Wish you were here?

Forss House
Thurso, Scotland

Country house,
bright rooms,
salmon fishing nearby

Wish you were here?

Casa Rural Finca Las Encinas
Andalucia, Spain

Stunning grounds,
rustic rooms,
outdoor activities nearby

Wish you were here?

Powys, Wales

Large country house,
high standards,
lovely views


No cash for compliments.

Our website is based on a series of long-established printed guides, where no one pays for an entry.

Our series editor, Fiona Duncan, writes for the Sunday Telegraph and is the UK's most respected hotel reviewer.

No cliches, no flattery, no gushing - just objective, honest, expert reviews.

Summer reading? Take a look at Somerville's War

Our places to stay in Lombardia are spread across this large region of northern Italy, stretching from the Alps bordering Switzerland almost as far south as the Mediterranean or, more accurately, the Adriatic and Ligurian seas. It contains Lake Como, and Lakes Maggiore and Garda form its boundaries in the west and the east respectively. At its heart lies Milan, the glossy economic and industrial centre of Italy.

Northern Italy’s mountains have been overlooked by travellers from Northern Europe in recent years. The latter are the losers. The experience of travelling here is less sanitised than Austria and Switzerland. The food is more distinctive. Prices are better value. Hospitality is more sincere.

As elsewhere, our selection of places to stay in Lombardia offers an exceptionally interesting range to choose from: pensioni, alberghi, restaurants-with-rooms and small hotels. Whichever, they all have the special qualities of hand-picked character and charm we seek out. Among our longstanding favourites are: Hotel du Lac and Villa Simplicitas.

Some of the best new recommendations in this section come from our valued northern Italy reporter, Francesca Blench. Her hotel marketing organization, Luxury Lakes and Mountains, offers many further ideas for places worth seeking out - see www.llmcollection.com. They are not all charming small places to stay, but it’s still a useful source. 

We have recently taken Antica Locanda dei Mercanti at Milan off the site and can no longer recommend it. If you would like to know why, please contact our web editor on 02077201692 during working hours UK time. 

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Antica Locanda Leonardo

Corso Magenta 78, 20123, Milano, +39 02 463317
Charm and style behind an unassuming facade

Dimora Bolsone

Via Panoramica 23, 25083 Gardone Riviera, Brescia, 0365 21022
Sophisticated holiday farm

Hotel du Lac

Via P. Colletta 21, 25084 Villa di Gargnano, Lake Garda, Italy, +39 0365 71107
Endearingly old-fashioned lakeside retreat

Hotel Florence

Piazza Mazzini 46, 22021 Bellagio, Como, Italy, +39 031 950 342
Handsome lakeside villa

Hotel Gardenia al Lago, Gargnano

Via Colletta, 53 25084 Villa di Gargnano (BS), +39 0365 71195
Charming nineteenth-century estate

Hotel Villa Europa

Charming, family-run hotel with panoramic views over Lake Garda.

Residence Fondo La Campagnola

Traditional villas on the shore of Lake Garda

Villa Giulia

Viale Rimembranza 20, 25084, Gargnano, Lago di Garda, +39 0365 71022/71289
Peaceful hotel with great views

Villa Simplicitas

San Fedele d'Intelvi, 22010 , Como, +39 031 831132
Peaceful homely villa in beautiful surroundings

Villa Sostaga

Via Sostaga, Navazzo di Gargnano, 25084, +39 0365 791218
Peaceful, family-run villa
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