“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely place.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” said the quintessential children’s author Roald Dahl. At this under the radar retreat magic awaits.
In the region of Como lies the small commune of Pigra, where a little-known luxury villa sits meters high above the lake commanding the most extraordinary of views that is second to none. One cannot even begin to measure the sheer beauty and magnificence of it for it is unlike any other property out there. Not only does this retreat take one’s breath away, it sends bewilderment through ones entire being any time you look out into the villa’s vicinity. It becomes quite surreal to imagine that this is what you can wake up to each morning – this panoramic heaven, completely uninterrupted, completely yours.
Enter Villa Peduzzi a 9-bedroom villa which can accommodate up to 14 guests. The name ‘Peduzzi’ is taken from Rocco Peduzzi who was a recognized Italian engineer from Milan. Mr. Peduzzi was in the midst of searching for his family holiday home and it wasn’t until he discovered a three-acre plot of land many meters above Aregegno that he decided in its purchase. Decades on and with the remnants of the war, the Peduzzi family found themselves unable to maintain the villa’s upkeep finally forced to abandon it altogether. The villa became derelict, forlorn yet with many of the Peduzzi’s family belongings still intact. Fast forward a hundred years on and this little-known gem was one of the last unrestored Art Nouveau villas that was finally purchased in 2016. Its current owners intended to bring the villa back to life ensuring the spirit of Peduzzi and his legacy by preserving some of the internal design during the restoration. Today, Villa Peduzzi can be rented out for those looking to hire out a private holiday home or celebration.
The easiest way to reach Villa Peduzzi is by landing at Milan’s Malpensa Airport. From there the villa’s chauffer service can pick you up and take you directly to the villa's front door. For first timers, it is well worth the one-hour drive as you’ll bear witness to the narrow and winding paths that lead up to the villa - you might even meet some friendly goats along the way. Once you’ve arrived there really isn’t any need to take the car elsewhere as the villa provides everything you’ll need for the duration of your stay. The greatest advantage is that the villa is secluded, it becomes your private sanctuary, completely undisturbed. Whenever you want that downtown vibe, however, the funicular is literally a five-minute walk door to door and takes you straight to Aregegno within four minutes as opposed to a forty-minute drive from Pigra. What could be better? Complete privacy and wondrous unending beauty up there and reality down below within merely a few minutes. Moreover, the villa's private yacht charter which is moored at Aregegno is within a five minute walk of the funicular's exit. Yet another convenient and wonderful option to get from here to there in a matter of minutes whilst enjoying all that Lake Como has to offer. Forget about taking a taxi, the yacht will do.
Of course, for those looking to gain a more interactive approach, Villa Peduzzi will do their utmost to deliver. A few examples might be a glacier tour by private helicopter, a private concert held in the villa to things like shopping with a personal shopper in Paris and Milan via private jet. Otherwise with its own on-site gym located on the ground floor, the villa can even arrange for private yoga sessions or therapeutic ones too. Better yet, get active using the gym’s high-tech facilities with private showers, sauna and soul-captivating views to match - going to the gym never felt so refreshing. Take advantage of the 22-meter heated infinity pool offering 180-degree panoramic views of the lake and when you’re done with that relax or consider a nap in the pool-house packed with a fireplace, kitchen and island bar. Other entertainment within the Peduzzi Villa is its media room located on the top floor. This is a wonderfully spacious area for entertaining with outdoor seating (bar-style) facing the mountains, and a fully stocked area for drinks. Inside, a grand TV offering all the channels you might need – yes there’s Netflix too – and of course a cosy fireplace. On the other side an indiscreet table that turns into a pool table and beside it lies another ensuite bedroom for guests. For those traveling with children you’ll be pleased to know that there is a charming treehouse coupled with a playground just outside of the villa. There is even a trampoline and a red vintage fire truck tucked beneath the tree house to ignite your children's imagination.
A thing to note about Villa Peduzzi is its strong interior design elements that consequently go hand in hand with the mountainous views. Taking a minimal and relaxed approach whilst paying attention to every little detail gives this villa its uniqueness. There's almost a balance between the villa's interior design and the views of the lake it directly faces. As the villa best describes “The design and construction of Villa Peduzzi exhibits a number of fascinating features: an original orangerie, which would appear to many as a glazed conservatory; the main entrance hall with its classic mosaic bearing the original owner’s name and year; a graceful arrangement allowing shutters to slide sideways into wall recesses rather than opening outward; and numerous balconies adorned with non-structural cement carvings that lend an ornate quality to the villa’s magnificent façade.” Minimal with South-East Asian accents throughout you could almost say zen-like to a very luxurious degree. There are in total nine bedrooms which have been designed uniformly and anyone who appreciates aesthetics will genuinely appreciate every bit of the villa’s interior.
If this hasn’t convinced you enough, the villa’s on-site chef will elevate the experience further. Cooking up a feast and dining to your hearts content is really what it’s all about. Whatever your wishes just sit back and prepare for dishes that will whet your appetite. We of course recommend giving the chef free reign as she'll show you what it means to cook and serve from the heart. Needless to say, the quality, freshness and creativity made the Villa Peduzzi experience all the more worthwhile.
At the end of the day, do not let Villa Peduzzi intimidate you with its sleek design and minimal character. For those thinking of renting it out, the villa wants to act as your ideal home away from home. The rooms are yours to bask in during your stay. The kitchen opens its doors to you allowing you to peruse freely to your appetites delight. It is inviting, it is liberating and it is comforting. Like a warm grand hug, this is a side of Lake Como that you've yet to feel.
This is a place you’ll just have to come and see for yourself and don’t let its location deter you just because you aren’t beside the lake. With the direct advantage of the funicular and private yacht, the lake is within a few minutes reach. Whether summertime or wintertime the villa is an ideal place for any season – cosy during the colder-times with activities to do and cool in the summertime with of course a plethora of things to explore. One is well taken care of here; all one need do is ask because when you’re here you want to stay here and linger on, for the views are priceless at any day and at any time. The villa is a five-star retreat that doesn’t lack in any areas – both the outdoor and indoor designs have been combined so effortlessly that nothing seems lost on the other. The villa’s surroundings provide ample space for a leisurely stroll amidst the lush flora and fauna whilst also providing a magical area for children to roam free and explore what the tree house has to offer – a place for one’s imagination. And that’s just it – Villa Peduzzi is a truly magical place where one’s mind can take a breather around the silence and away from reality. It is an escape of magical proportions, a place to appreciate and treasure. It is a place to create ever-lasting memories high up here where no one can disturb you.
The Murray is an impressive architectural hotel centrally located in the heart of Hong Kong on the famous Cotton Tree Drive which once housed Hong Kong’s most influential government offices. Today, this grand exterior welcomes international business and leisure travellers alike who appreciate the luxury and lifestyle standard of hospitality and modern aesthetic.
To experience The Peninsula is to experience its flagship hotel in Hong Kong. A stay here is remarkable and truly exceptional beyond comparison. This Grande Dame of The Far East inhabits a spirit of proud history and hospitality so authentic that it's not an easy one to replicate.
Originally from Brazil, Chies travelled extensively throughout South America before setting roots in London, and her love for connecting with locals on her travels sparked the idea for Let’s GoDo. “Our experiences are authentic and accessible, and our booking platform is designed to be simple and easy. Guests trust us and enjoy the fact that we create a community, which is key to standing out in the travel space.” she says. On this edition of Women Who Launch, The Sybarite speaks with Chies about how she stands out in a crowded market and where her dream destination is.
Budapest; a city famed for it's rich and historic culture, flowing Danube River and local delicacies. But it should also be known as a city of Romance. The capital is endowed with a bounty of art nouveau architecture, eccentric ruin bars and soporific bathhouses - making it the perfect travel date destination for you and your loved one.
As you approach the majestic Grand Hotel Kronenhof, you could be mistaken for entering the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel. It's a 5-star superior hotel that delivers on the wow factor even from a distance.