The Most Beautiful Lakeside Resorts in the World
Forget the beach. These stunning lakeside resorts offer top-of-the-line luxury and a certain type of tranquility you can’t get anywhere else.
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The very definition of heaven on Earth
Serene. Scenic. Relaxing. Effortless. If those are the words that pop to mind when you think about lounging by a lake, then you're in the right place. It's no wonder that lakeside resorts are so popular around the world. Guests can get out on the water without having to leave the resort, and they typically offer on-site amenities that complement your time on the water. Although oceanside beach resorts are often given the most attention, lakeside resorts can be just as beautiful and luxurious, as you'll see momentarily. When should you visit? That's up to you, of course, but you might want to check out the cheapest months of the year to visit all 50 states.
The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
As an AAA Four Diamond resort with 500 feet of sand beach on Elkhart Lake, the Osthoff Resort offers the right mix of coziness and grandeur. This lakeside resort is so large that you may be offered a map at check-in, yet the courteous staff will make it feel like you're in a luxurious small town. Located in southeastern Wisconsin, the Osthoff is an integral part of the Elkhart Lake community. From Monday through Saturday, you can choose from two lake cruises each day to enjoy panoramic views of Elkhart Lake while learning about local history. The lakefront also has picnic areas, a playground, a volleyball court, and lots of places to sit and savor the views. During you'll stay, you'll also want to check out the world-class Aspira Spa, which offers a wide array of treatments that focus on the body, mind, and spirit. While you're in Wisconsin, you might also want to check out this tiny, dreamy island of 700 people.
Impérial Palace, Lake Annecy, France
With its idyllic location in a lush park on the shores of Lake Annecy, the Impérial Palace offers a real sense of getting away from it all. A definite highlight of any stay here is the Crystal Spa, which is in a class of its own. It offers relaxing treatments in a haven dedicated to beauty and wellness that's nestled between the lake and the mountains. The on-site casino may not be what you'd expect to find at an upscale resort, but it adds to the fun. If you find the luxurious lifestyle of the resort aspirational, you may be tempted to try some games and try your luck. If you're thinking of heading overseas, first read up on the European travel experience most people don't know about.
The Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland
Located on 10 acres of beautifully manicured gardens at the foot of the Swiss Alps, the Beau-Rivage Palace sits alongside Lake Geneva. Guests can enjoy the lake views on the terrace or take a ride on the hotel's Montreux steamboat, which doubles as an eatery during the summer months. Other popular water activities include boating and paddle-boarding. But this elegant lakeside resort has something for every type of travelers—it also includes a "children's paradise" area and an upscale spa. Here are more of the most luxurious spas in the world.
Canyon of the Eagles, Burnet, Texas
Canyon of the Eagles is a place of beauty and a treat to the senses. This nature-based resort in Burnet, Texas, overlooks Lake Buchanan and may offer you the chance to see wildlife such as deer and, of course, eagles. (Also, don't miss the resident cat, Booberry!) You can enjoy a relaxing or active stay—or one that's a mix of both. There aren't any televisions in the guest cabins and rooms, which allows for a real back-to-nature experience, but don't worry: There's plenty of entertainment on the grounds to keep you busy. Canyon cruises, sunset hikes, and guided kayak tours are just some of the fun things that are part of this lakeside resort experience. You'll definitely want to check out the Eagle Eye Observatory, which offers truly remarkable views since the resort is in a Dark Sky location.
Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
Situated on the scenic shores of Lough Corrib, the largest lake in Ireland, Ashford Castle is a sight to behold. It is set on 350 acres and has the trifecta of gorgeous natural scenery, so you can enjoy views of the mountains, woodlands, and lake. The five-star luxury castle-hotel has a storied past that dates back to 1228 when it was originally built by the Angle-Norman de Burgo family. While the exterior will make you feel like you've stepped back in time, the inside is full of modern luxuries, including an on-site spa and movie theater. The Hideaway Cottage, which provides a 180-degree view of the lake, is particularly perfect for honeymooners. And a fun fact: The castle's grounds were once used for the classic film The Quiet Man, starring Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne. These are another 65 movie and TV filming locations you can actually visit.
Emerald Lake Lodge, British Columbia, Canada
Nestled in the Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada, the Emerald Lake Lodge offers extraordinary views in all seasons. As its name suggests, it is located along Emerald Lake, and guests can enjoy such activities as white-water rafting and skiing nearby. It's also just a short drive from the Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks World Heritage Site. Inside, it captures the magic of its history with fireplaces that date back at least a century and special antiques.
Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve, Guatemala
The Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve is located along the shores of Lake Atitlan. It overlooks Volcán San Pedro and is situated in its own nature reserve. Inspired by nature, this posh lakeside resort was actually created from adobe, palm, and volcanic stone. It features classic candelabras and a large stone fireplace, but the splendor outside is hard, with the surrounding black volcanoes and crystal-blue water. The resort's Hummingbird Spa offers full-body treatments, massages, and the ultimate in relaxation. No matter which destination you choose, this is the right way to travel, according to environmental experts.
The Manor on Golden Pond, Holderness, New Hampshire
Just south of the White Mountains in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, The Manor on Golden Pond overlooks Squam Lake. The charming resort was the filming location for the Oscar-winning movie On Golden Pond. Its splendor is evident throughout the property, and you can enjoy special touches like luxury robes in themed rooms. Some accommodations offer a private deck and whirlpool, and the on-site spa helps make this lakeside resort a retreat for the body, mind, and soul. Also, the lake is not to be missed! Guests can swim in it or explore it by boat.
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy
Situated in the town of Bellagio, which is known as the Pearl of Lake Como, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni just might be the area's crown jewel. It is a regal 19th-century villa with elaborate decor, marble columns, gilded walls, and vaulted ceilings. No matter where your eye goes, you'll see something beautiful. And you just have to step outside for amazing views of Lake Como, the Alps, and the Italian gardens. This five-star hotel has a Gatsby-like, upscale ambiance, but it's comfortable and inviting to all guests. Speaking of hotels with rave reviews, another hotel holds the distinction of having more five-star ratings than any other.