What It's Like to Stay at the Best Hotel in the World: Passalacqua

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Advisor - Rachel Gutner Silverstein
Curated By

Rachel Gutner Silverstein

  • Food & Wine

  • Nature Escapes

  • Couples Travel

  • Lake Como

  • Relaxation

  • Romantic

  • Local Culture

What It's Like to Stay at the Best Hotel in the World: Passalacqua
Curator’s statement

There are many luxury hotels in Lake Como, and of course, many luxury hotels in Italy and even more broadly, the world. Therefore, it goes without saying, that there's a tremendous amount of competition for the "World's 50 Best Hotels." However, it's clear why Passalacqua was just rated the #1 hotel in the world. I had the pleasure of staying at this property in August along with my husband and two clients, and let's just say, the experience exceeded all expectations. We're already dreaming of our next stay!

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Where to stay

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Passalacqua is an enchanting, luxury property nestled in the beautiful hills along the shores of Lake Como. With just 24 rooms across three buildings, we truly felt as though we were at home. And, that's just what the team at the property wants you to feel -- as soon as the large gates at the front of the property open, you are welcomed home. While only 45 minutes from the Milan airport, you feel utterly transported to another world in time and place.

Upon arrival, we were whisked away by staff members who shared personalized details of our upcoming stay as well as a brief tour of the property. This was just the beginning of the magic! In the heat of August (it was actually a heatwave while we were there), we spent most of our 2-night stay relaxing by the pool. While the hotel was definitely at capacity, or close to it, during our stay, there was always multiple team members available to tend to our requests and the property never felt crowded or overrun with guests.

Each staff member knew us by name and took an understanding to our interests. One particular staff member realized our deep excitement for cooking and Italian cuisine (like many people visiting Italy!), and offered us an opportunity to visit the kitchen to meet the chef and the accompanying team. We had dinner booked the following evening at the hotel, and when they found out my husband loves a perfectly prepared steak, they requested the cut of meat he likes from a local butcher. This was just one of many examples of individualized hospitality that the team provides to each guest.

View of the valley

Passalacqua - Rachel Gutner

Inside view of the hotel

Passalacqua - Rachel Gutner

For design-lovers (or just those who love a pleasing aesthetic), it's clear that each space is filled with well-curated decor pieces and fabrics that are made to feel chic and luxurious, but comfortable. The rooms and suites are cozy, yet elegant with well-appointed bathrooms. One of the most thoughtful features of the rooms is that the TVs are hidden within a console that uses a button to activate its appearance. While the rooms feel authentic Italian, the modern touches are evident. Along with the modern-TV capabilities, it truly does seem like the team has thought of everything -- bathrooms feature an entire Dyson hair-kit (yes, the airwrap, straightener, and other attachments!) all housed within leather-bound boxes branded with Passalacqua's name. During a site-inspection lead by one of the Passalacqua team members, I took a tour of one of the most desirable and exclusive suites located within the main villa. I learned that even the light fixtures were individually selected and thoughtfully curated by the hotel's team.

It's difficult to articulate the true magic of the property and team at Passalacqua. It's more than a simple luxury hotel, it's a feeling that envelopes those who stay and leaves a lasting impression on your heart and soul.

Need to Know

Passalacqua is more of an experience than a place to stay. While Lake Como is a beautiful area to experience, you'll find yourself wanting to stay on property for most of your stay. While certainly welcoming to families, the property is best suited for couples and adults who are looking for a romantic, peaceful, and hospitable getaway with personalized and highly-curated service.
This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Lake Como. In need of further inspiration? Check out Gina Gaytan’s guide, The Best of Milan, Verona & Lake Como in 8 Days.

Advisor - Rachel Gutner Silverstein

Travel Advisor

Rachel Gutner Silverstein

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