Hotel Villa d’Este – Cernobbio, Lombardy, Italy

Luxury on the Shores of Lake Como

Originally a cardinal’s private pleasure palace, now operating as a grand hotel from which all others take their inspiration, the Villa d’Este is unrivaled for its regal decor as well as its majestic position on the verdant banks of Lake Como.

Crystal-dripping chandeliers and exquisite silk dra­peries and uphol­steries made in the nearby town of Como are soothing and inviting, grand but never over­powering. Lakeside rooms have the added luxury of seductive views of the glacier-sculpted lake and its profu­sion of elegant villas.

Marble-statued terraces and gardens drenched in flowers cascade down to the water and can only be viewed by boat—that is, if you ever choose to leave the hotel grounds. There are 10 acres of gardens, shady waterside terraces for sipping cool Bellinis, and the exceptional Veranda Restaurant, whose glass walls bring the lake to your dinner table.

A freshwater outdoor pool offers views of the mountains from its spot at the edge of Lake Como. It is suspended on a floating redwood deck, gently rocked by the waves created by the lake’s lazy buzz of activity.

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