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Review: CastaDiva Resort & Spa, Blevio in Italy

CastaDiva Resort & Spa, Blevio in Italy

The winding roads are charming, after the flat highways, when you reach Lake Como. As we go up the slopes, I try to catch a glimpse of the serene lake as our car moves quickly on the narrow lanes. The late afternoon sun lends a soft glow to the homes on the lakeside, and the blue waters of the lake. With such an idyllic setting, it justifies actor George Clooney choosing a house at Lake Como.

As we reach CastaDiva Resort and spa, it’s not an automatic entry. A security guard checks if we have reservations, as we wait we reverse the car to allow a few swanky cars leaving the property, and I just can’t wait to have a look at this uber deluxe property; that was once an Italian mansion that hosted some of the best parties to the elite.

We enter and drive down almost to the lake, into the reception, where we are welcomed. It’s a royal reception with a large oil portrait of a beautiful lady; (later I get to know that she is Madame Ribier) purple and violet decor, classic style sofas and flower arrangements. Welcome to CastaDiva Resort and Spa.

 A portrait of Madame Ribier in the entrance lobby
A portrait of Madame Ribier in the entrance lobby

A resort with a glorious past

The history of CastaDiva resort goes back to the early 19th century. Villa Roccabruna, the main building was named “Casino Ribiere” from the name of its owner, Madame Ribier, who was a French lady. She was a dressmaker with a ‘reputation’. The second owner was soprano singer Giuditta Pasta bought the villa in 1827 with the first money she earned as a singer, and renamed it to Villa Roda. She would entertain famous artists, writers, singers and composers here like Vincenzo Bellini e Gaetano Donizetti.
Till date, the property has retained it’s glory.

After checking in, we wait to be ushered to our rooms, little knowing the opulence that awaits us. While the main property is retained in it’s classic style, the suites and rooms around are in a more modern, chic style. As I check into Donabella, it’s a building with suites, I am pleasantly surprised at the splendour. I enter into a large living room that overlooks the lake, with a television with your name on it’s screen to welcome you. An open kitchenette with a microwave, hobs and cutlery and a dining table, leads to the bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom. A super pleasant surprise is the complimentary Prosecco!

The bedroom overlooks the lake, and a balcony runs right through from the living room to the bedroom, for those who want to enjoy the outdoors.

A suite with a private pool
A suite with a private pool

What I least expected was the luxurious bathroom. Located next to the walk in closet, it was done up in gold and bronze theme, it was sprawling. A shower place with a waterfall shower and overhead shower, a large oval tub for two and the counter has two basins, gold tiled flooring, full length mirrors and the waste bin was gold too!!!

After a glass of Prosecco, I decide to explore the property. Call for a buggy, unless you are adventurous to walk up and down the slopes, dotted with dense vegetation. For a taste of indulgence, check into the Villa Amina and Villa Norma have their own lake terraces and are situated at a height that allows them to have a panoramic view. The suite Fiordiligi is sprawling with it’s own private lake terrace with private pool; while there are suites with lake view/garden view/junior suite, penthouse suite; CastaDiva suite and villa suite. If you are indulgent, check into the Villa Amina or Villa Norma that has an outdoor Jacuzzi and private lake garden. The interiors are luxe!

Licorice cream, dried figs and nuts biscuit
Licorice cream, dried figs and nuts biscuit

Dine in style

Meals times are indulgent! Not only are the dishes a fusion of flavours, but the presentation is a work of art.

The Orangerie (restaurant) has menus for 2016 created by Chef Gennaro Esposito (2 Michelin Stars) and Massimiliano Mandozzi, Resident Executive Chef. During the nights, the soft lights and glass walls and impeccable service make it truly romantic. Each course is a delight, presented beautifully. For starters, we had the Tomatoes cannolo, scampi and orange; followed by Tortelli chesse and black pepper with sea urchins; White lake fish, beetroot fagottini, horseradish and beer and rounded off our meal with Licorice cream, dried figs and nuts biscuit.

The Bellini Bar is at the reception level offers light meals, salads and snacks. The classic seating, the grand piano make for a picturesque setting. With its unique list of single malts and selected spirits, a rich selection of traditional cocktails and CastaDiva exclusives, Bar Bellini is also the perfect location for a sunset aperitif. Outdoor terrace overlooking Lake Como open from May to September. For super exclusivity check out the “il Giardino dei Sapori”, a glamorous room with private terrace – under a glass dome!
by a ass dome with unparallel views on Lake Como,

One of the fine desserts - carrot cake
A delicious carrot cake

Add to this, the Spa which offers treatments and massages specifically created for the property; the Wellness centre which offers Finnish sauna, Mediterrean bath, Hammam, aromatherapy and cromotherapy, vertical Kneipp, sensory showers, ice cascade and much more.

Take a Yatch ride to the picturesque little village of Bellagio, for a day picnic. On the way, you can spot the famous Villa Cassinella owned by Richard Branson and the Villa Balbianello where the film Casino Royale was shot. And of course, the yatch will slow down and even stop for you to have a look at George Clooney’s massive mansion! That’s Lake Como for you….

Address: Via Enrico Caronti, 69, 22020 Blevio CO, Italy / +39 031 32511