“Elegant villa hotel set among olive and citrus groves in the hills above Salò, with heavenly views of Lake Garda”
There is a hint of the monastic in the hotel’s 18 rooms: the décor is simple, natural, textural - no jazz, no frills - and the luxury lies in the detail: expensive linens, dark wood, subtle lighting, soft non-allergenic pillows and super-comfortable twin or deluxe double beds (apparently made by somebody well-trained in hospital corners).
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, with desk-like console tables, big cubist armchairs, pewter-coloured rugs on terracotta floors, and sunlight pouring in through the windows, each framing an Arcadian view of the lake, the garden, or both.
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, Room 1 on the ground floor, is a lovely little room with French windows opening onto a dinky terrace overlooking the garden.
All rooms have air conditioning, flat-screen plasma TVs, mini-fridges, mineral water and internet access. 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.
Whether it's breakfast on the terrace overlooking the lake, lunch by the pool or dinner in the restaurant, eating at Villa Arcadio is one of the joys of staying here - thanks to impeccable service and, of course, wonderful food, much of it prepared from fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden.
In the restaurant, housed under the stone arches of a cloister-like space, the tables are laid with sparkling cutlery, candelabras and crisp table linen; there are ornate fireplaces at either end, the walls in between lined with antique prints and gilt mirrors. In summer, scents from the garden waft in through open doors (or you can sit outside); in winter, it’s cosy and candlelit.
The à la carte menu changes according to the season and might include seared scallops with tomato jelly, pumpkin and spring onion risotto or spaghetti with white lake fish and anchovies. But we highly recommend the 4-course 'menu of the day' (see Rates); during our visit, this kicked off with coriander rabbit terrine and mixed salad, followed by ricotta-filled ravioli with a fresh cherry tomato and basil sauce. Our main was roasted duck breast with a cherry and Merlot sauce, our dessert a delicious strawberry zucotto. Among the wines of the region, try a Groppello (red), Chiaretto (a light, dry rosé) or Lugana (white).
Breakfast is a decorative buffet of meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, breads, pastries, salads and savouries. On a fine day, you can eat out on the terrace, where wrought-iron chairs sit under a canopy of vines overlooking Garda and the mountains beyond.
If you want to eat out, there are dozens of waterside restaurants in Salò or Gardone Riviera - ask hotel staff for recommendations.
The hotel feels a little too grown-up, too chilled, for hordes of kids, but they are welcome. Cots can be provided in rooms for a small charge, extra beds for a higher charge. Babysitters are available on request.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking