deckchairs on the grass with a view of the lake and mountains

A grassy terrace overlooking Lake Garda at Lefay Resort

In the fourth part of our luxury travel views column from the Spring 2022 issue, LUX’s Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai checks in at the Lefay Resort in Lake Garda

Infinity pool? Haven’t we seen enough of those to stop being impressed? The pool stops, the sea beyond it starts, pretty and pleasant, and every villa on every island has one. End of story.

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Except, the pool at Lefay Lake Garda is different. It’s true that when you are swimming in it, you can’t tell where the pool ends and Lake Garda starts. The difference is that the lake is about 600m (2,000ft) below you, down a steeply forested mountainside. Look across the lake, and you are at the same height as the top of the Alps lining the other shore. Look up, and you are just below the peaks of the Italian Alps at the point at which they drop into the northern Italian plain. It’s like being in an infinity pool in a hot air balloon.

An infinity pool overlooking a lake and green mountain

The infinity pool

Everything here is about the views. Our balcony terrace looked at yet another peak, behind the hotel, and the surroundings were pure Alps: meadows, wildflowers, forests and rocks. No hint at all that the biggest and most touristic of the Italian lakes was immediately below on the other side. The room was contemporary cool, all peaceful light colours, and absolute silence on the terrace at night, barring the cry of some or other mountain bird.

There is plenty of space to spread out here – no cramped pool terraces like you get at many hotels on the edge of the Italian lakes, which are constrained by the steep mountain sides rising up above. You can stroll from one garden to the main pool terrace to another garden and lawn, all with a different aspect of the view. The clientele when I went was mainly couples, who would stroll into the spa (just inside from the pool terrace) and emerge glowing from treatments.

restaurant on a terrace with green tablecloths and a view of the mountains and lake

Trattoria la Vigna

For lunch, up a level (of mountain and hotel) there was a broad, informal terrace serving osteria-style food: salads, cured meat, pastas.

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Once you are here, it is tempting not to leave (during your stay, or ever). But venture out for a day trip and within 20 minutes you will be on the shore of one of Italy’s most celebrated lakes, with ochre-hued villages teeming with gelaterias (and tourists: Lake Garda is nothing if not discovered). A little further round the lake is Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, and its summer opera in the Roman amphitheatre a perfectly feasible evening out from Lefay. Dinner at the opera and breakfast on a mountaintop: that’s infinite variety for you.

Find out more: lagodigarda.lefayresorts.com

This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX