Best of the Italian Lakes
Lake Como: Stay
An illuminated stone walkway welcomes guests to the Relais Regina Teodolinda (58 Via Vecchia Regina, Laglio; 39-031/400-031; relaisreginateodolinda.it; doubles from $286), an 1800’s villa with a 200-year-old garden overlooking Lake Como. The six suites are simple but stylish, with zebra-patterned rugs, white rafters, and stripped-down walls that reveal centuries of pastel paintwork.
The most prestigious of the waterfront hotels, the legendary Villa d’Este (40 Via Regina, Cernobbio; 39-031/3481; villadeste.it; doubles from $540) has attracted the international jet set since the 19th century. Along with 152 opulent rooms (silk brocade curtains; 16th-century frescoes), the property has 25 acres of parkland, just enough space for three restaurants, three pools, eight tennis courts, and a newly renovated spa.
Great Value At the contemporary Hotel Villa Stupenda (3 Via per Lecco, Bellano; 39-0341/810-386; villastupenda.it; doubles from $163), the understated suites look out onto Bellano harbor, where herons and cormorants gather. Inside, white Giorgetti armchairs and modular lamps are paired with original brickwork arches and exposed-beam ceilings. The only downside? A narrow road runs between the hotel and the lakeshore.