Set in an ornate Renaissance palazzo dating from 1568, the Villa d’Este is quintessential Lake Como, overlooking the water amid verdant parklands. A constant procession of major celebs and minor royalty arrive by speedboat or helicopter to luxuriate in the array of sports facilities, the selection of fine-dining options (guests are expected to dress elegantly for dinner), and refined rooms furnished with priceless antiques. As befits one of the most exclusive hotels in the world, two private villas guarantee complete seclusion from the masses.