Lake Orta, Italy
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What it is
An ultra luxe 19th-Century Moorish villa edging Lake Orta with a 2-Michelin starred restaurant.
What it isn't
Cookie cutter. Every single room and suite (and there are only 14) is unique, though each is tricked out with Arabesque windows, parquet flooring, antique furniture and marble-lined bathrooms.
What we think
Good things take time—as evidenced by this ornamented 1879 villa, which took 30 years to build. The final product was so exquisite that King Umberto of Savoy moved in, for a spell. Today it’s a member of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux and appropriately luxurious. In Antonino Cannavacciuolo’s on-site 2-Michelin starred restaurant, you’ll find Mediterranean fare reborn for the Instagram era (every plate arrives like an edible piece of art, whether you’ve ordered saffron and sea urchin spaghetti or a dessert of falsified egg). And wherever on the property you roam, you’ll feel a bit like you’re walking through One Thousand and One Nights (better known as Disney’s “Aladdin”), what with the molded plaster, gilded minarets and intricately entwined archways. Who needs Genie?
You're here because
Lake Como gets all the international fanfare, but the village of Orta San Giulio is reportedly one of the most charming towns in the entire country—and it’s just a ten minute walk from the hotel.
You’re spent from a day in the sun and alpine air. So there’s only one place to go: the hotel’s lovely spa, where you are scrubbed down with apricot seeds and given an only-in-Italy glow, thanks to a tea tree and enzyme peel and vitamin E facial. How do you say “aaaah” in Italian?
Restaurants & Bars
Villa Crespi Restaurant - Italian cuisine.
You’ll feel like you’re in your own private wonderland here (and you are), set along the shores of Lake Orta. But Villa Crespi is just a 45-minute drive from Milan Malpensa International Airport.