Located on the shores of the most romantic lake in the world, Villa d’Este is much more than a hotel, it is a destination in itself. Set in Cernobbio, at the foot of the Italian Alps, near Italy’s silk and fashion capitals, Como and Milan, it beckons you to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and indulge in the dolce vita lifestyle.
Originally built in 1568 as the summer residence of the wealthy Cardinal of Como, over the years it has been home to many aristocrats before finally being purchased in 1815 by Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales and wife of King George the IV of England.
The Villa was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873 and quickly became the destination of choice for European aristocracy. Now celebrating 150 years of grand hotel tradition with a philosophy rooted in exceptional guest service, Villa d’Este is still the jewel in the crown of international hospitality.
Its 152 guest rooms and suites are divided between two stately palaces: the Cardinal Building and the Queen’s Pavilion. Each room is individually and lavishly decorated with covetable antiques, marble bathrooms, and oil paintings. The hotel also boasts 4 stunning private villas, all located in the estate’s luscious 25-acre garden.
In this spectacular and glamorous place, the origins of the Concorso d’Eleganza are to be found. Back in 1929, Villa d’Este gave birth to what was soon considered the most important and stylish car event in the aristocratic world. The fame of the venue, coupled with the backdrop provided by the gardens of Villa d’Este and the quality of the vehicles on show, immediately elevated the profile of this event above similar shows.
In 1995, after a long period of absence due to the Second World War, Villa d’Este relaunched the Concorso d’Eleganza for the modern day by signing a partnership with BMW Group Classic in 1999, forever marking the event as the most coveted Concours d’Elegance in the world.