Planning a trip to Italy? Consider staying at Il Sereno Lago di Como, an intimate hotel on the shores of Lake Como.
Review: Il Sereno Lago di Como, Torno
‘When you write the story of two happy lovers, let the story be set on the banks of Lake Como.’ So wrote 19th-century composer Franz Liszt, and it rings just as true today, especially when you’re staying at the stunning Hotel Il Sereno Lago di Como. Opened in 2016, Il Sereno is the first new structure to be built on the iconic Como lakeshore for 70 years. Magically, this five-star contemporary masterpiece seemingly melts into the hillside, its simple beauty and striking architecture blending seamlessly with the steep wooded mountainside behind.
All 40 suites offer views of the lake with floor-to-ceiling windows and enormous private balconies. The interiors boast specially commissioned contemporary furniture, thoughtfully curated art and seductive lighting that complement the award-winning pared-back Patricia Urquiola design. The rooms have all the toys and comforts you would expect, but it won’t be long before you are sliding back those big glass doors and lounging in one of the huge outdoor sofas to take in the spectacular surroundings.
Jump in the bespoke, vintage-inspired Ernesto Riva boats which are available for self-drive cruising from the hotel’s private dock. Head out for a few hours and explore the shores from the lake or book the hotel captain to do the driving for you. The super-friendly concierge team is also on hand to cater for every type of pursuit, from hiking, watersports and yoga to wine tasting or the seaplane tour. You can also take a dip in the lake straight from the hotel’s beach.
Located in the arches of a 100-year-old former boathouse, the spa offers massages along with treatments using the highly effective Valmont range. A relaxing area with sauna and steam room has lake views through the original boathouse doors, and there’s an elegant 60-foot infinity pool for the full Como panorama and the Instagram shots.
A ten-minute walk takes you to the charming village of Torno, with a small but interesting selection of restaurants, bars and the Navigazione ferry stop. From here you can be whisked away to the enchanting lakeside towns of Bellagio and Varenna for all your sightseeing, shopping and gelato needs. The concierge team will give you excellent local restaurant recommendations and twist the arm of the most protective of maitre d’s to ensure you secure the best seats in the house. Just be sure to return in time to find your spot on the Lobby Bar terrace to watch the sun disappear, with a cocktail or two.
The hotel’s Ristorante Il Sereno Al Lago is built out over the water and you can eat either outside or inside. Breakfast is a treat, with so much to choose from plus freshly baked pastries and the wonderful in-house selection of jams, honey and preserves. Lunch is a more traditional affair, offering authentic and delicious Italian staples including homemade pasta. Executive Chef Raffaele Lenzi masterminds a sophisticated dinner menu, featuring four different tasting experiences, each based on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
THE FINAL WORD:
The passion and attention to detail of the hotel’s inspirational owner, Luis Contreras, shines through everything. He also owns the nearby 16th century Villa Pliniana, which if your love story is heading for the happiest of endings, you can hire for a wedding party of up to 200, including accommodation for 39 guests overnight. Food and service are provided by Il Sereno, and crucially the Villa benefits from one of only a handful of late music and entertainment licences available on the lakeshore.
And when the hotel shuts its glamorous doors in early October, why not follow its management team and lucky staff to their equally sumptuous Caribbean retreat, Le Sereno St Barths…
Doubles (suites) from €750 B&B per night. Opens 24 March. serenohotels.com