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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

Enjoy Lake Como Luxury at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni


By: Five Star Alliance

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is one of the oldest and most elegant hotels in Italy. Set in the splendid surroundings of Lake Como, where the blue waters meet the green mountains which soar above the lake, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni enjoys a breathtaking position on the promontory which juts halfway out into the lake, separating the two branches. Lake Como, part of the northern Italian Lakes District,  is Italy's deepest and most popular lake. It is surrounded by mountains and is known for it's world renowned romantic atmosphere. It is conveniently located between Milan and the border of Switzerland.

For the past 100 years or more, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni has been one of the most well-known and prestigious hotels in the world. The luxurious vegetation of its Italian-style gardens, abounding in Mediterranean and subtropical plants, flourishes in the pleasant microclimate around the lake: sunshine almost all year round, accompanied by mild temperatures in every season. Owing to its delightful setting, Bellagio, an oasis of peace on the shores of the lake, has been a holiday destination for centuries and it was here that, in around 1850, construction work started on a luxurious holiday villa on the banks of the lake for an aristocratic family from Milan.Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

The Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni offers a plethora of amenities and activities designed to take full advantage of its spectacular location. 

Activities include:

Take a boat ride from the hotel's private dock.

Stroll in the historic gardens. 

Mountain bike on the Bellagio promontory

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

 

Enjoy a massage in the spa

Listen to live music in the lounge

Lounge on the beach

Sup on a meal prepared by a Michelin starred chef

 
Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniTake a dip in the swimming pool overlooking the lake

Play a match on the tennis courts

Work up a sweat in the gym

Take a hike in the mountains

Mingle with the hotel's famous guests

Book a stay at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni >>
 


Spotlight on Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni


By: K. Clare Johnson

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniFor the past 100 years or more, Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni has been one of the most well-known and prestigious hotels in the world. Right from the outset, the Grand Hotel became the chosen destination for illustrious guests in search of peace: royalty, aristocrats, figures from international politics, and movie stars. The Sovereigns of Spain, Romania, Albania, Egypt; above all the Russian and English aristocracy; Winston Churchill, Roosevelt, the Rothschilds, J.F. Kennedy; Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Maria Schell, Clark Gable, Robert Mitchum, Al Pacino.... these are just some of the famous guests who have strolled through the rooms and lakeside gardens of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, enjoying its beauty and outstanding hospitality. 

Located on the gorgeous Lake Como, where the blue waters meet the green mountains which soar above the lake, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni enjoys a breathtaking position on the promontory which juts halfway out into the lake, separating the two branches. The luxurious vegetation of its Italian-style gardens, abounding in Mediterranean and subtropical plants, flourishes in the pleasant microclimate around the lake. The locale enjoys sunshine almost all year round, accompanied by mild temperatures in every season. From April to November the salons and the large lakeside garden offer guests the chance to enjoy a holiday far from the madding crowd and close to nature immersed in one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world.

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

The hotel's  interior reflects the good taste loved by the wealthy nobility of the time. Its walls and ceilings are adorned with frescoes and paintings of mythological scenes, gilded frames, festoons, temples, putti, flamingos, and Pompeian reds. The coffer ceilings are frescoed with floral patterns in grey and pink tones. Guests will enjoy period wall coverings in the French style, antique Persian carpets, crystal chandeliers from Murano, Imperial furniture, and the neo-classical and Art Nouveau style; not to mention the marble staircases, the stucco work columns, and the splendid trompe l'oeil.The "salle à manger" alone is a genuine monument to art, as is the Salone Reale, which in the evening is lit by bronze and crystal chandeliers, the splendor of whose lights are reflected by large mirrors. 

Grand Hotel Villa SerbelloniLovers of peace and quiet can alternate the pleasure of a poolside drink with beauty treatments and programmes at Villa Serbelloni SPA, the hotel's own beauty farm. Guests can set off from the private dock for a motorboat trip to the historic gardens along the lake which, in springtime, attract tourists from all over the world: especially for the wonderful flowering of the azaleas.  Lovers of sport can take advantage of the hotel gym and tennis courts, enjoy delightful walks, take a mountain bike out on the Bellagio promontory, and cool off in the swimming pool overlooking the lake.

Nightly spring rates at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni start at EUR 418 >>

 


Did You Know? Villa d'Este


By: Five Star Alliance

Villa d'Este

Villa d'Este was where legendary director Alfred Hitchcock decided to do his first movie. That stay happened in 1925 and the movie was titled The Pleasure Garden. Hitchcock was a big fan of the waterfront hotel. He often spent his September vacations relaxing on Lake Como.

Learn more about Villa d'Este >>


Image of the Day: Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni


By: Five Star Alliance

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is located on the gorgeous shores of Lake Como. 

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni has nightly rates starting at 370 Euros >>

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Grand Hotel Tremezzo Opens for the Season


By: Meagan Drillinger

Five Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently wrote an article about Grand Hotel Tremezzo's season opening: Grand Hotel Tremezzo Rooftop Suite with Terrace 

This month marks the seasonal reopening of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como in Italy. This season, the luxury hotel is showing off a series of updates, notably to the T Spa and T Beach, along with a brand new Honeymoon Suite. The Suite sits within the fully renovated fourth floor of the Palace. A Music Concierge has also been put into place. 

Debuting for the first time last year, the hotel unveiled a newly renovated Rooftop Floor, made up of eight suites. The fifth floor of the palace now includes three Rooftop Junior Suites, three Rooftop Corner Suites and two Rooftop Front Suites. Each has its own private terrace, outdoor heated Jacuzzi pool, butler services and views of the lake.

View rates, details and more photos for Grand Hotel Tremezzo and other Lake Como resorts >>

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The Top 30 Hotels of 2012: #3 Villa d'Este


By: K. Clare Johnson

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 

 #3 on our list is Lake Como's legendary Villa d'Este.  Here are a few fun facts about the hotel:

-Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this famous resort destination has been widely praised for its beautiful gardens, exquisite cuisine, gala celebrations, impeccable décor and extraordinary hospitality.

-Set on the shores of Lake Como, the Hotel is located in one of the most important crossroads between Italy and Northern Europe and is only 60 minutes from Milan.

-Villa d'Este was built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. The property comprises 25 acres of gardens and was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873.

-The design of the lower part of the gardens is from the Renaissance period. The two most outstanding landmarks are the 500 year old plane tree and the 16th century Mosaic with its Nympheum. Apart from the topiary hedges and the bushes of bamboo, azaleas, camellias, oleanders, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, there are roses and jasmine bushes. The trees range from chestnut, magnolia, oleafragrans, wisteria, palm, cypress, pine, ilex, privet, mediar and many others.

-Dining on the Veranda in the evening requires a jacket and tie. If the weather doesn't cooperate, automated windows can turn an al fresco feast in a glassed-in affair.
-The 152 rooms at Villa d'Este are all decorated with antique furnishings and art works, which gives them a unique look.

 

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Villa d'Este>>

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Image of the Day: Villa D'Este


By: Five Star Alliance

 

Villa D'Este's pool surrounded by Lake Como is one of our all-time favorite watering holes.

 

Posted in: Lake Como, Hot Spots

The Villas of Villa d'Este in Lake Como: Villa Malakoff


By: Five Star Alliance

Villa d'Este in Lake ComoVilla 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.

Villa Malakoff

Villa Malakoff - private villa at Villa d'EsteBuilt in 1860, the Villa takes its name from one of the fortresses around Sebastopol, conquered by the French General MacMahon. Standing on a small hill within the grounds of Villa d’Este, it offers splendid views of Lake Como and is where you will feel most at home. Its rooms are distributed over 3 floors and offer 300 square metres of living space (3200 sq. ft.).

The rooms are tastefully and luxuriously appointed, and the warm tones and informal ambience of this grand yet hospitable residence will immediately put you at ease.

A stay at the Villa Malakoff is truly the best of both worlds: a private home where you can enjoy discretion and privacy, yet one provided with all the amenities and creature comforts offered by the world class service of a Villa d’Este Group property. A stay at Villa Malakoff is truly a gift to yourself, a once in a lifetime experience.

 

More images of Villa Malakoff here>>

Read more about the second private villa at Villa d'Este - Villa Cima here >>

View availability, rates and make reservations at Villa d'Este here >>


The Villas of Villa d'Este in Lake Como: Villa Cima


By: Five Star Alliance

Villa d'Este in Lake ComoVilla 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.

Villa Cima

Villa Cima at Villa d'Este

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 >>


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #1 Villa d'Este


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

 Villa d'Este!


Quick facts about Villa d'Este:

- 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