When clients come to me wanting to book a five-star break in Lake Garda, they expect nothing short of wall-to-wall elegance, over-the-top indulgence, and – above all – gastronomic fireworks. It is my great pleasure to introduce them (and you) to the property that has it all: the Lido Palace.
This breathtaking Belle Époque hotel first welcomed guests at the turn of the twentieth century, when the northern waters of Lake Garda still washed the shores of the Austrian Hapsburg Empire. Over the years it has seen its fair share of European royalty, from Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, to King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena of Italy, when the region became Italian after the First World War.
Although the property fell into disrepair in the 1990s, an award-winning refurbishment completed in 2011 has made it more than deserving of its five-star status. The architect has married the neo-classical architecture of the original building with modern glass and steel features that make the most of the hotel’s incredible views of the lake.
A Gourmet Day at The Lido Palace
If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying your holiday in the glorious sunshine of the Italian summer, you can start your day with breakfast on the terrace. Don your sunglasses, sip an espresso and share a plate of homemade cakes crafted by Executive Chef Giuseppe Sestito, as you take in the beautiful views of Riva del Garda’s marina and mountains.
All of the hotel’s menus are created using local organic produce, and the breakfast menu is no different. I can highly recommend a fresh smoothie blended from regional fruits and vegetables to set you up for a day of gastronomic indulgence.
A laid-back lunch is served in the Tremani Bistrot, where you can linger over those views of the lake and the mountains through a panoramic glass wall. The minimal, contemporary surroundings ensure that the food is the star of the show. Previous guests have loved the fact that there are lighter lunch options for those who are spending the day at the CXI spa; 1500m² of space offers guests both indoor and outdoor pools, a Finnish sauna, three different baths, a salt room and a fitness area if you want to work off a few of those calories.
And now to the main event: the haute cuisine of the superb Il Re della Busa. The hotel’s flagship restaurant is housed within a glass structure that gives you the impression you’re sitting in the bow of boat pointing out towards the lake shore. Whether you’re sat within the cool confines of the restaurant or out on the candle-lit terrace, the atmosphere is truly magical.
Here are few of the tasty morsels on the tasting menu (subject to change):
- Marinated amberjack tartare with caper leaves, celery and clementine sorbet
- Pike from Lake Garda with “molche” crumble, onion soup and shad powder
- Cannoli with mountain hut ricotta, herbs, Taleggio cheese fondue
- Poached umbrine with Roman broccoli, crunchy scampi, dry tomatoes, capers and pine nut pesto sauce
Finish off your evening with a cocktail in the Balì Bar. The stunning space – with its juxtaposition of modern watercolours and original Art Nouveau frescoes – is a dramatic setting for a glamorous nightcap.