To most non-Italians, when the phrase ‘Italian lake’ is mentioned, Lake Como is the name that they would recall. However, mid-way between Venice and Milan is lake Garda, Italy’s largest. It combines the charm of the Italian plains on its southern shores with the Alpine character of the Garda Mountains towering over its northern shore. Lazise, a charming old town situated on the south-eastern shore of the lake, now plays host to the only luxury five-star resort on the eastern shore of the Lake Garda, the Quellenhof Luxury Resort.
Quellenhof Lazise is only the second property of the family-run group. The original, in St. Martin in South Tyrol, has grown from a small inn into a renowned, multi-award-winning complex of luxury resorts and residences deep inside Val Passiria region of the Italian Alps. Renowned for its exceptional service, spa, and gourmet restaurants, the resort also offers a wide range of activities from golf to horse riding, tennis, football, trekking and many others. One of the qualities of the Quellenhof Resort that sets it apart from most luxury resorts is that it is designed to be family friendly.
The Dorfer Family’s second resort at Lazise, inaugurated in February this year, sits around 170 kilometres south of the original and shares with its older sibling many of the signature traits, while remaining true to its regional identity.
Even though Lazise is located at 46-degrees North latitude, the region experiences mild temperatures from spring to autumn, often complemented by pleasant winds. The mild climate favours the growth of some Mediterranean fauna, including olive and lemon; which explains why the resort is immersed in the middle of hundreds of olive trees.
Design is undoubtedly one of the strengths of this hotel with an architecture that is elegant, modern and innovative. Situated at an elevation above Lazise, it features large glass windows that offer views of Lake Garda, the olive groves, as well as the cypress and palm trees typical of northern Italy. The interior, personally curated by Mrs Dorfer, one of the owners of the group, is modern and refined with exceptional attention to detail.
The resort offers 60 rooms and suites that range between 40 and 265 square-metres with lake or garden views. All the rooms and suites come with complimentary spa basket with fluffy bathrobe, towel and bathing shoe, exclusive Dorfer Med care products in the room, a selection of international newspapers, free shuttle service to Lazise’s city centre, underground car parking space, free charging of electric vehicles, WiFi, as well as tea and coffee making facilities.
Of the broad selection of sweets on offer, the Penthouse Pool Villa is the hotel’s marquee accommodation. Spread across two floors, it comprises a total of 265 square-metres, 75 of which is for the loggia in front of the suite, 58 square-metres for the rooftop terrace and 32 square-metres (4×8) for the infinity pool. It has two bedrooms, one with a king-size bed and the other with a king-size bed and a single bed. Both have walk-in wardrobes and flat-screen TVs. A third TV is in the shared lounge. The suite has wooden flooring throughout, two bathrooms with rain shower, a whirlpool and private sauna.
Given that the reputation of the Quellenhof brand was built, among other things, on its spa facilities, the Dorfer Family seemed determined to replicate it at Lazise. The new Onda Spa covers 2,000 square-metres and has an ambience in which light, colours and design are wonderfully coordinated to create an oasis of tranquillity.
The facility has five modern saunas with several infusions daily. In the adults-only sauna area, there is a Finnish sauna, a steam bath, and a bio sauna with relaxation zones. In the family sauna area – created to allow parents to enjoy a collective spa experience with their children – there is a textile sauna area with Finnish sauna, steam bath, and a spacious relaxation room. There are several treatment rooms and a private spa suite for a choice of exclusive and innovative treatments, from massages and beauty packages to couple treatments, all using high-quality cosmetic products. The facility also has a hairdresser.
The resort has a total of four pools that are temperature controlled year-round: a 21 metre adults-only Skypool, a 25 metre sports pool with indoor entrance, a heated pool for children with water slide, wave slide, playground, and a natural swimming lake with vitalized Grander water with direct access from the hotel and the beautiful gardens.
Back in the 1920s, the Quellenhof Inn earned a reputation for its cuisine, which made it a popular excursion destination. Quellenhof Lazise’s Panorama restaurant, which has a retractable roof, stays true to this heritage with its gourmet half-board. Guests are spoilt for culinary choice with an extensive breakfast buffet and a 6-course menu of Mediterranean cuisine in the evening, using regional and seasonal products. During the day, “La Piazza” bistro serves light Mediterranean dishes and snacks, “home-made” cakes, coffee and ice cream specialities.