My first ever real life journalist assignment for my first real life journalist job was a feature on a wedding planner based in Lake Como in Italy. I’d never been to Lake Como. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. I wasn’t even close to getting married in any way – but by the end of writing the feature, I had practically planned my own perfect wedding there. Now, fast forward five years, and whilst I’m still very (very very very very very) far away from that perfect wedding, the Lake Como part of the fantasy came true. My last post was about the difficulties in finding a work/life balance as a blogger, but one of the many perks that tip the scale are things like trips. The Blogger Programme took a few of us to CastaDiva Resort & Spa, and proved that who needs a marriage and a wedding when you can have a career that takes you to your dream destinations anyway? (Future husband, if you’re reading this, I’m only joking…)
Lake Como is known for its beauty, so in all its fabulous Italian splendour, the CastaDiva Resort & Spa epitomises the glamour. I grew up on a diet of Disney and fairytales, and whilst I’m sure a therapist would probably have plenty to say about that, I can tell you now that the CastaDiva looks as though it’s been plucked straight from a big screen or story book. The only thing I was sad about was that I couldn’t fit my ballgown in my carry-on suitcase (girl needs her travel-sized toiletries!)
It’s a huge resort, with villas dotted around and hiding in the stunning picturesque grounds that it feels like you’re living inside your own little bubble. In the main building you could find the bar and plenty of lavish rooms to explore, as well as a staircase that was practically built for Instagram.
Room? I should say rooms. We stayed in suites – enter pinch me moment number 2 (or, it could possibly have been 5 by now but I’m going to try play it at least a little bit cool) A bathroom fit for Kim and Kanye, with a dressing room and bedroom to match. Regal – that’s how you’d describe it. And filtered in gleaming gold, the gilded suites truly captured the essence of real Italian glamour. There was even a Nespresso machine, and everyones seen those adverts with George Clooney serving up a mean coffee so you know it’s got to be good.
The only criticism I could possibly have was that George himself wasn’t there to put the espresso pod in and press the machine. But I guess you can’t have everything in life.
Oh, and the view. How could I not mention the view? On walking into the suite, the first thing I did was walk up and peel back the curtains to review the glossy lake and villas dotted on the mountainside opposite, like holding a mirror up to the beautiful CastaDiva. If I could wake up to that view every single morning I would. Instead, I’ll have to make do back in London to a glaring street lamp and the neighbour on the other side of the road who doesn’t really like to wear many clothes.
We took a trip over to the nearby town of Bellagio, obviously stopping en route to see where Casino Royale was filmed and drop by George Clooney’s pad to ask if we could borrow some more Nespresso pods. Charming and utterly idyllic, Bellagio is everything you could ever ever wish that a little Italian town could be. There was pasta, gelato, and a retro Fiat 500 that nearly ran us down along the winding cobbled streets. Perfect! Lunch was held at La Punta, an adorable little cafe overlooking a small park and the lake, with the friendliest staff I think I’ve ever been served by. And I’ve eaten at a lot of places – which brings me nicely onto…
If you don’t go to Italy and put on 10lbs did you even really go to Italy at all though? I’d have to say no. The consensus was you can’t possibly go to such a dreamy place and be surrounded by the most delicious food and decide to eat super low carb and stick to a strict diet unless you’re into absolute torture. Why would you do that to yourself? Live your life! Because it tastes great! It wasn’t that the food was unhealthy or served in alarmingly large portions – the portions sizes at CastaDiva’s L’Orangerie Restaurant were balanced perfectly with the richness of the food. The chefs prepared us special menus throughout our trip, and we were naturally delighted that it included two main courses alongside the starter and dessert. The freshest and most exquisite sea food dishes really left a lasting impression, and the lingering question was of course: why is it not a global standard that all restaurants serve at least two main courses?
We were lucky enough to be treated to a signature massage to ease away all the stress and frustration we’d recently had – jokes, obviously. How could you possibly ever feel stressed and frustrated in a place like this? The blissful scenery sedates any worry and hits reset on your mind. My reset button was pushed further by pushing all those knots and tense muscles in my back and shoulders. Bliss, no?
The Spa itself is the largest in the area, with several steam rooms and private spa rooms to book out for a little bit of solo R&R – or, if you’re honeymooning and want a little privacy.
As for the pools, the indoor heated one next to the spa is incredible, but the real special pool is the one that floats on the lake. Yes, that’s right, the one that floats on the lake. You get the most stunning view of both the villa and scenery whilst chilling poolside. What more could you want?
So forget the husband, CastaDiva has the fairytale and happy ever after covered already, I promise you.