A new wellness retreat rises on the shores of a revered Italian destination.
Clad only in a plush terry-cloth robe, I rush past Lake Como toward the stone steps of Villa Emilia. I am absurdly underdressed considering the setting, in which manicured gardens stretch from the shore toward the art nouveau palace of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. As if to call attention to my informal attire, a breeze whips in from the lake, running a shiver down my spine and causing me to pull my fluffy lapel closer. Once inside Villa Emilia, however, I am enveloped by the warmth of Lake Como’s newest and largest wellness sanctuary.
The Italian elite have long sought respite from bustling city life on the shores of Lake Como. For more than a century, they have stayed at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, an elegant retreat with 90 rooms and suites, five restaurants, and a spa. In November the property expanded its wellness offerings with the completion of Villa Emilia, a historic estate turned 10,000-square-foot spa with five treatment rooms, a salon, a marble-clad hammam, and a fitness center. The villa, which was first constructed in the 17th century and later served as the home for the Countess Emilia Sommariva Seillère, has been redesigned as a modern retreat by the local firm Venelli Kramer, with refurbished Venetian mosaic floors, restored frescoes, and furnishings by Minotti and Penta, among others.
The British wellness and skin-care brand Espa developed an exclusive roster of lake-inspired therapies for Villa Emilia, ranging from the Lake Como Relaxing Ritual (a 110-minute body exfoliation and massage using herbs grown on Como’s shores) to the Grand Garden Ritual (a 110-minute aromatherapy treatment inspired by the fragrant flowers in the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s garden). Following therapies, guests can retire to the villa’s relaxation lounge, where the sounds of the lapping lake—and the occasional zip of a Riva cruiser—float through open windows.
Villa Emilia’s pièce de résistance is the Suite Emilia, a one-bedroom accommodation with a steam room, a hot tub, and a spa-like bathroom wrapped in black-and-white Lasa marble. Located within its own private wing, the suite provides direct access to all of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s wellness facilities—including the original T Spa’s indoor infinity-edge swimming pool and sundeck—ensuring that its guests need not make any immodest pilgrimages along Lake Como’s shores.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, +39.0344.42491, grandhoteltremezzo.com