Villa d'Este

Lake Como, Italian Lakes, Italy

At a Glance

  • Villa D'Este has 25 acres of gardens, the statues and landscape have been photographed for centuries

  • The hotel's unique pool floats on the lake, with a built-in Jacuzzi

  • Head to Villa d'Este around the exciting Summer Festival season - from June to August, the gardens along the Lake are alive with music, dance and fireworks

  • For a romantic meal the Veranda Restaurant overlooks the Lake and gardens and in the summer tables are set up on the terrace overlooking the water.

  • The two private villas within the hotel gardens are perfect for get together's with friends and family, offering sumptuous surroundings and outdoor entertainment space with Lake views.

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

The best times to visit are the spring and autumn, when the climate is ideal, the clear blue skies create the ideal visibility and the flora of Lake Como is at its best.

In the summer months, the climate of Lake Como can be very hot and humid, and often these months the high pressure of southern air clashing with the colder mountain air can create thunderstorms. Also, the roads around the Lake can be overrun with Italian and German tourists making it hard going for the tourist looking for a relaxing vacation.

In the winter everything closes down and its not an ideal time to visit the lake.

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Insider's View

As there are many delectable dining options at Villa d'Este, you might find yourself in the mood for some exercise. A run around the hotels' grounds on the 'jogging path' is a beautiful experience.
Make your way up to the fortress and towers, this is the best place to watch the sunset and enjoy views of the famous Villa d'Este.

Explore the extensive gardens and admire the fortress built by one of the previous owners, a general’s wife, for him to enjoy mock battles (she, a ballerina, was worried that he would get bored after the war!)

Call us on 020 3993 8025 to start planning your holiday to Villa d'Este or take a look at our itineraries to Northern Italy


Overlooking Lake Como and just minutes from the village of Cernobbio lies Villa d'Este, originally a grand 16th century private residence and now an opulent luxurious hotel. Villa d'Este is praised for its impeccable service and stunning 25 acre gardens.

Villa d'Este is hailed as one of the top destinations in Italy. All of the rooms are individually designed with elegant antique furnishings and are located in the main cardinal building and the more intimate queen's pavilion. Fine art adorns the walls and outside grand statues are situated around the gardens giving an air of grandeur.

The hotel also boasts two magnificently renovated 19th century villas situated within the parkland. Villa Cima sleeps eight and enjoys a beautiful position on the banks of the lake. Villa Malakoff sleeps eight and is situated on a small hill within the park. Each villa has a fully kitted luminous kitchen and living room. You can make use of all the facilities and amenities of the hotel while enjoying the privacy that your own villa can offer.

The hotel offers a good selection of dining options with six restaurants to choose from, the Veranda and Grill restaurant offer a more fine dining experience compared with the Il Platano and Terrace bar that offer a more bistro affair. The Sun deck and Bar Canova serve light snacks through out the day.

The Villa d'Este wellness centre offers relaxing treatments or if you are feeling sporty you can choose from tennis or squash and for golf enthusiast their is a putting green and even a golf simulator! The lake offers an array of water sports - waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.

The hotel has a complimentary kid's club from 3 to 8 years (July and August only) and a children's pool.

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Every room is different both in size and décor. Period furniture, oil paintings, Como silk covering sofas and chairs, silk brocade drapes, linen sheets, and most of the rooms have walk-in closets. All rooms have luxury marble bathrooms with bathtub or shower, while some rooms have balconies or terraces and some enjoy a private Jacuzzi. Suites are spacious and elegant. All rooms and suites are well equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, minibar, safe, WiFi and direct dial telephone.

Double Classic Room

Double Classic Rooms are located in the Cardinal Building with courtyard view. King bed or twin beds. Average size: 32-42 sqm.

Double Executive

Double Executive Rooms are located either in the Cardinal Building or in the Queen's Pavilion. They offer views of the gardens (some with partial lake view). King bed or twin beds. Some bathrooms offer a Jacuzzi. Average size: 30-50 sqm.

Double Deluxe Rooms

Double Deluxe Rooms are located either in the Cardinal building or in the Queen's Pavilion. They all offer a lake view. Average size: 35/40 sqm.

Double Deluxe Superior

Double Deluxe Superior Rooms are located on the top floor of the Cardinal Building, all with amazing lake views. King bed or twin beds. Average size: 50 sqm.

Junior Suite Exclusive

A Junior Suite Exclusive offers a bedroom and a living area. Located either in the Cardinal Building or in the Queen's Pavilion, with park or side lake view. Some with balcony (upon availability). King bed or twin beds. Average size: 52/62 sqm.

Junior Suite Top

Junior Suite Top are a spacious and luxurious choice with a large bedroom and a living area. Located either in the Cardinal Building or in the Queen's Pavilion, with breathtaking lake views. Some with balconies (upon availability). King bed or twin beds. Average size: 45/60 sqm.


Suites are furnished with antique furniture, precious fabrics and silks from the Como area. With a large separate sitting room and a large bedroom, with king bed or twin beds. Located either in the Cardinal building or in the Queen's Pavilion, with breathtaking lake views. Several with balconies (upon availability). Most of them with walk-in closet. Jacuzzi and stall shower. Average size: 65/75 sqm.

Presidential Suite

The Presidential Suites are located on the first floor in the Cardinal Building, with balconies and fabulous views of Lake Como and Villa d’Este’s magnificent gardens. These suites also have living quarters and separate sleeping quarters. Average size: 80/95 sqm.

Cardinal Suite

The Cardinal Suite is situated in Villa Garrovo & is so named in honour of the Cardinal Gallio. Located on the first floor of the Cardinal Building, it consists of a bedroom, a sitting room and two marble bathrooms. The large private terrace with loungers (90 sqm.) offers the best view of Lake Como. The interior decoration includes antique furniture, rare paintings and Venetian chandeliers whilst silks, brocade and velvet are in abundance.

Size: 108sqm. + terrace


Children of all ages are welcome to come and stay at Villa d'Este. There is a kids club available for children aged 3-8 years old during the months of July and August. There is also a children's pool and babysitting can be arranged upon request.


The Veranda restaurant is formal and elegant located on the lakeside, either dine behind glass walls or al fresco. The Grill is informal yet cozy and chic with a variety of regional dishes and a selection of the best Italian wines. There are 2 bars serving light snacks and drinks. The excellent Sporting Club provides a state of art gym and the Beauty Center a wide rage of treatments for face and body. There are also three swimming pools, a sauna and a Turkish bath.


Sports activities from Villa D'Este include a jogging trail, tennis, waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, squash, indoor golf simulator and a putting green. The concierge will happily advise and organise a fantastic range of private excursions for you.



Cammie Burke (Staff)

Known worlwide as one of the top hotels in Italy, Villa d'Este really lives up to its name. Incredible service, 25 acres of perfectly manicured gardens, a spectacular floating pool and spacious rooms are just a few of the reasons that set Villa d'Este apart. The hotel offers six different dining options allowing you to never have to leave the grounds. The concierge and staff are knowledgeable and welcoming, and give the most trusted advice on the Lake. 


Originally built in the 16th century as a summer residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, the Villa d'Este was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873. Between those times the villa went through a succession of owners both famous and infamous, and its history is peppered with stories of disenchanted wives, power hungry husbands, wild parties, additions and changes.

One notable owner was the Princess of Wales who gave the Villa its name after purchasing it in 1815. Since its transformation into a hotel in 1873 the Villa has hosted some of the world's most famous poets, painters and musicians, not to mention royalty. To name a few: Byron, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Mark Twain, Douglas Fairbanks, Elizabeth Taylor, Mel Gibson, Sharon Stone - no wonder the hotel is known as Hollywood on Lake Como.

The facilities

The Villa d'Este used to be accessible by boat only. Nowadays, those who can afford to arrive by private boat definitely should. Nothing could be better than gliding up to this palatial masterpiece and stepping off onto the leafy terrace. For those who can't quite stretch to the luxury of a private yacht but still want to live like a star, Cernobbio is a 75 km drive from Milan airport, or a 10 minute drive from Como train station.

The park stretches out behind the Villa and is part of what makes the Villa d'Este so spectacular. The famous mosaic wall and fountains act as the gate to the Renaissance style gardens. The fortresses and towers that cling precariously to the cliff edge, which were built for a Napoleonic general by his wife who feared that he might suffer the 'nostalgia of warfare' without them, are all part of the mystery of the park. The outdoor pool is a brilliant use of space. Why take up more of the garden when you can put the pool in the lake. And that's exactly where it is; floating on the lake in front of the hotel. I'm told it's well secured and there's no chance of it coming adrift, or of being upturned by the wake of an obnoxious jet-skier. There is also an indoor pool, only to be used if you feel seasick on the bobbing outdoor pool.

Much of the reason the hotel is patronised by so many famous names must be due to the excellent service, which is discreet and polite. Only at breakfast were the waiters a little disconcerting when they will accompany you to the buffet table, and will walk you and your breakfast back to your table. It is without doubt that the Villa d'Este deserves all its fame.

The rooms

Grand staircases, marble columns, silks covering period furniture - the Villa d'Este effortlessly upholds the magnificence of a former era. The 161 rooms are individually decorated, but all are furnished with antique furniture, fine paintings and interesting, sometimes curious, ornaments. Corner rooms are the best for having views onto both the lake and the park. Obviously a lake view and a balcony are going to be the most sought after rooms, but those overlooking the park or the ruins are just as appealing. And who wants to spend too much time in their room when they have the whole of the Villa, the spa, sports centre and the gardens to explore.


  • Cycling in northern Lake Como

    For an exciting, adrenaline-filled day, cycle around the northern tip of Lake Como. This area is less visited than the southern half of the lake and is home to charming towns and stunning views. Cycle to Colico before returning by private boat.

  • Lake Como cooking class

    Discover the flavours of Lake Como in a private cooking class with a local foodie from Como. Visit her home to learn how to create specialities from the lake and surrounding region before enjoying your creations for lunch.

  • Private boat trip on Lake Como

    Explore the stunning Lake Como from the water, on board your own private boat. Admire the dramatic scenery as you cruise along the lake and visit the elegant Villa del Balbianello and glamorous Bellagio.

  • Private photography experience

    Create lasting memories of your holiday with an exclusive private photography experience. With the help of a professional photographer, capture the perfect moment while you enjoy your romantic break, family holiday or honeymoon.

  • The treasures of northern Lake Como

    Venture to the north of Lake Como to discover the hidden treasures of this less-travelled area of the lake. Visit charming Menaggio before enjoying a delicious lunch and wine tasting session at a local winery.

Location & directions

Lake Como, Italian Lakes, Italy

Villa d'Este sits at the southern end of Lake Como just minutes from the village of Cernobbio in Northern Italy.

How to get there

It is a 2-hour British Airways flight to Milan Malpensa Airport from London Heathrow. Villa d'Este is a 60-minute drive from the airport.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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Call us on 020 3993 8025 to start planning your holiday to Villa d'Este or take a look at our itineraries to Northern Italy

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