and fabric prints. Two of James’ top picks are Villa d’Este and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, where a regal affair takes place every second. At the former, blue and gold striped wallpaper adorns the veranda, transporting you to a time of aristocracy, sultans and tsars. At Tremezzo, the timeless beauty of layered mountains can be absorbed from a pool floating on the lake, and rooftop suites ooze an air of eclectic elegance with golden draped curtains and plush furniture. 

The newest addition to the lake, and one of refined chic, is Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como. The hotelier’s signature oriental charm has docked, with a variation of accommodation choices including private villas encasing your own pool and gardens. “Mandarin Oriental has taken over this classic villa and added the extra touch to complement the sweeping mountainous views it had already. I can’t wait to see it in the flesh when I return to one of my favourite places in the world,” said James. Once you’ve decided the perfect setting for relaxation, the villas sprinkled around Lake Como are simply breath-taking. Villa del Balbianello has been used for scenes in Star Wars and Casino Royale, with its climbing greenery hugging the centuries-old pillars and can be visited for a day trip as well as for occasions. The most exclusive way to get there?...
 

Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como

When it comes to five-star hospitality, Lake Como does not hold back. Known for its quintessentially Italian décor and traditional flourishes both on the interior and exterior, standard hotels become glamorous villas where the highest profile celebrities are spotted. James himself has stayed at a number of villas, ranging from the intimate to the extravagant. “The level of luxury around Lake Como is unbeatable, no matter which spot you pick.” James said. “You’re transported to another world of fine dining, epic views and an elite level of service with every room in the top properties.” Forget about contemporary styling because Lake Como is renowned for its old school fittings, artwork and fabric prints. Two of James’ top picks are Villa d’Este and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, where a regal affair takes place every second. At the former, blue and gold striped wallpaper adorns the veranda, transporting you to a time of aristocracy, sultans and tsars. At Tremezzo, the timeless beauty of layered mountains can be absorbed from a pool floating on the lake, and rooftop suites ooze an air of eclectic elegance with golden draped curtains and plush furniture. 

The newest addition to the lake, and one of refined chic, is Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como. The hotelier’s signature oriental charm has docked, with a variation of accommodation choices including private villas encasing your own pool and gardens. “Mandarin Oriental has taken over this classic villa and added the extra touch to complement the sweeping mountainous views it had already. I can’t wait to see it in the flesh when I return to one of my favourite places in the world,” said James. Once you’ve decided the perfect setting for relaxation, the villas sprinkled around Lake Como are simply breath-taking. Villa del Balbianello has been used for scenes in Star Wars and Casino Royale, with its climbing greenery hugging the centuries-old pillars and can be visited for a day trip as well as for occasions. The most exclusive way to get there?...
 

#2. The boats

If there’s a way to live the life of the rich and famous, cutting through the clear waters of Lake Como on a private luxury boat is it. With all the top hotels offering boat hire or boat tour service through its concierge, fulfilling an unforgettable opportunity has never been easier. “Racing my friends while skimming this epic lake, watching the froth of my water trail behind me, was truly exhilarating,” James said. Not many places across Europe, or indeed the world, house the perfect landscape where you can speed down 45 kilometres of open water, circled by dramatic mountain backdrops, with green fuzzy hillsides falling into the still shoreline. 

For more of a leisurely affair, cruising along south-eastern and southwestern areas will see you pass renowned historic locations, characterful towns and marvellous villas, sprinkled among the lush borders of the lake. Docking on jetties extending out of clusters of charming Italian boutiques, refined restaurants and squares, travelling by boat adds an element of exclusivity and ease to your excursion. Local expert guides can also be provided with some of the hotel concierge services, many of which also have private over-water garages for you to park up the boat. We won’t be surprised if you struggle returning to everyday life. 
 

If there’s a way to live the life of the rich and famous, cutting through the clear waters of Lake Como on a private luxury boat is it. With all the top hotels offering boat hire or boat tour service through its concierge, fulfilling an unforgettable opportunity has never been easier. “Racing my friends while skimming this epic lake, watching the froth of my water trail behind me, was truly exhilarating,” James said. Not many places across Europe, or indeed the world, house the perfect landscape where you can speed down 45 kilometres of open water, circled by dramatic mountain backdrops, with green fuzzy hillsides falling into the still shoreline. 

For more of a leisurely affair, cruising along south-eastern and southwestern areas will see you pass renowned historic locations, characterful towns and marvellous villas, sprinkled among the lush borders of the lake. Docking on jetties extending out of clusters of charming Italian boutiques, refined restaurants and squares, travelling by boat adds an element of exclusivity and ease to your excursion. Local expert guides can also be provided with some of the hotel concierge services, many of which also have private over-water garages for you to park up the boat. We won’t be surprised if you struggle returning to everyday life. 
 

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#3. The towns

Bellagio

When choosing where to stay in Lake Como, the endless list of inviting towns and havens of traditional Italian livelihood can become a little confusing. Each offer something unique, whether it’s the gastronomy, the views or the hidden chapels offering a time capsule through history. Bellagio sits at the northern tip of the land which divides the lake’s two southern halves, and often appears on lists of Europe’s most beautiful towns. Streets lined with bursts of colour in the flora, a bell tower casting a shadow over the maze of townhouses, radiating light reflecting in the rippling waters… it’s a sight to behold. Hop over the lake and find Tremezzo, a beautiful town housing Villa Carlotta and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, one of our recommendations. Menaggio is where to head after dark, where resident DJ’s and live musicians have the entertainment sector of the lake covered. Staying here also makes the perfect base for travellers keen to explore the whole region of unforgettable nature, with Switzerland just eight miles away. Villa d’Este can be found in Cernobbio, about one-mile northwest of Como, and oozing with space including one of the largest piazzi found in any of the lakeside towns. 

Villa del Balbianello

When choosing where to stay in Lake Como, the endless list of inviting towns and havens of traditional Italian livelihood can become a little confusing. Each offer something unique, whether it’s the gastronomy, the views or the hidden chapels offering a time capsule through history. Bellagio sits at the northern tip of the land which divides the lake’s two southern halves, and often appears on lists of Europe’s most beautiful towns. Streets lined with bursts of colour in the flora, a bell tower casting a shadow over the maze of townhouses, radiating light reflecting in the rippling waters… it’s a sight to behold. Hop over the lake and find Tremezzo, a beautiful town housing Villa Carlotta and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, one of our recommendations. Menaggio is where to head after dark, where resident DJ’s and live musicians have the entertainment sector of the lake covered. Staying here also makes the perfect base for travellers keen to explore the whole region of unforgettable nature, with Switzerland just eight miles away. Villa d’Este can be found in Cernobbio, about one-mile northwest of Como, and oozing with space including one of the largest piazzi found in any of the lakeside towns. 

The unforgettable natural canvas of one of the prettiest lakes in the world will leave a mark in your memories. Everything from water sports to hiking is on offer for the travellers who can’t stand to sit still. For those who welcome an empty schedule, the lake is a calming retreat from everyday stresses. Just imagine it: the sight of the midday sun reflecting in the lapping waters while you indulge from a reclined sunbed perfectly placed in private gardens. This is where luxury truly comes out of its shell. To start exploring how a bespoke itinerary to Lake Como will fulfil all three of your wishes, get in touch with our team of personal travel managers by calling 0203 816 0985 or enquire here

Tagged: Italy
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