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The Italian Lakes on a Budget

Some of the best prices for travelling to the Italian Lakes can be found in the shoulder seasons, but if this is your first visit then you might not want to risk the weather being anything less than perfect and spoiling those idyllic vistas… In which case our Guru’s investigation into how to do the Italian Lakes on a budget, and the best value hotels in the region is for you.

Roger W via Flickr

There are some stretches of waterfront which are less pricey than others, the north of Lake Como for example, and the south-eastern shore of Lake Maggiore, and these are good places to start. But it’s a shame if you stop searching there, for our Gurus have found some great ways to ‘do’ the Italian Lakes on a budget in some of the region’s most glamorous lakeside towns. Don’t discount Bellagio on Lake Como or gorgeous Gardone Riviera. Hotels and B&Bs in Salò, Sirmione and Lake Maggiore’s Stresa are also on our Guru’s list.

Roger W via Flickr

How to do the Italian Lakes on a Budget

See our recommendations for the:

The Italian Lakes on a Budget - Where to Stay

Most Romantic Italian Lakes on a Budget

Relais Villa Vittoria

  • Originally built for the imperial family, the Grand Hotel Fasano in Lake Garda’s Gardone Riviera, is an historic grand hotel in a privileged lakeside position. The architecture is romantic with fairytale turrets and lovely details, but its private terraces, pebbly beach, spa and tennis courts mean it’s also a good choice for families. The 76 rooms start from around £100 per night.
  • Gardesana, in the pretty fishing village of Torri del Benaco on Lake Garda, has 34 simple, comfortable rooms, great views and excellent food. It’s also wonderful value, with room starting from under £100 per night, and it’s quite romantic.
  • The Hotel Florence, in Lake Como’s glamorous Bellagio, is a stunning hotel with design mimicking its Florentine namesake. It has just 27 lovely rooms and sumptuous suites, some with private balconies or shared terrace, and spectacular views - of course! There’s also a gourmet restaurant and a spa, and all starting from around £130 per night.
  • For a similar room rate, one might also stay in the Relais Villa Vittoria, in Laglio, a wonderfully romantic hotel right on the edge of the lake. As well as beautiful views, this hotel has 11 delicately sumptuous rooms, an excellent restaurant, and peaceful terraces overlooking the lake. Perfect for honeymooners.

Best B&Bs

La Dimora del Garda

  • The Garni Gianmartin in Limone, Lake Garda, is a seven room B&B on the main square, just minutes from the beach. The rooms are simple and comfortable and the suites have their own private terraces with lovely views. The breakfasts are hearty, and the rooms, with breakfasts, start from around £70 per night.
  • For around £75 per night you can stay in La Dimora del Garda, in Sirmione, Lake Garda, a simple, sophisticated house with four comfortable, air conditioned rooms and an airy communal breakfast room. Each room has a small outdoor terrace.

Best Hotels for Families

Locanda di Orta

  • Salò’s Hotel Laurin, a stunning hotel with 30 rooms and suites, also right on the shores of Lake Garda. Converted from an elegant 20th Century villa, guests can expect parquet floors, frescoes and Art Nouveau furniture. There’s also a lovely pool in shady gardens and an excellent restaurant.
  • Owned by the same family for four generations, the Albergo Olivedo is a gorgeous ten room townhouse hotel right by Lake Como at Varenna. The decor is traditional, with stone floors, pastel walls and private balconies. Family friendly and laid back, the Albergo Olivedo also has a lovely little Italian restaurant. Rooms start from around £90 per night.
  • The Locanda di Orta in Orta San Giulio, Lake Orta, is a charming, traditional hotel with nine wonderful rooms and suites with stone walls and private balconies. There’s a rooftop gastro-bar and a bistro. Rooms start from around £50 per night.

Lake Garda on a budget

Hotel Castello

  • The Hotel Castello in Malcesine is a small, contemporary hotel right by the side of the lake. Some rooms have private balconies overlooking the water, there’s lovely terrace and restaurant, and guests have their own private beach. Romantic but also family friendly. Rooms start from around £100 per night.
  • The AQVA Boutique Hotel in Sirmione is a calm, modernist hotel with 18 neutral-shaded rooms, a peaceful garden and a small jetty. You’re just 600metres from from Scaligero Castle and within a short stroll of Sirmione’s thermal baths. Rooms from around £100 per night.

Lake Como on a budget

Nest on the lake

  • Varenna’s Albergo Milano is a charming hotel in an enchanting lakeside setting. There are a collection of 14 rooms, triples and apartments, all with stone floors, whitewashed walls and private balconies. There’s also a lovely restaurant. Rooms start at around £110 per night.
  • Lezzeno’s Nest on the Lake is a charming little lakeside B&B with five rooms and self-catering apartments. Bedrooms have four-poster beds and private terraces and there are lovely sun decks to share. They’ll also rent you a bike or a canoe. And all for under £100 per night.

Lake Maggiore on a budget

Hotel Verbano

  • The Hotel Cannero in Cannero, is an old fashioned charmer, with 55 spotless bedrooms, a lovely piano bar and lakeside terrace, and a pool and tennis court. Great buffet breakfasts and gracious, attentive service from the family who has run this hotel for decades. Rooms from around £100 per night.
  • Foodies will love the Hotel Verbano, a restaurant with rooms in Stresa. There are 12 rooms, with romantic terraces overlooking the lake, and lively decor, with some charming old features and creamy colourings. Romantic and well priced at around £130 per night.

Lake Orta on a budget

La Contrada dei Monti

  • La Contrada dei Monti in Orta San Giulio is a traditional, 17 room hotel whose bright rooms feature stone walls and beamed ceilings. Simple, but well located, and rooms start from around £80 per night.
  • Or, just along the lake’s shore, there’s the Hotel Il Giardinetto, a great restaurant with 59 rooms, right on the water. The food is gourmet. the sun decks hang out over the lake and there’s a romantic atmosphere. Rooms start from around £70 per night.

Lake Iseo on a budget


  • The Hotel RivaLago in the quiet village of Sulzano, is a charming 32 room hotel. The decor is elegant and some of the rooms and suites have private balconies overlooking the lake. Plus there’s a pool and private beach.

Still not sure which of our Guru’s recommendations for the places to stay for doing the Italian Lakes on a budget is right for you?

  • Refine your search to the best places to stay on Lake Garda,
  • or the best Budget Lake Garda Hotels,
  • or the best Budget Lake Como Hotels,
  • or consider only the best places to stay on Lake Maggiore,
  • or the best places to stay on Lake Orta,
  • or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
    • Grand Hotel Fasano 76 rooms from £105

      Gardone Riviera

      An historic grand hotel originally built for the imperial family. Its privileged lakeside position and romantic architecture make it the ideal spot for a honeymoon or romantic holiday. Fairytale turrets, terraces, private pebble beach, spa, tennis court and sumptuous rooms. Heavenly.

      Romantic  -  You couldn't stay in a more fairytale setting on the lake's edge.
      Views  -  Stunning views over the lake.
      Lakeside  -  On the edge of Lake Garda.
      Romantic Break
      Check prices
    • Relais Villa Vittoria 11 rooms from £140


      Utterly romantic hotel on the edge of Lake Como. Spectacular views, delicately sumptuous rooms, excellent restaurant and terraces, and plenty to do on the lake. Honeymooners would be in heaven!

      Views  -  Breathtaking views over Lake Como
      Romantic Break
      Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, CN Traveller
      Check prices
    • Garni Gianmartin 7 rooms from £75

      Limone (Lake Garda)

      Located on the main square in a quiet village, this small B&B with lake views is just minutes from the beach. Bedrooms are simple & comfortable, suites have terraces with a view. Store bikes in the garage or rent them on site. Hearty breakfasts before a day of outdoor exploring. Great value too.

      Value chic  -  With rooms from as little as €86 per night including breakfast, it's excellent value for money.
      Local exploring  -  Ideally located for exploring the gorgeous Lake Garda
      Sights nearby  -  Visit the historic town of Verona
      Views  -  All bedrooms have a lake view
      Check prices
    • La Dimora del Garda 4 rooms from £79

      Colombare di Sirmione

      This simple and sophisticated house has been recently renovated and offers four comfortable air conditioned rooms and an airy communal breakfast room. Each of the bedrooms also have a small private outdoor terrace area with table and chairs. A great spot for families looking to explore Lake Garda.

      Value chic  -  This part of the world is not cheap, and here you have great value and plenty of style
      Local exploring  -  Whether by bike or on foot, Lake Garda and its attractions are moments away
      Great walks  -  Enjoy walks in the surrounding hills
      Sailing  -  Hire a boat and explore Lake Garda
      Check prices
    • Hotel Laurin 30 rooms from £123


      A stunning hotel on the shore of Lake Garda. Rooms and suites in a 20th century villa are elegant, with parquet floors and all mod cons. Frescoes and art nouveau furniture. Excellent authentic cuisine, pool and shady gardens. An idyllic choice, and perfect for a family holiday.

      Foodies  -  Garda Food and Wine Trail & Strada dei Vini e Sapori del Garda: visits to about 100 producers (wineries, oil mills, cheeses).
      Families  -  Swimming and Lake Garda to explore by boat. Many child friendly sights in the area, such as movie studio and safari park
      Sights nearby  -  Salò, Gardone Riviera, Toscolano Maderno, Gargnano and Limone del Garda
      Views  -  Great views from hotel
      Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
      Check prices
    • Albergo Olivedo 10 rooms from £96


      Gorgeous townhouse hotel on Lake Como. Charmingly traditional bedrooms have stone floors, pastel walls, and private balconies. Magnificent views from every room and authentic Italian food. Laid back, family friendly.

      Views  -  Great views over Lake Como
      Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
      Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
      Recommended by  -  Sawdays
      Check prices
    • Locanda di Orta 9 rooms from £53

      Orta San Giulio Novara, Lake Orta

      Charming, traditional, cheaper than most. Wonderful rooms and suites have stone walls, private balconies, good sized beds. The highlight - rooftop gastro-bar, wine cellar and bistro. Very family friendly and affordable.

      Roof terrace  -  Fabulous gastrobar roof terrace.
      Value chic
      Views  -  Great views from hotel
      Private Hot Tub  -  One of the suites has a private balcony with hot tub
      Check prices
    • Hotel Castello 36 rooms from £107


      A small contemporary hotel on the edge of Lake Garda. Contemporary chic rooms, some with private balconies overlooking the lake. Excellent restaurant and terrace and its own private pebble beach with deck chairs. An good value spot for a romantic holiday, family friendly too.

      Views  -  Stunning lake views.
      Value chic
      Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
      Diving  -  Good diving nearby.
      Check prices
    • AQVA Boutique Hotel 18 rooms from £105


      The hotel offers relaxing rooms filled with calming natural palettes. Modernist design, private balconies and a peaceful garden with a small jetty. Enjoy lunch on the terrace or cocktails at the sun loungers. Organise exciting day trips and fine dining restaurants with the hotel concierge.

      Local exploring  -  Just 600m from Scaligero Castle and within walking distance of Sirmione’s thermal baths
      Total relaxation  -  The hotel boasts its own stretch of private beach
      Restrictions on children  -  Must be arranged with the hotel
      Views  -  Wonderful views over the lake
      Check prices
    • Albergo Milano 14 rooms from £114


      Charming lakeside hotel. An enchanting setting on Lake Como, various rooms, triples and apartments, with white washed walls and private balconies. Very good restaurant and spectacular views from the terrace. A great choice for families, groups and romantic breaks.

      Sit-out Terrace  -  Fabulous restaurant terrace over Lake Como.
      Views  -  Great views from hotel
      Recommended by  -  Sawdays
      Check prices
    • Nest on the Lake 5 rooms from £96


      An adorable lakeside B&B with rooms and self-catering apartments. Elegant bedrooms have four poster beds and private terraces. Lovely sun deck and bikes and canoes to rent. Great value for families, groups or couples.

      Views  -  Wonderful views over Lake Como
      Value chic
      Sights nearby  -  Some of Como's most spectacular villas are very close by
      Kayaking  -  Rent one of the B&B's canoes
      Check prices
    • Hotel Cannero 55 rooms from £105

      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.

      Foodies  -  Exquisite lakeside terrace for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
      Views  -  Magnifcent views overlooking Lake Maggiore.
      Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
      Check prices
    • Hotel Verbano 12 rooms from £132

      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.

      Views  -  All the rooms have stunning views over Lake Maggiore
      Romantic Break
      Recommended by  -  Frommers, CN Traveller
      Check prices
    • La Contrada dei Monti 17 rooms from £79

      Orta San Giulio, Lake Orta

      Located along a cobbled Piedmont lane provides a traditional stay in this historic town. Bright rooms are decorated in yellows and period pieces with terracotta tiles, exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings. Local and continental food can be enjoyed indoors or in the sun. Do note there is no wifi.

      Sights nearby  -  Visit the Sacri Monti churches, a colleciton of 16th and 17th century churches.
      Sailing  -  Take a boat to San Giulio island and visit the Romanesque basilica.
      Great walks  -  Along the ancient footpath at the Sacro Monte.
      Check prices
    • Hotel Il Giardinetto 59 rooms from £72

      Pettenasco Novara, Lake Orta

      Fantastic restaurant with charming rooms on the water of Lake Orta. Gourmet food on romantic terraces, sun decks overhanging the lake, pastel rooms with wonderful views over the lake. A romantic choice for an authentic Italian break.

      Views  -  Great views from hotel
      Romantic Break
      Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
      Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
      Check prices
    • Hotel RivaLago 32 rooms from £119

      Sulzano, Lake Iseo

      Set in the quiet village of Sulzano on Lake Iseo, bedrooms are comfortable, airy and decorated with elegant colours. Some rooms and suites have private balconies with lake views. Organise daily activities and excursions from the hotel or relax by the pool and private beach.

      Active Holiday  -  The hotel will help organise all your excursions - from watersports to trekking and cycling
      Romantic Break  -  Stunning suites with lake views
      Views  -  Stunning lake views
      Diving  -  Available nearby
      Check prices

Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Tuesday, 13th September 2016
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