Back to references

Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées, Stresa

In September 1918 a 19-year-old American soldier was wounded in the trenches and spent his convalescence in Stresa.

That boy is called Ernest Hemingway and, fascinated by the beauty of Lake Maggiore, he set part of his novel A Farewell to Arms – A Farewell to Arms, 1929 – there, making the Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées famous throughout the world.

It is just one of the many connections with history that have built the legend of the great hotel, inaugurated in 1863.

With the opening of the Simplon railway tunnel, Stresa became a privileged destination for elite European tourism and, in 1919, was included in the sixth route of the Orient Express: the one which from London reaches Istanbul through Italy, via Milan, Venice and Trieste.

The Simplon Orient Express soon became the most successful route and getting off at Des Iles gave wealthy travelers their first evocative impact on the Bel Paese.

In over a century and a half of history, the Hôtel des Iles Borromeés has been able to adapt the concept of elegance to the evolution of times and tastes, without distorting its inimitable Art Nouveau style.

The new Spa was inaugurated in 2022, with wellness programs, saunas, Turkish baths, salt rooms, as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hydromassage tubs, all made with the integral waterproofing of the Drytech Tank.

The speed of construction of the Drytech system allowed the Bellani company of Arona to remove the waterproofing activities from the work calendar, delivering the new structure in time for the opening of the grand season.

Drytech Engineering also designed the solution for a sensitive structural detail such as the passage between the internal and external swimming pool, subject to significant temperature variations depending on the season.

Project: Architect Statilio Ubiali, Verdellino

Structure: Eng. Marco Danioni, Dormelletto / Eng. Carlo Sammartini, Cassano Magnago

Testing: Architect Alberto Marzaro, Mercallo

Construction: Bellani, Arona

Drytech Tank: 2,850 m2

La façade Art Nouveau du Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées