French Riviera and Lake Como

What an absolute pleasure to experience two new properties making their debuts in the past few months.  Just when you think you’ve seen it all and experienced the best of the best…..these two newcomers shatter expectations and redefine 5-star design and luxury.

The Maybourne Riviera  is marvelously perched on a rocky hill in France just above Monaco and within a short drive of Italy.  In one day, you could have three meals in three countries, but it would be hard to drag yourself away from the place where blue sky meets blue water and world-renowned architects and designers have created a masterpiece for the senses.   

Enjoy meals, drinks, and Instagram-worthly scenes on expansive terraces. Michelin-star studded CETO restaurant on the rooftop deck delights. Every room has a terrace view of the Mediterranean.  A place to relax, be seen (or not) and enjoy one of the prettiest locales in the Cote d’Azur.  Explore historic French villages a short drive away and enjoy the Riviera by boat toward Cannes with a must-stop visit for a boozy lunch with the locals at beach club La Guerité nestled on the rocky cove of Sainte-Marguerite.

It’s hard to leave this spot, but in just a short, four-hour drive (happy to avoid airports these days!), we found ourselves in heaven on Lake Como. Passalacqua, little sister to Lake Como’s Grand Dame Grand Hotel Tremezzo, is exquisite.   

A historic private villa since 1787, the villa hosted the likes of Napoleon and Winston Churchill. Composer Vincenzo Bellini made Villa Passalacqua his home in 1829, where he composed two of his most famous operas, Norma and La Sonnambula. In 2018 the DeSantis family acquired the villa and spent more than $20MM restoring its frescoes and adorning this incredible, castle-like villa with the finest Italian sculpture, crystal, fabrics and furnishings.  Every inch is perfectly magnificent.  It is easy to enjoy the best of Italian dishes prepared elegantly and simply by the chef.  Lake Como beckons discovery by boat – live La Dolce Vita in one of the beautiful, authentic, premier classic wooden boats, which are the ultimate way to travel in complete style on the lake, just as George Clooney does. 

Cheers to the hottest new resorts this year. You may want to book soon – It won’t be long before the secret is out and these places will be in extremely high demand…I can honestly say these are two of the very most special places in the world. 

Caroline, July 2022

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