Italy's playground for the rich and celeb-studded crowd welcomed a new hotel on this week. Casa sull'Albero is a luxury boutique hideaway with 12 glass-walled loft suites, the entire Malgrate property—a collection of low-rise blocks sloping towards the water—on the shores of Lake Como, designed by Giorgio Melesi and Andrea Colzani (who also created C-Hotel & Spa nearby).
A 32-inch television, WiFi, heated floors, and double shower are in each suite. Also in each suite are odes to the hotel's natural surroundings (mature trees and a garden setting), as reflected in wood and stone accents sourced from the region. That same sentiment carries through to Casa sull'Albero's spa where treatments specialized for each client can be given outdoors at the guest's request (there are also indoor treatment rooms).
A saltwater pool outdoors and an indoor library stocked with arts/photography titles provide more relaxation for luxury- and literary-minded travelers. An "honesty" kitchen means guests can dine any time they like on an honor system simply noting their room number in a book, with the food focusing on fresh, local products. Quiet, meditative moments can be taken on the hotel's terrace and within its gardens.
As an eco-friendly hotel, it follows strict guidelines from the World Wildlife Fund in Italy which include using regional materials, reducing waste, and practicing sustainability towards the landscape and community whenever possible.
For little escapes from the hotel, guests can easily head to Lecco's restaurants and bars on the other side of the lake, accessible via a small bridge.
Rates at Casa sull'Albero start at 150 Euros ($195) per night.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Casa sull'Albero