This article appears on The Telegraph.
The hotels that border Lake Como suit its dignified ambience remarkably well: mostly traditional and family run, a reflection of this romantic, poetic and sunny spot where for centuries aristocratic families, literary figures and celebrities (most famously today George Clooney) have settled in summer. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, ringed by aristocratic villas and their beautiful gardens, as well as pretty villages full of yellow and red houses, Lake Como still retains its flavour of 19th-century elegance, and though one or two do exist, this is not the place for flashy new addresses. The majority of hotels close from November to Easter. Where applicable, low-season prices are quoted; breakfast is included in the price.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Tremezzo
This palace hotel has the advantage of being next to Villa Carlotta, notable for its Canova sculptures and its superb botanic gardens. The disadvantage is that the hotel is divided from its lovely waterside terrace, garden and pool by the road, but it has much else going for it, including bold, attractive, cleverly updated interiors, exceptional rooftop suites and the highest of standards, overseen by the family who have run it for the past 40 years.