Looking for where to stay in Lake Como? From opulent Art Nouveau palaces and slick, contemporary hotels, to hilltop villas and buzzing hostels, this guide will help you find the best hotels in Lake Como.
One of my favourite spots in Italy, Lake Como has been welcoming holidaymakers since Roman times. 2,000 years on, it continues to be one of the most popular destinations in northern Italy. This slender, elegant lake is surrounded by picture-perfect villages with cobbled streets, and densely forested hills that rise steeply from the water.
With chic lakeside mansions, charming hillside villages, and a mix of water-sports, hiking and mountain biking on offer, Lake Como is an amazing place for summer getaway, especially if you love the great outdoors.
The thought of Como probably makes you think of the wealthy, and it’s fair to say, it’s a region inextricably linked with the rich and famous. George Clooney famously owns a house here and it was used as the setting for the Bond film Casino Royale. However, I’m a strong believer that you can visit Lake Como on a budget. In fact, I went on a backpacking trip there a few years ago and found plenty to do for a fraction of what you might expect.
As well as one bargain hostel (where I stayed all those years ago!) there are a surprising number of affordable Lake Como hotels, in addition to many luxury options if you feel like splashing out. If you fancy a bit of buzz, go for one of the picturesque lakeside towns, such as Bellagio or Varenna, or to escape the crowds, head up the hillside for peaceful villas and spectacular views.
If you’re wondering how to reach the lake, one of the most common routes is to fly to Milan or catch a train from the city centre. There are a few options including buses, trains and private shuttles, but it really does depend on where on the lake you need to reach. You’ll find a summary of all the options in my post about how to travel from Milan to Lake Como.
I’ve broken down my top recommendations into a few categories – luxury, mid-range and budget – trust me when I say there are Lake Como hotels to suit every taste and budget.
Where To Stay in Lake Como
Luxury Hotels in Lake Como
There’s certainly no shortage of fabulous luxury hotels in this area of Italy. If you’re looking for somewhere super special, perhaps to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or honeymoon, this is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Lake Como.
Perched majestically on the western shore, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo offers stunning views across the water, all the way to the beautiful village of Bellagio. This Art Nouveau hotel is decorated with sumptuous fabrics and is home to peaceful gardens and all the facilities you’d expect from one of the best 5-star hotels in Lake Como.
I visited for lunch and a tour of the hotel when I was last in Lake Como and was in awe of its beauty and the impeccable service. What’s more, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo is within easy distance of some of the best sights on the lake, including the gardens of Villa Carlotta and the fairy-tale Villa Balbianella.
A visit to Lake Como is an opportunity to sample some of the finer things in life, and at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, you’ll find everything you need for a luxury escape. One of the most iconic hotels in Bellagio, Villa Serbelloni is housed in a gorgeous neo-classical building, complete with towering marble columns, chic staircases and glittering chandeliers.
Although it’s located in the heart of bustling Bellagio, you’ll feel transported to another world as you enjoy the private beach, well-equipped spa and swimming pool.
It’s also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves up an impressive menu focused on molecular gastronomy. There’s a second dining option too, where you can indulge in some hearty Italian fare. If you’re looking for a romantic retreat, look no further. Villa Serbelloni is one of the best places to stay in Lake Como for couples.
At Il Sereno, you won’t find the Art Nouveau opulence characteristic of some of the other Lake Como hotels… but that’s not to everyone’s tastes. Instead, renowned designer Patricia Urquiola has created a world of stripped-back, simple elegance, with modern exteriors and super-stylish contemporary interiors.
This peaceful retreat is located in the village of Torno, offering spectacular lake views and easy access across the water to the villages of Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio.
Il Sereno also offers top facilities including an incredible infinity pool, which comes complete with an underwater sound system! There’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant with an inventive menu of oriental and Italian fusion cuisine. This is certainly one of the best luxury hotels in Lake Como and the ideal place for a truly unforgettable holiday.
Located just a mile south of the town of Cernobbio, Hotel Villa Flori is set in delightful gardens, and is one of the best hotels in Lake Como.
This historic villa offers a flavour of the 19th century, with beautiful frescos and antique furniture. Almost all rooms look out onto the lake, and the tranquil terrace is the perfect place for an aperitivo at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
The hotel also organises a range of activities, from gin tasting to jazz concerts, in addition to trips on the lake and to all the local sights. Villa Flori is one of the best hotels in Lake Como – don’t miss the excellent lakeside bar, the lush gardens, and the fabulous Turkish hammam.
Hotel Belvedere has been hosting guests on Lake Como since 1880, and this classy boutique hotel has passed through the hands of five generations of female owners.
The staff at this friendly, family-run hotel go the extra mile to make guests feel welcome. You’ll find peaceful terraces, an enormous swimming pool, and lush gardens, all in a gorgeous location in Bellagio.
Hotel Belvedere also offers small apartments and plenty of child-friendly facilities, making it one of the best places to stay in Lake Como with a family.
Mid-Range Hotels in Lake Como
Hotel Olivedo is one of the most popular hotels in Varenna, and of all the hotels on Lake Como, this is one of the easiest to get to. Located right next to the Varenna ferry, and with access to the train station, it’s an ideal base from which to explore the lake and the wider region in northern Italy.
Hotel Olivedo offers spacious rooms, extremely friendly staff, and a slice of old-world charm. If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Lake Como with a family, Hotel Olivedo could be a good option, as there are a number of family suites with their own private terraces.
Bellavista Boutique Hotel is perched high above the lake in the atmospheric hilltop village of Brunate. If you’re a keen hiker, this stunning location is a great area to stay in Lake Como, with plenty of gorgeous walking trails starting right outside the front door of the hotel.
What’s more, the Bellavista has everything you need to relax after a pleasant day of trekking through the hills and around the lake. The Art Nouveau hotel has plenty of original features and boasts incredible views from the peaceful terrace.
Budget Hostels in Lake Como
At a first glance, budget accommodation in Lake Como may seem tricky to find. However, if you’re a backpacker visiting Lake Como, there’s a hostel on the banks of the lake. It has the spectacular views of the grandest hotels, at a bargain price and with basic facilities.
This friendly hostel offers affordable dorm rooms, communal dining room (serving meals) and the helpful staff will be happy to direct you to the hostel’s beach or help organise kayaking trips on the lake.
I hope this guide has given you plenty of ideas for where to stay in Lake Como, whatever your budget. Wherever you choose, you’re going to LOVE your trip to this stunning Italian resort! If you’re still looking for the perfect place, you can search for other options using the map below…
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