Palace Hotel Villa Cortine, Sirmione
Tel: 39 030 990 5890
Concierge.com's insider take:
Imagine a grand neo-Palladian villa set atop ten acres of lush and carefully landscaped grounds as only a wealthy 19th-century Austrian baron and confirmed Italophile could construct. That's the Villa Cortine, its serpentine driveway winding past elaborate fountains sculpted with mythological scenes, its interiors crafted by an army of artisans with precious Verona marbles, Byzantine-style stuccoes, and frescoes teeming with symbolism. The splendid isolation of this upscale haven hidden amid a bustling resort town, along with the high-end sports cars frequently parked in the gravel lot, hint at the kind of clientele drawn to such a luxury hideaway. The 54 guest quarters, most housed in an extension built in 1957, have a slightly more sober elegance of burled walnut, heavy curtains, Murano chandeliers, and Oriental carpets on herringbone parquet floors. The vast grounds extend all the way down to the lake with a private beach, pier, and summer beach bar and barbecue for grilling fresh lake fish at lunch.
Closed late October through late March.