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ARCHITECTURE / DESIGN
Architecture: Rolf Balmer, Raumforum
Interior Design: Francesca Alder-Schweizer, Bofor Design
Long panels of glass and stone mix with boundary-blurring interior design to give Giardino Lago its idiosyncratic personality, which complements Minusio’s energizing lakeside vistas. Hoteliers Daniela and Philippe Frutiger (known for their work with other Giardino Group properties) teamed up with Francesca Alder-Schweizer from Bofor Design and Rolf Balmer from Raumforum to create a hotel that is as exceptional as its setting.
“For us it was important that the Giardino Lago would become a place to meet up, a place to feel good, offering friendly, first-class service and an exclusive range of facilities,” said Philippe Frutiger. “And yet at the same time it will be a completely unconventional hotel with no prescribed standards.”
The hotel’s smart design can be seen through the building’s broad glass windows, with a white exterior staircase curving up from the ground floor. Nearby, pointed white parasols are staggered around elegant tables and chairs, providing shade from the sun and allowing alfresco diners to take advantage of the mild climate. Dotted around the Mediterranean-style gardens are vivid plants and exotic trees that thrive under the warm sun, inviting guests to explore the lake and the rolling hills beyond.
Although the hotel feels intimate and exclusive, its public spaces are airy and open plan, confirming its status as a hub for people to meet and relax in. At the 400-square-meter outdoor roof lounge, furnished by Dedon, guests can take in unparalleled views of the deep-blue lake. Ristorante Lago pays homage to the mountains that sit above the lake’s shores, with a verdant swath of green foliage printed onto the ceiling. The restaurant also has huge tracts of glass that let the lakeside scenery in, and there is an abundance of natural light, which helps to create an atmosphere that’s both physically calming and emotionally enriching. Throughout the public spaces, the décor is warm and Mediterranean, using earthy materials like stone and wood. In the fabrics, there are splashes of lime and sky blue, paying homage to Mother Nature’s own palette.
The 14 rooms and one suite provide isolated retreats, where guests can step away from the ordinary and indulge in their surroundings. Decorated with Designers Guild fabrics and smoked-oak parquet, the rooms are light and uplifting, with touches that offer a playful nod to the towering mountains just outside.