Hotel review: Il Sereno, Lake Como, Italy

If pure, indulgent luxury in the most romantic setting is what you’re after, Il Sereno in Italy’s Lake Como is for you. Often touted as the prettiest of Italy’s lakes, Lake Como already provides a picture-perfect backdrop for an unforgettable holiday. This stunning landscape combined with the beauty and tranquility of the Il Sereno hotel takes things to a whole new level.

il sereno outside

Despite the hotel’s decidedly modern aesthetic, the use of natural materials, such as stone, walnut, bronze and glass ensure it is in keeping with the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Situated in the small town of Torno on the south west leg of the lake (Lake Como is shaped a little like a peace sign), Il Sereno is a tranquil lakeside paradise where every inch of the place has been considered to be pleasing to the eye, the staff genuinely can’t do enough for you and you won’t find so much as a leaf out of place.

il sereno outside

Il Sereno hotel review

Rooms & facilities

The hotel has been configured so that every room has a breathtaking view of the lake. Masterminded by award-winning designer, Patricia Urquiola, the décor combines the natural ambiance of the surrounding environment with the ultimate in comfort and luxury.

il sereno bedroom

There are 40 rooms in total, ranging from the ‘entry-level’ Piccoletta (which comprises a king size bed, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open onto a garden and those amazing lakeside views) to the stunning 2,150 square foot Signature Penthouse Suite, which opens up onto an expansive private terrace complete with dining area and hot tub.

il sereno bedroom

Whichever room you stay in, all reflect the same sleek design aesthetic used throughout the hotel, with the same natural materials, rich fabrics and serene colour palette. Each room offers a king size bed with down bedding, flat-screen TV and DVD player, mini bar, cotton robes, complimentary wifi, maid service twice daily, 24-hour room service, an in-room safe and air-conditioning. All rooms (apart from the Piccoletta) enjoy a furnished balcony or terrace to relax and enjoy the lakeside views from as well as an indoor living area.

il sereno bathroom

Food & drink

Breakfast is served in the hotel’s restaurant, Il Sereno Al Lago, where you can choose to sit on the outdoor terrace with panoramic views or on breezier days you can sit behind the sheltered stone archways which perfectly frame the views of the lake and the villages on the opposite shore. Choose from a continental spread of breads, fruit, pastries, cereal, granola, yogurt, meats, cheeses and eggs however you like them.

The restaurant is open for lunch, which is an a la carte menu of typical Italian specialities, including aubergine parmigiana and homemade ravioli.

il sereno restaurant

There’s also the lobby bar surrounded by a series of comfortable lounges and the outdoor terrace, the perfect place for a late-afternoon or pre-dinner aperitif as you watch the sunset.

For dinner, it’s back to the Il Sereno Al Lago for a gastronomic experience dining on one of three tasting menus: ‘Omaggio a la tradizione’, five dishes of modern Italian cuisine; ‘Contrasti’, seven dishes of contrasting flavours; and ‘Vegetables, tubers and roots’, seven dishes that put vegetables front and centre.

il sereno restaurant terrace

Hotel highlights

The infinity pool – surrounded by pool loungers and day beds, the heated pool is ideal for lazy days in the sun, surrounded by the natural beauty of the lake and Alps beyond.

il sereno pool

Then there’s the spa, where you can have luxurious treatments using Valmont products – the Rejuvenate by the Lake treatment with full body exfoliation and massage will be the most heavenly 90 minutes of your life – or chill out in the outdoor relaxation area (which you can book out privately for an hour a day) with access to a hot tub, sauna and steam room.

il sereno spa

And not to be missed is the opportunity to take out one of the hotel’s Riva boats for a spin on the lake, from where you can get a unique perspective of the quaint traditional towns that line the shore (as well as try and spot George Clooney’s house!).

What to do nearby

A trip to this part of the lake is not complete without a visit to Como, the biggest town on the lake – here you’ll find a wealth of shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars lining cobbled streets and a bustling marina.

Lake Como

There’s a decent ferry system that operates across the lake (just be aware they tend to operate on ‘Italian time’), so if you can tear yourself away from the majesty of Il Sereno, then make sure to visit a few of the charming towns and villages around the lake. For a longer day trip, make your way up to the middle of the lake on the fast ferry and visit the idyllic towns of Belaggio and Varenna – both are worth the journey.

Best for

Honeymooning couples or those looking for a luxury stay in one of the most idyllic settings in the world.

For more information, visit the website.