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The luxury Italian lakeside hotels making a splash

From an environmentalist's dream to one of the chicest properties on the water, dip your toe in our rundown of the best Italy has to offer

There’s nothing like waking up to the gentle lapping of water on a shore, the glistening sunshine bouncing off the water – and a continental breakfast. And, whilst there are a couple of destinations around the globe that tick all of these boxes, none do it so stylishly and chicly as the North Italian lakes.

Como, Lugano, Garda, Iseo – they’re all as glamorous and exotic as they sound. Flanked on all sides by lush greenery and beat down on year-round by a blazing sun, these are the perfect places to spend your Euro-escape. And these are the best places from which to enjoy the scenery…

Il Sereno: The one for the modernists

Ultra-modern and set amid the gardens that skirt Lake Como, this all-suite hotel has individually decorated living quarters, and furnished terraces with lake views. There’s a bar and a sleek restaurant with a waterfront terrace, plus a spa, a gym and an infinity pool suspended over the lake. Don’t forget the poolside bar, sun deck and – to enjoy the lake – a private boat dock.

The Score: Perfect for those in search of a blend of modern design and natural beauty.

Lefay Resort: The one for the sportsmen

Set on 11 hectares of parkland that overlook the glorious Lake Garda, this sleek resort is just a stone’s throw from the famous Bogliaco Golf Resort. And, when you’re finished swinging, the unrivalled sauna will give you a chance to relax – as will your room’s Jacuzzi bath. And then, when it comes to refuelling, the 2 elegant restaurants and 3 bars on site have you more than covered.

The Score: If you enjoy a spot of golf, swimming or just hitting a state-of-the-art gym, check in here.

Casta Diva: The one for the escapists

Overlooking Lake Como, this seasonal, high-end spa hotel is chic, 18-century and on the doorstep of the magnificent Como Cathedral. Posh, plush rooms have lake view balconies, so you can take in the tranquility, and the ultra-luxe spa houses not only a sauna, but hammams and salt rooms too. Feel relaxed? You should.

The Score: If you’re looking to wind down, count the ways.

San Luis: The one for environmentalists

San Luis Resort in Avelengo

All-inclusive is always a fun phrase to hear. But, when that includes your wooden studio or stylish chalet or even treehouse, as well as in-room breakfast, upscale cuisine and access to the spa, heated outdoor pool and cosy fire area, then you know you’ve lucked out. Set on 40 hectares of Alpine park, this resort is an environmentalist’s dream – and has no TVs or gadgetry to distract you during your stay.

San Luis Resort in Avelengo

San Luis Resort in Avelengo

The Score: Perfect for those serious about escaping the rat race. Tranquil and traditional.

The View: The one for the rule-breakers

On a hillside with sweeping views of the city and Lake Lugano, The View is a polished, all-suite hotel decked out throughout with teak floors, and terraces with lake views. Butlers are available at your beck and call, and the continental breakfast is free. One tiny hitch, this is actually on the Swiss side of the Italian Lake Lugano, making this retreat one for the most stylish of rule breakers.

The Score: Not technically Italian, it’s still within sight of the country – and a pleasure to stay in.

Fancy a different kind of dip? Here are our best hotel pools around the world

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