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Beyond the Alps, each “lago” is different, but they all embody the enchantment of harmonious landscapes, a timeless serenity, which can be found even in the hotels of discreet luxury installed on their shores.

Aria Retreat & Spa, Lake Lugano

Opened just one year ago, this new Leading Hotels of The World establishment, surrounded by 24 hectares of lush vegetation, promises a lovely interlude. The panorama of Lake Lugano is available everywhere, even from the bathtub! The hotel is composed exclusively of suites, 30 in all, and has a private beach, a spa with a superb indoor pool, another saltwater infinity pool and a gourmet table with a view.

You can also enjoy the “olive tree path,” a stroll through ancient olive groves recently re-exploited, punctuated with informative panels. A beautiful hour’s walk between Gandria and Castagnola (return by boat).

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Designed by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, this jewel of a hotel features 40 magnificent suites whose contemporary style contrasts with the neoclassicism of the surrounding villas. The large windows and vast terraces open out onto Lake Como. The Valmont spa nestled under centuries-old stone arches, the swimming pool that seems to extend into the lake, and the gourmet restaurant on the water’s edge keep the legend of this multi-awarded Leading Hotels of The World location alive.

In addition, the hotel has several boats designed by Ernesto Riva, including one decorated by Patricia Urquiola and another dating from 1883 and recently renovated, the Inglesina: perfect for a chic and intimate picnic (without a driver) on the lake waters.

Lefay Resort & Spa, Lake Garda

This eco-resort, which recently became a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, offers a version of the dolce vita in the heart of the Lemon Coast that is both luxurious and totally disconnected. It has just been renovated in a cozier style. New features include huge sky suites decorated with Italian marble and precious woods, with saunas and outdoor Jacuzzis; a gourmet restaurant, Gramen; a wellness area reserved for adults and a panoramic whirlpool integrated into the impressive 3,800m2 spa renowned for its health programs. 

Immersed in an 11-hectare park, the hotel is the starting point for sports and running courses and a garden with five energy stages inspired by Chinese medicine.

Céline Baussay