As I stood on my incredible balcony at the Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa, overlooking the beautiful swimming pool and lush Mediterranean gardens in the heat of the midday sun, I felt instantly ready for my weekend at Lake Garda.
I’d just arrived after the short journey from Verona to Lake Garda, checked into my comfortable room at the hotel and naturally being in Italy, food was at the top of my agenda. We made our way to the hotel’s Benacus restaurant where I had the most incredible creamy spaghetti carbonara with smoky bacon and loads of parmesan, a huge plate of juicy line-caught pike that was straight from the lake and plenty of local Lugano white wine.
After lunch we decamped to the enormous L-shaped pool, surrounded by sumptuous greenery, where we basked on stylish sun loungers and took full advantage of the fabulous Gazebo bar which served up plenty of refreshing Hugos, made from prosecco, elderflower syrup and sprigs of mint.
For me the best part of Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa Resort is definitely its location. Situated right on the shores of Lake Garda, the hotel is perfectly positioned to explore the surrounding areas, which are full of vineyards and cultural sights, and is only an hour’s drive away from the enchanting city of Verona. And the lake! With gorgeous villas dotted high among the picturesque dark green mountains which hug the stony shoreline, Lake Garda is incredibly beautiful and has some of the most stunning views in the world.
The best way to explore the lake is by boat. We spent a day on deck enjoying the incredible views and stopping off to investigate the charming port villages scattered on the lakeside. We got off at the town of Gardone for a decadent lunch of seafood and pasta at the Grand Hotel Gardone before taking a guided tour of the opulent Il Vittoriale degli Italiani, which was owned by the infamous poet Gabriele d’Annunzio and features beautiful grounds, his awesome house and a WW1 light cruiser built into the mountainside!
If you’re looking for something closer to home, it is only a 15 minute stroll from Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa Resort to Bardolino, a bijou town with a bustling marina, cute shops and delicious ice cream parlours. And while Lake Garda does not have the most buzzing night life, Bardolino is full of little bars where you can sit back, admire the Lake views and sup on a few Aperol Spritz well into the night.
With such a good price point, great restaurants and a phenomenal spa which features the only Ayurvedic centre in Italy, the Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa Resort is the perfect base for exploring the Lake Garda region.
For more information visit hotelcaesiusterme.com
Thomson Lakes (thomsonlakes.co.uk; tel: 0208 939 0704) offers a week’s halfboard at the four-star Hotel Caesius Thermae Spa in Bardolino on Lake Garda from £979 per person (based on two sharing) – save £120 – including flights from Gatwick and transfers. Direct flights from all major UK airports available.