above: A view of Lake Como from the new luxury hotel – Photograph by Angie Silverspoon
Set against the foothills of the Italian Alps, Il Sereno Lago di Como is an ultra-luxury hotel, opened in 2017, following the success of its sister property Le Sereno St Barth’s. The stylish and intimate sanctuary, residing in the pictorial town of Torno, has unrivaled personalized service and a contemporary vibe that exudes quintessential relaxation. As soon as my husband and I arrived (for our first real kid-free getaway in ten years!), we were able to disconnect and live in the moment. Eccellente!
Take your pick from the thirty spacious suites with breathtaking lake views and private furnished terraces (we ate breakfast on ours every morning!). Celebrated designer, Milan-based Patricia Urquiola—she won the international Order of Isabella the Catholic, awarded by His Majesty The King of Spain—created a modern look with understated décor. Her primary goal was for guests to feel in harmony with the environment and cocooned by the natural landscape. The rooms reflect the changing of light throughout the day effected by the interaction of water and varying lines of the mountains and sky. We stayed in The Corner Suite, surrounded by 180 degrees of glistening Lake Como. For an extra special treat, book The Penthouse, a 2,150-square-foot space with an oversized terrace, garden and rooftop lap pool.
In 2017, after being open for just one full season, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, the hotel’s signature restaurant, was awarded its first Michelin star. Chef Andrea Berton, along with Executive Chef Raffaele Lenzi, sources only the freshest ingredients from nearby locations, such as Valtellina and the Pianura Padana region, to assemble a menu of classic northern Italian dishes to delight the most sophisticated palates. Standouts are the Venus rice ravioli, black cabbage and razor clams; the cod with puntarelle, leeks and broad beans; and for dessert, the milk crêpe with salted caramel, rhubarb and yogurt. There’s also a light-fare menu available for hotel guests served in the pool area.
The spa, outfitted with cool tones of the centuries-old granite walls and green accents reminiscent of the deep tones of Lake Como, is an instantly soothing environment located in the former darsena, or boathouse, of the property. Keeping with the Sereno Hotels tradition, the three treatment rooms face the water, while you indulge in exclusive products from Valmont skincare, acclaimed for antiaging treatments obtained from the natural elements of Switzerland, where it’s based, including pure water from the Valais Glacier. I highly recommend the Vitality of the Glaciers facial, which stimulates the skin’s energy and cell renewal, transforming overstrained, lifeless skin into radiant, firm skin. There’s also the Peaks of Firmness, an expert anti-wrinkle and firming facial to treat and prevent visible signs of aging.
Check out the many secret passageways while you stroll through the tranquil gardens, at the center of which is a sixty-foot-long infinity pool placed lengthwise in front of the lake and surrounded by a large sundeck where guests can sunbathe and partake in delicious food and drinks. Next to the pool is a small beach perfect for kids (should you dare to invite them along). There are also docking facilities and three custom Riva boats so you can take a spin around the lake and, perhaps, enjoy an extravagant (two-hour) lunch at the exclusive Locanda dell’Isola Comacina, located on the only island on Lake Como. My husband and I were blown away by how fresh and flavorful the food and the service was and the service was top notch. We particularly enjoyed the trout served tableside. You can take a tour of the island and stop at La Botte bar for a revitalizing aperitif.
Portrait by Dreamscape Studio Photography