LADIES IN WAIT­ING

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Ciao bella: Grand Ho­tel Tre­mezzo Palace

Grand Ho­tel Tre­mezzo Palace: Un­like many of the other villa ho­tels on the lakes, Grand Ho­tel Tre­mezzo Palace did not be­gin its life as a hol­i­day bolt­hole for a rich Ital­ian fam­ily. It was pur­pose-built in 1910 to cater for the grow­ing num­ber of wealthy in­ter­na­tional tourists flood­ing into the Como re­gion and, al­though it closed for a short while dur­ing World War I, when it was an­nexed as a med­i­cal clinic for the army, the 96-room ho­tel (there are ad­di­tional fam­ily rooms in the villa next door) has long been re­garded as one of the lake’s most exclusive fives­tars. An ex­cel­lent spa and fit­ness cen­tre, plus ac­cess to the nearby golf course, make it a good choice for the ac­tive hol­i­day­maker. Dou­bles from

($470); www.grand­hotel­tremezzo.com.

Grand Ho­tel Caden­ab­bia: The mod­est Lo­canda Caden­ab­bia opened in 1802 as a place for trav­ellers and boat­men to rest. It was later en­larged and be­gan at­tract­ing English tourists in­clud­ing, on one note­wor­thy oc­ca­sion, Queen Vic­to­ria. In 2007, a sub­stan­tial restora­tion was com­pleted; now with 192 rooms, the prop­erty has been re­named Grand Ho­tel Caden­ab­bia and awarded four-star sta­tus. One of the ho­tel’s big­gest draw­cards is its lo­ca­tion ad­ja­cent to the stun­ning Villa Car­lotta, an 18th-cen­tury home hous­ing an art mu­seum and flanked by mag­nif­i­cent aza­lea and rhodo­den­dron gar­dens. Dou­bles from www.grand­hotel­ca­den­ab­bia.it.

Grand Ho­tel Im­pe­ri­ale: An art nou­veau-style ho­tel a few kilo­me­tres from Cer­nob­bio, Grand Ho­tel Im­pe­ri­ale has 102 rooms and a sig­na­ture restau­rant awarded a healthy four forks in the 2009 Miche­lin guide. Dou­bles from www.ho­tel-lago-como-im­pe­ri­ale.com.

Ho­tel Al­bergo Ter­mi­nus: If be­ing at the cen­tre of the action is what you’re af­ter, Ho­tel Al­bergo Ter­mi­nus is the per­fect choice. This clas­si­cally styled four-star ho­tel, a re­stored 19th-cen­tury build­ing, sits in the heart of Como, easy walk­ing dis­tance from its main tourist at­trac­tions. Dou­bles from www.al­ber­goter­mi­nus.com.

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