Regina Adelaide began life as a private lakeside villa, and it still has that aura of exclusivity, without being anything but wonderfully welcoming. The elegant Liberty-style holiday home at the core of the hotel provides the inspiration for the retro design, inside and out. There are oriental rugs everywhere, green-painted rattan armchairs and metal lamps in the lounge and wood-panelling in the cosy American bar. In the garden, meanwhile, the glamorous pool is fringed with striped parasols in aquamarine and white, like something a 1920s Hollywood starlet would have chosen.
This is gracious living at its most appealing, which evokes the past but adds a dash of 21st-century flair. There’s nothing old-world about the fabulous newly upgraded spa, for instance, whose clean-cut contemporary styling helps to create an irresistible atmosphere of calm. The main restaurant may focus on classic Italian cuisine, and does so brilliantly, but the other takes those same culinary traditions and gives them an inventive modern twist. Even in the pâtisserie - considered one of Garda’s best by locals - the emphasis on artisanal products and regional recipes seems very now.
The 59 rooms and suites are all different in layout and furnishings, though the overall look is one of classic elegance, with warm colours, rugs and period furniture. The Superior Rooms are as welcoming as the various suites; many of them have views of the garden. The roomier Junior Suites benefit from a good-sized sitting area complete with a desk. Those who can’t seem to travel light should opt for a Junior Suite Deluxe, which has a walk-in wardrobe; they’re in a new wing not far from the pool. Largest of all are the Suites, complete with a generous separate sitting room.