A favorite summer getaway of well-heeled Italians and Europeans alike, Lake Como is just plain gorgeous. The sparkling water is backed by snow-capped Alps and lined with luxurious villas and dreamy gardens. The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, and the town of Bellagio is located where the lake forks.
It’s arguably the most beautiful town in the lakes. And if you keep your eyes peeled, you might spot local resident George Clooney water skiing.
Bellagio hotels run the gamut from luxurious to simple, so even travelers of modest means should be able to afford a couple of unforgettable nights here. If ever a place was worth splurging, Bellagio is.
Most of the hotels in Bellagio close for the winter, usually from November or December through March or April. And the smaller ones fill up several months in advance during peak season. So if you have your heart set on a place, book early.
Consistently rated as one of the top Bellagio hotels, Hotel Florence occupies a charming 19th-century villa with beautiful woodwork, a delightful terrace overlooking the lake, and an impressive old fireplace from Florence. Over the years, Hotel Florence has played host to Mark Twain, Puccini, and others. The location across from the ferry dock is handy for exploring Lake Como and its towns. And the lovely bar attracts plenty of non-guests. Many of the rooms are large by Bellagio standards, most have beautiful views, and they‘re beautifully decorated with lovely antiques like four-poster beds. The modern spa offers any treatment you could want.
Right across from the main dock, the Hotel du Lac overlooks Bellagio’s pretty main square. The hotel has been in business for 150 years, and owned by the same family for more than 50. It takes advantage of smashing lake views at every turn – from the restaurant under the arcade to the roof-top terrace garden, a great spot for an afternoon cocktail. Rooms have minibars and satellite TV. With terraces or balconies overlooking the lake, the superior rooms here are worth the added expense. There’s WiFi Internet access in the common areas. And guests can use the pool and health club facilities at the Bellagio Sporting Club.
Originally a private estate, Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni was transformed into a hotel in 1873. Since then, it’s hosted royalty and celebrities, from Winston Churchill to JFK. With its gorgeous park-like setting, spectacular staircases, Murano glass chandeliers, ornate frescoes, and gold leaf antiques, Ville Sebelloni is the only five-star deluxe Bellagio hotel. If you can’t afford to stay here, come for dinner at the grand terrace restaurant, which offers one of the best views of Lake Como. The chef has been awarded a Michelin star.
In addition to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a private dock, full-service spa, tennis courts, and an exercise room, Villa Serbelloni also has a private beach on Lake Como where you can rent watersports equipment.
Above Villa Serbelloni on a hill overlooking the lake, Residence Ulivo is a less expensive alternative for those who plan to spend a week or more. Each of the 12 units here has a private sitting area and kitchenette, and some have lake views. There are apartments designed for 2, 4, or 6 people. Guests have access to all the facilities at the hotel, many of which, including a covered pool, the spa, and a restaurant, stay open for Residence Ulivo guests even when the hotel is closed. This is a nice alternative for those who want more space than a traditional hotel room offers.
Family-owned Hotel Belvedere also opened in the 1880s. Pride of ownership is evident throughout the hotel and the service is professional and attentive. The 59 modern rooms and suites are located in three buildings in a private park. They have nice touches like safe deposit boxes and marble bathrooms. Suites have Jacuzzi tubs. And deluxe rooms have lake-view balconies or patios. The terraced gardens leading down to the lake are lovely, and there’s a swimming pool and off-street parking. The Belvedere also has three apartments with separate entrances. This is one of the largest Bellagio hotels, and one of the nicest. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed here.
There aren’t a lot of budget hotels in Bellagio, but Hotel Suisse is one of the best. The building dates from the 15th century, and several noted 18th and 19th-century writers stayed here. It’s retained some of the old-world charm in the form of parquet floors and carved wood paneling. But it’s been updated and now has WiFi in the public areas. It’s very close to the dock and main square, and the restaurant with its lakeview terrace is surprisingly good. Rooms are modest, but Hotel Suisse provides good value for money in a town that can be expensive. Breakfast is included in the rate.
Two of Bellagio’s popular lake-side trattorias have rooms on the floors above the restaurant – La Pergola and Silvio. If you’re looking for affordable Bellagio accommodations, both have tidy rooms, most with private bath and lake views.