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For The Love of Lake Como

schedule8 Minute Read

06-Jul-2023 Laura Curtis

For The Love of Lake Como

An Extended Interview with Valentina De Santis...

Valentina De Santis is a CEO with a collection of Hotelier awards to her name, two of Lake Como's chicest hotels in her portfolio, and the spirit of Lake Como in her heart. In this interview, we talk with her about her top travel tips, what makes this Italian destination so special and how her two hotels translate the essence of Lake Como!

Tell us more about your family background and the history of your two luxury hotels, Grand Hotel Tremezzo and Passalacqua Lake Como.


My grandfather bought Grand Hotel Tremezzo in the 70's, starting the long and exciting journey of our family as hoteliers. Grand Hotel Tremezzo opened in 1910 and since then has always been a grand hotel welcoming guests from all over the world.

In 2018, we fell in love at first sight with Villa Passalacqua. It's a historic villa located in Moltrasio and originally built in the 18th Century by Count Andrea Lucini-Passalacqua. We managed to buy this incredible property and make it ours, seeing our dream come to life in June 2022 after some years of renovations.

What makes Lake Como so special, and how does it come through in your hotels?


Lake Como is a magical place suspended in time. It's a place full of history and maintains its origins, but at the same time capable of reinventing itself. The beauty and the history of our hotels are the same as that of Lake Como. We try to maintain and represent the history and beauty of this area but with a contemporary twist in our renovations.

Where can guests catch the best views of the lake, and what are the must-do activities?


Not experiencing Lake Como from the water is simply not an option. Taking a boat as a first 'bite' of the lake is something I suggest to any friend. This is how to enjoy the lake in all its essence.
For sunset lovers, the spring season offers the best sunsets over the lake. For the more active travellers, I recommend dedicating one morning to climb up San Martino. It's an amazing little church on the mountains above Tremezzo with the most spectacular views.

What can guests expect from a stay at your hotels?


Our main desire is that our guests can live the most special and authentic experience of Italian hospitality. Grand Hotel Tremezzo makes guests relive the Belle Epoque atmosphere everyday, whereas Passalacqua is like a private home, a place to enjoy and experience a real 'villeggiatura'.

What are your top travel tips?


Be curious and never put yourself boundaries in experiencing something new. The world is so beautiful and so diverse. Discover it and get inspired.

'Luxury travel' can mean something different for everyone. What does it mean to you?


I would translate real luxury into something much more personal and intimate. To me it is the value of quality, attention to details, uniqueness of history, love of culture and authenticity. These all combine for unique experiences that are able to give us real emotions that will last for a lifetime.

Tell us about your favourite destination to escape to, and when we should go!


I am truly in love with my country as the "Bel Paese" offers so many amazing landscapes and an incredible cultural heritage. I adore the Amalfi coast, especially during springtime with all the flowers blooming. With its picturesque villages, breathtaking scenes and amazing views, it reminds me so much of Lake Como but with a more Mediterranean charm!

We know that you and the hotels don't stand still. What new and exciting developments can we expect from both hotels this season?


You are right! Our motto is "chi si ferma è perduto" (He who hesitates, is lost). For us it's absolutely essential to keep dreaming and using our imagination for continuous improvement. Even at Passalacqua, despite being brand new, we have very exciting projects in the pipeline.

Quick Fire Round!

Favourite book: Le città invisibili (Invisible Cities) by Italo Calvino.
Favourite food: Nothing can beat spaghetti al pomodoro. It's the simplest expression of Italian cuisine, but also for me the most delicious one.
Your must have for a long flight: I wish I could be more romantic, but actually my computer to keep up with my inbox.
The most rewarding part of your job: The joy of our guests and the sense of belonging to a great family.
A few weeks away or a weekend stay: Both! As long as they are with my family!

But What Do Our Staff Say?

Our very own Jonathan Bellamy was left in awe of Grand Hotel Tremezzo and Passalacqua Lake Como whilst on his multi-centre Lake Como holiday.
"This trip was truly amazing; with unforgettable masterclasses, picture-perfect views and luxury around every corner - it is a delight that everyone has to experience. And what's more, it was so easy to reach that after my morning flight I was enjoying pasta by lunchtime! Perfect for a mid-week moment of respite, or a long weekend away."
Are you looking for more travel inspiration? Filled with first-hand travel tales, expert destination guides and more, our luxury online travel blog can help.
Laura  Curtis

Laura Curtis

Senior Copywriter

Whether it's a short-haul weekend away or an exciting international adventure, I'm always eager for my next trip. I've been lucky to travel in abundance, and each time I come home, I bring back unforgettable stories that I love to share.

Feeling Inspired?

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