I was planning to take my girlfriend to Lake Como and after a lot of research, I realised that a vast majority of hotels in that area simply live from their location and were overdue for a refurbishment since about 1980. The Villa d'Este was too expensive and everything else had this old, tired look. Not that I don't like traditional decor, but there's a big difference between old and traditional. But between cool modern design and flowery wallpaper I will always pick the former.
So, eventually I ended up on tripadvisor and saw Borgo le Terrazze. I was quite worried as the rates seemed too cheap, but with a lack of alternatives I went ahead and booked it. When we arrived we were both very surprised. The first thing I always do in hotels is check out the bathroom. Limestone, top modern walk-in shower, top appliances. The room was a perfect size, even though Ionly managed to get a normal room at the time of booking. Ceiling to floor windows with a breathtaking view straight onto Lake Como. A little kitchen, flat screen TV, all in all simple but modern decor. Apart from the slightly naff curtains, the place could easily be in some Hip Hotel guide.
Then they have an amazing pool with an even more amazing view. The requirement of a deposit for a pool towel was slightly annoying, but in line with the no frills approach of the place. The staff was very friendly and helpful; clearly a small family run business. Underground parking is free (good luck trying to find any parking space in and around Bellagio!).
Given all of the above and taking into consideration the room rates, this place is simply amazing value for money. I really hope it will stay that way, as we're definitely planning to go back.