A scene where time has stopped and old customs are still in place.
One of the most celebrated hotels in the world since 1873, superb Renaissance architecture and a staff that rivals the finest of any other hotel in the world. Full of guests seeking old-world glamour, knowing they won’t be bothered but assured that they will be artfully cared for.
Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this famous resort destination has been widely praised for its beautiful gardens, exquisite cuisine, gala celebrations, impeccable décor and extraordinary hospitality.
Set in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como, the Hotel is located a few kilometers from the Swiss border and 50 minutes from Milan.
What I find remarkable about Villa d’Este is that its history is deep and authentic, not recreated. It was built in the 16th century by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio in 1568 as his own residence, back in the days when the church not only had all of the power
but all of the money as well. It changed private hands several times over the centuries, becoming a hotel in 1873.
A difficult choice between in-room breakfast in your lovely terrasse no matter if it’s lake views or garden views – both will enchant you.
Or enjoy a sumptuous buffet at the Veranda restaurant.
Following aperitivo, guests walk to dinner.
There are two main restaurants at the hotel, and both are superb.
You can dine off property, with the wonderful Michelin-starred Veranda restaurant, requisite of jacket and tie to sit in a regal blue and yellow room that overlooks the lake, or in fine weather, outside on its own portion of the terrace.
The food is refined but approachable (plump gnocchi over porcini mushrooms; veal Milanese with potato salad), and delivered with care by the brilliant staff, some of whom have been serving guests at the Villa d’Este for decades.
The Grill is the more casual choice, but with the same breathtaking views, just a couple of meters from Veranda, and a more reduced ‘Club-sandwich’ menu.
Boat trip around the lake to learn about the history of the villas, which belong to the Heinz family, Versace, and of course George Clooney.
Water sports (mono ski etc)
Pleasant walks around the gardens and lake
Via Regina, 40, Cernobbio, Lake Como 22012, Italy