We arrived at Filario hotel after a 4 a.m. wake up call, two planes and a quite bumpy car ride that lasted forever. The minute we crossed the hotel’s door, our suitcases disappeared, we were guided to a little, lovely terrace and suddenly the Lake Como was sparkling in front of us in all its splendor. Everything was blue, fresh and smelled like camellias and sunshine. From that moment on, there was nothing but relaxation, excitement and the feeling of being in another world, a better one.
There’s something you have to know about Filario hotel, member of Design Hotels: it will make you forget everything else. It exudes serenity, it makes you slow down and we are pretty sure that somehow Filario hotel makes time stop. It could be the magnificent views, the silence just broken by birds and bells in the distance, the light breeze, the unique scent of the hotel… In some way your senses awake yet you feel motionless, lost into the beauty of the lake and the calmness of the atmosphere.
The hotel had opened the night before and we noticed that all the staff was absolutely happy about the season that had started. There was this vibrant feeling of new beginnings. From the reception to the restaurant, the service was exquisite in the friendliest way. We were given the best advice to explore the lake: plans were printed, calls were made and taxis booked so that our stay, not only in the hotel but in the area, could be as fantastic as possible. This is a hotel where you don’t feel afraid to ask, quite the opposite.
To be honest, our favourite part of the days we spent in the lake was the couple of hours that we would spent every day in our terrace, overlooking the lake. After a whole day exploring we would go back to the hotel, have a shower, put on the white, fluffy bath robes and sit in our terrace to enjoy the perfect weather and the breathtaking views. I would try to write my travel diary and she would try to read, but we both would be so captivated by the landscape that we just stared. We would stare at the profile of Lezzeno to our right: charming sorbet coloured houses, a bell tower and the mountains. And we would stare at the silky, calm water in front of us, the green and ochre opposite shore of the lake, the evergreen Isola Comacina and the incredibly beautiful Villa del Balbianello. That terrace felt like a sanctuary: protected from the wind and rain (we witnessed a terrible storm one night) and safe. The perfect vantage point to see the lake waking up to Spring after a dark Winter.
And since that terrace was too perfect to miss, our best tip when booking your stay at Filario hotel would be to choose one of the Deluxe Rooms with terrace. They have the most breathtaking views over the lake, they are huge (from 45 to 55 m2), beautifully decorated with dark wood and touches of the softest mint colour and the bathroom has the most perfect rainfall shower. We even had a walk-in closet in our room, perfectly designed to organize your things and feel tidy and prepared for your stay. The only thing we can point out as not absolutely perfect is the lighting. In an attempt to continue with the relaxing vibes and cosy atmosphere, the lightning was very dim and subtle. We could have used a brighter lighting… but please note that we are both shot-sighted!
And, of course, we have to talk about our dining experiences. We dined twice at the charming hotel’s bistró that doubles as breakfast room in the mornings. We had a little table on the terrace (this hotel is always emphasising it’s privileged position over the lake) where we would have delicious Italian dinners at night and power breakfasts in the morning. The staff would always book the same table for us and that felt very good, like we were regulars and appreciated. Make sure you are hungry before dinner at Filario because the portions are generous! We ordered the most amazing cold meats and cheese plate as a starter one night and it could have easily been our whole dinner! A stunning assortment of local produce, where the salami and smoked Scamorza cheese where our favourites. We also had flavorful pasta dishes, of course, but we have to recommend choosing fish based dishes over anything else because they were beyond incredible: fresh, delicate and rich at the same time. And make sure you wash everything down with the local chardonnay! One night we had the most amazing zuppa inglese dessert, with delicious chewy yet crunchy meringue. A special mention to the amuse bouche courtesy of the chef: outstanding every time!
And since we are slow-paced breakfasts lovers, we absolutely loved our breakfasts in the bistró terrace. We specially loved one morning, when it started raining and the air was a tad chilly, but we were so warm and felt so relaxed watching the lake and the mountains come to live while we sipped our strong, foamy capuccini. The atmosphere was a little bit melancholic, but the scent of the flowers was intense, the sun was struggling to come out behind the clouds and we had fruit plates, brown bread toasts, ham and the most fragrant extra virgin olive oil in front of us. A simple breakfast that highlighted the quality of the produce. Just what we love. However, if you have a sweet tooth you can’t miss the homemade apple cake and the tiny, flaky croissants. And for those who love heartier breakfasts, the bistró offers eggs and omelettes to order.
Our experience in Filario hotel couldn’t have been better, honestly. Well, maybe if the weather had been nicer we could have enjoyed its beautiful pool and little shingle beach! When we booked our stay we were a bit worried that such a modern hotel would miss the sense of place that we always look for when choosing our accommodation. But the hotel just looks at the lake, emphasises it, embraces it and literally turns its back on the rest of the world. Here the sense of place is not given by decor, colours or architecture. The sense of place is given by nature itself. And in addition to this sense of place, there is this inherent sense of space, difficult to explain: these beautiful, open spots to sit down and admire the surroundings, lots of space in the rooms, no unnecessary nonsenses… Somehow you have everything you can wish for, but you don’t see it at first and you don’t even need it. Everything is subtle. And, again, there is this feeling of calmness and the tremendous beauty of the lake. Time seems slower but it’s actually filled with lots of sensations, feelings and things to do, just like the lake seems motionless but it’s full of life.