Arriving at Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como is like entering a true Italian fairytale. The five-star hotel is located right on the water in the tiny town it’s named after, surrounded by historic villas and old world charm.
“The key value at Grand Hotel Tremezzo is warm, Italian hospitality,” GHT’s PR manager, Delia Facchini, told us on a recent visit to the Art Nouveau palazzo, noting that the owner, Valentina De Santis, is the third generation in her family to run the hotel, which is now a member of Preferred Hotels. During her time at the helm, De Santis has added modern suites and employed the same landscape architect George Clooney used for his own villa nearby to perfect the hotel, so it’s really just like you’re vacationing with George and Amal.
There are three pools at GHT, including one right on the lake, as well as three restaurants and a spa you’ll never want to leave. Impeccable attention has been paid to the littlest details, and a rather lovely aroma permeates the lobby, which happens to be an exclusive fragrance created for Grand Hotel Tremezzo by Acqua di Parma, dubbed Aqua di Como (it means scent of the lake). Here’s everything you need to know about the lavish hotel.
The classic rooms are outfitted with local Como fabrics custom Aqua di Como products.
There are 90 rooms and suites at the hotel, starting at $525 a night. They’re decorated in a classic, old-school Italian fashion, with gilded gold photos hanging on the walls and silk fabrics that are all locally sourced in Como. All the bath products are custom Acqua Como, packaged in GHT’s signature orange hue. Then there are fancier suites, like the $1,140 a night Suite Emilia, which is like your own wellness retreat. It’s decorated in soothing grey and blue hues, with a marble bathroom, steam room and marble whirlpool tub that’s really more of a mini pool. It’s in the same 18th century villa as the T Spa, to which the suite has a private access.
Swim in an indoor infinity pool and relax with T Spa’s signature massage.
T Spa is downright dreamy, with a hammam, Mediterranean steam room, ice fountain and a plush relaxation area looking out at the lake. There are countless treatments to choose from, but it’s hard to pass up the signature “Candle Massage,” which make use of the hotel’s exclusive Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella products that rely on plant oils to heal and replenish. Make sure to spend some quality time in the plush relaxation area after, where you can sip a fresh tea while looking out at the lake. A dip in the indoor infinity pool is a must, with its postcard-worthy look out at the water.
Dine on Gualtiero Marchesi’s famous saffron risotto topped with 23-karat gold leaf at La Terrazza.
GHT’s executive chef of 30 years, Osvaldo Presazzi, was trained under famed Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi, who passed away last year. The hotel’s chic terrace restaurant, La Terrazza Gualtiero Marchesi, pays homage to the late chef and recreates his iconic dishes, perhaps most famously the risotto, which is covered in a square of gold leaf (after I finished eating, I was presented with a certificate of authentication for the indulgent meal). If you’re looking for a more casual dining atmosphere, head to L’Escale or T Pizza. Definitely sip a cocktail or two at T Bar, and enjoy it in the brightly colored room with a plethora of jewel-toned upholstered seating and framed scarves on the walls, which are from the owner’s private collection—they’re made by the famous Como silk family, Ratti.
Take a lake tour on the hotel’s private boat.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo has two boats, Ruy and Batt, that guests can exclusively book for a tour of Lake Como by water, complete with plenty of rosé. Sail on over to Bellagio or Como town, where we highly suggest stopping at Gelateria Cavour for something sweet. The captain will show you all the villas and landmarks from the water, including Richard Branson’s palatial property that is only reachable by boat, though sadly the tour doesn’t include a personal viewing.
Live like Italian nobility at Villa Sola Cabiati for $6,700 a night.
If you’re looking to kick it up a notch, consider the 16th century Villa Sola Cabiati. Grand Hotel Tremezzo manages the six-suite villa, which can accommodate 12 guests, and began offering overnight accommodations in 2017. The lakefront property is replete with marble balconies and period decor, with a private pool and an Italian garden.
“It’s all the comforts and luxury of Grand Hotel Tremezzo,” Villa Sola Cabiata manager Antonio Frascadore told us, as those willing to dole out $6,700 a night get full access to GHT and all its facilities, while also indulging in a castle lifestyle with a complete staff of a villa manager, butler, housekeeping and chef. Oh, and they’re adding a private spa this year.
Explore a secret tunnel and vacation like George Clooney and Richard Branson at Villa Passalacqua.
GHT owner De Santis won the cliffside Villa Passalacqua at auction last year, beating out many eager competitors. It’s a similar concept to Villa Sola Cabiati, though on a larger scale—the main house is composed of nine suites, while the guest home, Villa Bellini, has four more rooms. You can host at least 24 people here, for $9,815 a night. It’s über glamorous and super private, and there’s even a secret underground entrance.
Winston Churchill once stayed here, and Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini created two operas during his time at the villa. There’s a heated outdoor pool, many a garden, lake views and it happens to be in the same area as Richard Branson’s villa and unofficial Lake Como mayor George Clooney and Amal Clooney’s home.
The opulent, ornate residence has had multiple owners over the years, which means various renovations and a multitude of styles throughout, but it’s getting a makeover soon—next year, GHT is embarking on a complete restoration, with a grand opening expected for 2021.