A 5 star weekend in lombardy
Wellness centers, swimming pools, boutiques, golf courses: your luxury stay, served and revered
How would you define luxury? You'll find the answer in a pleasurable weekend in Lombardy… of course, you should stay at the right kind of 5-star hotel. And here – you'll be spoiled for choice!
First of all, choose your destination. Milan, perhaps, and the new experience of climbing up to the rooftop terraces of the Cathedral, strolling through history and doing some serious shopping?
The capital of Lombardy certainly offers a wide choice of top accommodation, where you will be pampered with special treatments and services. Like the Park Hyatt Milano, overlooking the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Delight your taste buds with a real gastronomic experience at VUN, their luxury restaurant which has won a Michelin star. Or you might choose another classic hotel, the Principe di Savoia, situated in Piazza della Repubblica, where you can treat yourself at any time of day - from afternoon tea in the Salotto to drinks after dinner in the Principe Bar, or from a relaxing morning in the Spa to a limousine drive into town in the afternoon.
Perhaps you are fascinated by the legendary Grand Tour and would like to discover one of its most romantic destinations? In this case, you must not miss a weekend on Lake Como, perhaps staying in one of its stately homes.
Like the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, with its enviable location, a stone's throw from Villa Carlotta. Here you can enjoy the Spa, three pools – one of which floats on the lake -, rooftop suites with open-air bathtubs and the restaurant La Terrazza, with dishes interpreted by chef Gualtiero Marchesi.
A little further on is Cernobbio and hotel de charme Villa d'Este, which, the story goes, charmed even the Sultan of Morocco who visited it in 1615. Sporting club, luxury boutiques, botanical garden, the possibility of hiring a boat with pilot and private villas available for your stay – for a romantic and aristocratic weekend.
But perhaps you are classical music lovers? Your ideal destination is the CastaDiva Resort in Blevio.
This mansion belonged to opera singer Giuditta Pasta and has welcomed celebrities such as Bellini and Donizetti. Now it is a luxury hotel with separate villas, wellbeing centre, swimming pools and prestigious golf course. An alternative? To visit the historic Villa Melzi with its delightful orangerie, you might choose the Hotel Serbelloni for your stay, thereby enjoying the full fascination of Bellagio, pearl of Lake Como and the joys of dinner at the starred restaurant Mistral.
From Lake Como to Lake d'Iseo is a short step, and ideal if you want a restorative weekend. At Erbusco in the province of Brescia, just a 15-minute drive from the lake, but far from the beaten track, is the Albereta Relais & Chateaux, a haven set among the green vineyards of Franciacorta, where you can slow down and relax in its Wellness & Medical SPA Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot.
Same number of stars, same grandeur, same focus on wellbeing, another destination: Lake Garda and, in particular, Gardone Riviera, where you can visit the Vittoriale degli Italiani of D'Annunzio and the Hotel Villa Del Sogno, which offers a wellbeing centre, beauty treatments, a tennis court and boat trips. Another alternative for a weekend devoted to wellness is offered by the Lefay Resort & Spa Lago Di Garda in Gargnano, in the heart of the Riviera dei Limoni, based on the Lefay global wellness concept - from the interior design to the cuisine, from the surrounding landscape to the relaxation packages, everything must contribute towards creating an enjoyable stay.
And if you would like to live like the Roman aristocrats who spent their days in the noble villa, known today as Grotte di Catullo? Just a short distance from this fascinating archaeological site in Sirmione is the Villa Cortine Palace Hotel, set in its private grounds, where you can walk, go jogging or enjoy doing yoga, tai chi and qigong in the open air.
A final suggestion? If the atmosphere of the lakes does not appeal, a holiday in Bergamo will satisfy your thirst for culture – and how could you resist the beauty of the "high town" – good food, five-star accommodation and a touch of modernity. As you will find if you stay at the Relais San Lorenzo, which has rooms in contemporary style, a spa and a spectacular restaurant set among the excavations of the ancient Roman and mediaeval walls.