For better or for worse, oceans usually get the vote for the people’s most beloved body of water, but if you’re willing to give it a try, a holiday spent by the lakeside could very well change your mind.
Relaxing on a dock with friends and watching the sunset over calm and cool water, is a recipe for instant zen which more people are choosing over crowded beaches and it’s easy to see why.
The list below includes some the best lakeside hotels in our collection and most offer a list of exclusive benefits to our LCLUB members. Offering a central location in some of the world’s most beautiful cities, or a sense of seclusion in exotic locations, there’s a little something for everyone here.
Villa d’Este: Lake Como Italy
Italy’s Lake Como may not hold the title of the world’s largest lake but you’ll have no trouble arguing that it’s the prettiest.
Framed by the snow peaked Alps, the lake’s surroundings are picturesque and make it hard to believe that you can enjoy an excellent subtropical climate here, making it perfect for boating, water sports or simply to head out for a stroll.
Real estate on the lake’s shores has been a prized asset ever since Roman times and spotting a celebrity in one of the luxury villas dotting the shoreline is practically a given. But if you haven’t got access to a holiday home on the lake, then the Villa d’Este, is a worthy alternative and, there’s even a case for saying that it is better.
Commissioned by the Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, in 1568, the Villa has not lost a single ounce of its old world charm or decadence throughout the years.
Each of its 152 rooms boast original designs and guarantee a level of comfort which surpasses many other hotels in the same category. Because, whether it’s the marble bathrooms, the handcrafted antiquities or the sublime silks and velvet of the upholstery, every element of the room is in a class of its own.
But it’s not just what’s inside that matters. The Villa’s 25 acre Renaissance Garden is a wonderland filled with elaborate fountains, waterfalls and period statues. Listed as a UNESCO heritage site, the garden has inspired many European gardens of the time and its influence on landscape design is felt to this day.
Though it may not look like it, the Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman for the French) is one of Europe’s largest lakes and is bordered by Switzerland and France.
The Lake often hosts sailing events and competitions, and the villages and towns located around it seem frozen in time and are a joy to visit on hiking or cycling trips. This very timelessness can be found in the city’s oldest hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva.
The first hotel to be opened in the city back in 1834, the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues is a landmark in its own right. Only minutes from “Old Town” – Geneva’s culturally rich medieval city – and adjacent to the 140 metres high Jet d’Eau fountain, the hotel’s location is one of the most picturesque and well situated in the city.
New life was breathed into the Four Seasons by superstar designer Pierre-Yves Rochon and guests get to choose between contemporary designs or a classical French style for their rooms. Needless to say, both are pleasant on the eye especially with the lakeside views on offer.
In terms of dining options, the hotel is home to two excellent restaurants: the Michelin-Starred Il Lago, which overlooks the Place des Bergues and serves excellent Northern Italian fare, and the Izumi, where you can feast on Nikkei cuisine and enjoy 360 view over the city from the hotel’s rooftop. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying out the hotel’s spa which draws its inspiration and design from the Alps to great effect.
Undoubtedly one of the most romantic places on earth. Lake Pichola is an artificial lake created by flooding the village of Picholi (guess where the lake got its name) back in 1362.
The Pichola is relatively shallow and its waters act like a mirror to the surrounding Aravalli Mountains and Palaces for a mirage like effect. Sunsets are especially beautiful and many tourists are desperate to catch a boat to make the most of it out on the water. But if you’re staying at the Leela Palace Udaipur, you won’t even have to lift a finger for that.
The Leela Palace brings poetry to your window every morning at dawn and dusk as the sun dances over the waters of the lake and leaves you with memories to last a lifetime.
The palace’s interiors were re-designed by British designer Bill Bensley and instead of remaining doggedly faithful to tradition, they’re a contemporary interpretation of what an Indian Palace ought to look like. In other words, unabashedly opulent.
The hotel is home to an ESPA spa overlooking the Pichola, where guests receive ayurvedic and ESPA signature treatments in a beautiful and exotic location which will leave a lasting impression. There’s not shortage of dining options here, but treating yourself to a touch of romance by dining al fresco at the Sheesh Mahal restaurant, is a must.
The Hotel d’Angleterre is another contender for your attention on Lake Geneva, and if you’re the quiet type, this one might just take the crown.
With a room count of only 39 rooms and six suites, the Hotel d’Angelterre is a home away from home where you’re more likely to be treated like a family friend than a guest. The hotel’s location on the Quai du Mont Blanc means it sits opposite the Jet d’Eau fountain and offers a direct view of the snow capped Mont Blanc and of course, the lake. Exceptional morning views are guaranteed.
Famous Swiss craftsmen such as Patek Phillips and Fabergé and international fashion houses (Luis Vuitton, Dior, Versace to name a few) can be found on the Rue Du Rhône which is a lazy 10 minute stroll from the hotel’s front door.
If you want a taste of local night life, you won’t have to go far because one of Geneva’s trendiest watering holes, the Leopard Bar, can be found at the hotel. Louis Vuitton suitcases serve as tables, leopard paintings and leopard print upholstery add to the unique vibe, and there’s excellent live music every night. The cherry on the cake, is the bar’s well stocked cigar lounge, perfect for an after meal drink.
The Taj Lake Palace is the stuff of fantasy, a magnificent palace of stone and marble which rises from the depths of the lake Pichola. Originally the prince Maharana Jagat Singh II’s pleasure palace, this mirage like building has found new life in the form of a luxury hotel and we couldn’t be more thankful.
Home to some of the most exquisite suites in India and the only hotel “to float atop a lake” this superstar has been immortalized in a James Bond movie and in postcards around the world.
The rooms give onto the hotel’s courtyard (which looks like it’s form another era) or the waters of the lake, and it’s a headache deciding on which one is better. But it’s not just the looks that will have you under the hotel’s spell. No request is too much for the Palace’s private butlers (direct descendants of Maharana Jagat Singh II’s retinue) and the stellar service you will experience here may outclass your surroundings.
The Hotel Schloss Fuschl occupies one of the most picturesque spots in our collection.
The former hunting lodge and summer residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg is located on a peninsula overlooking the waters of Lake Fuschl and surrounded by acres of lush green forests. It’s a picturesque setting, even in the winter season, and made even better by the view of the Alps outside your hotel window.
You’ll love diving into the emerald waters of the lake during the summer season (It’s exceptionally clean) or booking one of the barges and discovering your surroundings by boat.
Golfers will delight in the hotel’s 9 hole golf course and for those after a challenge, the 18 hole championship Golf Course Eugendorf is only 10 minutes away. But whether you’ve got golfing, boating or relaxing on your agenda, make sure to end the day in the outdoor sauna or bathtub and make the most of the amazing view on offer.