The lakes region in Italy has become one of our favorite travel destinations. Sparkling turquoise water, dramatic mountains jutting out of the lake, quaint villages and lots of activities for families and couples alike, it’s no wonder we love to visit! Of all the lakes in Italy, Lake Garda is Italy’s largest. A quick 2 hour drive from Venice, and equally as close to Milan, it is a popular spot for Italians to spend their holidays. We recently visited this gorgeous spot and had the chance to stay at the stunning Du Lac et du Parc Grand Resort. If you are looking for the best places to stay in Lake Garda, especially for a family, this is it! Affiliate links are included in this post.
Riva del Garda Location
More than 15 cute villages dot the shores of Lake Garda. Riva del Garda sits at the far north end of the lake. When we first arrived we amazed by the number of windsurfers and small sailboats that were scattered across the lake. We learned that Riva del Garda is home to two harbors…both of which are boat free, so this makes it the ideal location for water sports enthusiasts to play.
As we drove through town to get to the Du Lac et du Parc Grand Resort, we all noted how the area surrounding the resort felt remarkably similar to a stretch in Waikiki, Hawaii. The sidewalks were bustling with families in swimsuits and flip flops and both Quicksilver and Rip Curl have shop locations in town. It was kind of surreal!
This city and the forts and palaces and churches have been in existence for ages, you can even see ruins of fortifications that were built in the Middle Ages to defend the port from attack. In Roman times the port of Riva del Garda was an important center because of it’s location on the lake.
Over the centuries Riva del Garda has changed hands between the Germans, Austrians and Italians, which is reflected in the architecture of this quaint village.
We spent a fair amount of time researching Lake Garda hotels and the best places to stay in Lake Garda, and after reading about several we settled on the Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort. Reviews and articles led us to believe that is would be the best place to stay in Lake Garda for our family, and staying at the hotel was truly a wonderful experience.
The resort itself is situated right on the shores of Lake Garda, and the sprawling property is exactly as it describes itself…a beautiful park.
The grounds are lush and tropical…further reminding us of a Hawaiian retreat with an Italian flair.
Large hotel buildings, suites and bungalows dot the property as well as several pools, gourmet restaurants and a spa and fitness center.
Direct lake access (although not a private beach area) is at the edge of the resort property.
Rentals for all kinds of water equipment and lessons and activities like sailing and windsurfing are available through the resort as well.
Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort Restaurants
The restaurants on site at the Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort are all delicious. Each morning there is an amazing full buffet breakfast served on the terrace at the Aria restaurant. Breakfast was included with our room rate, as is common in many European hotels, and it was a delicious way to start each day. Meats, cheeses, eggs cooked to order, breads and cereals, fruit and yogurt…something for everyone.
We found ourselves eating at the Capannina pool bar & restaurant more than once while staying at the resort. This pretty outdoor restaurant is a casual spot for lunch and dinner.
Pizzas, pasta, salads and more in a candlelit setting amongst the tropical landscape is a relaxing way to end a day of fun water activities. Quick grab and go menu items and gelato are available too throughout the day if you happen to be at the pool and want to grab a bite.
When we made reservations for Du Lac et Du Parc, all of the bungalows and larger suites were booked. Riva del Garda is an extremely popular vacation destination for Italians and Germans, so rooms book up quickly. If you are hoping to stay there it is wise to make your reservations early. We booked two separate rooms in the main hotel, one with a king sized bed and one with two twins for the kids.
When we arrived to check in, a suite had become available. The suite however was on the bottom floor of the hotel and did not offer lake views…so before changing our original rooms I went to take a look. The suite was beautiful and would be more than comfortable for a family! It offered direct access to one of the outdoor pools and was well appointed. If I had younger kids, I would have switched in a heartbeat.
I opted however to keep our original rooms once I saw the lake view room we had originally booked. The balcony and views over the grounds and lake were too much for me to pass up.
The hotel had been undergoing some renovations and our lake view king was clearly recently renovated.
It was clean and modern and felt very new. It was interesting to see the difference between our room and the kid’s room. While perfectly nice and clean as well, it was older and decorated completely differently…clearly it had not been updated yet.
There was no problem at all with it, just be aware that if you are booking it might be worthwhile to ask about the renovation and see if you can make sure to get a recently updated room.
Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort also offers one to four bedroom bungalows nestled all throughout the lush grounds as well. These bungalows would be ideal for a family stay too.
Riva del Garda Weather
Riva del Garda weather typically ranges between 75-85 in the months of May-September.
When we visited temps were closer to 90 degrees and it was very muggy…which is also typical, hence the tropical feel.
The lake is cool and refreshing, and night time temps were pleasant to walk around and explore the old part of the city.
Things to do in Riva del Garda
The historic old town of Riva del Garda is an easy (and beautiful) walk along the lake shore from the resort.
Stroll along the narrow cobbled streets and pretty piazzas and enjoy the brightly colored pastel colored houses surrounding the lake.
There are tons of shops and restaurants in town, both right across the street from the resort, as well as in the historic old town.
Visit the old fortress, climb the Apponale Tower and if you are really up for a challenge, take the three hour hike to the church of Santa Barbera high up in the hills.
There are several medieval villages in the hills up above Riva del Garda.
If you have a car go explore these hillside towns…they are SO pretty and the views of the lake and village below are breathtaking!
If you are on the hunt for Lake Garda hotels for families and the best places to stay in Lake Garda, I hope our experience at the Du Lac et Du Parc Grand Resort is helpful in making your decision. We are anxious to return! Check out one of our favorite day trips from this pretty location here.
Heading to Italy? Check out more of our Italy posts here:
If you’re heading to other places in Europe, here are some more posts you don’t want to miss! You can check out our entire Europe Travel Gallery to see all of our posts and helpful info.
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