LADIES IN WAITING
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
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.