Malcesine (Italy) – July 13, 2016 (travelindex.com) – Sumptuous surroundings; high-class cuisine; glorious countryside; watersports; quaint, historic lakeside towns … the Veneto region of Lake Garda offers it all. And it’s all available in the height of luxury.
That luxury comes in many forms, but with a wide variety of four and five-star hotels from which to choose and a culinary tradition to match, this region is the ideal base from which to enjoy the stunning scenery and vibrancy of Italy’s largest and most charming of lakes.
The four-star Hotel Du Lac, in Malcesine, on the lake’s east shore, occupies an enviable, elevated lakeside position and affords stunning views of the lake and the old town, while the Hotel Castello Lake Front – also a four-star property – sits in an exclusive spot between the lake and the ancient battlements of Castle Scaligero and offers a private beach.
Working southwards, down the lake, another hotel with a stunning lakefront location is the three-star La Caletta Hotel Bolognese, in Brenzone – a collection of small, traditional fishing villages – which offers guests a spectacular panoramic terrace and an exclusive private beach, right at the feet of Mount Baldo.
The beautiful setting of the town of Costermano – like Rome, occupying seven hills – lends itself to tourism and the ‘four-star superior’ Hotel Madrigale takes advantage of this idyllic location with its heated pool on the rooftop terrace and an impressive infinity pool overlooking a nearby lake.
Meanwhile, the intimate Boffenigo hotel – another four-star property – also benefits from the serenity and ambience of Costermano, with guests able to relax by the pool, on the panoramic terrace or in the spa, and to enjoy gourmet cuisine and regional wines in the Terrazza Scalchi, with a menu selected by Michelin-starred chef Giuseppe D’Aquino.
A few kilometres south, lies the town of Garda, a former fishing village, and, located in an elegant Art Nouveau villa, just a stone’s throw from the lake, in the old town, is the four-star Hotel Regina Adelaide, one of the first hotels in the region to install a high-quality spa.
Bardolino is a great place to stay to take advantage of the myriad boat trips on the lake and the four-star Hotel Nettuno and Spa is ideally located just a short distance from the shore and on the edge of the old town.
For a top-quality, self-catering option, the Parc Hotel Germano apartments in Bardolino take some beating. Sleeping up to six people in comfort, these modern apartments offer balcony or terrace with sunbeds, a well-equipped kitchenette and satellite TV in every room. And guests can enjoy all the facilities of the adjoining hotel, including swimming pools and spa.
The colourful, walled village of Lazise has a picturesque harbour-front and is a wonderful place to stay and while away a holiday. The wonderfully positioned Hotel Ristorante alla Grotta – right on the harbourfront – is a small, 12-room hotel with a renowned restaurant, which has been delighting patrons for more than 60 years. The larger four-star ‘superior’ Hotel Corte Valier is an elegant resort hotel, with an enviable waterfront location, large swimming pool, panoramic restaurant and bar and a large wellness area.
A little inland from Bardolino, in traditional wine-making countryside, is Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, in Cavaion, the perfect base for wine lovers. This restored 16th century Venetian villa – surrounded by gardens and vineyards – has a renowned restaurant specialising in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and offers its own wines from the Vigneti Villabella winery. Guests here can attend cooking classes and experience traditional wine tastings.
At the south-east corner of the lake, golfers can take advantage of Golf Residence, in Peschiera del Garda, which offers apartments on a golf course: the Golf Club Paradiso del Garda. The apartments are part of a hotel resort, which includes a sporting centre, two wellness centres and three more hotels – a guarantee of a wide range of facilities.
A few kilometres away, in Ponti sul Mincio, the four-star Relais Corte Cavalli is located in a 17th-century manor and farm buildings. Sitting two kilometres from the lake, in glorious Veneto countryside, Relais Corte Cavalli is a haven of relaxation, all in a historic and natural environment, with a pool, wellness centre and delightful gardens.
Lake Garda, or Benaco, is the largest lake in Italy, a little more than 51km in length and covering almost 370km2. It is shared by three provinces: the eastern shore, from Malcésine to Peschiera, comes under the province of Verona, part of Véneto.