The Lake Escape: Experience a Lakeside Adventure with These Mesmerizing Stays on Booking.com
Whether travelers prefer lakes flanked by fir trees, sandy beaches or cliffs, life looks considerably better on the bank of an expanse of freshwater. With the large majority (84%)* of US travelers reporting that seeing a body of water instantly changes their mood for the better, a lake trip is the ideal vacation.
The world is awash with lakes, so with its mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com has delved into its more than 28 million listings in over 155,000 destinations to present five of the best destinations that are highly recommended for lakes by Booking.com travelers.** From the freshwater Lake Taupo in New Zealand to the crystalline Patagonian water of Lake Nahuel Huapí, these beautiful destinations are waiting for travelers to take a boat for a spin, go fishing on the dock or simply sit back and enjoy the mesmerizing vision of a summer’s day reflected in the mirror of a lake.
Annecy Lake in Annecy, France
Situated in southeastern France, the alpine town of Annecy is one of the most picturesque in France. It’s even been hailed as an ‘Alpine Venice’ due to its network of canals and cobbled stone streets lined with pretty pastel houses, and is nestled on the northwestern shore of its namesake lake, one of the largest in France and said to be the cleanest in Europe with its turquoise and transparent waters. Speckled with rowing boats, it’s perfect for anyone interested in fresh-water adventures with swimming, watersports and plenty of spots to soak up the sun. Albigny beach is just a short walk from town and, at the opposite end of the lake, travelers can hike up a cliffside path to the impressive waterfall of Angon located in the canyon. For those looking to explore beyond the lake, take an Annecy Walking Tour to explore the charming alpine town and discover the historical sites including its crowning medieval chateau and the Pont des Amours – the Bridge of Love.
Where to stay: For an easy trip to the beach, stay at the Booking.com Travel Sustainable-certified property Les Ô d'Annecy, which is close to the shores of Annecy Lake. This charming, upmarket B&B nestled in a wood of century-old pines has a home away from home feel, with comfy rooms featuring French linen and warm vintage décor. Located a few minutes from Annecy between the mountains and the lake, guests can soak up the panoramic views in this enchanting setting from the wood-heated indoor pool or the lounge perched in the trees. A delicious homemade breakfast is served every morning, and there’s an onsite wellness area and massage service available for some good rest and relaxation.
Perched on the northeastern shore of Lake Taupo and home to New Zealand’s first national park and ancient rainforests, Taupo is packed with plenty to see and do. Australasia’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Taupo is a caldera, a flooded volcanic crater that was formed 25,000 years ago – and the size of Singapore! These days, travelers can reap the benefits of such seismic activity with a dip in one of the dozens of geothermal hot pools that dot the shore around Tapuaeharuru Bay. Beyond the lake, visitors can see the beautiful snow-capped peaks of Tongariro National Park. For adrenaline junkies, there’s an abundance of activities from white water rafting to skydiving, and the lake is renowned for world-class trout fishing. For a more chilled adventure, visitors can hop on a Lake Taupo Cruise to take in the beautiful views of Huka Falls and discover the geothermal hot spots including mud pools, hot springs and fumaroles.
Where to stay: Make the most of the scenic views at The Point Villas, situated on an estate overlooking Lake Taupo’s Mine Bay with the surrounding mountains at the doorstep. Set amongst native trees, each luxury self-catering villa is elegantly designed with classic oak furniture and local artwork, and all open out onto a large private terrace with a solar heated mineral pool, hot tub and barbecue. Guests can soak up the views and enjoy the peace and privacy with all the spoils of a first-class stay, including access to a golf course and tennis courts.
Lake Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne is a stunning ancient city located in central Switzerland sprinkled with romantic bridges, sunny plazas, candy-colored houses and waterfront promenades. Steeped in history and myth, the city is ringed by mountains and sits on the cobalt shores of Lake Lucerne. Thanks to the unique shape of this stunning lake, which spreads into four different paths, travelers have a plethora of routes to explore the city’s beauty. Start with a Self-guided Tour of Mount Pilatus and Lake Lucerne to discover the highlights by land and air before finishing up with a cruise on the lake itself. Visitors will take a cable car up the mountain, followed by a train journey on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway for incredible views of the alps and picturesque villages beneath. For thrill seeking travelers, ascend the vertical Mount Pilatus by foot on a 5-mile (8-km) hike (not for the faint hearted!) or try the Swiss path to see the amazing medieval architecture from above.
Where to stay: Experience the Art Deco Hotel Montana perched high above Lake Lucerne, and just minutes from the historic center. Switzerland’s shortest funicular whisks guests from ground level to the lobby in old-world style, while the design lives up to the hotel’s name with bold and stylish geometric patterns throughout. Guests have an array of rooms to choose from, each featuring arresting panoramic views of the city or the lake. If travelers are seeking luxury, the generously sized penthouse boasts a private rooftop terrace with heated whirlpool bathtub. For an evening sundowner guests can head up to the hip rooftop Montana Beach Club and soak up the evening skyline, or enjoy dinner at the gourmet Scala Restaurant & Terrace in the heated conservatory.
Famed for its hot springs, art museums and ancient sites, the serene town of Hakone is located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park with Lake Ashinoko at its center. The cobalt-blue lake was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone following a volcano eruption in 1170. Nowadays, the green leafy trees and iconic snowy peak of Mount Fuji reflected on the still waters make this a picture-perfect spot for travelers. A popular location for fishing for the surrounding towns, notable landmarks nearby include the Hakone Shrine and Onshi Park. For visitors heading into town, make the most of it with a Customized Hakone Private Day Trip. Travelers will have the option to stroll through the town and visit authentic Japanese tea houses and historic sites such as the Odawara Castle, or experience the area on a sightseeing boat tour traveling to the best viewing points on Lake Ashinoko.
Where to stay: Bed down at a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn – for a truly relaxing stay. The Hakone Ashinoko Hanaori is situated in the middle of the forest and features two soothing hot spring pools overlooking the majestic Lake Ashinoko. A sleek, modern take on a ryokan, this polished hotel offers a massage service and a streamlined water terrace with a sunken seating area. Guests can savor the traditional touches throughout, from the onsen (hot bath) to the yukata (casual Japanese robe) available for guests to wear to the dining area and, of course, the magnificent Japanese garden in all its splendor.
San Carlos de Bariloche, commonly referred to as Bariloche, is nestled in the hills of the Andes and surrounded by forests, mountains and lakes. Located in Argentina’s Patagonia region, the city is famous for its alpine-style architecture and bustling chocolate industry. Situated along the shoreline of Lake Nahuel Huapí, it’s the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat or a fun-filled adventure, as Bariloche was declared the Argentine Capital of Adventure Tourism in 2012. The glacial lake is the centerpiece of the Nahuel Huapí National Park and attracts millions every year thanks to its crystal-clear blue waters and variety of beaches. Travelers can enjoy an array of activities including kayaking across the waters to waterfalls and secluded coves, or they can hit the hills and hike Mount Bella Vista to be rewarded with picture-postcard views at the top.
Where to stay: For those 44%*** of US travelers who consider luxury accommodation highly important when planning a vacation, Llao Llao Resort, Golf-Spa is the ultimate choice. This exclusive resort boasts an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, an infinity pool and an indulgent spa. Surrounded by crystalline Patagonian water and with the stunning Andes as a backdrop, the country-style rooms overlook both the Nahuel Huapi and Moreno lakes. A stone’s throw away from the beach, guests can partake in a range of sports and leisure activities, including fishing, hiking, biking and watersports. The resort is also a Booking.com Travel Sustainable-certified property, thanks to its efforts in giving back to the community and protecting the surrounding virgin forests of the national park.
For travelers who are planning a lakeside adventure, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travelers to use when booking their next trip. Discounts start at 15 percent at participating properties indicated by the “Getaway 2022” badge, and are valid for stays with check-out on or before 30 September 2022. In addition, Booking.com is giving travelers around the world the keys to unlock a new level of additional perks with the introduction of a third tier to its Genius loyalty program. Designed to make every trip a better experience, Booking.com’s loyalty program is completely free, easily accessible and membership lasts a lifetime – travelers simply need to create an account to achieve Genius status for life. As Genius members unlock new levels, they get access to larger discounts and more travel rewards that never expire. All travelers have to do is sign into their Booking.com account and look for the Genius logo to identify benefits, discounts and perks.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.
**Endorsement data from Booking.com based on the most recommended and relevant destinations by global travelers for lakes
***Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.