Following closely on the heels of our review of the B2 Hotel in Zurich we move through the alphabet to the C-Hotel and Spa. We guess the C stands for Colzani – the owners of this tight family-run operation, but it could also be for Como, the spectacularly scenic lake that lies nearby.
This is a region endowed with great natural beauty. Collecting Alpine glacial waters the Lakes mark the region where the mountains transition to the Italian plains. Historic towns and pretty villas gather along the lake shores and the surrounding snow capped peaks form a stunning backdrop – spectacular even on an overcast winter’s day.
Como is probably the most scenic of the lakes and George Clooney of course is a notable resident, but it is for many years that this has been the destination for painters, poets and wealthy tourists. “This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty,” declared Shelley whilst Henry James wrote “One can’t describe the beauty of the Italian lakes, nor would one try if one could.”
Naturally the scenic attraction is matched by the expense of a series of Grand hotels. However, not only are these usually closed through the winter months, but they are often fusty, old-school establishments – we prefer to avoid the tourist hotspots with the C-Hotel and Spa, a member of the Design Hotels Group.
Within a short drive of Como, Lecco or Bellagio and set in an unassuming village this hotel is an ultra modern minimalist retreat. Basically a rectangular box, the frontage is mostly glass. It is complemented with an elegant off-white limestone which continues through not only the floors and walls of the public areas but also in to the bedrooms and ties together the separate parts of the design.
By cleverly threading this locally quarried stone through the naturally lit hallways owner Andrea Colzani has created a blank canvas for artists to decorate during the exhibitions that are often held here. His overall concept was for a timeless design “I wanted to create a modern resort that would last, but not be affected by fashion”.
It is not all limestone and glass though. There are rich woods and iconic pieces of modern furniture – Italian of course – that make the hotel warm and accommodating. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows that face either over the gardens or hills and provide a wonderful open atmosphere. An electric blind slides down over the whole wall at the flick of a switch.
The king beds are firm but comfortable and bathrooms, with showers only and a glass wall, are slick and modern in chrome, limestone and glass. Clever lighting is recessed and precisely targeted.
The design aesthetic is carried down in to a small spa with a steam room, jacuzzi and outside plunge pool with a waterfall. Sparkling golden tiles in the pool mosaics glitter in the spotlights and minimalist white loungers are there for relaxation.
Breakfast of fruit, cereal, pastries and cooked options are served at your table, a refreshing change from the usual buffet. In the evenings the Materiaprima restaurant with chef Stefano Figini, offers inventive and different Italian cuisine, using fresh local and regional ingredients.
Interestingly we soon discover that the hotel is just one part of the family-run operation. In front of the hotel is the hugely popular Italian cafe C-Colzani – winner of a ‘Best Italian Bar of 2017′ award. The cutting edge design extends here where there is also a family-run pasticceria that’s been making hand made chocolates and other delicacies for many years – it is actually now their 40th anniversary.
The C-Hotel and Spa is perfect spot from which to not only enjoy the attractions of the lakes but also nearby Milan and Bergamo. Away from the madding crowds you will enjoy not only a peaceful and relaxed environment but very reasonable rates.
For more information and booking visit C-Hotel and Spa
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