Six months ago, a landmark of the Made in Italy hospitality opened again: Grand Hotel Victoria Concept&Spa in Menaggio, top of the range of the R Collection Hotels, thanks to a super ERRE Spa and gourmand restaurant. Let’s “visit” it together with the General Manager Marco Montagnani. .
Made in Italy design and Belle Epoque
Only 36 km lie between Como and Menaggio, but for the Rocchi, family hailing from the city of Como, the distance is quantified in three generations. That’s how long it took for the dream of Pompeo Rocchi, founder of the R Collection Hotels, to come true: conquering one of the most prestigious location overlooking Lake Como and witnessing the Grand Hotel Victoria Concept & Spa come to life again.
It is now the feather in the cap of the hotel group that has grown over time and that today counts seven facilities between Lombardy and Ligury.
A long renovation work by the Franco Pè’s architects’ studio allowed to recover the splendour of the original Belle Epoque elements, like the sumptuous staircases with their stained-glass windows, the friezes and the stuccoes and the large marble fireplaces decorating the halls. These are a perfect introduction to the refined atmosphere of the 34 rooms and suites of the Villa, whose historical part directly overlooks the garden and the lakefront of Menaggio.
The Palazzo, a newly created building, hosts another 47 rooms where concrete, wood and iron define far more contemporary areas. Refined contrasts, where every detail is an added value: Italian design furniture sits next to artisan furniture realised with local wood. The fabrics too are the result of the long local textile tradition of the area around Como. The two buildings are connected thanks to a 30-metre glass walkway, running along the garden and the outdoor pool, and leading to the wellness world of the ERRE SPA.
Fire, Ice, Salt and…Silence at the ERRE Spa!
The General Manager of Grand Hotel Victoria, Marco Montagnani, shows us around this space dedicated to wellness and proudly explains:
“The 1.200 square metres surface makes the ERRE SPA one of the largest in the Lake Como area and is definitely one of the most innovative in terms of “on-board equipment”. The concept designed by Starpool features the best of what the Trentino company has to offer:
- the SweatSteamPro steambath and the GlamourMediterraneanPro Mediterranean bath;
- the multi-sensory and scented emotional showers creating the true Water Paradise;
- the Salt Room with its Himalayan salt walls – perfect to enjoy the benefits of the ionization;
- the SweetIcePro – or “Ice room” – designed to restore the body energy after the heat and steam baths; t
- he Kneipp pool;
- the GlamourSaunaPro, evoking the traditional Finnish “Savusauna” thanks to its finishes in stone and fir from the Fiemme Valley in smokey grey shades;
- the GlamourSoftSaunaPro with a milder temperature (50/60 °C instead of 90/100 °C), but a higher humidity rate (50/60% instead of 10/20%).
And also: the “Silence of the Lake room” and the “Fire room”, two areas dedicated to relaxation – perfect after treatments, designed specifically for the goal you want to achieve: Breath, Balance, Energy and Harmony. In addition to all of this, a 25-metres indoor pool equipped with several whirlpools livens up this evocative space with blue and purple lights that favour a state of absolute quiet”.
ERRE Spa, not just in Mannaggio
The trait d’union between this hotel and the other iconic facility of the Rocchi family’s hotel group – the Grand Hotel Bristol & Spa in Rapallo, Liguria – is exactly the wellness concept, once again designed by Starpool. “We relied on their know-how for the hotel in Rapallo too, because we knew they’d be able to best interpret the needs of that specific location. The hotel Bristol is a historical facility, with a unique allure. We needed to create an equally impressive environment, and so it was: 2.000 sqm featuring pool, Kneipp pool, Water Paradise, sauna, SweetSteamPro and GlamourMediterraneanPro and private SpaSuite where to indulge in the treatments by CinqMondes and Estherdem Institute”.
Wellness cuisine at the ERRE SPA
On the one hand, at the Spa you get back in shape thanks to customized massages and effective hot-cold treatments; on the other, the experience at the R Collection goes beyond that, and involves all the senses in actual taste journeys.
Executive Chef Martin Vitaloni makes them happen, focusing on both essence and appearance, in two different but complementary locations: the first, Ristorante Lago – an extraordinary “winter garden” with a view on the lake, with a vip room, as well as a unique piece by Riva 1920 and open-plan wine cellar; and the second, Ristorante 1827 (named after the year of the publication of Manzoni’s masterpiece, The Betrothed).
The former is a bistrot version and the second a gourmet one of what could be defined as a signature cuisine inspired by the best of the Italian style, with lake fish, cheese and other local products.
Off to a great start!
Once again, it is Marco Montagnani, General Manager, to draw the conclusions of the first months after the reopening of this landmark overlooking Lake Como, having just received the results of the first inspection visit of the mystery guest from Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
“This summer, just a few weeks after the reopening, we received the visit of a guest from San Francisco. There were two of them, a couple, who stayed for three nights. The total score was of 97 points out of 100. I can only be satisfied with such a positive result, given that not only were we in soft opening, but we had also been closed for over one year and a half. I couldn’t have asked more from my team and staff. Apart from a few minor flaws in the service – due to the very recent reopening, the empathic aspect of the staff scored maximum points. It is a determining factor for the pleasantness of a stay, way more than restocking the minibar in the room within the morning.
It feels good to think that people may remember us for a genuine smile, for a precise answer or for the real commitment in trying to optimize every moment of the holiday. These are the aspects that turn a client into a sure repeater”.
Interview by Lorenza Scalisi from Exclusivamente.com