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- 98%Luxury Travelers
- 98%History Buffs
Member Reviews (6)Write a review
- Villa d'EsteMay 04, 2013
We pulled up to the gates and gave the guard our name. Ah yes, we have been expecting your sir. Please proceed up the drive to reception. That was the beginning of one of the most incredible hotel experiences I've ever enjoyed.
We were whisked away to a beautiful room with views over Lago di Como. There was a soft misty rain that made the entire place other worldly. After leaving it to our butler to unpack, we went to the bar for a drink before lunch. The room where we were taken for drinks was not as sumptuous as the bar at the Four Seasons, Firenze but, it it's own way, equally charming because of the space and the tall windows over looking the lake. We choose a negroni over prosecco and were impressed by the array of complimentary treats offered to us while we waited for the dining room to open.
We lunched in a beautiful garden room with lovely views of the grounds. This isn't a restaurant review so I won't go on about the stellar set menu we choose but I will tell you that the meal was as good as any I've ever had before. What astonished me was my discussion with the sommelier. I ordered a fairly expensive bottle of white and while applauding my choice of wine he asked if you might suggest something that better matched the chef's preparation. He then presented a wine that not only was a far better match but almost half the price!
After lunch we strolled around the exquisite grounds of the hotel and I began hoping it would warm up soon when I saw the pool which floated on Lake Come. A nap was in order so we returned to our room where our clothes had been put away and the bed turned down for an afternoon snooze. The rest of our week was one small pleasure after another. The sun did come out and I swam and enjoyed this wonderful place in the sunlight even more than in the mist. It will always be my favorite hotel.
- Villa d'EsteJul 04, 2012
The legendary Villa d’Este is more than just a majestic hotel; it is an architectural masterpiece and an institution. The Villa and its gardens are rich in history and art and have long held the world’s most sophisticated travelers in their thrall. A favorite of royalty and connoisseurs, Villa d’Este has a near-legendary status. Originally built in 1568 as the summer residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, Villa d’Este sits on one of the most romantic lakes, Lake Como, amidst 25 acres of magnificent and much celebrated gardens.
The building is richly decorated with frescoes, reliefs and internal fountains. With a little imagination, you could almost feel the presence of Franz Liszt, who composed the ‘Jeux d’Eaux à la Villa d’Este’ while staying there as a guest of the Cardinal of Hohenzollern. Liszt is one of many distinguished artists and writers who have visited and worked at the villa and immortalized it in music, art and poetry: Hubert Robert and Fragonard, Montaigne and De Brosse, Federico Zuccaro, Livio Agresti and Girolaio Luchiano, to name just a few.
Much has been written about the beauty of the gardens, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tree-lined terraces and individually named show-stopping fountains are perhaps one of the most striking features of this estate.
Villa d’Este has 152 guest rooms, located both in the Cardinal Building and in the Queen’s Pavilion, which was built in 1856 in honor of Princess Caroline of Brunswick who was, for a time, Queen of England. Double rooms and suites are elegant, comfortable and each is unique in size and interior design. Although furnished with antiques, all rooms have the most up-to-date modern facilities, including air-conditioning, marble bathroom, Jacuzzi, minibar, satellite TV and high-speed internet connection. Should you choose to arrive via helicopter, the villa has its own helipad for guests.
In addition, two private villas stand on the grounds of Villa d’Este. Villa Cima was built in 1814 and boasts stunning views, 7,000 square feet of spacious rooms over three floors, and luxurious décor. Villa Malakoff was built in 1860 and stands on a small hill within the grounds of the Villa d’Este. This warm and informal house offers discretion and privacy, yet provides all the amenities and creature comforts guests require.
While located in the center of Tivoli and within reach of a handful of great restaurants, you could forego ever leaving the estate, as there are five eateries on the grounds of the hotel. The most formal, for which proper attire is required, is the elegant Veranda, overlooking the lake and gardens. Hand-made fresh pasta, risotto and fish are the house specialties. This is also the location of the famed breakfast buffet, a feast so magnificent and a true highlight of the trip.
The Grill offers regional cuisine. It is open from April to October, for dinner only, and is closed on Mondays. Smart casual attire is appropriate. The Non Solo Pasta is an informal, cozy restaurant with a charming ambiance, offering an Italian buffet of hors d’oeuvres, a variety of pasta dishes and a selection of desserts. It is open from June to September, for dinner only, and is closed on Sundays. Outdoor dining overlooking the lake is an option at all restaurants. The Pool Bar offers a range of light meals, salads and snacks at lunch time, as well as cocktails and drinks throughout the day. The Canova Bar serves snacks and drinks inside or outside on the terrace overlooking the lake with an evening piano bar until midnight. On the weekends there is live music.
The Villa d’Este sporting club caters to all tastes. There is a unique outdoor swimming pool floating on the lake, an outdoor children’s swimming pool, an indoor swimming pool and facilities for wind-surfing, sailing, canoeing and water skiing. Be sure to take a kayak out on Lake Como for a stunning view of Villa d’Este from the water.
The Villa has eight tennis courts (six in clay), a squash court, and a health club with steam bath, sauna and massage. The sybaritic Spa offers a soothing atmosphere and a variety of massages. The Spa also offers personalized treatments using the Villa d’Este products, which can be purchased at the Spa boutique.
During my time at Villa d’Este, I was able to have tea and a chat with long-time manager, Anna Maria Duvia, where we discussed the philosophy behind this marquee establishment.
BB: The philosophy surrounding Villa d’Este appears to rely heavily on privacy and comfort. How do you continue to achieve this?
AM: As our president has said, the hotel has to be a way of life itself, and today we retain the discrete and demure of a private patrician villa where our guests feel treasured in the old-fashioned way. The privacy is easy to attain as soon as you enter the gates of Villa d’Este, as you are really entering a small village.
BB: It is apparent that many of your guests have been here before and consistently return. Where do you think this loyalty comes from?
AM: We have many regular guests, some who spend the entire summer here. I am now even seeing even the third generation of those guests. An important factor that separates Villa d’Este from other luxury hotels is the staff. Many of our guests report to us how much they enjoy them. Much of our staff has been with us for 20, 30 years, so it is like a big family here.Recommended for:
- Villa d'EsteJul 04, 2012
Clearly located in a spectacular spot near the lake more recently made famous by George Clooney, this is one of the foremost hotels in the world...and I have to admit that my pocketbook only allowed a cup of coffee on the balcony of the restaurant overlooking the lake. I did pass myself off as a patron though, and despite VERY disapproving glances from the reception manager, asked if I could visit a room before booking. Clearly I was plebeian, and if you have to ask what a room costs here, you are in the wrong place. At any rate, I was given a tour of the room and the gilded faucets and marble in the bathrooms, the silk bed sheets, and the antique furnishing served to amaze! Hopefully, one day my wallet will be filled enough to actually sleep here, but for now, it just remains a dream.
- Villa d'Este
- Business Center
- Fitness Center
- Room Service
- Free Parking
- Swimming Pool
- Pets Allowed
- Car Rental Desk
Excellent!19 reviews across the web.
- Guests recommend this as a luxury hotel.
- Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
- Service98% found the staff to be very friendly.
- Location93% enjoyed the restaurants & bars nearby.
- Hotel Building90% loved the terrace.
- GroundsPool was lovely, according to 88%.
- Hotel78% thought it was clean.
- Wellness AreaVery nice wellness & sports facilities.