Posts Tagged ‘Lake Como’

A Stay at Villa D’Este Lake Como, Italy

The view from our Lake View Junior Suite in the Cardinal Building at Villa D’Este

This summer I visited Italy’s Lake Como for the first time. It’s stunningly beautiful, even though the weather was mostly rainy during my visit. My husband recently joined LHW’s Leaders Club Unlimited and LHW has an exceptional edit of hotels in Italy, including Villa d’Este.

Pool on the lake at Villa D’Este

We booked a executive Room Garden View but were upgraded to a Junior Suite with Lake View in the Cardinal Building, which was a very nice upgrade. As a Leaders Club Unlimited member, my husband was also given Three course complementary lunch for two at The Verandah (without drinks).

The view from Bar Canova

Some of the entrees, such as smoked sockeye salmon with caviar were € 80. The total value of this unpublished Leaders Club unlimited perk was around $300.  I would not have known the prices if my husband had not told me, this is the sort of old school hotel that gives the woman the menu with no prices.

Art in Bar Canova

Once we got into our Junior suite, we found a bottle of Prosecco as our welcome amenity, and a stunning view of the lake.

Classic Italian luxury is the vibe at Villa D’Este

Service at the hotel was top notch, and the bathroom smelled wonderful. Staff was very friendly, on top of everything and the concierge took care of all our restaurant reservations.

Boats at Villa D’Este

The hotel was offering daily boat excursions on the lake complete with a tour guide and a 90 minute stopover in Bellagio for € 90. I was going to go but choose not to because of the weather (and the bed was really, really comfortable).

Rainy but beautiful morning on Lake Como

The property has over 25 acres of grounds and gardens and huge fitness center complete with indoor pool. Due to the rain, the outdoor pool was closed during much of my stay.

The Queen’s Building at Villa D’Este

Breakfast for two was included in our room rate and the food and service was good. My only criticism– the breakfast buffet was not as impressive as everything else at the property.

Stunning gardens at Villa D’Este

It was also fun instagramming pictures from the property and having “George Clooney’s Villa” pop up as a possible location.

Pasta and tomato soup al fresco

Villa d’Este was not cheap, but the great service and luxe accommodations made up for the dicey weather.

Aperol Spritz at Canova Bar

The hotel had even set up a lounge and big screen television in one of the rooms on the ground floor to make a top notch lounge for World Cup viewing.

Sun & an Aperol Spritz

Villa d’Este is open from March through November.

Villa d’Este

Via Regina, 40

22012 Cernobbio, Italy

Tel +39 031 3481

Fax +39 031 348873

Rates start at $696 .78 (€ 520.00)

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Where to Eat in Lake Como, Italy: Crotto dei Platani

The Aperol Spritz: perfect for an Italian summer evening

Located in an old grotto situated on on the lake, Crotto dei Platani is a charming and romantic restaurant with great outdoor spaces as well as a natural grotto. It was a 20 minute drive from Cernobbio, where I was staying, but well worth the drive. It was one of the most memorable meals of the trip.

The exterior of Crotto dei Platani

In the summer, it’s all about dining on the restaurant’s panoramic veranda and garden. When I visited, it was raining, so we ate in the covered patio overlooking the lake.

The gorgeous view of the lake from Crotto dei Platani

The food was delicious. The menu focuses on fish caught in the lake, offering dishes like Mixed Lake Fish Hors d’oeuvres (€ 14) and White Fish Tartare with Black truffle (€ 18). We had the Assorted Salami with Vinegar Vegetables (€ 14) which was delicious and paired nicely with Italy’s summer cocktail of choice, the Aperol Spritz.

Pea soup with crispy black rice and citrus cream was € 13

Next I had the fresh Pea Soup, which was fresh, light and delicious and had a lovely texture with the black rice and citrus cream. It hit the spot on a rainy evening.

The Assorted Salami with Vinegar Vegatables was a winner

We moved on to a bottle of Tignanello Super Tuscan before our mains arrived. I went for the house made Pasta with Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella and Eggplant (€ 13). It was served al dente and had the correct sauce-to-pasta ratio.

Left: The house made pasta Right: Beef with foie gras and red wine sauce

My husband loved the Beef with Foie Gras and Red Wine Sauce (€ 23). We usually skip dessert, we couldn’t pass up the Peach Semifreddo with raspberries and honey (€ 8). It was worth the splurge.

Our waiter turned our wine cork into a key ring souvenir

With excellent service, great atmosphere, and fantastic food, Crotto dei Platani is a great choice for a special occasion or romantic dinner. You can even arrange to arrive by water taxi.

The docks outside Crotto dei Platani lit up at night

Crotto dei Platani

Via Regina, 73
22010 Brienno (CO),
SS 340, km 16

T: (+39) 031 814038

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