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Elegant Traveller

My Treasured Moments in Lake Como

schedule8 Minute Read

20-Apr-2023 Jonathan Bellamy

My Treasured Moments in Lake Como

I stepped into the storybook scenes of Lake Como for a two-centre stay at Grand Hotel Tremezzo & Passalacqua and was left absolutely in awe of this enchanting region.

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.

Getting There

Flying from London to Milan, I arrived at Lake Como via a private transfer, and what a journey it was! The road was absolutely beautiful, hugging the edge of the lake with fabulous views all the way up to Grand Hotel Tremezzo . It was the perfect way to set the scene for the rest of my time here.
Lake Como

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Sitting on the western shores of the lake opposite the renowned town of Bellagio, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is unlike anything I've experienced anywhere else. A privately owned art nouveau Palace with incredible details and extraordinary views, this beautiful heritage hotel is all about luxury. As I arrived, I could see beautiful little balconies overlooking the lake and immediately started daydreaming of watching the boats whilst I sat enjoying my morning coffee.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo exterior
Giacomo Al Lago Grand Hotel Tremezzo
I stayed in the rooftop Grand Bellagio Suite which was just jaw dropping. Filled with antiques and personal touches; the amenities within the hotel are Aqua Como a signature sent of Grand Hotel Tremezzo created by Valentina de Santis, CEO and Owner of both hotels, with blends of the floral lush gardens and fresh notes of the Lake Como Breeze, providing a real Sense of Lake. It was apparent that this stay is made for luxuriance - the interior was filled period antiques married with vibrant jewel tones, although the style of the hotel stepped you back to the Belle Epoque. A hidden tv meant that it didn't impose on the elegance of the room, Dyson hairdryers and every modern amenity were at your finger tips. Not forgetting our private terrace with whirlpool and the most amazing views of the lake and Bellagio.
The space of the hotel was unbelievable. It features three pools, including an indoor infinity pool with swim out jacuzzi and four restaurants - having only 84 suites it meant that the whole experience felt exclusive and intimate. And this atmosphere only increased when my wife and I had breakfast, where the open-policy kitchen made it a 'you name it we have it' experience.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Whilst the Italian hospitality and attention detail is apparent everywhere, it is certainly showcased at each of the four dining options, being a real foodie, a highlight was dinner at L'escale Trattoria, located in the renovated wine cellar. I ordered the Tagliolini cacio, pepe, tagliatelle with pecorino cheese and black pepper, which combined amazing food with spectacular theatre, where the pasta was made tableside in a giant pecorino cheese wheel and topped off with truffle shavings.


Between our stay at the two hotels, we made the short boat journey to explore 'the pearl of the lake'. We headed to Punta Spartivento the spot where the two parts of the lake meet which was such an incredible sight, and then spent some time meandering down the famous colourful alleys Salita Mella and Salita Serbellonu, past restaurants, cafes, tavernas and listening to the charming bells ringing from Basilica di San Giacomo. It was a lovely experience exploring the lake and wandering through the botanical gardens of Villa Melzi.

Passalacqua Lake Como

Passalacqua Lake Como is the newest hotel on the lake and owned by Valentina and the de Santis family, set a little further down the lake towards Como Town in Moltrasio and only an hour away from the airport.
A Private Grand Villa created in the 18th Century that's been painstakingly resorted and converted into an exclusive 24-suite hotel. Once owned by Pope Innocent XI the Villa has changed hands a number of times and played host to composer Vincenzo Belli who composed opera Sonnambula and even Winston Churchill visited to enjoy the Italian tradition of la villeggiatura 'to leave the hustle and bustle of city and spend time together in the country, to recharge, relax, recharge the body and expand the mind'.
Coming from a day around the lake, we arrived by boat and was greeted with the most charming orange fiat 500 to take us through the beautiful gardens, past the bocce court, kitchen garden, olive grove, rose garden, gym, heated pool and finally up to the villa. Arriving at the hotel was the most incredible experience, absolutely stunning yet super intimate.
Passalacqua Lake Como car and view
Jonathan with Valentina at Passalacqua Lake Como
The accommodation of this Grand Villa is split between the original Villa containing 12 rooms and Grand Suites, views of the gardens and lake framed by ancient cypress trees and cedars. The suites in the Villa host stunning chandeliers, venetian terrazzo flooring, Murano Candelabras, sconces, mirrors, antiques, and artworks sourced by Valentina and her family. The expertly renovated Palazz located behind the Villa has 8 beautiful rooms and is also home to the spa, an underground steam, sauna and ice bath area and soon to be indoor pool. Lastly, is Casa al Lago 'house by the lake' located in the gardens close to the shoreline is home to just 4 suites, each with stunning lake views. Rooms in Casa al Lago can interconnect to become a two-bedroom family suite, perfect for families or private for a group of friends.
Grand Junior Suite in the Villa
Grand Junior Suite in the Villa with Lake View
During our stay we enjoyed two of the hotels' experiences, the first was ice cream making with Laura the owner of Gelateria Le Giuggiole, the local Gelato in Moltrasio. We went for vanilla and chocolate, making everything by hand, and they tasted incredible, we even had enough to enjoy as our dessert after lunch. Our other experience was a cocktail masterclass with the bar manager, Alex in the hotels wine cellar. It was amazing to get to see such expertise at work and have a go ourselves, making the famous Italian Negroni first and then the hotels signature Rose Martini made with roses from the hotel gardens - the perfect Aperitivo. After our cocktails, Alex let us into a little secret and provided us with a tour of the ancient tunnels that run under the whole of the villa, from the spa in the Palazz to the marina at the lake - this personal experience is not to me missed.
Passalacqua Lake Como cocktail masterclass
Despite having a quiet and intimate feel, there were so many little gems scattered around the hotel grounds that you could retreat should it ever start to get busy. The tiered gardens had a stunning effect, with a rose garden, fountains, roaming chickens and a separate space for fruit and vegetables. Beside the heated outdoor pool is the winter garden which was like walking into a kaleidoscope glasshouse, such an incredible ambience and you can enjoy lunch here too!
Passalacqua Lake Como terrace view
Pool Bar
Fancy this magical two-centre stay for yourself? We've put together the ideal offer for your Lake Como experience!
Jonathan Bellamy

Jonathan Bellamy

Head of Chairman's Club

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