What We Love
- Dating back to the 16th century, the hotel has, over the years, added everything from formal gardens to fake fortifications
- Celebrity-spotting is a good way to while away the time between spa treatments
- Old-school service provided by staff, many who’ve worked here for decades
What To Know
- Boats (and captains) are available for hire to cruise the lake
- Free WiFi
- There are eight tennis courts on the grounds
You won’t find Italian Renaissance style more grand than this 16th-century Tivoli palace, whose immaculate, fountain-filled garden was so influential to future European garden design that it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What was built as a summer home for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio in 1568 has become, through the ages, a playground for European royalty and the most discerning of guests. Stately staircases, extra-wide hallways, enormous flower arrangements, and a carefully curated selection of original paintings and sculptures all add to the allure. The terrace is the favored spot by guests for sipping evening aperitifs while gazing across the lake to the opposite hillside. The more casual sundeck is best for lunch.
Bed and Bath
Each of the 152 rooms is individually decorated with covetable antiques, marble bathrooms, and oil paintings. The covetable upper-floor rooms have better lake views, though even standard rooms look out onto the impressive Renaissance courtyard. Heavy striped curtains complement the pastel wallpaper and silk brocade, while touches like tassels, velvet, gilt, polished wood lend each room a rich, sumptuous feel.
Swimming in the lake comes at a close second to Villa d’Este’s iconic floating pool, built on a pontoon that sits out on the water. The pool, which is surrounded by wooden decking and rows of signature blue-cushioned sun lounges, also has a Jacuzzi built into the middle – an ideal place from which to observe the activity on the lake. In the winter, check out the heated indoor pool instead. The hotel bar has live music and is generally full in the evenings, full of post-spa guests just returned from a massage or facial after a day of sun worshipping.
In the Area
Lake Como itself is a celeb magnet, favored by the likes of George Clooney, Bono, Brangelina, and Versace. Because it’s just an hour’s drive from Milan, it’s possible to spend a day shopping in the city and still get back in time for a quick dip and pre-dinner cocktail at the villa’s Terrace Bar. From Como, there are numerous walking and hiking excursions with views over the lake; ask the concierge to help you choose one. There are also a number of golf clubs nearby, most of which admit non-members.
How to Get There
I was fortunate enough to have a two night stay at this hotel in celebration of my sister's big "O" birthday! My sister having lived for the past 30 years in Switzerland & had visited this hotel once before with her husband & so recommended it for our little gathering of 3 sisters!
Well all I can say is WOW!
The hotel is stunning, set in the most idilic location on the lake & surrounded by beautiful gardens.
From the moment we stepped out of our car we were looked after. Everyone was friendly, helpful & attended to everything that we needed. Afternoon coffee & tea on the terrance after a long drive down from Zurich was heaven. Especially as we dropped on fantastic weather!
Our rooms were large & very comfortable & were serviced at least 3 times throughout the day & the bathrooms had all "the not so little" extras like soaps, shampoos, makeup pads etc you would ever need if forgotten. On both nights we couldn't hear any noise & the beds were really comfortable.
One word for breakfast....AMAZING! Never worry that they couldn't cater for any particular diet as they had it covered with a very slick yet friendly service.
We dined on the second night in the top restaurant to celebrate my sisters birthday & the food was delicious! Again all staff looked after us really well & it was a very relaxed evening all round. Excellent choices on the menu too.
I read a writeup that someone did 5 years ago about their stay at this hotel & they described it as luxury at its best but comfortable with it that you end up relaxing into this hotel with the staff who are are in attendance for anything but always discrete. This is still very true 5 years on!
Although breakfast appeared to be busy which suggested the hotel was reasonably full one always felt when wondering around it was so peaceful & quiet.
This is a very luxurious hotel & so worth it. I really loved it & will return for sure.
We did hire a boat for 5 hours with our very own captain & we took a tour of the lake. Our captain was fantastic with his knowledge & we thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the lake & our stop off for lunch.
there are no words to describe how breath taking this property is, how ever we stayed in the remodeled rooms and unfortunately we were not impressed, make sure you ask for mattress topper if you are not a fan of a rock hard bed.
Have dreamed of Lake Como for many years and visited for our 25th wedding Anniversary. Villa D'Este was everything I imagined and more. First, my thanks to Fabrizio for making my romantic dinner at the Veranda so special. The concierge team was excellent in all areas arranging for our private boat, suggesting fabulous restaurants, arranging flowers, you name it it was done - to perfection. Our room was fabulous with a gorgeous view of the lake. Dinner at the Veranda is not to be missed, excellent food, unmatched surrounding, top service. As you can see, I cannot say enough about Villa D'este. You'll have to see for yourself. Go!
I always knew that Villa d'Este was beautiful from reviews and photographs. But an afternoon lunch there and a walk of the gardens was breathtaking. Lunch was first rate. The food and service immpecable. Pricey, yes. But save your Euros for a remarkable experience. An arresting experience.
What a beautiful Hotel! Probably among one of the most beautiful in the World! Everything is so detailed, the Restaurants the Bar the swimming pool in the lake, the garden with all of those amazing statue! It might be expensive but it is worth trying!