Sereno Hotels announced the grand opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como, the first new hotel on Lake Como in decades, designed by famed Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. The all-suites hotel features 30 oversized suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views. Il Sereno is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como. Decorated Milan restaurateur and Michelin star chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of the hotel's signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by the region. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular "green sculpture" work of art.
"We are thrilled to open the doors of the much-anticipated Il Sereno Lago di Como," said Luis Contreras, owner of Sereno Hotels. "This project has been a true labor of love between Sereno Hotels and Patricia Urquiola; and we are excited to introduce an entirely new design concept to Lake Como. We know devotees of Sereno Hotels and new guests alike will enjoy the exquisite design coupled with unparalleled attention to detail, amenities and relaxed service our brand is known for."
In keeping with the Sereno Hotels philosophy of opening intimate, design-driven hotels in highly desired destinations, Lake Como was selected for the site of Il Sereno, as the location has long seduced visitors with its natural beauty and dramatic vistas of the southern Italian Alps. Situated on a sunny promontory next to the village of Torno and surrounded by peaceful views of Lake Como's natural beauty, lush gardens and idyllic small towns, Il Sereno's location stretches approximately 450 feet along the lake's eastern shore. Sereno Hotels partnered with Patricia Urquiola and her team at Studio Urquiola to bring to life the vision of creating a contemporary hotel with understated décor; a contrast to the classical designs that can be found around Lake Como. Urquiola and her team envisioned every facet of the hotel from the architecture to the interior design, which includes designing custom furniture, rugs, wall coverings, lamps, bathtubs and bathroom fixtures.
Spectacular views of Lake Como and scenic mountain ranges greet guests in airy lounge areas that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior of the accommodations. At the center of the hotel, Urquiola designed a stunning, original stairwell that serves as one of many focal points around the property. Made with natural materials including walnut wood, the large steps are encased in bronze and effortlessly "float" as the lobby's centerpiece. The dark and beautiful veins of the walnut wood complement the ceppo di grè stone found throughout the hotel. Guests will also find beautiful marble walls with bas-relief patterns that mimic the patterns found in the Venetian terrazzo floors of the restaurant.
The hotel features just 30 spacious luxury suites, each with its own waterfront terrace and unobstructed views of Lake Como.
Modern and custom furnishings created by Urquiola complete the elegant and sophisticated design, with understated earthy tones of grey and walnut with touches of blue and green hues to incorporate the colors found in the surroundings of the iconic Italian Lake. Suite amenities include robes and towels made by D. Porthault for Il Sereno and bath toiletries by Ex Voto Paris, a private bar, 24-hour room service, cutting-edge technology including complimentary Wi-Fi, cordless telephones, flat screen TV's and blue-tooth music systems. In-room spa services are also available. Starting rate for the suites is $825.
"Sereno Hotels has perfected the art of providing luxury service in a relaxed manner and we look forward to introducing our brand of service to Lake Como," said Samy Ghachem, managing director of Sereno Hotels. "Guests will have access to not only the best in design, amenities and cuisine, but will also find an attention to detail that is unrivaled."
Urquiola's collaboration did not end with the physical aspects of the hotel. Lake Como has been producing the world's finest silks for centuries and Urquiola also designed silk scarves, or foulards, that are produced locally for hotel staff uniforms; in addition to a custom design that will be available for guests.
Equally as important as the interiors of the hotel are the immaculately designed exteriors and gardens. Guests can uncover hidden passageways along the garden for calm strolls and enjoy scenic walks to the historic Villa Pliniana nearby. At the center of the hotel's main garden sits a 60-foot, lakefront freshwater infinity pool surrounded by a broad sun-deck and bar where guests can relax or enjoy light bites and refreshments. Adjacent to the pool is a small beach that offers guests direct access to the lake.
Further amplifying the beauty of the lush green surroundings, Il Sereno features breathtaking botanical works of art designed by acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc. Il Sereno is the first property where Blanc has created three distinct art pieces in one setting; two vertical gardens and one green sculpture. Entitled "Le Mirroir Vert du Lac," "Le Canyon" and "Les Racines Echasees," each piece boasts thousands of plant species. Located on the main façade of the hotel, Le Mirroir Vert du Lac is an eye-catching focal point from the hotel's terraces, and is visible to visitors across the lake. Featuring over 2,000 plant types, Le Mirroir was inspired by the both the colors and movement of the water. In collaboration with designer Patricia Urquiola, Blanc also created Le Canyonto evoke the dramatic and vertical topography of the hotel's rugged surroundings as part of the entrance to Il Sereno with nearly 3,000 different plants. Seamlessly attached to Le Canyon, Les Racines Echasees sprawls from the garden floor in front of the reception area patio and rises more than 35 feet in the air to emulate aerial roots as seen in Mangroves and Banyan Trees and includes over 1,000 individual plants.
In the grand tradition of guests traveling and experiencing Lake Como via boat, Il Sereno commissioned three custom Cantiere Ernesto Riva boats from the namesake family that has been building boats by hand in the nearby town of Laglio since 1771. Il Sereno guests will be able to travel to other destinations on the lake via two Jetto's or the grand Vaporina del Lago which features interiors designed by Patricia Urquiola.
At the helm of Ristorante Al Lago, celebrated Milan-based Chef Andrea Berton presents modern Italian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
With more than 27 years of industry experience, Berton is a well-known and respected restaurateur who has won four Michelin stars across three restaurants in Milan. The approachable yet refined menu he created at Ristorante Berton Al Lago encompasses the crossroads of the distinct regions near Lake Como including: the lake with its fish and aromatic herbs, the mountains of Valtellina known for its incredible wines, cheeses and meats, and the nearby Pianura Padana, known for its risotto and other fantastic ingredients.
Patricia Urquiola's design for the sunny, indoor-outdoor space utilizes the same local stones used in the façade of the hotel to create the restaurant tables and creative uses of the traditional Venetian Terrazzo and Travertine stone are found throughout. The restaurant has a large outdoor terrace right on the lake, in addition to a section that is built over the water inside the centuries old boat house and foundation over which the new Il Sereno was built. At the center of the restaurant is a dramatic and intricate stairwell, solidifying the restaurant as a visual experience as well as culinary.
The prime location of the restaurant at Il Sereno Lago di Como will allow guests to relax and bask in natural light as late as 10 p.m. in the summer months. Ristorante Berton Al Lago is open seven days a week, between 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. The restaurant is open to both hotel and outside guests and it is easily accessible by car or boat. Valet parking is available for cars and boats.