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“The Hotel Detective was skulking about the fourth-floor corridor of the Hotel Grand Tremezzo, which overlooks Lake Como, trying to look nonchalant. He was waiting for an untrafficed moment to take a picture of the floor plan, which, as in many older European hotels, is posted in the hall. (The Tremezzo was built in 1910.) Just when the camera was poised, the focal length set, and THD bent lightly from the waist, up walked an American woman who inquired, in a fluty voice, “What ever are you doing?’

“Working,” THD responded. To which my interlocutor rightly arched an eyebrow. Upon explaining further, she brightened and said, “Let me show you our room. My husband’s in the shower but that won’t matter. We have a corner view.” Upon opening the door, she hailed her husband. “Honey, I’m with The Hotel Detective. He wants to look at the room.” When honey emerged from the bathroom in a robe, THD explained what he was up to. The gentleman plunked himself in an armchair and made the best of it.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo sits on the west shore of Lake Como just south of Bellagio, where the lake branches into two long arms. THD loves the Tremezzo because it retains just the right amount of old-fashioned starch—a room for reading newspapers, which are hung in cafe-style wood presses from coat-hooks, a billiards room, tu-y-yo chairs in red with white piping in the lobby—but has enlivened the decor with just the right amount of contemporary spritz: The scroll-arm chairs in the Sala Musica (above), the grand public room off the lobby, are done in light, candy-cane-color fabrics. It all says, “not too grand,” which is a smart compromise to get the up-and-coming luxury hotel client who doesn’t want to be immersed in the dentillated past, but rather given a hint of it along with reassurance that the hotel is now.

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THD was not here to see that corner room, but rather the Tremezzo’s new showpieces, the eight Balbaniello suites on the roof (above, Balbaniello Suite 504). They are named for the Villa Balbaniello just down the lake, which served as the hospital in the final scenes of the 2006 Casino Royale, and also made an appearance in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones.

> Source:Forbes