Picture-perfect stays: European hotels with lake views
From fine dining to rooftop pools, each of these stand-out hotels has something worth shouting about. But they all have one thing in common – lake views that’ll have you reaching for your camera.
Best for rooftop relaxation
Hotel Kristal Palace, Riva, Lake Garda, Italy
When it comes to views, this chic hotel sets the bar high with its amazing rooftop terrace. Head up to look out over Riva’s pastel-coloured buildings and stone clocktower, and the clear blue water of Lake Garda beyond. Add in one of the best hotel pools around and a bar that serves up cocktails and Mediterranean nibbles, and you’re all set for a leisurely afternoon relaxing in the sun.
Best for gardens with lake views
Hotel Excelsior Le Terrazze, Garda, Lake Garda, Italy
The Excelsior’s in one of the best locations in town – on a hillside overlooking the Gulf of Garda, with views across terracotta roofs to the tree-lined shores of the wide bay beyond. There’s greenery on all sides, too, with lush gardens dotted with bushes and mature trees. Spend your days drifting between the pool and terrace bar, or sit back under a parasol and soak up your surroundings while you watch the boats bobbing out on the lake.
Best for fine dining
Hotel Im Weissen Rossl, St Wolfgang, Austria
The restaurant here is right on the lakefront, with views of the green Salzkammergut mountains reflecting in the water, so the setting’s every bit as special as the food. The menu’s been rated by Gault & Millau – that’s a French restaurant guide similar to Michelin – and local ingredients are the stars of the show. Don’t miss trying the house speciality, alpine salmon from the hotel’s very own fishery. Then when you’re not treating your taste buds, check out the heated outdoor pool and hot tub. They’re on a deck that floats on the lake itself – just right for a scenic soak.
Best for exploring the local area
Hotel Vega, Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy
You can enjoy views of the lake from all over this waterfront hotel. And it’s easy to get out among the scenery too – the Vega’s just metres from the ferry port. Once you’ve finished exploring for the day, take a dip in the lakeside hot tub before rounding things off in the glass-panelled dining room. It looks out over the lake, so you can watch sunset rays reflect on the water while you tuck into platefuls of risotto and seafood linguine.
Best for pools
Hotel La Palma, Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy
You can’t beat a dip on a sunny day, and you’ve got two scenic swim spots to choose from at the Palma. Stroll down to the lakeshore for a relaxing soak in the infinity pool and look out across the water to the terraced gardens and palaces of the Borromean Islands beyond. Or spend leisurely afternoons floating in the rooftop pool before watching the sun set with an aperitif from the poolside bar. As for the rooms here, each one has a private balcony, so you can step out to watch the lights of Stresa twinkle on the water before turning in for the night.
Best for luxury
Grand Hotel, Zell am See, Austria
From the ornate balconies and columns to the chandeliers and sparkling tableware in the dining room, the Grand definitely lives up to its name. And with service and facilities that are second to none, it’s no surprise that it’s also one of our top-rated Platinum hotels. The location’s extra special too – it’s built on a private peninsular that sticks out into Lake Zell, so you’ll have a backdrop of turquoise water and green mountains whether you’re leisurely lapping the lakeside pool, being pampered in the spa or sipping cocktails on the terrace.
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