Resort spotlight: Palazzo Arzaga, Italy
The back story
Given its name, you won’t be surprised to learn that Palazzo Arzaga is a historic building which has been converted into a hotel.
This former country mansion dates back to the 15th century and happily still reflects its age with huge slabs of stone pieced together like a jigsaw on the floors, high ceilings held up by colossal beams, dramatic winding staircases and huge ostentatious fireplaces.
Period furniture and art decorate the scene.
The main course was designed by Jack Nicklaus’ firm and is high-calibre resort golf.
Expect an American-style layout with wide fairways lined by large jigsaw-shaped bunkers and occasionally lakes.
The greens are relatively flat and large greens – and in terrific condition.
The nine-hole course by Gary Player cuddles the hotel and is tighter so is actually arguably a tougher test.
There are five class of rooms, right up to the Presidential suite but there just isn’t anything other than a stylish place to sleep.
They are decorated in keeping with the characterful building and while there are modern amenities it isn’t overly flashy – and all the better for it.
Facilities centred around an award-winning spa with a myriad treatments as well as an indoor pool and fitness room.
The outdoor swimming pool offers expansive views of the rest of the property from its elevated position.
Predictably superb Italian cuisine is served at the hotel’s ‘Il Moretto’ restaurant which also serves a super breakfast in the square courtyard. Excellent clubhouse food too.
A huge advantage of a stay at Arzaga is the fact beguiling towns such as Sirmione and Desenzano which overlook Lake Garda are within a 20-minute drive.
And Arzaga is a good base from which to enjoy a day in Milan, where you can marvel at the country’s finest cathedral Duomo among other sights. If you fancy a night out there (recommended) stay at Arzaga’s sister hotel Savona Suites.