Today is Part two of this five part travel series. If you missed my tips for planning a Honeymoon you’ll want to start there (Dream Honeymoon Planning Tips- My top 3) . This part of the travel diaries is talking Lake Como, Italy and Relais Villa Vittoria.
My husband and I were lucky enough to take a 19 day honeymoon to Italy and France. I want to explore each of the four locations we spent our time in with all of you. Each post will have a unique approach whether it is food, activities, or hotel profiles. So you’ll just have to keep checking back for more in the upcoming weeks!
First up is Lake Como, Italy. More specifically a little town called Laglio. Today’s post will give a full review of our charming twelve bedroom villa hotel. But first, I should back up and tell you how we found this hotel while planning. A co-worker of mine introduced me to the world of Mr. and Mrs. Smith a few years back.
The site prides itself on reviewing and promoting boutique, luxury, and unique style hotels. They also give perks to their members (it’s a free membership) when they book rooms with them. I found myself building dream vacations on their easy to use website frequently and when it came to planning the honeymoon they were my first stop. It also helped that I had an acquaintance who worked there who gave me insights on all the locations I was looking at. Mr. and Mrs. Smith can act as a full service travel agent if you aren’t looking for car rentals, transfers, and activity planning along the way. Unfortunately, we needed someone who fit that mold.
After securing Sarah Halpern at Smart Flyer she was able to work with Smith Hotels directly to book our Laglio hotel, Relais Villa Vittoria. It was part of the Smith Hotel Collection. I did not use Smith hotels for every stop. It just so happened that we loved this little villa for Lake Como. I might also add that while it had the small feel we wanted it was also much more budget-friendly then some of the other hotels in the area. So it was a win-win!
When we arrived to our hotel we walked into the large house and were greeted in a little room with a desk by the concierge/front desk/event coordinator. While we checked in the bellman/waiter/ground crew took our bags to our room. It was the type of hotel that very few people worked at and everyone wore quite a few different hats. I loved the quaintness of it!
Our room was simply furnished with a countryside feel but, our favorite feature were the huge wooden windows that opened to our own tiny terrace that gave a stunning view of the lake. The bathrooms were updated with nice walk in showers and waterfall spouts. They even provided the higher end amenities like shaving kits, toiletry extras etc.
The hotel grounds had an upper terrace with metal tables and chairs for dining, a lower level with covered lounge beds and couches, and a ground level with a small infinity pool, a waiter stand, umbrellas and lounge chairs, and a small dining area. There were also mini gardens scattered throughout the winding layers as you walked down. There was also a boat dock right at the hotel. We were picked up for a one hour tour right from there and didn’t have to drive anywhere.
The hotel was a one stop shop. It kind of had to be. Laglio is a sleepy little town on Lake Como. Downtown Como was only a 20 minute drive and other big towns like Bellagio were not far either. However; you needed a car (and some bravery for the mountainous, narrow roads) or to take public transportation to get to any destinations. With Laglio being our first stop we were perfectly happy to just enjoy the peace and quiet and listen to nothing more than the lake lapping against the docks.
The food at the hotel was also quite good. We worked our way through the small menu in the six or so meals we had at the villa. The pastas were homemade, the produce was fresh, and the seafood was local and plentiful. There were no bad meals consumed during our time.
Relais Villa Vittoria has no bar, which was perhaps our only letdown going into the trip. However; we never felt as though we didn’t have access to a drink. The wait staff were happy to let your order wine from their fairly extensive cellar (for such a small place) or an aperitif. You could call from your room, the pool, the restaurant, etc. So the bar came to you! Not too terrible of a deal. They were limited in options though so as long as you go in knowing a full bar is not available your expectations won’t be broken.
There was one service at the hotel I would not recommend. I decided to splurge and do an afternoon at the spa on one of the rainy days. I made a reservation for a manicure, pedicure, and hot stone massage. The “spa” was a teeny tiny room and my relaxing afternoon turned into a very rushed and pretty terrible massage and a lackluster nail experience. Save your time for some day trips and fun in the sun.
Overall Relais Villa Vittoria was a dream come true. It was the perfect romantic, scenic, and quiet setting we needed to kick off our honeymoon and recharge. We hope to go back some day and highly recommend for your travels to that area!
Oh, and one small fact I completely forgot to share is that you’ll be rubbing elbows with George Clooney! (I wish!) But, this hotel really is on the same street as his villa only about a half mile up the road! Take a little boat trip past his place for a full view 🙂
For more information: http://www.relaisvillavittoria.com/
….all for the love of the dish