Lake Maggiore

Click here for the best places to stay in Lake Maggiore

The steep inclines of Piedmont's lower alps and gentle Mediterranean climate make Lake Maggiore's vegetation lush, and are the reason why so many rare and exotic plants thrive here. So the blue expanse of Lake Maggiore looks as if it's been plucked right out of a fairytale: there are old castles and churches, and grand villas. The pretty towns and resorts along its shores have the architecture to match the wonderful gardens, and they play host to the majority of the best places to stay in Lake Maggiore.

The pleasant clime and very pleasant outlook are what's made this area a holiday destination for as long as holiday destinations have existed.

Best places to stay in Lake Maggiore

On the water

The lovely Borromean Islands in the centre of the lake can be accessed easily on one of the hop-on hop-off boats and here you will find some of the best places to stay in Lake Maggiore.

Isola Madre has a beautiful palace surround by 19 acres of English style grounds and gardens.

Isola dei Pescatori has a cobbled promenade with some excellent cafes and some spectacular views. And Isola Bella has some of the lake's best gardens.

If you don't have the budget to rent a private charter, cruise the lake aboard the Locarno to Stresa steamer.

  • If you want to stay in one of the islands, we'd suggest you try Hotel Verbano. This is more of a restaurant with rooms, so it's also great for foodies. As well as the gourmet restaurant there are 12 really charming rooms, with romantic terraces looking onto astounding views. This is a really romantic spot, so would also work for those looking for a honeymoon destination.

Enjoying the view

To appreciate the lake's true beauty you should view if from afar, as well as up close. The cable car running up to the summit of Mount Mottarone is a good way to get a bird's eye view. As is a trip on the train to Domodossola - the narrow line trundles you slowly over precarious viaducts spanning ravines and past vertiginous waterfalls, but the scenery will take your breath away.

  • If you want wonderful views direct from your hotel room, one of the best places to stay on Lake Maggiore is Il Sole di Ranco. This is another hotel priding itself on its menu, especially its seafood - sourced direct from the lake. And with 14 rooms and ten suites, some suitable for families, this is a good option for those travelling for kids.


If you enjoy a bit of a poke round the shops, Stresa is one of the best places to stay on Lake Maggiore. You can get a lot of the Italian staples, including good leather handbags and Murano glass - at prices far lower than in Venice.

Stresa can be lively in season, so if you prefer a quieter setting, check out Baveno, just a short drive from Stresa.

  • If you're looking for lakeside grandeur and a central Stresa location, book a room in the traditionally luxurious Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees. The hotel fronts onto the lake, a wonderful white facade with rows of little balconies. It oozes elegance and sophistication and also boasts great facilities including spa and gastronomic restaurant with lake views.

Still not sure? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay on Lake Maggiore, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice.

Photo of Lake Maggiore

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The best hotels in Lake Maggiore

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  • Hotel Cannero

    Cannero Riveria, Lake Maggiore

    Charming old-fashioned establishment run by the same attentive and gracious family for decades. Spectacular position on Lake Maggiore with beautiful views. Spotless bedrooms, piano bar, lakeside terrace, pool and tennis court. Buffet breakfasts are a speciality. The perfect place to unwind.

    55 rooms from $135
    Foodies  -  Exquisite lakeside terrace for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    Views  -  Magnifcent views overlooking Lake Maggiore.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
  • Hotel Verbano

    Stresa Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Lake Maggiore

    Special restaurant with rooms set on an island of Lake Maggiore. Excellent local cuisine from romantic terraces overlooking the lake. Lovely bedrooms and living areas in creams, with brick fireplace, wooden beams, white washed walls, and private balconies. Ideal for a romantic break or a wedding.

    12 rooms from $168
    Views  -  All the rooms have stunning views over Lake Maggiore
    Romantic Break
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, CN Traveller
  • Locanda de Mai Intees

    Azzate Varese, Lake Maggiore

    A charmingly traditional private residence with an excellent gourmet restaurant. Rooms and suites have frescoed walls, mezzanine levels, wooden beams, parquet floors, and attractive fabrics. Plenty of activities, close to Lake Maggiore. Romantic, gourmet and family friendly.

    12 rooms from $168
    Sights nearby  -  In the centre of the Italian Lake district.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
  • Giardino Lago

    Locarno (Minusio)

    This hotel marries amazing views of the stunning Lago Maggiore with a stylish boutique feel that offers simple but attractive design features. Upon the lake, guests are encouraged towards a number of watersports, including fishing. The restaurant offers fine cuisine, and bicycles are free to hire.

    14 rooms from $209
    Lakeside  -  RIght by Lago Maggiore
    Country Escape
    Towelling robes
  • Il Sole di Ranco

    Ranco Varese, Lake Maggiore

    Lovely lakeside hotel and gourmet restaurant. Romantic views over Maggiore, elegant understated bedrooms and suites, pool, excellent food served on the terrace, lots of fresh fish from the lake. A gourmet choice for families and total relaxation.

    14 rooms from $202
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Oudoor pool
    Cooking classes  -  Check for timings.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
  • Art Hotel Riposo

    Ascona, Lake Maggiore

    An artfully designed hotel on the edge of the pretty town of Ascona. Brightly coloured rooms are hip and fresh and most boast private balconies and lake views. A choice of two restaurants both with outdoor dining. Live music held on some evenings. A trendy choice in a great location for exploring.

    31 rooms from $288
    Local exploring  -  A charming property well located by the lake in order to explore Ascona and the surrounding area.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a stroll through the pretty historic centre of Locarno.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées

    Stresa Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Lake Maggiore

    Luxurious lakeside opulence in a Five Star Grand hotel. A beautiful setting, sumptuous rooms and suites, delicious food, spa and plenty to do on the lake. A romantic spot, family friendly too.

    179 rooms from $280
    Romantic Break
    Spa breaks
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pools
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
  • Giardino Ascona

    Ascona, Lake Maggiore

    A five star property situated on the stunning Lake Maggiore. Set in Mediterranean gardens reflective of it's location on the Swiss Italian border. Contemporary light airy rooms the best of which have french doors leading straight on to the garden. A Two Star Michelin restaurant. Complete luxury.

    72 rooms from $333
    Active Holiday  -  Sat on a stunning lake and with golf, sailing and mountain biking all on offer.
    Foodies  -  Ecco Ascona has been awarded two Michelin stars.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and outdoor pools.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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