By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Poets, writers, aristocrats and romantics have been visiting Italy’s Lake Garda for centuries. While there are plenty of lush villas lining the lake’s verdant shores, surprisingly, its first 5 star resort only opened its doors to the public in 2008.
The Lefay Resort and Spa is the jewel in the crown of the Lefay Resorts Collection, and is also a partner of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Healing Hotels of the World, the Virtuoso and Kiwi Collection.
Located specifically in Gargnano, this superior resort is completely immersed in nature, surrounded by gentle hills and natural terraces rich in olive trees and woods overlooking the lake. Husband and wife team Alcide and Liliana Leali opened the hotel with the aim of not only making it the epitome of luxury hospitality, but of environmental sustainability too.
The design and construction of the hotel was carefully planned to minimise waste and use local materials as much as possible, as well as employing renewable and alternative energy sources. In fact, over 90% of the hotel’s energy comes from green sources, and 60% of all electricity is generated on site at the hotel itself.
The rooms have been designed according to an innovative concept that brings the emotion of nature into the room, each with a large terrace and a wonderful lake view. Natural fabrics, rich materials such as Italian marbles, olive wood and Italian walnut provide guests with those little luxuries that make them the centre of great attention.
But it’s not just the rooms that are sustainable–the spa and restaurant are too.
All food is locally sourced, and in the case of certain herbs, vegetables and olives, grown on the site itself. The result is a fresh, deliciously simple Italian cuisine, fragrant with local mushrooms, ripe tomatoes and crunchy pistachios, for example. One unique and wonderful feature is the juicer, which allows guests to prepare their own morning drinks from pre-washed fruit and vegetables. Bliss.
The spa offers a varied menu of treatments as well as a sauna, steam room and tepidarium, but we would recommend the La Luna nel Lago saltwater lake experience. Guests immerse themselves in a salt water universe carved out of mountain rock to enjoy the tranquility of a private flotation session, complete with La Luna–a large globe emulating moonlight.
Toiletries and spa products are all generously dispensed and are, of course, organic, based on herbal, vegetable and floral ingredients.
So sustainable and natural is this hotel in every aspect that the Lefay has won many awards for their eco-efforts, including the Good Green Design Award in 2013. The prize was accepted with great pride by Liliana, who states: “This is further proof that our constant effort to fulfil eco-compatible standard, in line with our company’s philosophy, has been accomplished…we receive the Green Good Design Award with utter joy.”
And we receive the pleasures of the Lefay Resort and Spa with utter joy, too.
For more information about the hotel, please click here.