Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni pool
Castadiva Resort pool
The palatial villas that line the edge of Lake Como (George Clooney’s, no doubt, proving the most infamous) only hint at the immaculately-designed luxury family hotels and restaurants that fill these shores. Europe’s deepest lake is over 30 miles long and dotted with stunning Wisteria-laden gardens and pristine chapels. Whether or not you stay there, Bellagio must be seen: it’s a town where the lake splits into three branches and the views are considered exceptional. It has long been a revered family vacation spot for Italians (who, as we know, adore children anyway). This offers a quintessential family-friendly holiday against movie-picture perfect alpine vistas.
Relais Villa Vittoria
Boutique in size but as luxury as any large hotel, Villa Vittoria is a lakeside Como classic, ideal for a peaceful family holiday.
Craving something more on the boutique side in Lago di Como? Relais Villa Vittoria will more than suffice. The 19th century villa and its adjacent Mulberry garden give it a pre-war, romantic feel; it is defined as boutique hotel so its small, but offers every amenity and luxury one could want, in a peaceful and...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
The floating heated pool and private marina on the edge of Castadiva resort only hints at the luxury that awaits inside.
An early 19th century villa, Castadiva Resort is today a beautiful resort but much more intimate in feel than its name would suggest. Located on Lake Como’s eastern side in Blevio village, it has two totally private villas and 73 rooms, nearly all of which have terraces with either garden or lake views, nestled...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
A decadent and very luxurious Art Nouveau hotel located on the shores of Lake Como
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, is one of the oldest hotels on Lake Como and nestled right on the shore, this Art Nouveau beauty offers unrivalled views of Bellagio and the Grigne mountains. Recently reopened, it is as beautiful and grandiose as ever. Walking from drawing room to tea parlour, spacious bathroom to bedroom, the...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
A regal one-off, Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is one of the oldest hotels on the lake in Bellagio
Like any self-respecting Como residence, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni has its own private dock from which to set off onto the lake from. This very elegant hotel wraps royally around the edge of the water and offers an almost panoramic view across the lake and its stunning gardens. Adults and children alike are met...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Piazza Mazzini 12, Como
Located in a beautiful Como piazza and serving piping-hot fresh pizza, amongst other regional dishes, La Colonne has fantastic outdoor seating, but also has an air-conditioned conservatory inside so perfect when the hot weather is getting to everyone. Open for lunch and dinner, Le Colonne is extremely popular with both locals and visiting Italians so get there on the early side of you can.
Grand Hotel Imperiale, Via Antica Regina 26, Moltrasio
Shut in the winter months of January and February, Ristorante IMperialino is a quintessential Como classic located in the unmissable Grand Hotel Imperiale. With requisite Lago di Como views from a terrace of this villa setting, everything from pasta to lobster can be ordered and children are welcomed with quintessential Italian adoration, despite the rather formal setting. Probably best for well-behaved toddlers and pre-teens rather than babies, however.
Via Rogaro 11, Tremezzo
Family-run and extremely friendly, Al Veluu offers lots of classic Italian favourites, with some ingredients grown on-site in the restaurant’s gardens and some dishes cooked table side. There are two choices of seating, both of which offer amazing lake views. The terrace is perfect for balmy summer nights, while “il portico” indoors is better suited for fresher nights, and has a roaring fire for when the chill has really kicked in. Located hillside above Tremezzo, Al Veluu is located in the historic, and breathtakingly beautiful, borgo Rogaro.
Visit Bellagio by ferry for some of the most fantastic views across Como. Located where the lake splits into three branches, the lakescapes from this point are world-famous. (The other noteworthy towns of Lake Como are Varenna, Tremezo, Cernobbio and Como, which are all delightful and sell, amongst other things, the beautiful silk made in the area).
Isola Comacina is a small wooded island in the middle of the lake and wonderful for day trips, thanks to the island’s stunning setting, restaurant, café and even archeological sites.
Lake Como golf
Golf –lovers should head to nearby 18-hole Champion Course Menaggio & Cadennabbia, which, aside from its perfect greens, houses the world’s largest library of golf literature.
Villa Monastero and Villa del Balbaniello
From Bellagio take the ferry on to Varenna, home to the Villa Monastero, which is known for having some of the most gorgeous gardens in Lake Como. It’s a perfect alternative to a park for outdoor play with little ones. Another wonderful day trip by ferry is to Villa del Balbaniello where part of Casino Royale was filmed.
Hike the smugglers' paths
Activity-loving families with older children will love hiking across the old smuggler’s paths around Lake Como – any hotel can point you in the right direction to their closest routes.
Dial 112 or 118 for an ambulance. Most hospitals in Italy have English-speaking doctors and Como is no exception. The main hospital in Como is the Ospedale Generale Di Zona Valduce at Via Alighieri Dante 11 (+39 31 324111).
When to go
Any time of year in Como is gorgeous, though August is typically the busiest period because so many Italians vacation there also. If you do go in the winter note that many hotels, restaurants and shops close for the month of January. Ski-lovers should consider the winter months as there is cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding in Valsassina close to Lecco and, of course, the Swiss border isn’t far if you want to carry your travels on into Switzerland.