When you book a house near a lake, you know that a view will be guaranteed
VILLA PASSALACQUA, ITALY
Follow in the footsteps of George and Amal Clooney and wake up to a view of Lake Como. This 18th-century private home has now been transformed into a boutique hotel. The fresco-filled Suite Bellini with its Murano chandeliers and piano takes top billing. But if you want to inch even closer to the lake you can book into Casa Al Lago, which is shaded by pine trees and offers an uninterrupted view of the water. During the day you can play a game of tennis on its clay court, or enjoy a masterclass with the chef, and in the evening you can watch a movie under the stars in its outdoor cinema. A boat is also available for you to take a jaunt on if you want to tour the surrounds. Take a picnic and discover those Hollywood boltholes. However, you don’t have to travel far to see celebrities. Hollywood newlyweds Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were spotted enjoying lunch on the Villa Passalacqua terrace during their honeymoon.
KAYA MAWA, MALAWI
Travel to the shores of Lake Malawi to find a barefoot luxury lodge that you’ll want to return to again and again. The eco-friendly Kaya Mawa is so determined to blend into the landscape that some of its 11 suites and bathrooms are even set into the rocks. It’s the blueprint for getaways that want to think more sustainably. From the sofas made from upcycled old dhows to powered by renewable energy. But this doesn’t mean that it’s missing those little luxuries. Think suites with private plunge pools and private dinners on your terrace. Those looking for adventure take an SUP out onto the lake, ride an electric mountain bike or book a scuba diving adventure. While those who are seeking the quiet life, can book a massage in the al fresco spa or enjoy a picnic of grilled fish and chilled wine on the shoreline.
MOUNT COOK LAKESIDE RETREAT, NEW ZEALAND
Throw open the French doors of your villa to be treated to views of Aoraki/Mount Cook’s snow-topped peaks and the crystal-clear water of Lake Pukaki in New Zealand. This is truly a place where you can get away from it all as this 150-acre property is home to just three two-bedroom villas. Those who love to be pampered should book the Ashley Mackenzie Villa, which comes with private use of the Fantail Spa. You can step inside the sauna, enjoy a massage or step into the hot tub that looks over the water. This is a place that likes to embrace its surrounds, and that stretches to the star-filled skies, as the lakeside retreat also has an observatory where you can get the best view of the dark sky reserve. What’s even better is each private stargazing event starts with a tour of the adjoining wine cellar.
VILLA PALOPO, GUATEMALA
Perched on the mountainside overlooking Lake Atitlan is the newly renovated Casa Palopo hotel. However, villa fans should tip-toe 150 steps above it to find the Villa Palopo. This three-bedroom hideaway features mahogany three-poster beds, bathrooms with lake views and a cosy lounge with a fireplace. It also has a kitchen, but you might not ever get to see it as the villa also comes with a chef and butler. When you step out of the doors into the garden, you’ll find an infinity pool and hot tub as well as a terrace where you can enjoy a 180-degree view of the mountains and the lake. When it gets cooler at night and you still don’t want to go indoors, you can relax upon the soft couches in the gazebo and stay warm by the roaring brick fire.
MANDALAY LAKE, SRI LANKA
And relax… This Bawa-inspired hideaway can be found on the shores of Koggala Lake in Sri Lanka. Galle, whale watching trips and surfing can be found just a short drive away, but why would you want to leave? The three-bedroom villa set in landscaped grounds includes a sleep pavilion and another pavilion for dining. You will be in no doubt which room is the main bedroom, particularly as it stretches the entire length of the top of the house and contains a bed of Guinness World Record proportions. When you are not relaxing in your suite or upon a lounger by the lake, the villa’s private chef will serve you local dishes in the dining pavilion that looks over the pool. Or if you are looking for something more romantic you can choose to walk to the edge of the palm-tree fringed garden and enjoy dinner under the stars on a floating pontoon.