The Best Hotels 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 & Resort / Expedia

Fairytale villa, lakeside locanda, vineyard-fringed retreat – the hotels of Lake Garda are almost as spectacular as the surrounds. Almost. 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, there are picturesque places to stay along every scenic stretch of the Lake Garda shoreline.

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Gargnano

Independent Hotel
Map View

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 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.

Locanda San Vigilio, Punta San Vigilio

Resort, Independent Hotel
Map View
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.

Villa Arcadio Hotel & Resort, Salò

Independent Hotel, Resort
Map View
Courtesy of Villa Arcadio Hotel & Resort / Expedia

This is a rural take on Garda, 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.

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Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, Cordevigo

Independent Hotel, Spa Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais / Expedia

Love wine? You’ll adore this stay to 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.

Locanda del Benaco, Salò

Independent Hotel
Map View
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.

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Grand Hotel Fasano, Fasano

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Fasano / Expedia

It’s hard to decide what we like most 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 2,500sqm (26,910ft) spa, inspired by Roman baths, run by Aveda, and complete with saunas, Turkish bath and solarium – plus a stellar line up of treatments.

Vivere Suites and Rooms, Arco

Independent Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Vivere Suites and Rooms / Expedia

Some come to Lake Garda for the scenery, others to get stuck into watersports 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.

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Bellariva, Riva del Garda

Independent Hotel
Map View
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.

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Grand Hotel Terme, Montegrotto Terme

Spa Hotel
Map View
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.

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Aktivhotel Santalucia

Hotel
Map View
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.
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Hotel Gardenia

Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Hotel Gardenia / Booking.com
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.

Hotel Belvedere

Hotel
Map View
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.
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  • Hotel Brenzone

    Hotel, Villa
    Map View
    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. Recognized 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.
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    Hotel Nazionale

    Hotel
    Map View
    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.

    Hotel Monte Baldo

    Hotel, Villa
    Map View
    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
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    Lefay Resort & Spa

    Resort, Independent Hotel, Eco Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda, Italy
    Courtesy of Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda / Expedia
    This luxury 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.
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    Enjoy Garda Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    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.
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    Hotel Lago di Garda

    Hotel
    Map View
    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.
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    Villa Sostaga

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Villa
    Map View
    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.

    These recommendations were updated on June 2, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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