Lake Como, Italy
The lowdown Cutting-edge design in a luxurious waterside setting. Best for Style aficionados living the dream.
Lake Como has never been short of allure, but until Il Sereno opened last year, it was very much a historic hotel scene. Now this new kid on the block, designed by über-talent Patricia Urquiola, has changed the dynamic. Perched on a promontory, it blends seamlessly into the landscape thanks to its wood and stone exterior and dramatic vertical gardens created by living-wall maestro Patrick Blanc. Understated elegance greets you at every turn, from the slick low-key lobby to the focal point walnut and copper pipe staircase and the 30 spacious suites, each with their own balcony and lake view. Although this haven of style celebrates the design dream, the atmosphere is elegant yet relaxed thanks to general manager Samy Ghachem and his team, who specialise in easy hospitality. The modern Italian fare is superb
– Livingetc is still reliving the ravioli with lobster and purple cauliflower and pistachio parfait with wild berries. For those who can tear themselves away from chilling by the infinity pool, the hotel has Riva boats for lake trips, a fabulous spa and Como town is five minutes down the road. For a change of dining scene, there are a range of delightful local restaurants just a stone’s throw away. Book it Suites from £660 (serenohotels.com).