Hotel History

For the past 100 years or more, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni has been one of the most well-known and prestigious hotels in the world. Set in the splendid surroundings of Lake Como, where the blue waters meet the green mountains which soar above the lake, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni enjoys a breathtaking position on the promontory which juts halfway out into the lake, separating the two branches. The luxurious vegetation of its Italian-style gardens, abounding in Mediterranean and subtropical plants, flourishes in the pleasant microclimate around the lake: sunshine almost all year round, accompanied by mild temperatures in every season. Owing to its delightful setting, Bellagio, an oasis of peace on the shores of the lake, has been a holiday destination for centuries and it was here that, in around 1850, construction work started on a luxurious holiday villa on the banks of the lake for an aristocratic family from Milan.

In 1872 the villa, which is in pure neo-classical style, was sold and since then it has formed the central nucleus of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni which was opened in 1873. Its interior reflects the good taste loved by the wealthy nobility of the time: its walls and ceilings are adorned with frescoes and paintings of mythological scenes, gilded frames, festoons, temples, putti, flamingos, and Pompeian reds. The coffer ceilings are often frescoed with floral patterns in grey and pink tones. The guests are fascinated by the period wall coverings in French style, the antique Persian carpets, the crystal chandeliers from Murano, the Imperial furniture, and the neo-classical and Art Nouveau style; not to mention the marble staircases, the stucco work columns, and the splendid trompe l'oeil.

The "salle à manger" alone is a genuine monument to art, as is the Salone Reale, which in the evening is lit by bronze and crystal chandeliers, the splendour of whose lights are reflected by large mirrors. Right from the outset, the Grand Hotel became the chosen destination for illustrious guests in search of peace: royalty, aristocrats, figures from international politics and, more recently, movie stars.

The Sovereigns of Spain, Romania, Albania, Egypt; above all the Russian and English aristocracy; Winston Churchill, Roosevelt, the Rothschilds, J.F. Kennedy; Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Maria Schell, Clark Gable, Robert Mitchum, Al Pacino.... these are just some of the famous guests who have strolled through the rooms and lakeside gardens of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, enjoying its beauty and outstanding hospitality.

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