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This Month’s Hottest Hotels

From Denver to Valparaíso, this month’s hottest hotels


Lake Como, Italy

BACKSTORY: Lake Como’s sparkling waters have inspired poets from Virgil to Wordsworth. Most area hotels started as private villas, but this Art Nouveau palace was purpose-built in 1910 to offer Grand Tour visitors a suitably posh stay. The de Santis family, which has owned the hotel for more than 40 years, recently injected some whimsy in the form of chairs upholstered in pink, orange and chartreuse velvet and eight contemporary rooftop suites, which debuted in 2012.

HOT DISH: Fittingly set on a lakefront terrace, the hotel’s restaurant, La Terrazza, was created in partnership with chef Gualtiero Marchesi, often called the father of modern Italian cuisine. The menu includes his signature dish, saffron risotto topped with a square of edible gold leaf, plus standouts like veal with foie gras and black truffles and roasted young rooster with spring onions and potatoes. For dessert, try Marchesi’s rich mille-feuille with mascarpone mousse and local strawberries.

ROOM WITH A VIEW: Of the four historic suites inspired by “Great Women,” the most regal is the two-bedroom Greta suite, named for frequent visitor Greta Garbo, who called the hotel “that happy, sunny place” in the 1932 film Grand Hotel. She would have loved the private terrace’s panoramic lake views. Opened this year, the new Aurelia suite is named for a favorite aunt of the family and decorated with gold fabrics, gilt-framed art and antiques from her personal collection.

BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: T Beach, a newly opened take on a classic lido, is a sandy lakefront stretch lined with cushioned lawn chairs where you can sip a Campari as you sunbathe. Two wooden walkways lead to Water on the Water, a swimming pool that floats in the lake and bobs in the wake of passing boats. The bar comes alive at dusk when guests and locals alike gather to watch the sun set over the picturesque town of Bellagio and the pink-tinged Grigne mountains towering behind it.


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