A word of warning: the following posts may induce cravings for sun, pasta and vistas of the lake, or at the very least daydreams of Prosecco, infinity pools and sun-dappled gardens. You’ve been warned.
Tucked into the rolling hills that surround the majestic Lake Garda, the Lefay Resort and Spa is a haven of Italian luxury. Offering a wellness experience unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced; the resort encapsulates a new concept of luxury combined with environmental sustainability while respecting local and regional traditions. Every part of Lefay has been carefully considered – as you’d expect from a five star hotel, and it’s these small details and personal touches that make the hotel a fine example of Italian luxury at its very best.
We ascend the steep and twisting road that leads to the resort, and struggle to take our eyes off the vista before us; the gargantuan Lake Garda stretches as far as the eye can see, shimmering in the sunlight, and the small villages on the lake side look like toy towns, complete with charming coloured walls and rickety decking onto the lake. The resort is nestled amongst olive terraces and lemon groves and fits in subtly with it’s surroundings.
It’s hard to believe that the founders, the Leali family are not seasoned hoteliers, but instead, Lefay is their first foray into hotels. Their philosophy of creating a concept of overall wellness while achieving environmental sustainability is clear in every part of the hotel; of which the heart lies within the incredible spa. Inspired by local lemon houses and crafted into the hillside, the Italian design features include Olive tree wood flooring in every room, warm toned Italian marble, and panoramic floor to ceiling windows – it embraces nature, while being comfortable and luxe.
There are just 90 suites in the resort, giving an intimate feel, and although we stayed during the start of the quiter season, we often felt like we had the spa area to ourselves, but there was still a bustling atmosphere in each of the hotel’s restaurants (more about that later!). We stayed in the prestige suite – Lefay’s equivalent of a standard room, but there was certainly nothing standard about it! A walk in wardrobe, marble bathroom with jacuzzi bath with lake view, seating area, writing desk, separate WC… this place is bigger than my first flat in London! Our patio doors opened up to a wide terrace with a ‘pinch-me’ perfect view of the lake – it felt like something out of a film when pressing the button that electrically opened the curtains to reveal the lake view each morning!
As with the rest of the resort, the bedrooms are environmentally friendly too – the energy is produced using wood chip biomass, while rainwater is collected for the irrigation, and photovoltaic panels generate about 60% of the resort’s energy. Walls in the rooms are painted with chemical free water paint, and bed linen is of natural cotton fibre.
Our days started with the most picturesque breakfast in the hotel’s Limonaia restaurant; we made our own juices from the buffet of fruit and vegetables and enjoyed healthy dishes along with delicious pastries, while enjoying the morning sun on one of two terraces each side of the restaurant. After that, we began the Lefay Discovery Programme – an innovative Lefay Spa method which you’ll find out more about in tomorrow’s post!
As it’s a part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world, it’s no surprise that everything about Lefay has been done to exceptional standards, from the service of the resort’s staff, to the food, the Spa and the hotel environment, join me tomorrow for more on the Spa, and Friday for the hotel’s exceptional cuisine.