What Are the Best Hotels to Book on Lake Garda, Italy?

Just 10 minutes from the Lake Garda shores, Villa Arcadio has spectacular views from its al fresco restaurant
Just 10 minutes from the Lake Garda shores, Villa Arcadio has spectacular views from its al fresco restaurant | Courtesy of Villa Arcadio Hotel and Resort / Expedia
Culture Trip Travel Team

From fairytale villas to lakeside locandas and vineyard-fringed retreats, the hotels of Lake Garda are almost as spectacular as the surroundings. Here are the best – all bookable on Culture Trip.

It’s the largest lake in Italy, but Garda captures imaginations for plenty of other reasons. With 160km (100mi) of shoreline, and more than a dozen towns, it’s as diverse a holiday destination as you could hope for. Whether you prefer the mountainous landscapes of the north or the sun-warmed surrounds of the south, home to olive trees and lemon groves, these are the best places to stay along every scenic stretch of the Lake Garda shoreline.

1. Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Gargnano

Independent Hotel

Who wouldn’t want to stay in a fairytale castle? OK, so Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli isn’t technically that – but this peach-coloured Lake Garda villa, set on the western banks of the lake in Gargnano, feels just as grand. Beautiful gardens and an outdoor pool add to the postcard-perfect scene, as do elegant rooms with parquet flooring and frescoed ceilings. Have at least one dinner in the romantic fine-dining restaurant – enjoy it on the gorgeous terrace in summer.

2. Locanda San Vigilio, Punta San Vigilio

Resort, Independent Hotel

Aerial view of Locanda San Vigilio on the shore of Lake Garda with mountains in the distance
Courtesy of Locanda San Vigilio / Booking.com

Perched on a lush peninsula nosing out into the eastern side of the lake, Locanda San Vigilio benefits from wraparound views of blue – exactly the kind of scene you’ve come to Lake Garda for. The beauty of the 16th-century villa is, almost, an afterthought to the setting, until you step inside; beamed ceilings, grand four-posters and smatterings of old paintings underline the pedigree. There’s a pool on site, but also access to a beach, making it great for lazy breaks.

3. Villa Arcadio Hotel and Resort, Salò

Independent Hotel, Resort

Dining terrace at Villa Arcadio with tables, colourful lights, plants and a view of the lake and mountains
Courtesy of Villa Arcadio Hotel and Resort / Expedia

This is a rural Garda hotel, with the lakefront around a 10-minute drive away. But don’t think that makes it second-best: lush, rambling gardens, olive groves and a setting in an ancient monastery are what you get in return for stepping a smidge back from the water. There are lake views to be had, too, but if you are craving blue you needn’t look further than the exceptional pool, lined with cushy loungers. The al fresco restaurant, with a grapevine canopy, dishes elegant fare.

4. Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, Cordevigo

Independent Hotel, Spa Hotel, Luxury

Aerial view of the vineyards at Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais with the hotel behind and the mountains in the distance
Courtesy of Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais / Expedia

Love wine? You’ll adore this stay on the eastern side of Lake Garda, dating to the 18th century and fringed in vineyards. The hotel is related to Vigneti Villabella winery, in the hills of Bardolino, and one of the highlights of a stay is an expert-led tasting of local soave and amarone in the cellar. The Michelin-starred restaurant gives you an opportunity to put your newfound wine knowledge to work over a long and lazy lunch.

5. Locanda del Benaco, Salò

Independent Hotel

Terrace at Locanda del Benaco with a table and eight chairs and a beautiful view of the lake
Courtesy of Locanda del Benaco / Expedia

If you want to be within walking distance of restaurants, bars and shops, this stay in Salò is a great pick. Contemporary in feel, Locanda del Benaco combines proximity to the water and sunny terrace breakfasts with minimalist, chic decor and sink-in bathtubs. With just 13 bedrooms, with either flower-lined balconies or views of the lake, it has a romantic, intimate feel that especially suits holidaying couples.

6. Grand Hotel Fasano, Fasano

Boutique Hotel

Exterior of Grand Hotel Fasano right next to Lake Garda, surrounded by trees and with the mountains in the distance
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Fasano / Expedia

It’s hard to decide what we like best about this five-star hotel: the prime location on the western banks of the lake, the Instagram-perfect terrace for taking sundowners, the pools, the palm-studded grounds, the multiple fabulous restaurants… If pressed, we might say the spa, inspired by Roman baths, run by Aveda, and complete with saunas, Turkish bath and solarium – plus a stellar line-up of treatments.

7. Vivere Suites and Rooms, Arco

Independent Hotel

Spacious room at Vivere Suites and Rooms with a large rug, sofa, full-length windows and a wood-beamed ceiling
Courtesy of Vivere Suites and Rooms / Expedia

Some come to Lake Garda for the scenery, others to get stuck into water sports such as sailing and windsurfing. But those who visit Vivere are often here for the wellness programme – expert yoga retreats, shiatsu massage or rebalancing taijasa treatments. There are plenty of other reasons to book, mind: such as the intimate feel (there are only six suites), self-serve honesty bar and earthy, minimalist rooms.

8. Bellariva, Riva del Garda

Independent Hotel

Wooden terrace at Bellariva with two loungers, a table and a view of the lake and mountains
Courtesy of Bellariva / Expedia

Right at the most northerly point on Lake Garda, Riva del Garda is a popular base for those who want to dive into the Dolomite mountains as part of their trip. And with bright and airy rooms, overlooking the peaks and waters, Bellariva lets you enjoy the region to the fullest. The on-site pizza restaurant, garden and local watersports make it well-suited to families.

9. Grand Hotel Terme, Montegrotto Terme

Spa Hotel

Outdoor wwimming pool at Grand Hotel Terme with the hotel behind it
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Terme / Expedia

You may technically be closer to Venice than Lake Garda here, but the sparkling waters of Italy’s largest lake are still an easy day trip from the most popular wellness hotel in the north. Mud therapy, inhalation balneotherapy, thermal pools: you name it, and this classically luxurious hotel offers it in its spa. Mountain biking and trekking in the local area are other popular ways to blow off steam.

10. Aktivhotel Santalucia


Exterior of the brightly coloured Aktivhotel Santalucia with a swimming pool and lawns in front and cliffs behind it
Courtesy of Aktivhotel Santalucia / Expedia
In Torbole sul Garda, a city often regarded as the European destination for windsurfing and sailing, Aktivhotel Santalucia is the ideal spot to do sport, especially mountain bike tours, hiking and free climbing. The surrounding area is sided by Lake Garda and the Dolomites, which means Aktivhotel combines the seclusion of the mountains with plenty of lakeside spots.

11. Hotel Gardenia


Near the centre of Bardolino, in the province of Verona, Hotel Gardenia is close to the lake – just 80m (262ft) away – and to the city centre, all without losing sight of the tranquillity which is a necessary feature of a holiday in these parts. It has two swimming pools, one of which is filled with salt water – in case anyone misses the sea – plus a heated whirlpool for relaxing in the evenings. It also has a convenient private car park.

12. Hotel Belvedere


Exterior of Hotel Belvedere showing trees and hotel balconies
Courtesy of Hotel Belvedere / Expedia
In Sirmione, the most charming town on the coast, Hotel Belvedere is a family-run retreat with a wonderful view of the lake. Breakfast is served as a buffet made of both savoury and sweet foods. The proprietors, assisted by a welcoming staff, are cordial and keen to help, organising all sorts of activities around the lake.

13. Hotel Brenzone

Hotel, Villa

The bright-yellow exterior of Hotel Brenzone with the lake and mountains in the distance
Courtesy of Hotel Brenzone / Expedia
Whether you’re interested in romantic holidays, family breaks, short stays or sports-related activities, Hotel Brenzone has it covered. Recognised by Gambero Rosso, one of the most renowned travel guides in Italy, it has modern, captivating decor and a somewhat retro atmosphere. Most rooms have a balcony overlooking the lake, or offer enchanting glimpses of the city centre.

14. Hotel Nazionale


Dining terrace at Hotel Nazionale with an outdoor swimming pool and loungers beyond
Courtesy of Hotel Nazionale / Expedia
Just a few minutes from the centre of Desenzano del Garda, Hotel Nazionale is a modern-looking hotel in a convenient location. The breakfast hall is filled with large light-filled windows overlooking the swimming pool and garden, while a lounge bar offers nibbles and drinks.

15. Hotel Monte Baldo

Hotel, Villa

Exterior of Hotel Monte Baldo surrounded by verdant gardens and the waters of Lake Garda
Courtesy of Hotel Monte Baldo / Expedia
On the Gardone Riviera coast, Hotel Monte Baldo has a 19th-century villa with renovated rooms, a balcony cooled by a lake breeze, and a spectacular view of Lake Garda, not to mention a swimming pool. The proximity to the Gardone Riviera – a pretty town on the western shore of the lake – guarantees a romantic setting for an afternoon stroll

16. Lefay Resort and Spa

Resort, Independent Hotel, Eco Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel

Woman standing in the infinity pool at Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda with the mountains behind it and reflected in the water
Courtesy of Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda / Expedia
This luxury Lake Garda resort and spa is a special treat for those who deserve a top-notch holiday after too much hard work. The lake view from the swimming pool is unbeatable, while the location on the Riviera dei Limoni (Coast of Lemons), near Gargnano, makes it a truly excellent spot to bed down. After a day of exploration, retire to the in-house restaurant, La Grande Limonaia, for Mediterranean cuisine created from seasonal ingredients and citrus fruits from the local area.

17. Enjoy Garda Hotel


Jacuzzi terrace at Enjoy Garda Hotel festooned with white curtains and featuring lamps and comfy chairs and cushions
Courtesy of Enjoy Garda Hotel / Expedia
Situated in Peschiera del Garda, Enjoy Garda Hotel has a wonderful location near the cities of Brescia, Mantua and Verona, and some of the best amusement parks Italy has to offer, especially Gardaland, Movieland and Parco Natura Viva. This makes it the ideal choice for travelling parents with kids in tow. Alternatively, a visit of the nearby cultural sites is a must for those who love to plunge into the past.

18. Hotel Lago di Garda


Terrace with loungers at Villa Sostaga decorated with red flowers and with the lake and mountains in the distance
Courtesy of Villa Sostaga / Expedia
In the centre of Torbole, on the Trentino side of the lake, Hotel Lago di Garda is a four-star retreat with luxury touches. There’s a sleek spa with a Finish sauna and a cooling mist shower, plus a fine-dining restaurant with panoramas over the water. Want something extra special? Book a Desideria room, which comes with a lake-view jacuzzi on a terrace.

19. Villa Sostaga

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Villa

The first four-star boutique on Lake Garda, Villa Sostaga offers an enchanting panorama from the top of the hill. It is surrounded by a 16ha (40-acre) forest which makes it feel secluded and tranquil, while being just 8km (5mi) from Gargnano town. The decor and interiors guarantee relaxation, while the staff cater to any and all needs.

Luca Pinelli contributed additional reporting to this article.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article