“Elegant villa hotel set among olive and citrus groves in the hills above Salò, with heavenly views of Lake Garda”
Behind rough rubbled stone, she has created elegant salons illuminated by walls of glass and furnished with a stylish collection of English grandfather clocks, Italian prints, antique mirrors and smart Casa Milano armchairs. There is a candlelit dining room under a vaulted ceiling, an inner courtyard of trailing bougainvillea, and a glamorous outdoor pool lined with loungers. But the location is the thing. Step onto the terrace, where laced wrought-iron chairs sit beneath a vine-draped pergola, and look at that heavenly view: lush gardens speared with cypress trees and, beyond, the sparkling waters of Italy’s largest lake. Watch the sun slip behind the green mountains, or the twinkling lights of Salò against a fading evening sky. Pure magic.
- Those views - blissing out by the pool as boats shimmered across the lake below was unforgettable
- Sensational food in the beautiful restaurant, with 4-course tasting menus and produce grown in the gardens
- Nearby Salò, a charming lakeside town with bars, restaurants and upmarket boutiques (30-minute walk or short taxi ride)
- Superb rooms where sleek furniture and expensive linens sit under beamed ceilings or fragments of 13th-century frescoes
- Excellent service
- There’s a constant hum of traffic from the nearby road, though the double glazing cuts out most of the noise in the rooms
- If you're visiting outside of peak summer season there are no lunches or light bites offered during the day - you'll need to drive out
- Rooms can be rather pricey in high season
- You'll need a car to explore the area, although taxis can be arranged and there is a bus stop close by
- Garden view rooms have the same price tag as lake view rooms, but some do have private terraces
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome.
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
- Boat hire available
- Fitness trail
The hotel’s 18 rooms have simple, natural, textural décor. No jazz, no frills, instead the luxury lies in the detail: expensive linens, dark wood, subtle lighting, soft non-allergenic pillows and super-comfortable beds.
The best vistas are from the hotel’s only Suite, which is arranged as an open-plan apartment with a bedroom and living space. There is also a trio of roomy Junior Suites, each with an entrance hall and sofa area. The Standard and Deluxe Rooms vary in size, but this is one place where you won’t feel short-changed if you go for the smaller categories. One of the most petite, ground-floor Room 1, is a lovely little room with French windows opening onto a dinky terrace overlooking the garden - but note that it doesn't come with that dazzling lake view.
In some rooms there are beautiful walls of exposed stone, in others, remnants of vintage frescoes. Some of the upper rooms (there are 3 floors) have high beamed ceilings, but all share the same soothing style. Sunlight pours in through the windows, each framing an Arcadian view of the lake, the garden, or both. If watery views are important to you, state your expectations when booking to avoid disappointment.
Bathrooms are light and efficient but tend to be on the small side, with glass shower cubicles and marble basins, but no tubs. Toiletries, slippers and bathrobes are provided.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Whether it's breakfast on the vine-shaded terrace overlooking the lake, or dinner in the elegant restaurant, eating at Villa Arcadio is one of the joys of staying here. Tables are laid with sparkling cutlery and crisp linen. In summer, scents from the garden waft in through open doors (or you can sit outside); in winter, it’s cosy and candlelit, with fireplaces at either end.
The à la carte dinner menu changes seasonally, but we highly recommend the 4-course 'menu of the day'. During our visit, this kicked off with artichoke and pecorino appetisers, followed by rabbit-filled ravioli with pesto. Our main was melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs with a sweet and sour borretane onion and beer sauce. Dessert was a rich chocolate swirl with raspberries and crushed nuts, followed by a top-notch port. Amongst the wine list, you’ll find bottles chosen from smaller vineyards, with every region of Italy represented.
Breakfast is a decorative buffet of meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, breads and pastries – we also enjoyed some wonderfully creamy poached eggs.
If you want to eat out, there are dozens of waterside restaurants in Salò or Gardone Riviera - ask hotel staff for recommendations.
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Chill out among the bougainvillea on the terrace, or lounge by the pool and gaze at the view
- Spend some time in charming Salò, which was the home of the Italian Social Republic during Mussolini's reign. Today, it remains a pretty lakeshore town of narrow streets, squares and waterside walkways
- Explore Lake Garda by boat - either on the hotel's own boat, on an organised excursion or on one of the frequent local ferries. From Salò quay, you can sail to Gardone Riviera, Desenzano, Sirmione and Garda
- In summer, you can also take a boat tour from Barbarano di Salò to Isola del Garda, a tiny, private island. The 2-hour tour takes in the Borghese Cavazza family’s neo-Gothic villa and its glorious English and Italian gardens
- There is wonderful walking in the Alto Garda National Park, or just follow the hotel's mapped out fitness trail around the site
- Ask staff to organise a trip to the Comincioli Numero One factory - producer of the world’s best olive oil (10 minutes away) - or to the Bresciano wine cantinas of the Groppello and Chiaretto regions
- A round of golf, perhaps? There are 7 courses in the area, the nearest at Soiano al Lago (8km away)
- Bikes are available for guest use - with quiet roads and some challenging hills, this is classic cycling country
- Back at the hotel, relax with a massage, yoga or some time in the hotel's Finnish sauna (available for exclusive use, by the hour)
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
The hotel feels a little too grown-up, too chilled, for hordes of kids, but they are welcome.
Family friendly accommodation:
The Suite is best for families, as it has a living room with sofabed. All rooms can hold a baby cot, most have space for an extra bed.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Villa Arcadio sits in the Salò hills, in the drive-through village of Villa di Salò, just above the south-western edge of Lake Garda in northern Italy. It's 3km from the lakeshore town of Salò.
The nearest airport is small Brescia (35km), but there are more flights to Verona (50km); Bergamo (90km) could also be useful. Transfers can be arranged, but we'd recommend hiring a car to get the most out of your stay. The hotel has private garaging for cars with key-card entry/exit.
The nearest railway stations are Desenzano and Brescia (transfers can be arranged). Public transport in the area is good and there are bus services from both stations, plus a bus stop in Villa di Salò (just 200 yards from the hotel).
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- Brescia Gabriele D'Annunzio 35.0 km VBS
- Verona Valerio Catullo 50.0 km VRN
- Beach 5.0 km
- Shops 3.0 km
- Restaurant 3.0 km