The fireworks from Varenna’s annual Festival of the Lake were in full flow by the time we polished off the last of Chef Dario’s pretty impressive peach and caprine-cheese mousse dessert.
We just had time to take a couple of macchiatos out to 7 Park’s terrace and enjoy the festival grand finale, surprisingly in view considering Varenna is halfway up Lake Como close to Bellagio and we were at the north end in Colico.
Seven Park Hotel & Spa is a privately-owned luxury boutique property hugging a generous portion of Lake Como’s glorious lake front and just a stone’s throw from Colico’s main square
It’s a lovely part of Como, far enough away from the crowded tourist haunts to feel you have Italy’s signature lake to yourself. The River Adda, Lake Como’s main tributary is practically on the doorstep, as is the famed Sentiero Valtellina trail; a 118 kilometre paved pathway leading up towards the river’s source near Bormio. Either a wonderful bike ride or for the more adventurous, a very long, but glorious river walk.
Seven Park is sleek and modern, the white decor almost Swiss clinical, which is no bad thing when you consider wellbeing is such an integral part of the hotel’s offering. The reception and public areas are minimalist chic with plenty of window space to celebrate the epic landscape and the hotel’s two outdoor pools are never more than a few steps away.
All 32 guestrooms are more or less the same; comfortable modern white spaces with a dash of colour contrast in the bed throws and pillows. They all have covered outdoor patio decks with comfortable couches and chairs leading out to a generous lawn. The only real difference is the position; a garden, pool or lake view. My Superior Lake Room was ideal; a corner room with patio doors on each side, panoramic views and almost within touching distance of the Lake Como.
Faced with such a glorious setting, and the spiritual wellbeing of everything Seven (the clue is in the name) , I wanted to make sure my ying and yang were perfectly in tune with my surroundings, so naturally, a visit to the spa and wellness centre was in order. A Turkish bath and sauna and salt chamber sessions were gratefully received, whilst a densely populated list of therapies were available to make my mind and body sparkle. Swathed in a robe on a bed in the relaxation room, I sipped on herbal water and mentally prepared myself for the coming dinner.
The restaurant is the domain of Dario Colombo, a talented young Italian chef who spent more than a few years learning his craft in a Michelin starred kitchen in London. Most of Dario’s dishes are driven by produce from local farms and cooperatives so the emphasis is a welcome blend of regional Italian with a modern twist. And a different menu every night.
And it was indeed a memorable culinary journey, from the fennel cream soup starter with curry oil, toasted hazelnuts and fenchelcreme to the mascarpone cheese mousse, green tomato and black olive dessert. And everything else in-between. Four courses and with a choice of three dishes in each, even the trickiest of palates would be satisfied.
Seven Park’s beach bar is well-known in Colico as the weekend hang out for the great and good party crowd, mainly because it’s about as near as you can get to Lake Como without getting wet. More than enough reason to round off an epic dinner with a cocktail or two.
Seven Park Hotel & Spa is a perfect retreat if you want to escape the Como crowds (although there is a regular ferry service to all the hot spots from Colico) or use it as your luxury base to explore the nearby mountain towns and valleys.
Tell me more about the Seven Park Hotel & Spa
Seven Park Hotel & Spa, Via Montecchio Nord, 21/A | 23823 Colico
Tel: +39 0341 1653004
Room rates from €120 half board.
The hotel is owned by Ross and Doriana Wheildon who also own and run Hotel Britannia, a three star historic hotel directly opposite Bellagio in Cadenabbia. Unusually for this region, Hotel Britannia has an all-inclusive tariff and an impressive floating pool directly on Lake Como.
EasyJet operates regular flights to Milan from London Gatwick and it takes around an hour by road to Colico.
Getting to London Gatwick Airport:
Gatwick Express, the non-stop rail-air service between Victoria station and Gatwick Airport, departs every 15 minutes with a journey time of 30 minutes. Gatwick Express is the fastest and best way to travel between central London and Gatwick Airport with return tickets starting from £27.40. With an ongoing 10% discount, it is always cheaper to buy your ticket online