Lake Como, Italy
There are few locales more glamorous than the infinity pool at Filario—unless you count the private beach just below, a rarity in Lake Como. Located in the charming town of Lezzeno, the hotel offers unbeatable views of the Comacina Island, Villa Balbianello, Tremezzo, Bellagio, Varenna, and the Alps all at once. One of the few modern properties on the lake, Filario’s interiors proudly showcase Italian heritage and artisanship. A private terrace off each of the guestrooms ensures stunning views from whichever room you choose.
The largest reservoir in southwest Germany, Bostalsee isn’t just picturesque—it offers a range of activities, including surfing and sailing schools and the 25-kilometer “Street of Sculptures,” which features 51 works by artists from 11 countries. Seezeitlodge Hotel & Spa was carefully placed to maximize its stunning lake views with the rising and the setting of the sun in mind. Going back to the region’s roots, Seezeitlodge is home to an outdoor Celtic sauna complex that is situated according to documented earth energies.
Wulpinskie Lake, Poland
The Masurian Lake District in northeastern Poland boasts more than 2,000 lakes, dense forests, organic farms, and charming resort towns. The best part? It’s little-known outside of Poland. Małgosia and Wojtek Żółtowsky, the artist couple behind Hotel Galery69, are the tapped-in locals to welcome you. The duo has handcrafted all the furniture in the hotel, which also acts as a showroom (pieces are available for sale) and a gallery. The location on the Wulpinskie Lake makes for stunning scenery year-round.
Brunnsviken Lake, Sweden
Sweden is home to almost 100,000 lakes, of which 26 are in Stockholm alone. Stallmästaregården, Stockholm’s very first inn, sits on a gorgeous bayside estate on the lake. The surrounding area features a beautiful rolling park, a botanical garden, cafés, and palaces. Stallmästaregården’s resplendent 18th-century interiors are worthy of Swedish royalty.
Lake Maggiore, Switzerland
On the south side of the Alps, straddling Italy and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is the largest of the pre-Alpine lakes. Nestled on the lake’s northern shore, Giardino Lago is an understated yet indulgent retreat that takes inspiration from the region’s Mediterranean climate. Its broad windows and airy public spaces pay homage to this exceptional scenery. For a bird’s-eye view, hitch a ride up to the forested peaks of Cardada and Cimetta. Or settle in on the rooftop lounge, furnished by Dedon, for views closer to home.
Lake Houhai, China
Lake Houhai was built for the exclusive use of the Yuan Dynasty’s royal family (1271-1368) and has been popular ever since. Today, the scent of traditional snacks floats from the restaurants, bars, and cafés that line the lakeside hutongs. Set within a private compound on its willow-lined shore, Vue Hotel is a luxurious escape from Beijing that offers direct access to the city’s historic heart.