Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli
There is only one word to describe Villa Feltrinelli and that is “PERFECTION”. Built as a family house (the Feltrinelli family was very well known for their lumber and publishing business) which became a residence of Mussolini in the 40s. Then it was owned by the legendary hotelier Bob Burns, who wanted this to be his private house. After spending millions on restoration, he finally decided to open it as hotel in 2001. And that is how we know Villa Feltrinelli now. The most beautiful place which will satisfy even the most demanding clients on Earth. When you are in the grounds, you feel like the world is perfect. You become part of the bubble of perfection and sometimes this perfection is hard to explain. I will, however, try.
Villa Feltrinelli is situated on the north west side of the Lake Garda, 10 min walk from the charming town called Gargnano. You can get there by car, which takes you about 2 hours drive from Milan or Verona airport or by helicopter, if you wish to do so (as some do so).
Villa Feltrinelli design
This Art Nouveau Villa is filled with custom made furniture, Venetian mirrors, marble staircases and wooden panelling. The attention to every little detail is what sets this place way above anything you can normally encounter in luxury hotels. Family pictures in silver frames, a library filled with beautiful books, an honesty bar with cocktail recipes framed on the wall for you to create whatever you feel like. That is just a little summary of the what you can expect.
Whether you sit in the Bob’s bar (after Bob Burns) or in the library, you can’t believe that this is actually a hotel. It feels like family home (or rather a mini castle). The garden, or park, as they like to call it, is also picture perfect. Every day they clean and rake the white gravel to get rid of any potential leaves. There is also a lemon garden and herb garden, both of which are used for the cooking in the villa.
There are just 21 rooms and thanks to that, you hardly ever see any other guests. Everyone is enjoying different part of the hotel. Rooms are as beautiful as the rest of the villa. Many times, hotels focus on the common grounds rather then rooms. In this case, little details like an automatic switch board for choosing your music or daily fresh roses are what it sets it apart. There is a main house and few other smaller guesthouses on the grounds. I highly recommend to stay in the main house.
I am not sure in how many hotels in the world you find this but the ratio of staff to guests at 3:1 is unheard of. It does come with a price tag, but again there are little things that still make me smile. All women receive a little bouquet of fresh roses upon arrival. The check-in happens without you noticing. You go straight to your room, where you just hand over your passport (which you get back with a ribbon).
Your laundry comes perfectly wrapped in thin paper with a Feltrinelli sticker on it (even it if would be just a pair of socks). You can also ask for the unpacking and packing service (all included) so you don’t need to do anything when you arrive. The turn down service is quite unique. Imagine that you come to your room after the dinner and it is beautifully lit, with a candle floating in the little bowl. Little bouquet of fresh flowers on your bed, relaxing music playing and even rose petals in the loo. Seriously, where can you find that?
Two Michelin star restaurant is definitely not to be missed. Under the beautiful pergola with a view of the lake, the food is exquisite. If you don’t feel like eating where everyone else does, you can just say so. The staff will arrange a dinner for you anywhere on the grounds of the hotel. If you want to have drinks before dinner, the best place is by the lake sitting on the lounges. Every few minutes you will be also getting gorgeous little canapes (every day different).
I have to mention the breakfast. It is the only place I have been to, where, when you ask: “at what time is the breakfast?”, the answer is: “Anytime you want”. No stress about managing getting up in the morning in time for breakfast then.
If you don’t want to eat every day in the Villa, there are several amazing restaurants in the town, like our favourite one La Tortuga. If you want to be more adventurous, you can hire a boat and go across the lake to Locanda San Vigilio (post coming shortly) and I highly recommend doing this.
Things to do
Now that is an interesting one. When we started to come here, about ten years ago, there were no facilities, except the swimming pool. Now, there is a small space dedicated to spa with Aqua di Parma amenities and good list of treatments. No gym though. And you know what? I don’t mind that all. It is actually quite nice to come to a place and not be “stressed” about hitting the gym every day but rather enjoy the ultimate relaxation. If the weather is nice, hire a boat. Either to go for a lunch across the lake or the Villa can organise for you tailor made trip, including the trip to Verona to see the opera.
When to go
If you would like to go to this gorgeous place, you can do so only between April and October. But even in the summer the weather is quite unpredictable. I like to go in the end of August always for two reasons. It still can be sunny, but also if the summer was great, the lake will be warm enough to swim in it. However whenever you go, make sure you book well in advance. These 21 rooms are very much in demand.
So in summary. Villa Feltrinelli gives the word “perfection” whole new meaning and it will always be a place on the top of my list to go. Basically whenever my husband and I arrive to any hotel we say “oh this is amazing, but it is not a Villa Feltrinelli”.
have a great day