From £422.53
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This elegant Moorish palace on beautiful little Lake Orta is a striking sight, with its delicate arabesque patterns and dazzling minaret glistening in the sun. The sumptuous interiors are all glittering chandeliers and marble columns, while its superb two Michelin-starred restaurant is run by Italy's much-loved celebrity chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo.

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Rooms available from £422.53 per night

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Your expert reviewer

Kiki Deere
Hotel expert
Kiki Deere is a freelance travel writer who contributes to a wide range of newspapers and magazines.



Located in Orta San Giulio, a gorgeous medieval village that is the main attraction of the lake. You're about a 15-minute walk from the centre on a relatively busy road that leads into town, although once you step inside the property it feels secluded and peaceful.

By plane: direct flights from London (under 2 hours) and Manchester (2 hours 15 minutes) to Milan Malpensa. The hotel is an hour's drive from the airport. Free on-site parking available. Book flights to Milan.

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This striking villa was built in 1879 by cotton merchant Christopher Benigno Crespi, who decided to build a villa on the lake that would remind him of the architecture of Baghdad. Complete with minaret, the sumptuous villa has marble columns, period furniture and elaborate stucco motifs. It attracts an Italian Maserati- and Lamborghini-driving crowd, along with a smattering of international guests.


Cinzia and her husband Antonino Cannavacciuolo often greet guests personally, which adds a warm and welcoming touch to a business they have both poured heart and soul into. Facilities are limited (the restaurant attracts the bulk of the clientele), although there's a pleasant garden area at the back of the property where you can sit back and relax with a drink in hand. Plenty of activities can be organised, from cooking classes to heli tours, and there's a small wellness room for beauty treatments and massages.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Spa
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


Named after Arab princesses, rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished. Some are decorated in warm shades of gold and blue, others in reds and pinks, with polished parquet floors and silky rich fabrics. With four poster beds, they're rather grand yet cosy, with marble bathrooms stocked with Etro amenities.

Room types: Classic, Deluxe, Junior Suite, Executive Suite, Premium Suite, Master Suite

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, luxury bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer, TV, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi


Antonino Cannavacciuolo is one of Italy's most celebrated chefs, crafting exquisite dishes that combine northern and southern Italian flavours. The set Carpe Diem menu provides diners with a taste of Cannavacciuolo's cuisine, while his Italian Journey from South to North menu features bold, Mediterranean dishes with southern Italian influences. Enjoy a pre-prandial drink on the terrace looking out towards the lake; on rainy days, you can sip a drink at the lounge by the restaurant.

Restaurant: two Michelin-starred restaurant, tasting menu and à la carte. Mains from 60€.

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