Locanda San Vigilio

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DELICIOUSLY PRIVATE AND QUITE MAGICAL – that's Locanda San Vigilio, set right beside the cool blue waters of Lake Garda. This is one of those utterly special places you'd like to keep all to yourselves.

Set at the end of a finger of tree-cloaked land that lies languidly beside the lake, Locanda San Vigilio is virtually surrounded by water. You could almost be on your own private island here. Picture worthy? You can say that again. It's easy to spend hours in the little shoreside bar (as we did), its tables curving around the water, sipping a bellini or two and watching ferries and little boats drift by.

Inside, Locanda San Vigilio is all about grand and comfortable Italian country house living; no wonder past guests have included royalty, prime ministers and Hollywood stars. Vast rooms have thick carpets on polished wood floors, silk bedcovers, oil paintings, ornate carved bedheads and heavy antiques glowing in the soft lights.

Cocktails at sundown

Bathrooms are full of old-fashioned luxuries, heavy with marble and masses of towels. And the suites are even grander. It's definitely worth paying for a lake view room, and you can rent the adjacent private villa (a jewel with exquisite gardens) if you're feeling seriously extravagant.

Indoors may be appealing, but it's the setting that setsLocanda San Vigilio apart. Wander through the gardens, breathe in the scent of lemon trees, or head for the secluded private beach and take it lazy beneath an olive tree. You can have drinks and informal eats there in a little taverna, swim in clear waters or simply bag a lounger on a grassy terrace and soak up the views. We adored it.

Come evening, sip an aperitivo at the bar and watch the sun set over Lake Garda. Sit down to white napery and soft candles in the restaurant; ask for a window seat and you’ll feel you’re floating above the water. A stay at San Vigilio may not come cheap, but it's sure hard to beat.

© Room for Romance

Locanda San Vigilio was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter

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