Villa D’Este is one of the top luxury hotels in Italy and definitely even the world. Villa D’Este sits on the shores of the spectacular Lake Como, which is surrounded by the Alps. I had a chance to visit this summer. I was a guest of the hotel (meaning I did not pay) and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. On top of being probably the most luxe hotel I have ever seen, its 25 acres of manicured gardens are in a class all of their own. Oh and did I mention it’s a world heritage site in Italy? Yeah…it’s that gorgeous.
This is me below in my happy place! Chilling at the gorgeous pool at Villa D’Este. Ahhhh….
Getting There is quite simple. You can take a direct flight from New York to Milan. Once there though you’ll need to head by car or bus about an hour north to Lake Como.
Villa D’Este truly is one of the amazing hotels of the world with enough history for an entire book. It was originally built as a summer getaway in the 16th century and has drawn the likes of celebrities and classy clientele ever since. Fun fact–Alfred Hitchkock made his first movie here, The Pleasure Garden.
Basically, this is as grand and classic of a hotel as you will find anywhere in the world. There are awe-inspiring floral arrangements, wide hallways, elegant furnishings, breathtaking views and incredible service. I was blown away by just how gorgeous this place actually is.
It’s worth mentioning service is where this place excels. It’s one of those places where the employees have been for decades. They are old-school and charming as can be.
The hotel also boasts an incredible indoor pool should you wish to take a break from the sunshine. There is also a Sports club, which includes tennis courts.
Could there be anything more beautiful than this view from lunch? How could one NOT have a glass of wine?
Even those who don’t like romantic strolls will be quick converts. These gardens are like nothing you’ve ever seen.
There are 152 stately rooms in two separate buildings: the main Cardinal building, and those in the 19th century Queen’s Pavilion (it was actually built for a queen). They’re filled with unique and classic antiques, artwork, silks and all things traditional. Bathrooms are of course marble and posh. Each is uniquely decorated by the way. Love when hotels do that. So classy.
This is the double classic room (above)
The Food & Drink
There are two main restaurants. The first is where the breakfast buffet is served. This is glass-enclosed and offers amazing views. The second is a more informal restaurant. Each serves classic Italian specialties but you can also get local goodies like Lake fish (not my thing). The food is good but wasn’t the strongest draw of the hotel by any means. The view from lunch was blinding though. I didn’t care a bit about eating. All I wanted was my aperitif and the view forever and ever.
The hotel’s main bar has live music and is the place to see and be seen. There is also a bar by the pool, which of course was my favorite spot.
Look at these flowers!
The Little Things
Did I feel truly welcome by the staff? Yes, yes, yes! They’re all spectacular.
Specialty Cocktails? I recommend going for traditional Italian cocktails. My favorite is an aperol spritz.
Wi-Fi? Yes and complimentary.
Good For Families: Children are definitely around but they are seen and not heard. They were really quite well-behaved. It’s clear that parents in Europe don’t tolerate what American parents think is okay, which I sincerely appreciated. There is a Junior Club during high season.
The Wow Factor(s):
My most memorable experience was sitting at the pool. The deck is on the lake also so you rock all day, which is very peaceful. Oh and having some midday drinks by the pool is as good as it gets! Villa D’Este is the definition of Grand Dame! The exquisite details like period furnishings and oil painting give this place grandeur and charm that I will never forget. That and the dedicated staff.
Don’t forget to check out our other posts about Venice and Florence Italy.
Villa D’Este Information
Worth noting that the hotel is only open from April-November.
Address: Via Regina 40, 22012 Cernobbio, Como, Italy
*Disclaimer* As is common in the travel industry, writers are provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Although my visit was part of a press trip–meaning that I did not pay, all opinions herein are my own. You can’t buy the love here, people! Just ask my husband!