Special feature: Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio in the Italian Lakes

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniWhen you see a lone,  bright red Ferrari parked outside, you kind of already know that you have reached somewhere that’s likely to be grand and palatial. The entrance to the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni was in full bloom  when we arrived  in the  sleepy-but-romantic town of Bellagio earlier this month, and the interior lived up to  initial indications.

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniThis historic building is a restored 19th Century villa that is  as grand inside as it looks on the out. There’s an air of grandeur exhibited by the hallways, stairs and communal rooms all of which have been kept close to their original state. Ceilings are littered with beautiful frescoes and  chandeliers abound. Head for the elegant Ristorante Terrazza Villa Serbelloni when you arrive and took a moment to digest the setting.

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniWhat’s really special about this hotel, beyond the decadence of the building and its interior, is its position and the views all around. We were  in room 262, arguably the best-positioned room in the hotel; being positioned on the second floor with windows looking out in two directions (approximately north and west), you’re able to see beyond the hotel gardens both up and down Lake Como.

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniThe outdoor infinity-edged pool was a little chilly to swim in during our mid-June visit but, in the height of summer, it no doubt provides a refreshing opportunity to cool down. You certainly couldn’t grumble with the pool’s setting, close to the lake edge, and  with stunning views of Lake Como both up and down.

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniFor those that prefer warmer swimming conditions, there is a heated indoor pool just nearby with massage and whirlpool options within.   There’s also a shallow kids’ pool with a short slide. In a separate building, a  short walk up from  the hotel, are fitness and beauty facilities with a number of tantalising treatments available for those seeking to pamper themselves.

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniJust as our heads hit the pillow on the evening of our stay, there was a huge bang outside. A little alarmed at first, we got up and looked out of the window to see a  small vessel  had gone a short way out on to the lake and was releasing firework after firework. We joked that they really shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble for us, but the reality was in fact that there was a wedding celebration taking place. And what a firework display it was!   I’ve heard that Italians love  any excuse for a  few fireworks and this was clearly evident.

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniA buffet breakfast at the hotel the next morning was available in a  fabulous dining room –  a room which epitomises the hotel’s grandeur. As Murano chandeliers dangle overhead, we indulged in a sumptuous breakfast – a perfect way to start the day. If you’re heading to the Italian Lakes, you couldn’t ask for a much better setting than Bellagio and, if you’re in Bellagio, there’s really only one place to stay: the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni.  

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