July 6, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance
Villa d'Este, the classic and opulent hotel overlooking Lake Como, is a former 16th century princely residence turned resort destination. In addition to the 152 guest rooms, the luxury hotel offers two magnificently renovated 19th Century villas within the 25-acre park. Villa Malakoff and Villa Cima are available for short term tenancies with amenities ranging from housekeeping to full hotel service. (Click the image at right to view a larger format.)
Guests are able to use all of the facilities and amenities of the hotel, while maintaining the privacy and exclusivity that their own private villa can offer.
Standing on the banks of the Lake, this Villa was built on the grounds of Villa d’Este in 1814 by Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales and future Queen of England, to house Count and Countess Pino, the Villa’s former proprietors.
The accommodations in this stately 650-square-metre (7,000 sq. ft.) residence are distributed over three floors. Luxurious décor is the keynote in the living room, dining room, sleeping quarters, and in the spacious, luminous kitchen.
No two rooms are exactly alike and each is filled with antiques and art. The views from the Villa’s spectacular windows are simply breathtaking and frame memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. Many subtle touches, the utmost discretion, and impeccable service are the hallmarks of the Villa d’Este Hotels.
More images of Villa Cima here>>
Read more about the second private villa at Villa d'Este - Villa Malakoff here >>
View availability, rates and make reservations at Villa d'Este here >>
December 31, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.
Our countdown has come to an end, and it is time to announce the number one hotel as chosen by our discerning travelers and determined by sophisticated algorithms and more than a little bit of voodoo magic. Five Star Alliance's #1 hotel for 2011 is
- On the shore of Lake Como, one of the most secluded and breathtaking lakes in Italy, the Villa d'Este was originally the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio and is just a short trip north of Milan, one of Italy's most romantic cities.
- Its 152 rooms, divided between two palatial residences, each offer a unique feel, a result of the meticulously maintained renaissance decor of the original residences built in 1568. Live in true luxury, in rooms once occupied by the royal guests of the Cardinal and preserved in their original glory.
- The Villa is perfectly self-sufficient: included in its amenities are eight tennis courts, several dining options, including sushi and classical Italian, a Turkish bath and sauna, winery tours by chaffeur, and one of the most challenging par 69s in Europe only seven miles away.
- If you want a change of scenery from your grand room, simply head outdoors to enjoy the 25-acre park, which is perfectly designed and continuously manicured in its original Renaissance style: the entire park molds nature into a work of art.
- Its hotel pool was featured in our Ten Best Hotel Pools in the World for its floating pool, literally on the lake, not to mention an additional kids pool to keep them away from your relaxation:
"The pool at Villa d’Este on Lake Como would make Archimedes blush. Floating above the very lake that the Villa rests against, the pool features a built-in Jacuzzi and fantastic view of the surrounding mountains. It’s like swimming in the lake just inches below your feet, but it’s always the perfect temperature."
- Four reception rooms hold up to 400 people alongside another 250 in nine different meeting rooms, all to the same standards of luxury as rest of the classical Renaissance hotel.
- As if that weren't enough, it's also a Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure Award Winner.
View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at Villa d'Este > >
Be sure to keep up with our countdown! See below for the full list of Top Hotels for 2011!
#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen
#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
#18 – The Peninsula Chicago
#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua
#16 - Auberge du Soleil
#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel
#14 - The One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah
#13 - The Hotel de Crillon
#12 - Peninsula Hong Kong
#11 - Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
#10 - Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona
#9 - Jumeirah Essex House
#8 - Atlantis the Palm Dubai
#7 - Hotel Le St. James
#6 - Half Moon, a Rock Resort
#5 - Charleston Place
#4 - King George Palace
#3 - La Tremoille
#2 - Don Cesar Beach Hotel
#1 - Villa d'Este
September 19, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
After reading CNN’s own list of great hotel pools, we decided to put our heads together and write up our thoughts on the matter. Who has the 10 best hotel pools in the world? To truly know, you’ll have to visit yourself and see. But these are certainly our favorites.
With the simple application of basic mathematics, the Banyan Tree has figured out how to improve upon the tried and true concept of the private pool: By giving its two-bedroom suites two private pools – and what a sight they are. That’s the kind of thinking I can get behind.
9. Le Palais de la Mediterranee, France
Le Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice rolls in at number 9 with its incredible 3rd floor indoor/outdoor pool. Just feet from a sun terrace with a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean, this is a pool that was tailor-made for lounging. If to you a vacation means leaning back, lowering your sunglasses over your eyes and relaxing the afternoon away, then this is the hotel for you.
8. The Berkeley, London
While some other pools may be more spectacular, as you’ll see in a moment, none offer the same level of comfort year-round as The Berkeley rooftop pool in London. The heated pool features a wonderful open-air swimming experience in the summer, but unlike most hotels, when it gets a bit colder, you don’t have to take the party inside. The Berkeley instead rolls out its retractable roof, and you can now enjoy the comfort of a perfectly climate-controlled rooftop pool in winter.
7. Villa d’Este, Italy
The pool at Villa d’Este on Lake Como would make Archimedes blush. Floating above the very lake that the Villa rests against, the pool features a built-in Jacuzzi and fantastic view of the surrounding mountains. It’s like swimming in the lake just inches below your feet, but it’s always the perfect temperature.
6. Blue Palace Resort and Spa, Crete
The Blue Palace Resort and Spa is truly deserving of its sixth place finish, and really if we were fair it’d be on this list twice. The aptly-named Blue Palace is renowned for the private pools that come standard with most of their rooms and suites. With pools up to 40 sq. meters in size for just you and your companion(s), there couldn’t be a more private or luxurious swimming experience. And if that weren’t enough, the Blue Palace is famous for its unique Grecian Thalassotherapy, which combines the relaxing powers of a world-class massage with water-cleansing rituals guaranteed to revitalize your body.
5. The Library Koh Samui, Thailand
In this case, the picture speaks for itself. The Library Koh Samui is built around the innovative concept that a vacation is about relaxation and people should be allowed to free their minds from stress by engaging in the simple pleasures of cracking open a book and enjoying the company of their family or friends. They’ve also turned their pool red - which is both surreal and strangely captivating, like green ketchup or a fish riding a bicycle.
4. Rawi Warin Resort and Spa, Thailand
The 1000 sq. meter infinity edge pool at Rawi Warin looks as if the water is fading into the ocean, with only little beach umbrellas poking above the water line to let you know that it doesn’t go on forever. The illusion is compelling and gorgeous. As if that weren’t enough, Rawi Warin also has Asia’s first ocean swimming pool, extending 100 meters into the water and allowing you to swim with the fishes in an entirely literal way.
3. Palazzo Sasso, Italy
The Palazzo Sasso has one of the more innovative designs for a hotel pool we’ve ever seen. Situated on the edge of a cliff 1000 feet above sea level, the pool at Palazzo Sasso offers underwater windows with a view of the sea below, thus discovering the heretofore unknown condition of subaqueous vertigo. But seriously, it is the single most impressive thing I’ve seen at the bottom of a pool.
Atlantis the Palm Dubai may just be the best thing ever. If you got all the things together in one place, and made me pick, I’d say, “I want that thing. It looks like the best thing.” So what is this thing I’m so excited about? Well, it just might be a standard luxurious hotel pool, only it’s attached to a full water park! I don’t bandy about with exclamation points lightly, but this seems to be worth one. If you, like me, have ever thought, “wow, this vacation is really relaxing, but what I’d really like is to go launching out of a ziggurat at high speeds into a pool of water,” then this is the destination for you. And even more than that, much of the hotel is themed around this aquatic experience. There are underwater mazes, a four-and-a-half hectare dolphin habitat, and something they just call Aquaventure.
Occasionally, a feat of engineering comes along that’s so remarkable, you have to doff your hat to the architects of its design. The Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool in Singapore is more like what would result if Leonardo da Vinci were in the hotel business. Resting 200 meters above the ground in the Sands SkyPark, the Infinity Pool is as breathtaking as it is surreal – the edge of the pool seems to fade into the horizon itself. Swimmers are greeted with a panoramic vista unequaled anywhere. Without a doubt, the Infinity is the coolest hotel pool we’ve ever seen and not just for the breeze.
So throw on your swim trunks and book a room at any of these amazing hotels (maybe in the other order), and soon you'll be enjoying the sun by some of the most amazing pools in the world.
September 14, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
With the bustle of autumn upon us, kids back to school and the summertime lull over, I catch myself daydreaming about getting away to a place where I am treated like royalty. With the Fall Escape at Villa d’Este, overlooking the ethereal Lake Como just north of the historic city of Milan, that fantasy can become a reality. Built in 1568, the Villa D’Este has been the destination spot for noble families ever since, including the Queen of England herself. And it’s no wonder; its 25 acres of gardens and majestic view over the lake have been painted and photographed for centuries. If you saw it hanging in a museum, you wouldn’t believe it was real.
Maintained to preserve its original elegance, each of the Villa D’Este’s unique rooms offers a variation on classical renaissance décor befitting of its status as one of the best in the world. So if you need a place to escape to this fall, don your purple bathrobe and look no further than the Villa D’Este, and prepare to be treated like a King (or Queen!).
The Fall Escape deal includes
• Breakfast at the restaurant or continental served in your room
• Free access to the Villa’s state-of-the-art sporting facilities.
• Free breakfast and bedding for children under seven years of age.
• A substantial discount on room price over a variety of world-class options
July 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Dreaming of Lake Como? So are we. Blame it on all those paparazzi photos of George Clooney riding around the Italian countryside with ex Elisabetta Canalis on the back of his motorcycle. With its beautiful blue water backed by green mountains, Lake Como has been a favorite playground for celebrities for centuries. One of the most splendid hideaways on the lake is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni- with its sprawling Mediterranean gardens overlooking one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world. Talk about a picture-perfect location! The hotel itself is perched on a promontory jutting into the lake and offers a spa, lakeside swimming pool, tennis courts, gym, and boat cruises from its private dock.