Hotel Villa & Palazzo Aminta
Like stepping into an opulent Italian film from a bygone era, this hotel is unapologetically indulgent and satisfyingly grand. The aristocratic interior of this Belle Époque mansion matches its sublime setting on the shores of Lake Maggiore – believed by many to be the most romantic in Italy. First to catch your eye will be the views of the Borromean Islands; second, the luxuriant gardens brimming with azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Every detail is beautifully thought out, from the stucco decoration to the elegant marble columns and dazzling chandeliers. The hotel’s main restaurant, Le Isole, is a delightful place to dine, whether you opt for a romantic candlelit dinner or lunch on the panoramic terrace. Restaurant I Mori is set in a striking gazebo made of crystal and wrought iron and serves exquisite Italian cuisine during the evening, with amazing views of the lake.
If you can tear yourself away from the scenery, the spa and wellness centre has been carefully created to ensure complete relaxation. The soothing Camellia Grotto is a natural cave home to sensory showers, an ice waterfall and steamroom, and treatment rooms have everything from chromotherapy water beds to refreshing detox scrubs. Outside, you can take advantage of the swimming pool, which sits at the front of the hotel and also has those incredible lake views. Of course, those views are not just to be admired – get your boat shoes ready and the hotel will happily arrange a trip out across the waters to the Borromean Islands. You’re just a 15-minute walk to the nearest ferry landing stage or a 30-minute stroll from the historical fishing town of Stresa. To make even lighter work of it, the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle bus or free bikes if you prefer to cycle.
Expect nothing less than sumptuous rooms decorated with gilded accents, marble bathrooms and pure goose down coverlets. The Superior Park View Rooms overlook the pretty gardens, while the Deluxe Rooms have a balcony and the option of a Side Lake View or a Lake View. Junior Suites are on the first floor, overlook the garden, pool and lake and have a spacious private terrace.