You Can Find Some of the Best Views of Lake Como at This Historic Hotel

From the moment guests arrive in the charming, quaint town of Varenna, Lake Como, they know they’re in for a treat. The small town square is as picturesque as one might imagine, with bustling shops and tiny trattorias on every corner. However, the crown jewel of the area is without a doubt Hotel Royal Victoria.

The hotel’s story dates back to the early 19th century when it was originally established as a textile mill. In 1838, it was transformed into a hotel and named in honor of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, who visited during her reign. Over the years, it has hosted a handful of notable guests (including European aristocracy, artists, and writers), thanks to its lakefront location and comfortable accommodations. Today, Hotel Royal Victoria is a top pick for guests seeking an authentic, elegant, and truly magical stay in Lake Como.

Once inside, guests are greeted with splashes of yellow everywhere they look. These welcoming accents lead visitors through the lobby and into the hotel’s main restaurant, Visteria. With breathtaking views of the lake, the dining room is picture-perfect. The shimmering water ahead is surrounded by green, mountainous terrain, considered the Pre-Alp region. (The mountains encircling the lake are Monte Grona Resegone, Corni di Canzo, Grigna, Legnone, and the Grignetta, some of which can be seen on the hotel’s terrace.) At the restaurant, guests can enjoy an eight-course preset menu that includes specialties picked by the chef or they can order a la carte and savor everything from risotto and tortellini to steak and fish, and so much more.

As for the accommodations, Hotel Royal Victoria has 39 rooms. Guests can pick from rooms with views of the lake, surrounding mountains, or the historic main square of San Giorgio, which features a beautiful church from the 14th century. The rooms are separated into three different tiers, with options for the Classic rooms (20 double rooms placed on two floors overlooking the main square of Varenna), the Deluxe rooms (eight double rooms placed on two floors with lake views and French balconies), or the Prestige rooms (11 double rooms placed on three floors with lake views and furnished balconies). Each room is cozy and comfortable, offering a nice place to unwind and relax after a day of exploring, swimming, eating, and soaking up all that Italy has to offer.

For those who like the finer things, they can opt for one of two Junior Suites, both of which have lake views and terraces. Inside each suite are double beds, large sofas, and the option for an additional bed if needed. There are also generously sized bathrooms with double showers and chromotherapy features for added relaxation and comfort (think red light and blue light therapy). 

Speaking of relaxation, Hotel Royal Victoria has what’s known as the Spa Suite – a wellness area that offers the same experience as a spa, but for one couple at a time. Once couples reserve a slot, they can bask in a Finnish sauna, soak in a steam bath, or take a shower that’s equipped with color therapy. For those who don’t want to partake in something as intimate but still want a relaxing experience, they can head to the hotel pool, which is located outside overlooking the lake. Complete with lounge chairs and sunbeds, this is the perfect spot to cool off or enjoy the sunset. 

In terms of the hotel grounds, every inch is beautiful. From the cobblestone entrance at the front of the hotel to the vast, lakeside yard in the back, the property is filled with incredible spots to stroll, sit, or simply enjoy. As for the best part, when the wisteria blooms, the hotel truly comes to life.

Top Takeaways

Location: Varenna Lake Como, Italy

Address: Contrada della Filanda, 2, 23829 Varenna LC, Italy

Rating: Four-Star

The Vibe: Hotel Royal Victoria has a vibe of timeless elegance mixed with historic charm with modern luxury. The atmosphere is peaceful and sophisticated, making it a wonderful place to bask in the beauty of Lake Como.

Food + Drink: The hotel has two restaurants. Victoria Grill can be found in the front of the hotel in the main square of Varenna. The menu includes Italian favorites such as pasta, meat, fish, and more. The other restaurant, Visteria, provides a fine dining experience with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients and wine pairing. Additionally, the terrace is perfect for enjoying coffee or a cocktail.

Our Favorite Part of the Hotel: The lakeside garden and pool area are hard to beat. With direct access to Lake Como, guests can enjoy a lovely swim with the Alps as a backdrop or they can take a stroll through the landscaped gardens. Like we said, it’s picture-perfect.

Amenities: Lakefront garden; pool; two restaurants; Spa Suite; private balconies or terraces (in select rooms); flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar, and air conditioning

What’s Nearby? Located in the heart of Varenna, this hotel has access to tons of restaurants, shops, and stores. The hotel is also a short walk from the iconic Villa Monastero, which has beautiful botanical gardens and incredible history. Plus, the Vezio Castle is nearby, which is a cool place for history buffs to check out. Additionally, the ferry terminal is close, meaning guests can take day trips to other towns on the lake. 

Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Albergo Ristorante del Sole is a cute café in the main square that’s perfect for a morning coffee or an afternoon aperitif. The service is exceptional as well.

Rooms: 39 rooms, 2 suites

Pricing: Rates start at $500/night.

Closest Airport: Milan Malpensa Airport or Orio al Serio International Airport

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