This 5-Star Italian Hotel Has The Biggest Spa On Lake Como
The palatial Grand Hotel Victoria in Menaggio recently reopened after a multimillion-dollar upgrade.
Built on the architectural structure of an ancient convent, Grand Hotel Victoria, the newest five-star hotel on Lake Como, occupies a prime waterfront site in the picturesque town of Menaggio. The property, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), re-opened as a five-star standout in 2021 after a two-year, multimillion-dollar refurbishment that included adding a new building and constructing the largest and most luxurious spa on Lake Como.
The beautifully-renovated 1890s Art Nouveau masterpiece has been enhanced by beautiful gardens and lounge areas for outdoor sunning, drinking and dining, all while surrounded by magnificent views of the iconic lake and its surrounding mountains, to create “a timeless retreat where every moment is a celebration of heritage and luxury.”
The stunning new Erre Spa, which encompasses more than 16,000 square feet, was designed to optimize “the awakening of body, mind and spirit” and includes numerous treatment rooms, a 65-ft. indoor swimming pool, a steam bath, Finnish and infrared saunas, and spacious relaxation areas.
“Steeped in the rich legacy of a bygone era, the renovation of Grand Hotel Victoria stands as a testament to our commitment to preserving history while embracing modern luxury,” the property’s General Manager, Marco Montagnani, tells us. “The marriage of our newly added Palazzo [building] with the venerable original structure echoes our dedication to Italian-style hospitality.”
“As we unveil our enhanced rooms, adorned with a seamless fusion of tradition and contemporary design, we invite our guests to immerse themselves in the essence of Lake Como,” he adds. And they can “indulge in the tantalizing flavors of our Lago and Erre Restaurants, accompanied by the finest local and international wines from our meticulously curated cellar.”
Montagnani notes that, “With our private pier and access to the serene waters of the lake, coupled with exclusive experiences like our Erre Water Limousine service and personalized cooking classes, the Grand Hotel Victoria epitomizes the essence of refined indulgence amidst the captivating beauty of Menaggio.”
“Our newly renovated spa, the largest in Lake Como, has been meticulously designed to evoke a sanctuary of serenity and holistic rejuvenation,” Montagnani says. “From our indoor and outdoor heated pools to the state-of-the-art Technogym fitness center”—the same equipment used by Ferrari’s F1 team—”every corner of our spa invites guests to embark on a transformative journey of wellness.”
“With an array of luxurious amenities, including Jacuzzis, relaxation areas, and bespoke treatment rooms,” he continues, “we invite you to surrender to the ultimate indulgence for both body and soul.” Signature scents used for aromatherapy rituals are handcrafted in-house.
The newly-built portions of the posh property are made to enhance rather than merely mimic the original architecture, “blending in contemporary details to highlight its beauty.” During the refurbishment, a new “Palazzo” was added behind the historic building to create a state-of-the-art gym, meeting rooms, spa and additional rooms and suites.
Both buildings “harmoniously come together offering a perfect Italian-style hospitality and a decorating scheme that superbly reflects the transition between past and present,” the hotel notes. There are 81 rooms in all including four lavish suites.
All rooms and suites offer “an elegant atmosphere inspired by the traditions of the lake, reimagined in a modern way to create a portrait of innovative and contemporary design.” As part of the refurbishment, some accommodations were enhanced with balconies offering spectacular views of the property and surrounding scenery.
Dining options now include the Lago Restaurant, with stunning lake views and local flavors; Erre Restaurant, with its innovative, varying menu; and two bars: Bar Manzoni and Pool Bar Griso. For those looking for a more hands-on experience, the property’s chefs also offer personalized cooking classes followed by a private lunch or dinner.
Of course Grand Hotel Victoria showcases the very finest Italian wines alongside international selections. The cellar’s standouts include vintages from the local Lombardy region including renowned wines from Franciacorta, Valtellina and Lake Garda. Each of the hotel’s culinary menus are carefully paired with wines by the expert sommelier.
The story of Grand Hotel Victoria’s rebirth is chronicled in Lake Como Idyll, a beautiful new coffee table book from French luxury publisher Assouline. The book notes that the hotel’s atmosphere and charm are “supported by Art Nouveau furnishings astutely combined with digital technology applied to every aspect of service,” including the lighting. “Just the touch of a button in the luxury suites will conjure up a magical nocturnal effect or a positive start to the day.”
Assouline author Massimo Nava also notes that, “The hotel is situated opposite the famed Bellagio promontory, a stroke of genius and good fortune for which [its] architects and designers are truly grateful.” Ferry service, or the hotel’s private water taxi, takes guests to visit the surrounding towns on the lake, but they are always more than content to return to the jewel that is Grand Hotel Victoria.
“Poets, musicians, writers and painters have sung the praises of Lake Como, but the countless adjectives—splendid, romantic, evocative, moving—do not suffice in describing the spell cast by this harmonious fusion of the work of nature and of the human hand,” Nava writes. “The world does not lack for breathtaking landscapes, but it is rare to see such beauty as that of the hamlets, villas, belfries and wharfs set so perfectly in this expansive scenery of mountains, inlets and bays.”
Meanwhile, “Small quays, luxury hotels, monumental villas, vibrant gardens of hydrangeas and azaleas, majestic cypresses and larches, cloak the jagged mountainsides, highlighted by dazzling sunsets in the infinite shades of spring and autumn.” Or as one hotel visitor wrote in its guestbook, “So much more than a dream—an ‘Italian dream,’ a joyful fusion of landscapes and artisanal skills, refined beauty and joie de vivre, emotions that shimmer like the light of day and the moon’s silver reflections on the lake.”
Grand Hotel Victoria, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), is part of the prestigious R Collection Hotels portfolio, a luxury Italian hotel group with four boutique properties in Lake Como and Portofino, and three in Milan—each one a masterpiece in its own right.
Family-owned for three generations, R Collection “prides themselves on preserving and enhancing Italian heritage while maintaining modern standards of luxury. Each hotel immerses guests in the captivating history and culture of the surrounding area while providing superb hospitality,” with a focus on fine food and wine to match the impeccable style of the properties themselves.