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Villa Crespi, Orta San Giulio 

18 Via G. Fava
Lake Orta
Orta San Giulio
Tel: 39 0322 911 902
view web site ›'s insider take:

This fabulously odd Moorish-style villa built in 1879 is easy to find: Just look for the onion-domed minaret towering above the pine trees. The interiors are the Middle Eastern fantasyland of a palace fit for a pasha, all horseshoe arches with toothy edges and walls slathered in fiddly scrollwork and arabesques. The 14 rooms are filled with 18th- and 19th-century furnishings with intricate wood-inlay floors, silk brocade walls, and marble baths. Some rooms are frescoed; others have tented ceilings to go with the whole Scheherazade motif. Every room in the deluxe category and above comes with a king-size canopy bed. The hotel is patronized by the kind of adventurous clientele drawn to its quirky styling and out-of-the-way location on one of the lesser-known lakes. The hotel has its own small fitness center offering massages, and guests can use the pools, tennis courts, and water sports facilities at the Crespi's two sister hotels, which are right on the lake less than a mile away.

Closed early January through mid-March.

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