Lake Garda, Italy

Prati Palai

Rates from (ex tax)$172.89

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR175.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Farm-fresh fancy

Setting

Lake and country

Sitting in the shade of olive trees above Lake Garda, boutique hotel Prati Palai is a sleek restored farmhouse where the good life takes centre stage. Sleep in vast beds dressed in crisp cottons, have breakfast alfresco on the terrace and take a dip in the bijou pool overlooking this verdant slice of Veneto’s countryside.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of prosecco on arrival and free bike hire once during the stay

Facilities

Photos Prati Palai facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Eight suites.

Check–Out

10.30am. Check-in, 4pm to 7.30pm, but flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $172.84 (€159), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €0.80 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR175.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include Continental breakfast of fresh bread and pastries as well as cold cuts, cheeses and boiled eggs.

Also

This upcycled bolthole hasn’t forgotten its working-farm roots: in the library, a trough’s been converted into a bookshelf, and much of the kitchen produce is still grown on site.

Hotel closed

2 November.to 1 April.

At the hotel

45 acres of grounds, lounge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, DVD player on request, Ortigia toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

All the suites have postcard-perfect views of the lake. Split-level Junior Suite 6 has a pentagonal shower and, upstairs in the living room, a roll-top bath in striking turquoise blue. Suite 9’s circular window looks out onto the picturesque headland of Punta San Vigilio. With warm wood floors, plump antique armchairs and timber beams painted in pastel hues, rooms here exude contemporary farmhouse.

Poolside

An inviting shade of sparkling cerulean, the small, unheated pool is in a peaceful spot among the estate’s olive trees. Lounge in the shade or the sun: either way, you’ll be treated to sweeping lake views.

Packing tips

Bring a pair of sturdy walking boots: hiking trails snake through the estate, leading to delightful picnic spots.

Pet‐friendly

Small, well-behaved dogs can stay for free. Contact the hotel in advance to let them know Fido is accompanying you. Just let the hotel know when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Lake Garda.

Children

Prati Palai is a grown-up retreat; leave under-16s at home.

Food and Drink

Photos Prati Palai food and drink

Top Table

Take a seat at one of the wrought-iron tables on the terrace for an alfresco breakfast with soul-soothing lake views.

Dress Code

Dolce vita classics: crisp linens, espadrilles and a pair of statement shades.

Hotel restaurant

None, but breakfast is served at a long wooden table in the lounge. Help yourself from the fruit bowls and compare plans for the day with fellow guests.

Hotel bar

Help yourself to a cold drink from the small poolside fridge and don’t leave without tasting Prati Palai’s home-made limoncello, distilled from the estate’s own citrus fruit.

Last orders

There’s no need to jump out of bed in the morning: breakfast is served 8am–11am.

Room service

None, but you can have breakfast delivered to your room for €30 each.

Location

Photos Prati Palai location
Address
Prati Palai
11 Strada Palai
37011
Bardolino, Lake Garda
Italy

Planes

A 30-minute drive away, Verona is the nearest airport, with good links to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Budget flights land at Bergamo’s Il Caravaggio airport, an hour’s drive away.

Trains

Trenitalia trains from Milan, Venice and Bologna arrive at Verona Porta Nuova station, a 30-minute drive from the hotel.

Automobiles

Lake Garda’s pretty, mediaeval villages and bucolic hillsides are best explored with a hire car. From Bardolino, take Via San Colombano and look for Strada Palai on the right; the hotel is a short drive up a twisting path and has free parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

This lush, hushed corner of Veneto makes an idyllic setting for a laid-back escape. At the height of summer, Prati Palai offers welcome respite from the tourist throngs at the lake: set up base by the pool with a glass of something chilled and a good pile of books, or take a gentle stroll around the olive groves. In fine weather, ask staff for a picnic basket and go for a leisurely paddle in the cobalt waters of the lake. Nautica Guini (+39 346 2886677) rents small motorboats by the hour. In season (September–January), owner Domenico can arrange hunting trips to an estate an hour’s drive away, near Verona. You’ll need a license to bag the local pheasants, partridges and hares. Stop by Guerrieri Rizzardi for a taste of the local wines; this family operation also produces oak-aged grappa, artisanal olive oil and citrus liqueur. Elegant Mantua’s mediaeval lakes and riverside Borghetto sul Mincio make for pleasant daytrips. The more intrepid may prefer tackling the waters head on with a spot of windsurfing, water-skiing and canoeing on Lake Garda.

Local restaurants

Cloaked in floaty, ethereal white drapes, Ristorante Al Beati (+39 045 725 5780) started life as an olive-oil mill. Surrounded by olive groves, its lake-view terrace is impossibly romantic. The menu of Italian classics enriched with truffles, lobster and well-aged cheeses isn’t to be sneered at, either. If you’re visiting the western shore of the lake, stop by Smith favourite Villa Arcadio (+39 036  42 281) in the hills overlooking Salo, to sample fresh pike from the lake, handmade gnocchi or creamy gelato. Overlooking Lazise’s harbour, Oreste (+39 045 758 0019; closed on Wednesdays) dishes up the catch of the day in a lofty, brick-walled dining room. Its creative take on traditional northern Italian fare is deservedly popular, so it’s best to book ahead.

Local bars

Garda’s Taitu Piano Bar (+39 045 725 5134) is as raucous as the nightlife gets on these placid shores. Sing and dance with the locals until the small hours of the morning.

Reviews

Photos Prati Palai reviews

Anonymous review

‘Where the bloody hell are you taking me?’ cried Mrs Smith, and for a moment I wasn’t quite sure myself. The previous night, Lake Garda had been hit by a Biblical downpour; the dusty road out of the village of Bardolino to boutique hotel Prati Palai on the lake’s eastern shore had turned into a higgledy-piggledy dribble of ruts and contours. 

It had been a good idea at the time: a last-minute babymoon to celebrate becoming surprise parents. ‘Where else has better ingredients for uninterrupted romance than Verona?’ I asked, pretending there was at least another option. Handsome landscapes and country air soothing the mind and body, as well as delicious pizzas and pastas, mountainous boards of antipasti and triple-scoops of gelato. It was clever of me to work in the idea of carb-loading. More wine for me, I thought. But jiggling Mrs Smith and junior up a deceptively steep winding road, even in a classic Fiat 500, wasn’t her idea of a relaxing trip. 

So how to go about convincing her it could be? At the first sight of the butter cream farmstead she started to soften, especially since we’d timed our arrival with the emergence of the sun. The eight-room building sat on a sloping meadow populated by stocky bales of straw, oak trees shedding acorns and tufts of fluffy cypress trees poking up like ginormous cotton buds. I walked around, slightly sun-dazed and barefoot, letting the gravel pebbles soothe my toes. She was struck by the smell of freshly-cut grass; I spied a fridge full of wine.

The manor house turned out to be the ultimate farmyard reverie. Bound by fig trees and rosemary, it was tangled amidst fuchsia bougainvillea and ripening vines, with bushy olive, orange, and lime trees in the gardens. Inside, the architecture was a testament to this history of living off the land. The communal dining area was rustic and airy, Old MacDonald-style, split down the middle by a gigantic, saddlebag-brown table. On it sat welcoming bowls of almost monstrously plump apples and the window ledges were crowded with dried-out pumpkins; above, a creaky, 16-point star hung from the rafters. 

Where the cows were once milked in a 15th-century parlour had become an adjoining library and raised lounge, furnished with sofas and a small silver trolley topped with glasses and a help-yourself decanter of deep-purple plum wine. Propped on a table next to that was a simple menu proposing sandwiches and plates of shaved affettati misti (Parma ham, salami, mortadella and pecorino). But I was more inclined to take a bellini made with lemon and peach to the hammock by the poolside. The place was designed for lazy days and little else. How the property’s long history of workers could ever get any work done was beyond me. Even fop-haired owner Domenico Ferrari Barettoni still insists on making homegrown olive oils and honey from the hives. 

The ground-floor junior suite was cosy with the right amount of farmhouse frippery and shuttered windows that filtered sunlight across the beds each morning. But what we really loved most wasn’t found in the room. Neither was it in the invigorating country atmosphere, or the two-inch-thick veal cutlets we devoured at dinner on the Bardolino quayside on our first night (washed down, in my case, with a bottle of Chianti); it was born from the things that had always been there: the wobbly reflections on the lake; the smear of blue mountains at dusk; the free-flowing good times. 

If we returned we’d probably opt for a first- or second-floor suite on the western side above the driveway, where the sun lingers for just a few precious moments longer, before dropping into Lake Garda like a coin in a slot. This time, under a bank of stars, we dozed with little to disturb us other than the church bells from Chiesa di San Severo pealing softly in the distance and the low hum of cicadas. Both were a welcome blessing; it was the only thing to help conceal Mrs Smith’s first-trimester snoring. 

The essence of a break like this meets many people’s idea of Italian romance; it was impossible for Mrs Smith and the bump not to be won over. Lost in the citrus trees, their branches a spectrum of orange, lime and yellow, we sat by the poolside on our final afternoon, dining on juicy tomatoes and goodies bought from a morning’s stroll around the tight-knit streets of Bardolino. We tore into the meal, scrunching up rolls of salami with kitchen bread, the juice running down our fingers to our elbows. It seemed like a perfect moment in time, but as she eyed my drained wine glass, Mrs Smith’s mind was on something else. ‘We’ll be back next year if they let us,’ she said, adamantly. ‘But this time with baby in tow. And I’m going to get very, very drunk.’

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Prati Palai’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The location and fantastic views of Lake Garda, the very relaxed feel of the property and the friendliness of the staff. This is a B&B slightly off the beaten track which made it all the more appealing to us.

Don’t expect

A full English!

Rating

Stayed on 8 Sep 2016

We loved

The owner was so very helpful with restaurant bookings, arranging rental boat, making our stay very special. Peace and quiet. Lovely pool. Stunning views. Recommend renting a boat for a few hours San Vigilio restaurant. 

Don’t expect

No restaurant but delicious breakfast, fruit in abundance for grazing, limited but lovely salads during the day, relaxed honesty bar with local wines and beers.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Aug 2016

We loved

The location and the building. There is several restaurants around the area of lake Garda that l can highly recommend: Ristorante La Casa degli Spiriti, Ristorante Al Beati and Ristorante Oselete.

Don’t expect

No minibar in the room we had.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Aug 2016

We loved

Quiet, peaceful relaxing hotel in a fantastic location. Staff were sparse, but also incredibly useful and provided great dinner recommendations.

Don’t expect

Lively nights

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jun 2016

We loved

The setting was amazing with a beautiful view of Lake Garda and Bardolino. The property was fully made into a luxury hotel from a farm with all details considered. The east shore of Lake Garda is outstanding with historic cities and beautiful views. A slow drive up and down the coast with many stops is worth at least a day. The funicular at Malcesine is wonderful but expect a long wait for the ride. 10/10

Don’t expect

The road in was poorly marked and it took us some time to find the place. Eventually, we discovered a more friendly way to get to the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 23 May 2016

We loved

The peace and quiet was incredible, we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. Perfect as we ended up celebrating our engagement there! Malcesine is a beautiful town about 40mins north. The cable car to the top of the mountain gives incredible views but make sure you wrap up warm. There was snow when we went!

Don’t expect

Staff are minimal. There is one gentleman that was so helpful and brought us drinks to the bar. However, on our first day we had no hot water and couldn't find anyone, anywhere to ask about it.

Rating

Stayed on 2 May 2016

We loved

The aesthetic of Prati Palai is very serene. A wonderful escape from Milan. We had room 4 which offered fantastic views of Lake Garda and a relaxing living room. The staff were very helpful and accommodating. Breakfast was a nice buffet that you could have either inside their dining area or outside under the olive trees. Dominick our host was a great source of information and helped us through many of our navigational dilemmas. I could have easily spent another week relaxing in this charming hotel.

Don’t expect

Great salads or club sandwiches for evening fare. No restaurant on premise.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Sep 2015

We loved

The setting and rooms.

Don’t expect

Night life.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2015

We loved

Size of the rooms, friendly and relaxed service and location.

Don’t expect

Partying.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2015

We loved

The location is perfect, secluded the amazing views. Rooms are suites and simple luxury. Outdoor space, well I could have sat there all day...

Don’t expect

A lift.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Sep 2015

We loved

Everything. It was lovely. Peaceful, clean, nice staff, very helpful owner who was there most of the time, lovely pool, nice breakfast, etc!

Don’t expect

Tea / coffee / fridge in your room. They will get for you if you ask. But it's not already there.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Aug 2015

We loved

The place very well designed, the breakfast, the room was very nice and the people very attentive.

Rating

Stayed on 1 May 2015