WELLNESS DESTINATION: LAKE COMO

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After my search for fitness fashion inspiration in Milan, I hopped on the train for 45 minutes and ended up at the breathtaking Lake Como. The eagle-eyed reader will notice this is entitled a ‘Wellness Destination’ as opposed to an ‘Active Escape’; that’s because my choice of hotel, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, seemed entirely geared around revival, wellness and relaxation, blended with a healthy strand of mischievous indulgence! A brief 3 days here was the perfect amount to recharge, ready for the worst that a British autumn might throw at me! This ‘review’ post is a full photographic round-up of my little wellness escape to an inspiringly glamorous part of this wonderful country! (MORE)

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Following the established format, the review will be split into 4 sections, comprising 1) the wellness activities, 2) the facilities/highlights, 3) the nutrition and 4) the service.

1) THE WELLNESS ACTIVITIES

SWIMMING:
This is a key activity at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo (GHT from now on). Aside from taking a fresh dip in the Lake itself, there are 3 further pools at the Hotel; one in their de-stressing Espa T-spa, one amongst the amphitheatrical gardens, and their centrepiece, stunningly iconic ‘Water on the Water’ pool; the Hotel’s own crisp blue island, marooned in the middle of the lake, peering across to the town of Bellagio!

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ADMIRING THE VIEW:
Need I say any more? Ahhhh….

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EXPLORE THEIR GARDENS
The hotel has 20,000 square meters of verdant gardens with a winding, uphill path leading to their lookout point high above the lake. This is the way to start the morning, and if you’re lucky like I was in the below shot, you catch the residue of the daybreak mists!

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– OUTSIDE WALKS / JOGS:
There are some outrageously picturesque towns nestled upon the banks of the lake, and with 92 kilometres of road running alongside the lake, you’re pretty well catered for when it comes to long, long, long walks! My favourite by a long way was the 45 minute walk down from GHT to the breathtaking Villa del Balbianello (you might recognise it as the idyllic setting for James Bond’s recuperation in Casino Royale). As an Italian National Trust treasure, it’s a must see on your walk!

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– TENNIS:
There Hotel has a clay court lurking amongst the lush garden, which enjoys the sun for most of the day. It gets a little hot at the peak of the summer, but if you’re going now, it’s ideal!

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– GYM
Somewhat of a mandatory facility for any top hotel, they do indeed have a room filled with Technogym equipment so you can work out with a view of the lake.

2) THE HIGHLIGHTS / FACILITIES

THE SPA:
Stocked with the entire range of Espa products, all of which smell of pure bliss, their relaxation facility is beautifully appointed with heavy slate fittings and tranquil lighting. There’s a lake-view chillout lounge, an infinity pool, an outdoor jacuzi, hydrotherapy complications, rainfall showers, a private spa suite and all the classic treatments you could imagine. You really do emerge from this complex feeling utterly revived – a core aim for a spa!

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THE SWEETIE CORNER:
In stark contrast to the healthy angle, but in keeping with my preference of the occasional cheat treat, I thought you might like to know about the table of childhood delights that rests invitingly near the reception. Around 10 varieties of simple-sugared candy await you in miscellaneous glass jars. The tongs are your weapon. Regular self restraint is required, but sometimes, you have to give in :)

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– WATER LIMO:
The hotel has a private Venetian launch made by Cucchini, moored up next to their lake-pool, for the purpose of scouting the lake’s happenings from your own little cocoon!

3) THE NUTRITION

RESTAURANT ‘L’ESCALE’
This cove under the Hotel was right up my street. Being a pescatarian, I was a huge fan of their lean, protein-rich ‘Mini Fish Barbecue’ which included filleted Sea Bass, Prawn, Salmon, Tuna and Scampi. Delicious and so cute in its execution 😀

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BREAKFAST BUFFET:
The GHT stages a truly wonderful spread to accompany their guest’s awakening! My personal favourite brekkie detail was the ‘Egg Station’, at which they cook, to order, your egg white omelette with a host of tasty extras! The fruit offering is particularly strong here too, as is the encyclopaedic collection of teas on the ‘tea wall’. A definite highlight of the day, and a chance to start out on a clean, healthy dietary path each morning.

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4) THE HOTEL & ITS SERVICE:

This has a very different feel to the Caesar Augustus or the Il San Pietro which were the subjects of my most recent Active Escape reviews, apart from the important difference that it’s lake-side, not coastal. The building is an imposing Palace hotel, purpose built in the early 1900s to serve a hyper-glamorous travel-set for their Grand European Tours. The GHT today has lost none of that sophisticated appeal, and still occupies one of the most enviable spots around this gorgeous lake. It isn’t a fitness destination, so much as a relaxing wellness location; you come here to recuperate and recharge. The staff have a younger feel to them than at any of the other places I’ve been in Italy; theres more buzz and energy, very much reflected in the recently renovated interiors. ‘Classic’ with a hint of ‘wacky’. They’re no less attentive to your every need and are remarkably thoughtful. It makes the GHT a totally unique place to unwind and de-stress!

Faya x

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