Situated on the shores of Lake Maggiore, this fabulous hotel is located in the picturesque Italian town of Stresa. And, it fits my idea of a “Grand Hotel” in every way – palatial, elegant, and full of history.
The Grand Hotel Borromees dates back to the mid 1800’s when the Olmarini brothers purchased a few pieces of land near Isola Bella. These young men came from a family of hoteliers and had traveled throughout Europe working as hotel chefs; they dreamed of building a fine hotel. In 1861 building commenced on this “Grand Hotel. This was the very same year that the reign of Italy was proclaimed. Their initial investment was 1,2000,000 lire to create the “Società Unione dei Grandi Alberghi.” Finally, in March of 1863 the hotel opened. Immediately, royalty, statesmen, and business tycoons became the hotel’s main clientele.
Gradually, the hotel was enlarged – a new wing here, a bigger verandah there. It even managed to stay open during World War I. Following the war, its luxury European clientele began to reappear. In the fall of 1918, Ernest Hemingway appeared in Stresa and, subsequently, used the hotel for part of the setting for Farewell to Arms. (There is a Hemingway Suite at the hotel.) Thus, the hotel gained international fame.
During, and after the next world war, the hotel had many setbacks. It was first occupied by German troops and then American soldiers. C.I.G.A. had bought the hotel from the Olmarini family prior to the first world war and 70 years later sold the Grand Hotel Borromees to a group of local hoteliers.
Since 1990, this group has made sure the magnificent hotel has been restored to its original glory. Today it caters to upscale leisure travelers, weddings and honeymooners and business people who hold meetings on the resort.
Its rooms boast every modern amenity, yet still keep the ambiance of the period. Bathrooms are large and feature multi-colored marbles. Many rooms have balconies, some with a lake view, and, others, with views of the park.All rooms have a safe, internet access and LCD TV. They offer some suites that are just under 2600 square feet.
There is a full service spa, a large swimming pool and the grounds are breathtaking. This spectacular hotel is one of the few in the area that is open year-round. Several golf courses are nearby. Their restaurant changes its menu daily and boasts many awards.
Please call us at 559-324-8150 so we can help plan an extraordinary vacation to the Grand Hotel des Iles Bprromees.