When hot weather hits, travelers tend to have beaches on their brain. And while taking a refreshing dip in the ocean may be top of mind, there’s something special about a lake vacation. With opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and lounging, lakes also make for great playgrounds in the summertime. So before you start searching for sandy stretches around the world, take a look at our list of gorgeous lakeside hotels, from Idaho to Italy. Some are bright blue oases tucked beneath towering peaks, and others are backed by idyllic towns, but all are so stunning that the ocean will give you a pass for pining over them.
Casta Diva Resort & Spa, Lake Como, Italy
Why choose between whiling away the day at the pool or the lake when you can do both at Casta Diva Resort & Spa? Located on the shores of Lake Como, in the town of Blevio, this romantic retreat stars a floating pool jutting out into the water. At night, the wood-decked oasis transforms into a stage for a spectacular sound and light show, complete with fountains choreographed to operatic arias. Speaking of operas, 19th-century opera singer Giuditta Pasta purchased one of the villas here in 1827. The theatrical aesthetic is apparent throughout the property, though, from the lavishly decorated rooms (expect gilded furnishings, fine art and panoramic views of the lake) to the dramatic color schemes in public spaces. Rounding out the splurge-worthy amenities are the subterranean spa — finished with an indoor pool, sauna and Mediterranean bath — and several fine-dining eateries. Honeymoon, anyone?