Palazzo Novello

Palazzo Novello, Lake Garda, Italy

In the small town of Montichiari, with its fairytale 19th-century castle and 18th-century cathedral, just a 15 min drive from the shore of lake Garda you will find the stately chic retreat Palazzo Novello. “It’s Elsa’s palace!” Exclaimed my Frozen-obsessed two-year old when she saw the imposing stone central staircase in this historic palazzo that has been restored into a boutique hotel of the highest standards. The ceilings are lofty, the original wooden doors so tall they’d allow a small giant to pass through and the rooms are spacious and, at times, sprawling. My daughter’s delight intensified when she saw the fairytale princess four-poster bed adorned with reams of white netting in our room. I asked to be shown around some of the other 18 rooms and they are all unique and furnished to the same high standard in neutral shades. Room 209 has its own private terrace, while there are three areas that can be taken by families or friends, which would give them their own ‘quarters’. Rooms 311 and 312 are doubles with their own kitchen area and private terrace, while rooms 315 and 314 are behind a separate front door and have their own large living area.

Weddings and Parties

For real privacy there is a separate little building called the ‘dependence’, which has a fabulous recently frescoed room which can seat 60 for dinner, above which are three good sized doubles (rooms 401,402 and 403). With these configurations it makes the hotel an ideal venue for an intimate wedding (they are currently applying for a licence to be able to hold weddings in either the painted room or in the grand hall of the main building). It would also be a good place to celebrate a big birthday or anniversary and the accommodating sisters who run Palazzo Novello are happy to arrange catering for a celebration banquet.


Breakfast is a great selection of cold meats, cheese, pastries, homemade cake, fruits and cereals with eggs cooked on request. Both Kenda and Nicoletta speak good English and are very knowledgeable on the surrounding area. They can recommend local restaurants, day trips and suggest interesting places to visit. In the evening you can sit in the comfortable lounge area and ask for your favourite tipple to be served (we were only staying one night, so didn’t get to spend an evening). Reluctantly we had to move on, but it’s my 40th birthday next year …

Antonia Windsor, 2015

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.