Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
Of all the grand hotels that line the shores of Italy's majestic Lake Como, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo might be the most enchanting. Like something straight out of cinema — Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel perhaps? — it's opulent, old world, and sort of surreal.
For three nights, I stayed in the historic Suite Aurelia and felt like a princess the entire time. The two-room suite is perched on the center of the hotel's third floor and is painted the prettiest shade of pale pink. It is decorated with an ornate gilded headboard, yellow velvet chairs, and has two small balconies that overlook the lake. In the mornings, I'd crawl out of bed to pull back the heavy curtains and open the tall French doors and then get back under the sheets to watch the breeze from the Alps ripple across the deep blue water below. The lake seemed almost close enough to touch. If not for the hotel's two wide dining terraces with their cool striped chairs and excellent Negronis, I never would have left my bed.
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The hotel has three pools, including one that's sort of moored on its own floating dock right on the lake next to a sandy beach. The hotel's spa is pretty amazing, too; in addition to all the usual amenities — steam room, sauna — it has a "mediterranean room" that is sort of a cross between a dry and wet, plus a gorgeous white marble hammam. The hotel also offers little tours around the lake on its amazing vintage wooden boat with the very stylish Captain Giussepe at the helm.