Filario, Lake Como, Italy

A refreshingly modern departure from Lake Como’s grand-dame hotels, Filario draws a fashion-forward crowd with its prime shoreside location, design-oriented rooms and a deathly good tobacco-infused chocolate mousse delivered straight to your bed.

to a bounty of ultra-chic and achingly modern boutiques
and bigger hotels cropping up on its shores, Lake
draws lovers of futuristic design, state-of-the-art
technology and second-to-none hospitality. Among this abundance of
glass-and-concrete stays, nowhere is more epically debonair than

Perched on the eastern banks, Filario is a mere five-minute walk
from Lezzeno ferry stop (or 15 minutes, if you’re taking into
account carrying luggage, the afternoon heat and stopping for
photographs – the views here are astounding). This design hotel is
so surprisingly cool that, on entering, as a well-storied hostess
pours an acqua frizzante, you may forget you’re in such a quaint
and wild nature hotspot. Filario’s modern take on luxury is
refreshing compared to nearby hotels that are all drapes and white
tuxes. How did such a space-age lair pop up on this hill? It’s all
angular, muted tones and a slate palette. Nevertheless, our welcome
is anything but cold, and we’re whisked along a corridor, into a
lift and to a suite of newfangled bachelor-pad heights.


The serenity at Filario is like that of a spa throughout, from
the pool to the restaurant and, of course, the bedrooms. With fader
lights, flat-screen TVs and slate bathrooms, our room showcases
subtle yet brilliant attention to detail – earthy materials and
organic products contrast with polished steel and glass with
sliding doors that open onto a high-up terrace with quite possibly
the best view you’ll get during any Como-ver.

What’s for breakfast?

I can’t lie, we left the hotel for San Giovanni well before the
crack of dawn, with bellies full of fruits de la lago from the
night before, and therefore skipped the breakfast spread in favour
of a to-go paper bag arranged by the concierge. Our long train ride
back to London was fuelled by glistening apples, hard-boiled eggs
and peach juice. I have it on good authority that Filario’s
breakfast spread is impressive, fresh and just the right amount of
decadent, though scaled down from the offerings of some of the
local grand-dame hotels that populate the lake’s shores. I
recommend saving yourself for burrata, fig and carpaccio

What about lunch and dinner?

Fettucine with blue lobster; risotto with candied lemon; grilled
mackerel salad – such wonders are available from midday and best
enjoyed waterside, as is the delightful tasting menu. Come dusk, as
the sky turned salmon pink, my guest and I slid along the chilly,
air-conditioned corridors and onto the lake-facing terrace for
dinner at Filo restaurant. Eclectic food pairings including
scallops with hazelnut butter, raw prawns and datterini tomatoes,
cuttlefish gnocchi and squid ink shone even brighter thanks to
pairings with natural orange wines.

Is there a bar?

Yes – an attentive mixologist will whip up a whole host of
aperitifs and concoctions. Having to leave early in the morning, we
restrained, but we were nevertheless enthralled by the bar staff’s


Rooms have everything a guest can expect and then some. We
watched a slow sunset twinkling on the water as kayakers paddled
north to south. Beautiful Filario-branded kayaks are free for hire
from the hotel’s private beach, where four-poster cushioned sun
loungers offer shade from the rays. An infinity pool sits just
beyond. There’s a gym, local bike hire plus private yoga classes on
request – concierge will make all the arrangements.

Things I should know

A tobacco-infused chocolate mousse and peaches with white
chocolate ice cream and pinot noir can be delivered to your room.
They’re deathly good. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Within a short walk I can find

The air is crystal clear up here. Wander around the beautiful
old cemetery nearby – it rivals the more famous graveyard in Laglio
(the town across the water, where the Clooneys spend their

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