Full of warmth, elegance and charm, Grand Hotel Fasano was one of the first hotels that flourished on the “Riviera” at the end of the 19th Century.
Created for a luxurious stay of the mid-European élite traveller, today, enriched with modern comforts, it is enjoyed by a cosmopolitan clientele.
In its fabulous setting on picturesque Lago di Garda, the luxurious hotel jewel is the perfect place from which to explore the picturesque landscape of the lakes of upper Italy. Embedded in a 12,000-square-metre park landscape with palms and banana trees, this oasis of relaxation radiates an exotic flair.
AN OASIS OF PEACEFUL LUXURY
The Grand hotel Fasano combines the splendour of the hapsburg empire with the enchantment of some of Italy’s finest landscapes.
In front of you, a blue expanse of water slightly rippled by waves, but it is not the ocean. All around you, a view of lush palm trees caresses the eye, but it is not the Caribbean.
Lying in the sun on a poolside chaise longue, you give in to thoughts of calm and serenity: you are at the Grand Hotel Fasano on the Lake Garda “Riviera“, with its enchanting scenery in an exclusive setting, homes this jewel of hospitality, declared a National Heritage by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage for the high quality of its Neo-classical style architecture.
Famous show business personalities have passed through the doors of the Grand Hotel Fasano: Shirley Temple, Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni just to name a few, and sport figures such as the Formula one champion Gerhard Berger. Situated in a beautiful century-old park, where exotic notes blend with the mood of the lake, Grand Hotel Fasano is an exclusive place also for the excellence of its services.
The rooms and suites of this five-star hotel are brightly decorated, the interior with its cream hues creates an elegant lightness that encourages wellbeing. Tradition and modernity are combined harmoniously.
All bedrooms and suites offer magnificent views of the lake, the same breath taking views that inspired the Italian poet and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio, that inspired Paul Heyse (1910 Nobel Prize winner for Literature) and the painter Gustav Klimt.
The Villa Principe, located in the hotel park, also offers accommodation of the highest standard. The boutique hotel is part of the Grand Hotel Fasano, with guests at the villa enjoying all of the benefits of a renowned hotel.
Located directly on the lake, villa and hotel both offer numerous options for active enjoyment.
The palate is deliciously pampered at this elegant Grand Hotel. Each of the four hotel restaurants is a meeting point for gourmets.
Chef de cuisine Matteo Felter is responsible for the excellent culinary offerings. The young and extremely talented chef was born and grew up by Lake Garda. Here he was taught the secrets of traditional Italian cuisine as a child, secrets that he now shares with his guests.
Matteo Felter gathered experience at the leading gourmet temples of northern Italy. His imaginative creations have their origins in typical regional recipes – yet at the same time are modern and innovative.
Restaurant “Il Fagiano”
Dinner in the gourmet restaurant Il Fagiano is always a highlight, but a very special treat is to sit on the terrace by candlelight, accompanied by the glittering lights on the lake shore and the soft ripple of the waves.
The restaurant “Il Fagiano” is the feather in the Grand Hotel Fasano’s cap. In summer, dinner is served on the terrace. Thanks to the verdant grounds, azure lake and fragrant flowers, this is a feast for all the senses, not just the palate.
This magnificent restaurant, set amid the hotel’s extensive grounds, takes its name from the two ancient magnolia trees outside. It offers dishes in the finest Italian tradition, freshly prepared using selected ingredients. The lunchtime menu offers a selection of starters, salads, homemade pasta, and main courses cooked on the grill.
Bar “La Terrazza”
Light dishes such as salads, homemade pasta, fish or meat from the barbecue are served at midday at La Terrazza, by the lake.
Along with its enchanting view of the water, the terrace bar offers freshly squeezed fruit juices, a selection of teas and coffees, and an impressive list of wines and cocktails. There’s also a wide selection of snacks, salads, and cold and hot dishes – perhaps a slice of cake straight out of the oven.
Trattoria “Il Pescatore”
“Il Pescatore” is a haven of tranquillity set on a beautiful terrace with lake view and decorated in bright contrasting colours inspired by the conviviality of typical Mediterranean restaurants. It specialises in fresh fish cooked using local recipes and with the emphasis on flavour and fragrance, and also features a catch of the day.
Gourmet delights are also to be found at La Darsena.
Located in a restored old house a short distance from the hotel, “La Darsena” beach club is surrounded by extensive lawns, facing the lake and shaded by chestnut trees.
Guests can relax on sunloungers, enjoy a bar and restaurant service, aperitifs and cocktails with a musical accompaniment, as well as dinner and supper.
The menu is the work of chef Andrea Maffei, renowned for his innovative approach to the traditional cuisine of Lake Garda.
The club’s modern, minimalist design provides the perfect setting for simple, authentic cuisine, including creative starters homemade pasta, a wide selection of grilled meat and fish, and flavourful pizzas, served by candlelight and with background music. The restaurant has plenty of parking, as well as moorings if you arrive by boat.
The stylish urban atmosphere and the signature cocktails are making this bar the place to be after dinner.
The connoisseur can choose from more than 70 different gins, from all over the world, and 30 tonic waters for the ultimate Gin & Tonic experience.
WELLNESS & SPA
This elegant Hotel not only offers its guests a grandiose setting, select interior and first-class service, it also boasts an exclusive wellness centre for a regenerating ‘remise en forme’, the opulent elegance of which is reminiscent of Roman Thermal Baths. One more reason for you to leave behind your everyday stress and come and visit ‘la dolce Riviera’: Body and soul can wallow in glorious relaxation at the AQVA SPA.
On a floor area of 1,500 square metres guests can enjoy a select bathing landscape with indoor pool, Jacuzzis in indoor and outdoor areas, saunas, steam baths, Kneipp facility, adventure showers, quiet zones, fitness room and solarium. Beauty treatments and massages in the beauty farm deliver care with products from AVEDA, renowned for their natural and high-quality ingredients.
A heated infinity pool with relaxing atmosphere and a sport pool with cooler temperature and a kids area with a long waterslide. Herewith the wellness area has been extended to a surface of more than 3.500 square meters and the spa is now one of the largest and finest in Italy.
Water sports of all kinds as well as walking and cycling are particularly enjoyable in this breath- taking setting.
Golfing enthusiasts will also find ideal conditions here. The nearby, first-class golf courses offer a challenge for every playing level.
Exploring the charming surroundings in a wonderful car is both exciting and stylish in equal measure: Guests of the hotel can rent a Ferrari California and delight in both the landscape and the gently flowing lines of this extraordinary sports car.
A voyage of discovery on water is equally exciting. Lake Garda shows its finest side in a top-of-the- range designer day cruiser.
In brief: all holiday wishes come true in this charming region with its year-round mild climate.
Complete relaxation is easily achieved at the Grand Hotel Fasano. This view is also shared by the readers of VIP International Traveller, who designated the charming refuge Best Wellness Resort with the Readers Travel Award 2012.
Grand Hotel Fasano, located on the western shores of Lake Garda, was built in 1888 in a Neo-classical style, and was declared a National Heritage in 1989 by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
The history of the Grand Hotel Fasano stretches back to the 19th century. At that time the splendid residence was a hunting lodge of the Austrian royal family, the pleasantry giving the estate its name.
The first drawings of the Grand Hotel Fasano are evident on the 1852 Austrian map, that can be found at the Historical Land Registry of Brescia. On this map it is possible to admire a sketch of 1888 that traces the outline of the hotel, and this marked the beginning of the long history, a Grad Hotel for an elite clientele, who were able to enjoy the great innovations of that period – heating and hot water in nearly all of the bedrooms, two bathrooms, á la carte restaurant, an elegant coffee lounge, billiard room, tennis courts, terraces with wonderful and incredible views situated in a park directly on the lake.
In 1903, following the ever growing number of guests, the Grand Hotel Fasano was expanded. German aristocrats would race to be seen on the Riviera. The hotel was easy to reach by train from the main European cities arriving at the stations of Desenzano or Riva, then directly to the hotel by ‘vaporetto’ (steam boat).
The wars did not leave the Grand Hotel Fasano unharmed and caused serious damage to the hotel. The border where the First World War was fought was only a few kilometres away.
The Grand Hotel Fasano, then owned by the Boem family, was seized as war ‘booty’ and subsequently managed by the National Combatants Foundation.
During the Second World War the Grand Hotel Fasano was requisitioned by the Italian Military Hospital, but then later seized by the German High Command who transformed it into a “War hospital”.
Before the end of the conflict the hotel was requisitioned a further two times, by the American fifth army and then by the English.
In a letter for the request of compensation for damages, the director Giuseppe Mayr describes the poor and pitiful state the hotel is in after the war: ” Pillaged several times, with just some rather battered pieces of furniture left, the wooden floors torn up and used as firewood for the wood stoves”.
Despite everything, after eight years, the hotel re-opened for the summer season in 1948.
The following years brought new challenges. The always more wealthy middle class was the new clientele of the ‘Fasano’. In 1962 the hotel was expanded for the third time and continuous restructuring and renovation made it possible for the Grand Hotel Fasano to become once again a top class hotel.
Today the Grand Hotel Fasano is classified as a 5 star luxury hotel, with a large Wellness and Spa area, saunas, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, restaurants and bar.
Even today it hasn’t lost its charm and moving through the historic rooms one can sense and breathe an atmosphere of times gone by.
Many historic characters were known to have visited Grand Hotel Fasano:
Paul Heyse stayed in November 1899 with his wife and servants. The famous German poet and writer fell in love with Lake Garda and bought a villa in Gardone Riviera (Villa Heyse) where he would spend the next ten winters and write his book “Maria von Magdala”. He remained a frequent visitor of the lounges and park of the Grand Hotel Fasano.
Gustav Klimt visited the hotel in 1913 during his summer on Lake Garda, where he painted two of his masterpieces “Italienische Gartenlandschaft” and “Malcesine am Gardasee”.
Gabriele D’Annunzio was a great lover of the gardens, of the restaurant and bar, so much so that he left a three page written dedication in the Grand Hotel Fasano’s Golden Book.
Other distinguished guests followed, Katherine Duchess of Leeds and the Marquis of Carmarthen visited in October 1925, and in March 1930 Prince and Princess Albrecht zu Schaumberg-Lippe. The aristocrats would arrive by steam boat, and would land at the “Landungsbrücke” accompanied by numerous members of staff and friends.
Although changing radically over the years the long list of famous people continues into present day. Aristocrats that could be seen in the historical rooms of the hotel would become to be seen less and less, and there would be more of an increase in show business personalities: Shirley Temple, Mastroianni and the great Fellini just to mention a few.
Also numerous sports figures have frequented the Grand Hotel Fasano from Formula one drivers such as Gerhard Berger to footballers such as Franz Beckenbauer or even yachtsmen such as Paul Cayard, who have enjoyed and admired Lake Garda during the month of September for the famous 100 mile nautical regatta ‘Cento Miglia’.