Villa Arcadio Salo, Lake Garda

Contributor/ Alex Wood

Best Known For 

A stylish, family-run hotel with just 18 rooms, restored from a medieval monastery with amazing views over lake Garda and a homely feel that makes it hard to leave.

The Good Stuff 

A four star with a five star approach to decor, ambience and service. It’s a smart hotel that knows itself, consciously choosing not to chase the fifth star because of potential compromise in atmosphere. Instead, the focus is on attention to detail and effortless style in a stunning setting.

The Vibe

A style akin to a Soho House club; without the pretentiousness. A place designed to be a home for owners and guests alike, creating a laid back atmosphere; complete with family dog. 

Inside the hotel – 9/10

The interior is a beautiful mix of history and tasteful modern design. Original frescos from the building monastic origins in the 14th century sit alongside understated decor. Owner, Jaana, hails from Norway resulting in a balance of understated Scandinavian style and Italian elegance.

The food is excellent and views across lake Garda from the restaurant terrace make dining at any hour all the more special. With a beautiful pool, fitness centre and Ayurvedic spa treatments available, there are many reasons to stay on the grounds through to night time, when the lake lights up in the distance and drinks on the terrace or in the lounge room take on a five star feel. All the rooms are large and stylish, with amazing beds and the monasteries interior features accentuated by tasteful artwork and furniture. Soho House, with feeling and history; if you will. Ask for a lake view on the top floor.

Outside the hotel – 9/10 

Set on a hillside overlooking lake Garda and surrounded by olive groves and woods, the hotel enjoys a peaceful seclusion that adds to its appeal. A short drive away is Salo, boasting the longest waterfront promenade in Italy – but for the best fun; visit Desenzano. Here you can hire surprisingly powerful motorboats for very reasonable day prices. Cruise and swim on Lake Garda with stop-offs for lunch; followed by dinner back on the bustling waterfront. For a further day trip afield, historic Verona is just an hour away by car.