Relais Villa Vittoria

Lake Como, Italian Lakes & Verona, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £193 per night

Relais Villa Vittoria

Lake Como, Italian Lakes & Verona, Italy

A romantic lakeside retreat that honeymooners, proposers and loved-up couples will adore

A romantic lakeside retreat that honeymooners, proposers and loved-up couples will adore

In general, the thought of minimalism seems to give Italian interior designers a heart attack. But here at Relais Villa Vittoria, on the banks of Lake Como, a little restraint has yielded beautiful results. What was once a holiday home for a Milanese noble family is now an elegant 13-room hideaway, with gauzy curtains billowing on four-poster beds, cosy nooks for savouring wine, and lawns that spill down to an infinity pool overlooking the water.

It has a fresh and contemporary feel, with high ceilings, lots of light, and the bonus of a superb restaurant in the conservatory. It has history, too - the mulberry garden raised silkworms for the area’s famous fabrics - but never revels in it.

Come here to relax and be cossetted, indulging in massages in the small spa and snoozing under the jasmine pergola in the garden, the peace broken only by the gentle hum of passing boats and seaplanes. Or take to the lake yourselves on the hotel’s kayaks (or hire a boat) and picnic in secluded spots unreachable by road. After dark, linger over dinner on the terrace as lights sparkle on the opposite shore. We loved it, and we can’t wait to return.

Highs

  • The glamorous infinity pool, set near the water's edge - it’s almost like you’re swimming in the lake (but it’s much warmer!)
  • Smart, spacious rooms, most with stunning views. Splash out on a suite if it's a special occasion
  • We liked the pared-back Italian style on show here
  • Fantastic food and local vintages to sample, plus several famous restaurants nearby if you want to eat out
  • There’s lots to do around Lake Como: boat trips to pretty harbour towns, villas and gardens to visit, hiking and climbing in the surrounding hills

Lows

  • The village of Laglio is a quiet spot on busy Lake Como - perhaps too quiet for some
  • You need a car to get the most out of the area
  • It's a popular venue for weddings, especially in high season
  • Dinner is quite expensive, but the quality and setting is well worth it
  • The lift is small (fitting 4 people), slow and a little rickety

Best time to go

Come in spring (April and May) or autumn (September and October) for sumptuous colours and just the right amount of activity on and around the lake. The area is extremely busy during the summer months, with jam-packed roads and lots of day-trippers, but Relais Villa Vittoria is a wonderful place to escape the hordes.

Our top tips

Make sure you book in some relaxation time in the hotel's spa. Unwinding in the Jacuzzi as you look out on the picture-perfect lake is a real treat.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 13 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Kayaks to borrow
  • Motorboat for hire
Room:

Rooms

Décor throughout the hotel is traditional, restful and romantic: diaphanous white curtains, painted wooden ceilings, delicate glass chandeliers. There’s nothing flashy or ostentatious; just a few carefully chosen pieces of wooden or wrought-iron furniture against a graceful backdrop of creams, greys and terracottas.

The rooms vary slightly in size and layout, but all have queensize beds (no twins), powerful showers and pampering touches such as towelling robes, Etro Milan toiletries and Laura Tonatto fragrances. The important difference is the view. The Classic Rooms have a limited peek of the lake or views over the garden, while the Cozy Rooms have either a sliver of lake or no view at all. Other than that, all rooms look out over the water - including the Cottage Room, which has a private patio and is tucked away in the hotel grounds in a separate building.

Previously, we've stayed in an Attic Room (Mezzanine), a duplex hidden away at the very top of the hotel. We loved the mezzanine bedroom set under the eaves and the watery vista from the sitting area beneath. On our most recent visit, we were lucky enough to be in one of the Romantic Lake View Rooms on the lower floors, which have the added luxury of a terrace or balcony for soaking in the scenery; one has a bathtub as well as a shower in its ensuite.

If you want to up the romance as much as possible, it’s worth splashing out on one of the 2 suites. Both have a huge bedroom, a separate lounge with a fireplace and double sofabed, a balcony or terrace, even a telescope for late-night star-gazing. They sleep 4 plus a baby, but we’d prefer them all to ourselves - the Lake View Suite has a four-poster bed and the Prestige Lake View Suite a Jacuzzi, if more encouragement were needed.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots available
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

The restaurant, Le Luci del Lago, is situated in a beautiful conservatory with huge windows that look over the lake. If you are here in the cooler months, a wood burner is lit for a cosy atmosphere. In the summer, the doors are flung open to let in the fresh lake breeze. You can also eat outside, at tables-for-2 spread along the terrace overlooking the lake, or in private little hidey-holes beneath the hedge.

The lunch and dinner menu mixes Mediterranean food with a sprinkling of regional specialities. We kicked off with saffron rice and Bolognese ragu arancino on castelmagno fondue before moving onto spaghetti with datterino tomato cream. For dessert, we treated ourselves to a tiramisu and bavarese al melone.

Breakfast is a classic continental offering, with salami, ham, cheese, pastries, yoghurt and muesli alongside seasonal fruit and a few hot options such as bacon and scrambled eggs. Drinks are available all day, and you can also order a picnic (Caprese salad, sandwiches, that kind of thing) - ideal for taking with you on a mini cruise of the lake.

If you want to eat out, there are some fantastic options nearby. The staff can advise on the best spots and help make bookings. For an unusual experience head to the Sala Comacina, about 15km north of Laglio, from where you are rowed in a wooden boat to the tiny Isola Comacina. There’s only one restaurant on the island, serving local dishes and rounding off the evening with a spectacular re-telling of a lake story.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hang out in the garden, take a dip in the pool, or loll around on a lounger and drink in the film-worthy views
  • Relax in the spa, which has a hammam, a menu of beauty treatments and massages, and a Jacuzzi with picture windows looking out over the water
  • Borrow the hotel's 2 kayaks for free and head out with a picnic to explore the lake’s hidden spots. The hotel can also organise boat hire from a friendly local company.
  • Join a group cookery class on the veranda or a wine tasting in the pretty arched cellar beneath the hotel
  • Stroll along the mule path between the hotel and the neighbouring village of Carate, or borrow a bike and do it on 2 wheels
  • Hop from harbour to harbour on the frequent ferries which ply the water (the nearest pier is at Moltrasio, 5 minutes’ drive from the hotel). Well worth a visit are the Belle Epoque town of Menaggio, the perfectly preserved medieval village of Varenna, and seductive Bellagio, where the 3 branches of the lake intersect
  • Stroll around some of the famous gardens which stud the shore. Two of the most enchanting are the 17th-century Villa Carlotta near Tremezzo, whose parkland bursts with plants and marble statues, and the Villa del Balbianello, just south of Lenno, which appeared in the Bond movie Casino Royale
  • Visit Cernobbio, long a favourite with royalty, politicians and film stars, for lakeside piazzas, grandiose villas, and walks in the foothills of Monte Bisbino
  • Climb the Intelvi Valley to Sighignola for views of the snow-capped Alps and Lake Lugano from the ‘Balcony of Italy’
  • Play a round or two at the 18-hole Menaggio Golf Club, rated as 'testing' for seasoned golfers

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and older kids will love paddling kayaks around on the lake, although the hotel mostly attracts couples. Those under the age of 8 stay for free; after that, there's a supplement for rollaway beds or use of sofabeds. Rates include breakfast.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Cozy Rooms and Romantic Rooms can fit a rollaway bed; other rooms can take a baby cot only. The suites have lounges with double sofabeds and can sleep up to 4 adults and 1 baby.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

The hotel can arrange a local babysitter. Ask in advance.

Families Should Know:

There are lots of stairs and terraces, and apart from the pool, there are no spaces for children to play.

Distances:

  • Hospital: 23-minute drive (Como)
  • Supermarket: 10-minute drive (2-minutes to local shops)
  • Airport: 60-minute drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

Relais Villa Vittoria is in the village of Laglio, on the southwest shore of Lake Como. It's an hour’s drive from Milan and about 2.5 hours from Verona, in northern Italy.

By Air:
There are numerous flights to Milan Malpensa (65km /1 hour away) and Milan Linate (80km / 1 hour 10 mins). The hotel is also within reach of Bergamo (104km), Brescia (164km) and Verona (205km).

From the Airport:
Most guests hire a car - see our rental recommendations. The hotel lies just off the main lakeshore road (the SS340) and is easily accessible from the A9 motorway. Valet parking is available. Or the hotel can book airport transfers if you prefer. If you're not in a hurry, it's also possible to take a train to Como San Giovanni or Como Lago - see below.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, you can reach the Lakes quite easily from London. See the excellent Seat 61 for details. There are 4 train stations serving the area, the main ones being Como Lago and Como San Giovanni. Both are a 30-minute bus ride, or a 20-minute taxi ride, from the hotel.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Milan Malpensa 65.0 km MXP
  • Milan Linate 80.0 km LIN

Other:

  • Beach 1.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for Relais Villa Vittoria

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