Fodor's Expert Review Villa d'Este

Via Regina 40, Cernobbio, Lombardy, 22012, Italy Fodor's Choice

Europe's rich and famous have long favored this hotel, one of Italy's grandest, where rooms are done in Empire style; a broad veranda sweeps out to the lakefront; a swimming pool extends above the water; a restaurant offers top-notch views and cuisine; and pavilions, miniature forts, and other follies ensure whimsical garden walks. Built on the site of a former nunnery as Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio's summer residence, this lakeside retreat has had a checkered history since its completion in 1568, swinging between extremes of grandeur and dereliction. Its life as a private summer residence ended in 1873, when it was turned into a fashionable luxury hotel.

PROS

  • fine service
  • amazing grounds
  • excellent restaurant

CONS

  • may feel too formal for some
  • not all rooms have lake views
  • all this grandness comes with a hefty price tag

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Historical, Service, Views
Sophisticated
On the beach
Grande Dame
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 031-3481

HOTEL DETAILS

152 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed mid-Nov.–mid-Mar.

What’s Nearby