Passalacqua: Celebrating the “Villeggiatura” of Yesteryear on Lake Como

| Mon, 05/08/2023 - 03:22
Pool area by La Double J at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ricky Monti

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it

Unlike some of Como’s more opulent five-star offerings, here at Passalacqua it’s all about intimate, discreet luxury in absolutely stunning style and surroundings. 

What to expect

Suite Bellini at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz
Suite Bellini at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz

With just 24 accommodations spread over three buildings and hotel amenities only open to guests, a stay at Passalacqua feels like visiting friends at their luxurious country mansion. The hotel aims to renew the Italian concept of villeggiatura, or a seasonal move from city to country to recharge the body and mind. Everything here is aimed at creating your own personally enriching and revitalizing vacation, whether that means total relaxation, outdoor pursuits or educational activities.  


The villa was originally created in 1787 for Count Andrea Lucini-Passalacqua. In 1831, composer Vincenzo Bellini famously stayed here to write opera. In 2018 it was purchased by renowned Como hoteliers the De Santis family, and after carefully curated renovations, the hotel opened to the public in 2022. 

Location, location, location

Passalacqua’s home base is the charming town of Montrasio, which means the sights of Lake Como are at your fingertips (especially given the hotel’s two vintage motorlaunches, which are available for guests’ use). However, the stunning lakefront position and endless activities mean you might never want to leave the premises.

Where you’ll sleep

Room in the Villa with lake view © Ruben Ortiz
Golden room in the Villa with lake view at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz

Accommodations are split between the decadent Villa, the romantic chic of the Palazz, and the relaxed luxe of the Casa al Lago. Everything is antique or bespoke, and the hand-picked feel of it all means the otherwise-opulent decor — brocade headboards, silk curtains, Fortuny lampshades — has more personality than pure sheen. Rooms range from stylish doubles to grandiose suites, right up to the palatial 250-square-meter Bellini Suite with its piano, sparkling Murano chandeliers and fabulous views of the lake. 

Spa time

The spa and wellness space is in the Palazz building and offers both standard and more unconventional treatments, plus yoga and meditation to fit with the overall theme of onsite rejuvenation. An amazing underground stone gallery excavated to link the villa to the lake is the setting for the sauna and steam bath. 

Dining and drinks

Breakfast at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz
Breakfast at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz

You can choose to drink or dine anywhere on the property, from setting up a table in the garden to organizing a high-end picnic on the lawn. Breakfast is buffet-style in the kitchen, which is left open throughout the day to encourage guests to wander in to grab a snack or get involved in prep. The snazzy pool bar (designed by maximalist-chic Milanese label, La Double J) offers drinks and light meals, while the candlelit terrace of the Sala Ovale is perfect for a romantic dinner. For aperitivo, cocktails and friendly chats, the old-school bar is just the ticket. 

Service notes

Unique in its ability to blend total luxury with friendly, down-to-earth hospitality, Passalacqua feels like you have entered a real, warm Italian family home. But not just any home, of course: It’s one with careful attention to detail, one-on-one interactions and the genuine pleasure that the hosts — we mean staff — seem to take in making guests’ stays absolutely delightful. 

Family perks

The family home atmosphere means that children are more than welcome, which comes through in the pint-sized bathrobes, toys and kid-friendly toiletries available on the property. Many activities from boat rides to collecting eggs from the resident hens are particularly suited to children, and the chef is on hand to cook a child-friendly menu when required. 

You should know...

Restaurant and Italian garden at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz
Restaurant and Italian garden at Passalacqua / Photo: © Ruben Ortiz

The hotel is crammed with beautiful exclusive touches, such as Beppe the boatman ferrying you around the lake, a zippy orange electric Fiat on hand to transport guests around the property, open-air cinema nights, cooking lessons, wine tastings and even a kitchen garden for fresh produce. 

Features & amenities

  • Waterfront setting
  • Restaurants
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar
  • Pool
  • Fitness room 
  • Spa 
  • Pets allowed
  • Family friendly
  • Parking (free)
  • Elevator


Via Besana, 59, Moltrasio, 22010
Tel. +39 03144311