An intriguing approach… You drive up to the top of the village, continue on foot down a steepish path and arrive at a little stone cottage with mesmerising lake views. This is an elegant and heart-warming restoration of part of an old monastery by an interior designer owner. You get the whole of the downstairs: walk straight in to white walls, wooden beams and doors, original stone niches displaying beautiful objects, good sofas topped with wool throws, two vast windows in the living room overlooking the lake – harmony! Bedrooms (one with lake views from the bed) have embroidered linen, soft pillows and the same combination of pale stone and wood; bathrooms are swish and rustic, the kitchen has all you need to cook up a storm (rather stylishly) and all is unbelievably romantic. You have your own private terrace and plunge pool, and there’s a shared courtyard with the other apartment upstairs. Catch the ferry to Isola Comacina, Bellagio and Varenna, visit St Moritz, hike in the mountains, swim in the lake, stroll into Sala for your morning cappuccino or dinner by the lake. Guests often say they don’t want to go home!