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Spotlight On Como: Want To Mingle With The Rich And Famous?

Aug 17, 2007
When travelers think of Northern Italy, many things come to mind. Great food and wine, breathtaking mountain views, cool crystal clear lakes. Lake Como, or Lago di Como, as it is known to the Italians is one of the most spectacular of all of these sights. Having said that, a website alone is not adequate to choose a hotel here. It is easy to make a hotel look inviting when the backdrop is drop dead gorgeous, but that does not mean you will not find an alarmingly drab interior in sad contrast to the surrounding splendor. The following hotels have what it takes to compliment their pristine surroundings.

If your goal is to mingle with the rich and famous, without a doubt, your destination is Villa. If you are in the mood for something understated, skip this paragraph and move to the next. Villa D'Este is not your stop. . However, if your curiosity is piqued, have a look. It is an absolutely lovely property. The Villa was built in 1568 as a summer residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. It later became one of the favorite playgrounds of an Empress, an English Queen and a handful of aristocrats. It was finally transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873, and now has 154 guest rooms and suites with every amenity imaginable. It also has a delightful spa, two sumptuous restaurants, and the best service of any hotel I have visited this year. There's a celebrity around every corner.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is also a lovely and elegant choice. First, it has arguably the most spectacular position on the lake, right at the intersection of where the top of the famous "Y" shape of the lake, meets the stem. From this vantage point, you can see up and down, in and out of every nook and cranny of the lake, and never leave your balcony. If you do venture to a more public part of the hotel, the same view is available from the hotel's restaurant, bar and terraces. However, for me, the most spectacular amenity of this property is the lake-front, or should I say lake- top pool. What do I mean? Exactly what I've said. The pool has been built on pontoons and sits on the lake. The sensation is as mystical as the illusion. You feel like you are being rocked by the gentle currents of the lake, yet you are safely ensconced in a fresh water pool. Truly a lovely way to pass the afternoon.

Hotel Belvedere Bellagio is the classic room with a view that inspires movie directors to use Como as a romantic back-drop. It is one of the smaller, more intimate hotels on Como. It is family owned and operated, and it shows in the warm hospitality and attention to detail. The restaurant is lake-front and makes for lovely indoor and outdoor dining. Request a room with a balcony and full view of the lake to enhance your stay.

My last mention here is Villa Flori. I have not stayed here yet, but I had a sumptuous lunch over-looking a stunningly distracting view. Keep an eye on this property, as will I. I'll let you know by this Spring if it's a must-see.
About the Author
Denise Hummel is an American, who moved to Italy with her husband and children for a one year cross-cultural experience that has expanded to two. Denise Hummel directs a communications business focused on tourism called Imagine Communications.
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