Schiltach, April 2018. The splendid 15th-century buildings lie nestled in the glamorous setting of the shores of Lake Como, surrounded by palm trees, citrus fruits, cypresses, and olive trees – the very subtropical vegetation that has given this region its nickname of “Gateway to the South.” Since George Clooney and other Hollywood stars discovered Lago di Como as their refuge, the third largest lake in Northern Italy has experienced a comeback in the upper class. One of the most exciting new openings in recent years is the 5-star hotel Il Sereno in Torno, a small village of just under 1,200 inhabitants on the southern shore of the lake, just a few kilometers north of Como. With AXOR, the creators of these exquisite accommodations are also relying on the finest design in perfect execution in their bathrooms.
CONTEMPORARY LUXURY PRODUCED INDIVIDUALLY
When hotel owner Luis Contreras started his new project on Lake Como, after the successful opening of the Le Sereno resort on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, he chose the internationally acclaimed designer and architect Patricia Urquiola. The Milan-based Spaniard is known for her eclectic mix of styles. No one understands the play with different epochs, surprising asymmetries, and sensual as well as functional forms like she does. Patricia Urquiola also drafted a collection for AXOR that cultivates an extravagant approach to surfaces and lines. The convinced hotelier Contreras: “In the Il Sereno, every detail is precisely coordinated. When it came to determining our bathroom fittings, it was immediately clear to us that our choice would be AXOR Urquiola. With this collection, we had the opportunity to customize the color and workmanship of the faucets. In the bathrooms, we have combined handmade brown-silver limestone on the walls with walnut wood ceilings. AXOR made it possible to adapt the colors of the faucets so that they “merge” with the other materials to form a single unit. All faucets are kept in the special surfaces Brushed Nickel and Brushed Red Gold, among them the AXOR Urquiola 3-hole wall-mounted faucet on the wash basin and the freestanding thermostat bath tub faucet, but also the AXOR Starck manual shower in the shower area. Accessories like toilet paper holders and hooks from the AXOR Urquiola and AXOR Uno collections were likewise prepared in the special surface finish.
MODERN COUNTERPOINT TO HISTORICAL BUILDINGS
The hotel also radiates this sense for a perfect symphony of style, materiality, and comfort from the outside, as well. Whether the guest sails across the glittering lake by boat, drives up the narrow Via Torrazza by car, or lands by helicopter: Anyone approaching the luxury hotel will immediately notice that something unique has been created here. The Il Sereno bears a completely different handwriting than traditional noble addresses along the lake shore. It sets a counterpoint to the Renaissance palaces from the time when Lombardy became rich with the production of silk scarves. It also has nothing in common with the classicist villas from the 18th and 19th centuries that dominate the lake. Il Sereno is an interplay of modern architecture, contemporary design, natural materials, and filigree lightness that can be found nowhere else on the shores of the Lago. And yet the property does not seem like a foreign object: Built on the natural stone foundations of the former boathouses there, stone and wood inside and out, but also copper, leather, marble, glass, and high-quality textiles in soft earth tones create a harmony that blends almost organically into the surroundings.
INTIMATE SETTING IN EXCLUSIVE LOCATION
Privacy combined with Italian lightness, that is a trademark of the Il Sereno. Compared to the historic estates on Lago di Como, the Il Sereno is a consistent statement of modernity that radiates the commanding elegance and cosmopolitanism for which the faucets of AXOR Urquiola are also known. With just thirty suites ranging in size from 40 to 200 square meters, the ambiance remains as intimate as it is exclusive. The rooms are reached via a seemingly free-floating walnut staircase, framed by room-high copper pipes, one of the highlights on the ground floor. In the bedrooms, living rooms, and bathrooms, you will also find the various types of stone and wood from the lobby, combined with glass and copper elements. Nothing is left to chance here, and yet the interior comes off casual. Through the large panorama windows, the lake seems to be within reach, and those not satisfied with the view of the water from the premium, King-sized bed can enjoy the spectacular view from their own lounge-furnished terrace. From there, it’s just a few meters to the infinity pool and the boat bridge on the private beach, from where guests can walk through the hotel garden, with sculptures by the renowned botanist and artist Patric Blanc. The Il Sereno hasn’t left anything out in culinary terms, either: After just one season, the hotel restaurant Berton Al Lago under the direction of Milan’s top chef Andrea Berton has cooked itself up a Michelin star. Naturally, the restaurant guests also have a clear view of the dreamlike scenery of the lake and mountains. Things couldn’t be more paradisaical in the sister hotel on the Lesser Antilles, either!
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