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450 feet of elegance along Lake Como shoreline

IL SERENO

  • June 21, 2021
  • Spaces
  • By: KATIE BARTON

Ah, the Italian summer vacation: spritz in hand, strolling out onto the sun deck of your hotel on Lake Como, taking in the views as an immaculately restored classic wooden speedboat cruises past in the warm evening sun. The captain waves, you wave back, and all is right in the world. It’s all happening and more at Il Sereno, the thoroughly modern answer to all your Italian vacation daydreams.

EXPLORING THE SPACE

A haunt of James Bond and Sophia Loren, Lake Como is an idyllic glacial lake located about an hour north of Milan, its famous “Y” shape cutting a dramatic trough through the Grigna, Resegone and Legnone mountains in Northern Italy. The region is world renowned for its silk industry, but probably more-so for being a longtime haven for artists, celebrities and the global jet set, the hillsides blanketed with private historic villas and five-star hotels.

A notable newcomer to this exclusive scene is Il Sereno, a 30-suite intimate hospitality experience with decor that reflects a modern take on ultra-luxe Lake Como living, by Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola. A mezzanine level restaurant, situated between rough-hewn stone archways, provides an unlikely foundation for sleek glass and steel guest quarters above. Suites offer private furnished terraces with lake views, and interiors inspired by post-war Italian glamour (think Carlo Scarpa and Gio Ponti).

Contemporary minimalism has at last found its place among the grand hotels that line the banks of Lake Como, and perhaps it’s this stylistic juxtaposition that makes Il Sereno feel so fresh and inviting. The horizontality and sharp lines are a palette cleanser from the traditional opulence you’d expect to find here. “Regarded as the most stylish and private sanctuary among the lake’s prestigious collection of hotels,” Il Sereno offers everything from a Michelin-starred dining experience at Berton al Lago, to a day spa carved out of an original Darsena (boathouse), and yet it manages to maintain an atmosphere of elegant informality and ease.

A celebration of historic and modern Italian design is present in every element of the Il Sereno experience, and while this is inspiring, it still pales in comparison to the views from the lakeshore, which have made Lake Como a destination for centuries. If you get tired of looking out the window, there are of course activities: wine tasting and cooking classes will keep the gourmands in your group occupied, while the outdoor adventure seekers can hit the hiking trails which run along connection paths around the lake, and farther up into the surrounding mountains.

As the weather gets warmer and it’s harder to stay tethered to your desk, hold fast to the dream of that spritz on the sun deck at Il Sereno—that could be you cruising the waters off the cliffs of Bellagio, or wandering in the famous gardens at Villa Balbianello (as seen in Casino Royale). If there’s one thing we all deserve after 2020, it’s an Italian summer vacation.

EDITOR'S TIPS

Il Sereno offers both indoor and outdoor pools as well as a fully-equipped fitness center, so you can stay active during your stay.

Exclusive Riva boat tours are offered through the hotel, talk to the concierge to book

For the wine lover: the Berton al Lago wine cellar houses an unparalleled selection of award-winning and boutique Italian wines.

A slew of promotional packages is available upon booking, from helicopter tours to a seven-course tasting menu partnership with Dom Pérignon.

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