Why Stay Here?
Everyone should stay here. Once the summer house of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, this wonderful expression of 16th-century Late Renaissance architecture was transformed into a luxury hotel for the nobility and high bourgeoisie in 1873. Villa d’Este is pure Old World charm. Just an hour from Milan, the approach through the spectacular gardens of this magnificently manicured 10ha estate still won’t prepare you for the moment when you walk into the lobby. This is the palace of accommodation, you are its rulers and you have arrived.
Rise & Shine Breakfast time?
The Veranda restaurant allows you to survey Lake Como and the gardens as you savour an excellent breakfast, delivered pronto by waiters happy to cater to any special needs. Afterwards, take a hike round the estate on the jogging trail, or try the exercise circuit.
What’s for dinner?
The menus are typically drawn from traditional Italian haute cuisine with an interesting variety of regional dishes with the best Italian wines. In summer, meals are served in the garden under the century-old plane trees. Our deer loin and fresh octopus for dinner at the Grill, one of the more casual dining venues, was excellent.
Just visiting Lake Como and Villa d’Este is good for the soul. The treatments available in the spa ensure the body is also well looked after. We enjoyed a massage in this tranquil and soothing environment.
Everything about Villa d’Este is jaw-droppingly ‘wow’! The gardens are magnificent. Manicured to the last detail, they’re great for a stroll. Don’t miss the 16th-century Mosaic and its Nymphaeum as you wander. Close to the Veranda restaurant, it is a magical grotto.
Could do better
How do you improve on perfection? There are eight tennis courts available on the grounds. I guess they could make it nine?
I would like an upgrade
If money is no object, book the premium Cardinal Suite. At 108sqm plus a 90sqm terrace, it’s Villa d’Este’s signature style, only more of it – sumptuous furnishings, marble bathroom and rare antiques adorn this elegant self-contained apartment. Three exclusive 19th-century villas are also available for short-term rentals.
Book well ahead. This one of the world’s premium hotels and is often entirely booked out for months in advance.