Why not get a flavour for the finer things in one of Italy’s most romantic locations? Here’s the low-down on why we can’t get enough of honeymoons in Lake Como…
Stepping off the plane in Milan, the sun wastes no time catching you in its warmth as you in turn catch your first sights of Italy. A short stroll through the airport leads you into the air-conditioned comfort of CastaDiva Resort & Spa’s minibus, a small convenience that makes the final 50-minute leg of your onward journey to Lake Como effortless. Because let’s face it: no one wants to start their honeymoon in a queue for the next taxi or bus.
We’re heading for the star-studded shores of Lake Como, where the likes of George Clooney and the Branson’s own homes. The Versace family even once owned a secluded yellow villa here. You’ll get a direct view of it across the water from CastaDiva.
It’s unseasonably hot, with the mercury climbing close to 35 degrees, but still comfortable. You’d expect it to be around 10 degrees lower in a typical June. As we pass through Como and wind along the lake’s shoreline, I keep my gaze fixed firmly out the window. Fleeting glimpses between properties of the sparkling lake waters spring up in reward. It’s a view that is simply too romantic to resist. And it only gets better when you arrive at CastaDiva…
The hotel boasts an exclusive lakefront location, approached from a driveway flanked by stone walls and immaculately arranged hydrangeas. Your views are framed by hills and mountains on every side. It’s private, intimate and irrefutably luxurious.
Where to stay in Lake Como
With the accommodation at CastaDiva Resort & Spa primarily comprising of suites, you might be surprised to discover that whatever suite you choose, you’ll enjoy a sublime lake view. And with original Italian marble bathrooms, private terraces and up to 2625 square feet of space, it’s hard to imagine anything more decadent than the CastaDiva suites in particular. Until you see the resort’s Villa Norma, that is.
Presiding over its own private gardens at the far end of the resort, this villa and garden can be exclusively yours to enjoy. And when the only time you’ll want to take your eyes off each other is to soak up the stunning views over the lake, you’ll appreciate the luxury of simply staying in more than ever. You’ll also have your own private dock, so you can arrive and venture out by boat as you please.
What to do to make your honeymoon unique
CastaDiva offers its own private boat to charter. Our excursion led us to the charming village of Bellagio. As you sail along, you’ll pass countless colourful villages clustered along the shore, each home to charming Italian villas that tumble down to kiss the water’s edge. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities who are frequent visitors to the area. It’s a bit of a hotspot for celebrity weddings, too.
We whiled away several hours in Bellagio, enjoying a long, laid-back lunch before wandering the winding streets and cascading steps of the village, popping into many characterful shops on the way. You’ll find the gelato stalls hard to resist. We certainly couldn’t, and the raspberry ice cream was so deliciously fresh it almost felt healthy… almost!
Back at the resort, the floating pool is something you simply have to experience. It’s exactly as the name suggests: a swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers that floats on the lake. Access is via the spa, where you’ll cross a small bridge that delivers you to the floating pool and bar area. There’s something incredibly relaxing about lazing on a lounger, splashed in sunshine, feeling like you’re gently bobbing along on a boat.
And what about the food in Lake Como?
Indulgence ramps up to another level as soon as you sit down to eat at CastaDiva. It’s seriously, seriously good. We were lucky enough to enjoy our first dinner at The Orangerie in the company of consultant chef Enrico Derflingher. This chef once cooked a risotto for the Queen so brilliant that she offered him the gift of his choice. Humbly, he simply asked to keep the pot he had cooked it in.
Among the five courses we savoured that night was the very same show-stopping risotto, which delivered on every promise of tasting sensational. You can indulge in this unique experience too, as chef Enrico Derflingher joins CastaDiva regularly on request for dinner reservations.
It’s executive chef Massimiliano Mandozzi who ensures that CastaDiva is renowned for culinary brilliance on a daily basis. He’s worked with the consultant chef to create and curate a menu as intriguing as it is delicious. Don’t let surprise stop you from tasting the small ‘pebbles’ delivered to your table between courses. These tasty tricks ooze with warm cheese from your very first bite. And while there is plenty on the menu besides risotto, the pistachio, tangerine and fish risotto was a highlight of the trip for me.
There’s also the Grill, located on the pretty terrace, for more relaxed meals, lunches and excellent antipasti. If it’s liquid indulgence you’re after, Bar Bellini offers you the chance to sip cocktails in historical yet chic surroundings.
Evenings are an event here, with poolside fountain and light shows to prove it, so pack your big-day Jimmy Choos and your most stylish outfits, then embrace the occasion to see and be seen…
Find out more
Deluxe Rooms at CastaDiva Resort & Spa start from 730 euros (approx. £641) per night, inclusive of breakfast.
For a stay in a Penthouse Suite, an overnight stay starts from 1,470 Euros (approx. £1,292) per night, inclusive of breakfast.
Visit castadivaresort.com to find out more.
easyJet flies to Milan Malpensa from Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester with prices starting from £30.49 per person (one-way, including taxes and based on two people on the same booking). All flights can be booked at easyjet.com