Stay here: Hotel Eden Roc

Once a fishing village, the town of Ascona, settled on the shores of Lake Maggiore, is now an artist’s hub with winding arcades, boutique-lined piazzas and plentiful galleries that make it a pleasure to explore. Nestled in the centre of the old town, Eden Roc Ascona has incredible views of the mountains, lake, and surrounding village, and is the perfect base from which to explore Ascona.

Our room has two balconies and large floor-to-ceiling windows that give us a stunning view across the garden and swimming pool to the lake. The large property is actually a group of three resorts, all with light and airy rooms with interiors designed by Carlo Rampazzi. We start the day off with smoked salmon, fresh baked pastries and local cheeses selected from the large buffet, in a bright sunny room overlooking the lake. An à la carte menu is also available.

There are a multitude of things to do and see in the area. Lake Maggiore is known for its islands – Isole di Brissagio, covered in botanic gardens, filled with local and regional flora, while the three Borromeo islands house the Borromeo family’s magnificent residence. It’s home to a number of priceless artworks, detailed grottos, extravagant gardens and several rare white peacocks. Check with the concierge to book a luxury boat charter and spend a day island hopping, or book a lesson with the resort’s watersports school to experiment with motorboats, sailing and water skiing. The hotel also provides bikes suited to exploring Ascona, or venturing into the mountains. There are two 18-hole golf courses in the immediate vicinity. If you’re staying a while, it’s worth visiting the nearby valleys of Ticino. Valle Maggia is particularly beautiful, with the gorge of Ponte Brolla, the mountain church in Mogno, and the museum in Cevio providing a good dose of local culture and sightseeing.

There are four restaurants at Eden Roc Ascona serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. We chose to dine at the Marina restaurant, a casual yet contemporary glassed-in room that offers indoor and outdoor seating. Some of the highlights included the amazing Caesar salad, tomato, buffalo mozzarella and rocket salad, fillet of local pikeperch from Lake Maggiore, and fresh homemade pastas.

To unwind after a long day of adventuring, visit the Eden Roc Spa. The large 2,000-square-metre spa is a bit difficult to navigate, as it has several different areas each with their own entrance. It houses seven treatment rooms, an indoor and outdoor pool, an outdoor panoramic pool, a hydro pool with whirlpool recliners, various saunas and steam baths, a fitness room and a hair salon. They use Sensai, Clarins, Dermalogica, OPI and La Biosthetique spa products.

For the best room in the house, book the Grand Suite. The 110-square-metre room faces south with a direct view over the lake, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, spacious living room and a large balcony.


Luxurious hotel interiors by Carlo Rampazzi

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