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Interviews,  Jet Set Pet,  Luxury Voyages,  Suite Dreams,  Time Traveler,  Trends,  Weekend Away

World's Best Lakeside Retreats

- By Christine Gray

These resorts, lodges and hotels offer pure luxury in the world's most spectacular and inspiring settings, from Lake Placid in New York to Lake Okareka in New Zealand and Lake Maggiore in Italy to Lake Malawi in Africa...

MIRROR LAKE INN - LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK is situated on eight beautifully landscaped acres with 1/8 mile of pristine lakefront on Mirror Lake, just one block from Lake Placid's Main Street. Lake Placid is one of the Adirondacks most beautiful and lively towns and offers tremendous four-season fun for the outdoor enthusiast as well as a wonderful variety of fine restaurants and specialty shops, all in a quaint village setting. In the summer, guests at Mirror Lake Inn can partake in a family wilderness canoe trip, a sunset kayak tour, charter boat fishing, fly fishing, an evening hike, among others.

VILLA E PALAZZO AMINTA - LAKE MAGGIORE, ITALY If you want to be totally spoiled, this is definitely the place for you -- from the sumptuous surroundings, and the beautiful views over Lake Maggiore, to the incredibly quality of the dining experiences. The Villa rises in a haven of peace facing Lake Maggiore surrounded by gardens of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons and the intense green of centuries old trees. Guests can bask in the Mediterranean sun on the terrace around the outdoor pool and enjoy snacks and drinks from the poolside bar, while taking in views of the Borromeo Islands. The hotel has its own private beach from where boat excursions and water sports are available, and guests can use the tennis court by the lake, stroll through the surrounding parkland, or take advantage of the hotel's bike rental service. There is also an Italian villa-style bar serving drinks and cocktails with live piano music some nights.

LAKE OKAREKA LODGE - ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND is a stunning 7,072-square-foot private lake house in Rotorua, New Zealand. The lodge is booked to only one couple, family or group at a time and can accommodate up to nine guests. This gated estate features a private jetty and boathouse, private beaches and a helipad. Nanny and butler services can be arranged. Nestled on a secluded peninsula, Lake Okareka Lodge rests in splendid harmony with nature and its spectacular-by-any-standards surroundings. The five-star lodge is sheltered in calm waters on private sandy beaches, and every breathtakingly picturesque view is framed in native stone, natural timber and beautifully landscaped flora and fauna. Stylish architecture and casually elegant interiors create a welcoming and restful environment for those who want to get away from it all yet enjoy luxurious comfort. When you stay at Lake Okareka Lodge, the entire property is exclusively yours.

VILLA D'ESTE - LAKE COMO, ITALY Called the most beautiful hotel in the world, Villa d'Este resides on the exclusive shores of Lake Como in Italy's Lombardy region. The hotel is 5 minutes from the Swiss border and 5 minutes from the Como Rail Station. Built in 1568 by architect "Il Pellegrini", as a private residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, it was converted to a hotel in 1873 and is considered one of the world's finest examples of architecture and landscaping. This magnificent hotel maintains the splendor of a bygone era and dining is a moveable feast, with meals served nearly everywhere in the surrounding 25-acre parkland — including The Veranda, whose glass walls disappear into the ground during warm weather. For relaxation, the Spa promises mind-body replenishing, while the 18-hole Golf Club Villa d'Este meanders gracefully through chestnut, ash and pine trees.

OBEROI UDAIVILAS - LAKE PICHOLA, INDIA You're met at the airport by a car and driver, guided onto a private boat, then ferried across Lake Pichola--past Udaipur's domed lakefront palaces--into the gardens and fountains of the Udaivilas estate. You're led to your suite, tempered with earth tones. From your window, Udaipur, the city of lakes, carved into the desert landscape by Mewari royals in the 16th century, sparkles in the sun. When sensory overload subsides, wind your way through sprawling courtyards to a traditional Kashmiri gondola, where champagne and canapés for two await. Designed as a traditional Rajasthani palace, the new luxury resort, Udaivilâs, is located on 30 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens overlooking Lake Pichola. Decorative fountains, reflections pools and pavilions create an atmosphere of tranquility. Spacious guest rooms, many with uninterrupted views of the lake and the city palace, are elegantly appointed. The Deluxe Suites and the Kohjnoor Suite feature private swimming pools.

LLAO LLAO HOTEL & RESORT, GOLF-SPA - LAKE NAHUEL HUAPI, ARGENTINA located within Nahuel Huapi National Park in the northwest region the Argentine Patagonia. The resort is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks, crystal blue lakes, rivers, and colorful forests. Long recognized for its striking beauty, Nahuel Huapi lake forms the centerpiece for Nahuel Huapi National Park, a premier sports destination on the Argentina/Chile border. Argentina's Lake district presents a Patagonian paradise of forests, rivers, lakes, and some of the world's most dramatic mountain peaks.

FAIRMONT JASPER PARK LODGE - CANADA is set deep in the Canadian Rockies, with charming cabins and rugged elegance, it is the embodiment of peace, tranquility and natural beauty. With one of the world's finest golf courses, spectacular outdoor adventure opportunities, gracious hospitality and fine cuisine, Jasper Park Lodge is more than a's a life experience. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has a firmly embedded place in the history of tourism in the Canadian Rockies. Its legacy began in 1915, in association with the Grand Truck Pacific Railway. A village of cedar chalets and heritage log cabins connected by picturesque paths, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge's superbly-appointed 446 guestrooms, suites and signature cabins offer the perfect romantic getaway or family vacation. Enjoy homelike comforts and amenities surrounded by incredible views of majestic mountains and the emerald green Lac Beauvert.

CASA PALOPO - LAKE ATITLAN, GUATEMALA is a beautiful propertu built on the hills surrounding the shores of Lake Atitlán and overlooking it's magnificent volcanoes: Atitlán, Tolimán and San Pedro. Activities in this wonderful place range from a relaxing massage in guest rooms, laying by the pool, horse back riding, visits to the Maya communities surrounding the lake or to the handicraft markets at Chichicastenango or Sololá. And for those who seek a little extra adrenaline rush a vibrant hike on the volcanoes or water-skiing in the fresh waters of the lake. All the rooms have private outdoor terraces that command incredible views over the lake, the volcanoes and the sunset. Even the beautiful bathrooms have this splendid view. The bathrooms are provided with a full line of Aveda bath and skin care products. Frette bed linens and towels and bath robes are also for guest enjoyment.

BLANKET BAY - LAKE OTAGO, NEW ZEALAND The Lodge at Blanket Bay is acknowledged as one of New Zealand's finest, but it is the experience that sets it apart. There is nowhere on earth where there are so many activities available so close by. They can provide you with endless ways to help restore your physical and spiritual well-being in this spectacular setting. From fly-fishing to hiking, jet boating to horseback riding, from heli-skiing to canyoning, art trails to vineyards, from hiking The Milford and Routeburn Tracks to flightseeing over The World Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. All of these options and many more are at our doorstep. It is no wonder such publications and organizations like Conde Nast, National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, The Robb Report and more, consistently rate Blanket Bay as one of the best luxury lodges in the world.

GRAND HOTEL A VILLA FELTRINELLI - LAKE GARDA, ITALY The Villa and its grand park were built in 1892 by the prominent Feltrinelli family and served as a summer escape. Since then the villa and its lakeside views have been admired by the statesmen and artists alike. Mussolini resided several years at the villa during World War II. In 1997 Bob Burns, legendary hotelier and founder of Regent International Hotels, bought the villa, gave it new life and offers it today to discerning travelers. The villa's Chef focuses his talent and creativity on the abundance of local products. The wine cellar abounds with both regional and some of Italy's most famous vintages.

STONEWATER COVE RESORT - TABLE ROCK LAKE, MISSOURI The resort is located on Table Rock Lake surrounded by thousands of acres of The Mark Twain National Forest covering the rolling hills and miles of shoreline for a dramatic landscape unique to North America. You'll find true seclusion from the outside world where outdoor play and indoor comfort reign. Hand-carved four wheeling trails, inspiring hikes, hidden tree house spots, moss covered rock formations, sun peering through the forest canopy, water so smooth it looks like glass, Chris-Craft boats, and delicate comfort food. Stars, stars, falling stars, shooting stars...with nothing but trees and a few scattered houses for miles, constellations rarely ever seen, can be found in the dark night sky.

KAYA MAWA LODGE - LAKE MALAWI Likoma Island is the larger of two small islands situated in the far north of Lake Malawi, on the east of the Lake and very close to the Mozambique coastline. To visit the island is to step back in time. Just 17 square kilometres with one small dirt road and two vehicles, the local people survive largely by fishing, and rice and cassava farming. The island has hundreds of huge baobab trees and a number of glorious sandy beaches and rocky coves. The waters are crystal clear throughout the year and the diving and snorkelling is among the best in Lake Malawi.


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