Perched on the shores of Lake Maggiore is the Giardino Ascona, a beautiful Mediterranean-style hotel dressed in earthy shades of terracotta. The surrounding gardens and secluded location (just a short distance along the lake from the charming town of Ascona) make the hotel feel as if it were on a private estate.
Outside of our ground level room was a large terrace surrounded by gardens. It was lovely to keep the doors open and enjoy the fresh air complemented by the scent of fruit trees. We also lounged in the relaxing privacy of our sunbeds. We particularly enjoyed the complimentary pillow and tea service: upon request, a warm pillow filled with grape seed, pine needles or hay was delivered to our room, along with an herbal tea of our choice and a warm amaretto biscuit.
The culinary highlight was undoubtedly chef Rolf Fliegauf’s two-Michelin-star Ristorante Ecco, which delivered excellent aromatic cuisine. Our standout dishes included the Atlantic sole with lemon hollandaise, marinated duck liver, and Breton red mullet with fennel. At Restaurant Aphrodite, guests are spoiled with Mediterranean specialties such as local pikeperch, lamb tagine, homemade pasta and tiramisu.
The hotel aims to provide a relaxing experience for its guests, so much so that it has the nickname ‘the soul retreat.’ Those who fancy cruising around Lake Maggiore on a top-performance luxury yacht can book a day on the exclusive Design-Yacht Frauscher 1017-GT through concierge. Golf enthusiasts can play on the meticulously kept 18-hole course in Ascona, which has beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Guests at Giardino Ascona can pick up a voucher for the Golf Club Losone and the Golf Club Partiziale Ascona at reception.
The hotel has an indoor pool, with designs reminiscent of a Roman bath temple, an outdoor pool, children’s pool, sauna and a generously sized fitness room. Guests also have access to custom-made bicycles; some are suited for mountain biking while others are perfect for leisurely rides along the lakeside or ventures into local neighbourhoods.