Lake Como, with its stunning landscapes and elegant atmosphere, is a sought-after destination for many, making it a top choice for creating unforgettable events and incentive trips.
Nestled in the picturesque Italian Alps, Lake Como offers a treasure trove of world-class venues, breathtaking activities, and culinary delights that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your clients and spark inspiration among your attendees. In this destination guide, our aim is to provide you with a tailored list of venues and memorable experiences that will undoubtedly make your event a resounding success.
When it comes to Lake Como’s exceptional venues, here are our recommendations:
Sheraton Lake Como With its blend of modernity and elegance, Sheraton Lake Como is an ideal choice for conferences, meetings and incentive trips. Its state-of-the-art event spaces can comfortably accommodate large groups, providing a versatile setting that offers a contemporary contrast to the Renaissance-style prevalent in the region. Set within its private park on the iconic Lake Como, this hotel boasts 137 first-class guest rooms, a swimming pool, a solarium, and a selection of fantastic dining options. Additionally, it offers 12 meeting spaces that can hold up to 1,025 people, as well as a state-of-the-art auditorium to meet all your MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) needs.
Hilton Lake Como Hilton Lake Como seamlessly marries contemporary design with timeless elegance. Having stayed here in 2023 for the M&I Forum, we can confirm that the panoramic views of the lake from its rooftop restaurant, bar, and infinity pool are gorgeous. Situated on the lakefront, only 15 minutes from the city center and a convenient 3-minute walk from Como San Giovanni train station, it also features the Eforea spa & health club, which includes an indoor pool, Finnish sauna, hot tub, and Turkish bath. With 8 meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 300 guests, including a spacious 233 sqm pillar-free ballroom with direct access to an outdoor terrace, Hilton Lake Como is an excellent choice for your event.
Grand Hotel Imperiale A historic gem that retains its original 1920s Art Nouveau architecture, the Grand Hotel Imperiale offers charming gardens and event spaces, making it a boutique gem for intimate events and executive meetings. Located on the western side of the lake, the hotel benefits from the convenience of boats docking just 55 yards from its doorstep, allowing for easy access to nearby Como and other areas around the lake. It offers 121 rooms and 10 meeting spaces, accommodating up to 300 guests.
Palace Hotel Situated on the waterfront of Lake Como, Palace Hotel offers a luxurious and exclusive atmosphere for events. The opulent interiors and stunning lake views create an unforgettable setting for your guests. This characterful hotel is divided between two main wings—the central Plinius wing, characterized by its grandiose Belle Époque lake frontage, and the adjacent Pianella wing, which houses the restaurant and breakfast room. Both sections offer breathtaking lake views. Palace Hotel features 94 refined rooms, a fine dining restaurant offering traditional Italian cuisine, a garden bar with a view of the lake, and 4 event spaces to cater to your meetings and events.
Villa Erba Villa Erba is a prestigious venue with a rich history and extensive grounds. This elegant villa is perfect for grand galas, product launches, and corporate events, offering a unique fusion of tradition and sophistication. The villa’s exclusive lakefront location, magnificent 18th-century architecture and vast manicured lawns and botanical park make it a highly desirable venue. The villa comprises a beautiful manicured lawn, a large lakeside terrace, ornately decorated dining rooms, and a grand hall complete with a stone staircase and viewing balconies. Fun fact: In 2004, the building and grounds were used as a filming location for the movie Ocean’s Twelve, and in early 2005, American singer Gwen Stefani shot the music video for her 2005 single, Cool, on the villa’s grounds. With its vast parkland, panoramic views of the lake and versatile event spaces, it has become a sought-after space for MICE events. Its flexible facilities can cater to intimate groups as well as large gatherings. The Convention Centre, designed by architect Mario Bellini, with its glass and steel architecture, inspired by the design of the old Larian greenhouses, is nestled within the park. The building, with its over 10,000 square-meter area, features a circular pavilion and three different wings, which can host more than 500 stands. It also offers 28 meeting rooms with a capacity of 50 to 1,500 seats.
Villa d’Este For the ultimate luxury experience, Villa d’Este is an unrivaled choice. This 16th-century 5-star villa boasts opulent decor and lush gardens, making it ideal for high-profile events, executive retreats and incentive trips. The hotel sits within extensive private grounds in a stunning lakefront location. The stately gardens are beautiful, with magnificent fountains, grand terraces, and trimmed topiary; 19th-century mock fortifications on the hillside offer lovely lake vistas. Villa d’Este is one of the world’s few grand hotels that is still family-run, and many members of the staff have worked here for years. The facilities are exceptional, offering a wide range of activities, from an indoor swimming pool and fitness room to a golf simulator and squash court. Outdoors, you’ll find eight tennis courts, a putting green, a floating pool on the lake and hiking trails that crisscross the grounds. The renowned Villa d’Este golf club is just eight miles away. The 152 rooms of Villa d’Este are located both in the Cardinal Building (125 rooms) and the Queen’s Pavilion (27 rooms). There are eleven rooms suitable for a range of events, from conferences to banquets, with a capacity for up to 400 guests.
Now that you’ve sorted your accommodations and venues, let’s explore the exciting activities Lake Como has to offer for your group.
Here are our top five ideas for break-out activities or incentive events around Lake Como:
1. Water Adventures Lake Como, with its crystal-clear waters and serene ambiance, offers a wide range of water-based activities that cater to both adventure enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil experience. Water-skiing and windsurfing provide an adrenaline rush as you glide across the lake’s surface, while kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) offer a more serene and introspective way to explore the lake’s hidden coves and charming villages. For those who appreciate a slower pace, sailing is a popular choice, with opportunities to charter a boat or join a guided excursion. Whether you’re seeking excitement or a peaceful connection with the lake’s natural beauty, Lake Como’s array of water activities ensures that you can tailor your experience to your preferences, all against the backdrop of the stunning Italian Alps.
2. Boat Tours Across Lake Como Explore the enchanting beauty of Lake Como through a variety of boat tours that offer a glimpse into the heart of this breathtaking destination. From leisurely sightseeing cruises to exhilarating speedboat rides, there’s a boat tour to suit every preference. Take a serene journey on a classic Venetian water limousine, discovering the charming lakeside villages like Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna. For an eco-conscious approach, consider electric boat tours, contributing to the sustainability of this pristine environment while enjoying the scenery. Adventure seekers can opt for adrenaline-pumping speedboat tours, feeling the wind in their hair and the thrill of Lake Como’s stunning backdrop.
3. Taking a Funicular A funicular ride in Lake Como is a must-do experience that transports you to new heights, both literally and figuratively. These inclined cable railways offer a unique perspective of the picturesque region as they climb the steep terrain from the lakeside to the charming hillside villages. While ascending or descending, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of the sparkling lake and the surrounding mountains. It’s an opportunity to witness the beauty of Lake Como from a different angle and appreciate the stunning landscape that has captivated visitors for centuries.
4. Fly Seaplanes Across Lake Como Fly Seaplanes across Lake Como and embark on a truly unique adventure that will elevate your Lake Como experience to new heights. A seaplane journey offers a breathtaking perspective of the stunning lake and its surrounding landscapes. As you soar above the crystal-clear waters and picturesque villages, you’ll be treated to unrivaled panoramic views that will leave you in awe.
5. Food Experiences Food experiences around Lake Como are an absolute delight for groups, offering an authentic taste of Italian culinary traditions. Join a pasta cooking class and master the art of creating fresh, homemade pasta with a local chef, infusing your dish with the flavours of the region. For a truly unique adventure, embark on a truffle hunting expedition in the lush woodlands that surround the lake. With the guidance of expert truffle hunters and their loyal dogs, you can unearth these elusive and highly-prized delicacies. It’s an opportunity to connect with the local culture, savour the exquisite flavours of freshly harvested truffles, and bond with your group over the joys of food exploration. These experiences are not only delicious but also a fantastic way to foster teamwork and camaraderie while creating lasting memories in the enchanting Lake Como region.
How to get there
By Plane: There are three Milan airports but most overseas visitors flying into Italy with an agenda to visit Lake Como will choose to land at Milan’s Malpensa airport. This airport is roughly 25 miles south of Como town and a coach transfer will take about 40 minutes. Alternatively it’s possible to take the Malpensa Express from the airport to Saronno and then take a train to Como with a journey duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By Train: You can travel to Italy by train in a single day, London to Paris by Eurostar in 2h20, then Paris to Milan (7h) by TGV, though you may way to break the trip up with an overnight stay in Paris or another destination on route. Alternatively turn your trip into a multi-destination experience with a train journey that takes in Zurich, with breathtaking, panoramic views as you make your way along the Rhaetian Railway to Italy. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed line passes across 196 bridges and through 55 tunnels as it snakes its way over the Bernina Pass, 2253 metres above sea level. This is one of the most spectacular railway journeys on Earth.
Event planning in Lake Como
Ready to craft an extraordinary event or incentive trip in Lake Como? For more information about event destinations in Lake Como, the featured venues, or any assistance with sourcing international venues, please reach out to our team. We’re here to help you explore the endless possibilities and start planning your unique experience.
For more international event and incentive travel ideas, or for information about hosting incentive trips, meetings, or events, don’t hesitate to contact the Evolve Events team. We possess the experience and local knowledge to assist you with venue finding, activities, and logistics to create unforgettable experiences.
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