Looking for that laid-back lake vacation — you know, the way George Clooney and Madonna do it — in a palatial estate on the edge of the calm Italian waters of Lake Como? Well, although the posh destination has been ultimate celebrity escape since ancient times, it now also offers lodging at the first new build on the lake in decades. (And you thought your HOA was tough!)
What’s old is now new again: Sereno Hotels, the same team known for its celeb hotspot in St. Barths, Le Sereno (where you’ll spot the likes of Victoria Secret swimsuit models working hard on a campaign, or Jessica Simpson celebrating a milestone) is debuting a brand new hotel.
This new property, Il Sereno Lago Di Como, comes on the heels of reopening a historic landmark of sorts, also on the lake. Welcoming the world’s gliteratti this month, Il Sereno is a boutique 30-room hotel with a modern, contemporary vibe complete with all lake-view suites, floor-to-ceiling windows, an epic infinity pool, and of course, water access.
Designed by famed Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola, it embraces the lake in a way that honors its rich history but comes equipped with all the amenities we globetrotters demand in a modern destination. Sit poolside and spot celebs go by via boat, or enjoy the lush gardens the tranquil world Lake Como provides. Either way, your view is of the million-dollar variety.
Next door you’ll find Villa Pliniana Lago Di Como by Sereno Hotels, a 16th century estate built up from the water’s edge and just a thousand yards from its posh, modern, sister property. This home is no stranger to celebrity sightings. Before reopening this summer for the first time in 500 years, guests had included Napoleon, Lord Byron, and Leonardo… DaVinci, that is. The property was even named after famous Roman author, Pliny the Elder, making it the perfect place to pen your next blockbuster.
And for the first time, you too can live like the renown old and new. For just a modest $150,000-plus for five nights, you and 38 of your nearest and dearest can hit the lake this summer in style.
Better yet, if you’re in the market for a celebrity destination wedding venue in Italy, a la Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Clooney and Amal, and John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, then we may have just landed you the perfect buyout property. A place with total privacy, your new home away from home has several ballrooms to choose from (obviously), a garden to celebrate with 500 of your closest friends, three waterfalls, including one through the center of the home and living room for epic photo ops, and even a suite on the water with access direct from your boat (a great way to avoid the in-laws when you want some alone time).
And if you want to keep the paparazzi out too, no problem: This, one of the oldest and largest palazzos on the lake, was built up from the water with 30-foot walls and large gates on the other end of the 18-acre property so no one ever gets in without your say-so.
But how do you get in? When rolling like a star on vacation, one must roll up with plenty of pomp and circumstance, so take your pick. Land via helicopter on your own helipad, drop in by boat — a custom-made Riva Boat, that is, which can shuttle you between the two properties with ease. Or, arrive via vintage roadster and cruise along the water’s edge. Then say “I do” to a celebrity-style destination wedding or all-time vacation like Meryl Streep, Richard Branson, and the world’s billionaires do on the lake.
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