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Grand Dame

Genuine Italian hospitality unfolds in five-star splendor at Grand Hotel Tremezzo on fabulous Lake Como.

The majestic Grand Hotel Tremezzo is ideally situated on Lake Como, accessible to Bellagio, Como and the many other charming lakeside towns.

To vacation on the banks of shimmering Lake Como is to soak up luxury on a grand scale—this we all know, given the destination’s aristocratic reputation, which is as illustrious as its legacy and as famous as its star resident George Clooney. Much like its adopted son, the azure alpine retreat, a dizzying maze of charming villages, stately villas and natural flourish, commands attention.

Right at home in this glamorous wonder of the world is the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, an authentic art nouveau palace built in 1910 perched perfectly on the shores of the lake amid truly sweeping surrounds—unparalleled views of Bellagio village, Grigne mountains and Riviera delle Azalee. A favorite for international cosmopolitans, the family-owned-and-operated landmark pays homage to its historic past, but nods to the present day with modern amenities that delight a cultured class of travelers. This, plus attentive whatever-you-need service with a smile, beckons guests back year after year.

The hotel reopens for the 2014 season on March 14, with 30 freshly renovated rooms (of which there are 83 in total) and one new historical suite to join the eight rooftop suites added the season prior. Designed in a classic contemporary scheme with a kiss of Old World charm, the eight decked-out suites proffer a spectacle of scenery from most points, including the ultraluxurious bathroom. The suites, which can all be joined to create one gigantic rooftop penthouse suite, boast private butlers; terraces with outdoor heated Jacuzzi pools; and a bathroom dressed with Cedarstone and Imperial marble floors, a double sink vanity with floating mirrors, a glass-enclosed shower and a bathtub topped by a working window which allows in the fresh air. Glamour rests her head in some truly choice options, including four historic suites. A stunning four-poster bed overlooking lake panoramas, along with an exquisite Verona marbled bathroom, anchors honeymoon Suite Maria, while the two-bedroom Suite Greta offers cultivated seclusion befitting its reclusive Old Hollywood namesake, who referenced Tremezzo in the 1932 film Grand Hotel. While the suites are our sweet spot, you can’t go wrong with any of the luxe rooms.

Indulgences outside the plush guest accommodations include sunnier shores by way of T Beach and the property’s Water on Water floating pool, which calls forth the sensation of a lake swim. Joining these leisure spots is the infinity pool inside the T Spa, which also offers a renewing relaxation lounge and five different categories of soothing hydromassage, plus a whole host of exclusive skin products and treatments custom-made for the spa by ESPA. Hosting more robust pursuits are the T Fitness center, red-clay tennis courts and Panoramic Path for fresh-air ambles. Golf is another course worth considering, as is a zip onboard the Ruy—Tremezzo’s restored Venetian Lancia (motorboat), which promises VIP passage. Joining the variety of both land and lake activities are sightseeing tours, excursions to nearby towns (with wine tastings galore) and even gambling at three international casinos. (Bet on a winning experience either way.)

Overseeing Tremezzo’s delectable culinary scene, abuzz with five different restaurants and bars, is none other than master chef Gualtiero Marchesi. With the new season also comes enriched food and beverage offerings. Marchesi and head chef Osvaldo Presazzi dazzle the palate at the more formal La Terrazza, the tastiest terrace on all of Lake Como, with dishes such as traditional pastas and superfresh seafood, while the L’Escale Fondue & Wine Bar pairs meat and seafood fondues and grills with the very best in Italian regional wines in a most wonderfully intimate rustic setting. T Bar serves both by day for a light Italian lunch with a view and by night for its signature T cocktails, either outside in the starlight or inside in the cozy bar setting. Informal eating also satiates, with T Pizza delighting with lunches of its signature dish; and T Beach stirring things up with its brand-new Onfalos concept—a circular-setup restaurant where talented chefs prepare made-to-order dishes from the freshest fish, meat, vegetables and cheese—with the lake as its stunning backdrop.

Fittingly, there’s but only one thing left to say: Salute!