Lake Orta, Northern Italy
Villa Crespi is a remarkable 4 star hotel, perched just above Lake Orta and its famed Island of San Guilo and its resident nuns. The villa is Middle Eastern in style, resembling a fairytale castle from the tales of a Thousand and One Nights
At a Glance
This boutique 4 star hotels houses a 2 star Michelin restaurant so serves as a perfect stop for foodies
Villa Crespi's head chef is no less than the famed Italian celebrity Antonino Cannavacciuolo so make like the Italians and ask for a selfie with the man himself
Within walking distance, guests can visit the ancient town of Varallo and its Sacro Monte (UNESCO site) with amazing topiary and rare trees as well as the Pinacoteca museum of art and the Scaglia
Villa Crespi's location means you can visit the neighboring Lake Maggiore with its gorgeous Borromean islands - Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori
There is no pool at Villa Crespi so for keen swimmers a walk or drive to the lake is necessaryScott Dunn team
Make sure you visit Orta San Guilio which is itself a charming town but the island of San Giulio has a Way of Silence - a walk that can be undertaken clockwise and anticlockwise on this holy island, under the watchful gaze of the resident nunsScott Dunn team
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To start planning your vacation to Villa Crespi
Before you spy Villa Crespi rising out of its verdant gardens, you spot the majestic minaret with its Middle Eastern tiling and stucco. The villa and its vertiginous pinnacle are at odds with the typical luxury hotels that dot the shores around the Italian lakes but what else would one expect from a villa built in homage by a besotted man to his wife.
Built in 1879 by a cotton manufacturer whose trade took him to the East and left him with a longing to capture the fabulous interiors and exteriors of the regions palaces, Villa Crespi can also claim magical views over the most romantic of the lakes, Lake Orta.
Nestled amidst fine gardens and with the crystalline waters of Lake Orta shimmering in the distance, the villa has the feel of a private country house rather than a hotel and the villas owners, Cinzia and Antonino Cannavacciuolo go out of their way to make guests feel at home.
With just 6 rooms and 8 Suites the villa is perfectly boutique but complimented by a world class restaurant serving up tasting menus and daily a la carte seasonal produce to a two Michelin starred standard. Expect Mediterranean cuisine with influences from Neapolitan cooking, celebrity chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo's home. The man is so famous in Italy as a TV personality. guests can often be seen having photographs taken with the man himself!
The sleek lounge bar area is Art Deco in style and the perfect place for an evening aperitif if the canopied terrace outside doesn't win you over first. A small massage and beauty treatments area has a range of offerings specially selected by Cinzia and yoga classes are arranged regularly with the glistening waters of Lake Orta in the distance.
Lake Orta itself is a fascinating area of Northern Italy with the Island of San Guilio well worth a visit along with the town of Orta San Guilio offering an array of charming boutiques and cafes. Further afield you can venture to Lake Maggiore and its trio of gorgeous islands - Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori. There is a wealth to see and do in the region and Villa Crespi works as a perfect starting point for a longer gastronomy adventure.
The Villa is a unique and exotic Middle Eastern style building, erected in 1879 as a gift from the owner to his wife. With its towering minaret, fabulous stucco plaster and colorful tiling Crespi is a jewel at the edge of Lake Orta. The villa has a collection of rooms, junior suites, executive suites and historical suites.
These rooms have king-size beds and their own private balcony with partial lake view. Marble bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs feature. They are furnished with period furniture and measure from 20-24 sq. meters
Deluxe rooms boast four poster canopy beds with silk hangings and views over the villa's gardens. Period furniture and an opulent marble bathroom (shower only) complete these rooms. Size: 26 sq. meters
Junior suites have king-size double beds and enjoy garden views. Finely appointed with period furniture and paintings and silk wall hangings in rich colors. Size: 29 sq. meters
Executive suites have king-size four poster canopy beds with gold silk hangings and feature fine views of the lake. Finely appointed with period furniture and an opulent marble bathroom with Jacuzzi bathtub (shower on request). Size: 38 sq. meters
The Royal Suite features a king size four poster canopy bed with gold silk hangings and enjoys magnificent lake views. Furnished with period furniture and paintings, a stunning fireplace completes the suite. The marble bathroom features a hydro massage bathtub. Size: 47 sq. meters
|Regina Vittoria Imperial Suite||
The Imperial Suite has a king-size canopy bed and superb lake view. The period furniture and paintings and marble bathroom with hydro massage bathtub and its own views over the villa's
gardens complete this top suite. Size: 51 sq. meters
The Gold Suite features a king size four poster canopy bed with incredible gold silk hangings and it enjoys one of the villa's finest views over the lake. The large, opulent marble bathroom has a hydro massage bathtub. Period furniture and
paintings make this suite a firm favorite. Size: 47 sq. meters
Children are welcome at Villa Crespi and babysitting can be arranged upon request though the hotel is more suited to adults.
Villa Crespi houses a famed 2 Michelin star restaurant overseen by the Italian celebrity chef, Antonino Cannavacciuolo. There is a sublime tasting menu as well as a la carte options and the restaurant is always busy with discerning diners as well as guests of the villa
Lake Orta and its surrounds is a paradise for runners and walkers alike not to mention the possibility of numerous water-sports on the lakes placid waters. Wine tasting, gastronomy and history and architecture opportunities are abundant in this quaint corner of Northern Italy
The staff at Villa Crespi are on hand to ensure your stay is perfect. They can arrange sunbeds in the verdant gardens, yoga classes & unique Tibetan Bell massage. The concierge can arrange lake water-sports and interesting excursions to Orta and beyond to Maggiore.
Location & Directions
Lake Orta, Northern Italy
Villa Crespi sits at the edge of Lake Orta and is a 20 minute walk into the quaint town of Orta San Guilio where visitors can take a boat to the Island of San Giulio with its Way of Silence.
When to go
The best times to visit are the late spring and early autumn, when the climate is ideal. In the summer months, the climate of Lake Orta can be hot and humid though year round the risk of southern air clashing with the colder mountain air can create thunderstorms. The lake is a seasonal destination so closed come winter.