Its name refers to the title of a Rolling Stones’ song, of the 1967 summer of love, about the dandelion flower.
The idea of the two owners to change the use of the historic villa by converting it into high-level accommodation was conditioned by their wish not to take anything away from the charm of the place. The main villa, originally home to landowners, became the holiday home of a wealthy Milanese family in the early 1900s. “In the 1920s this had been its vocation: the former owners used to spend their summer holidays here in the company of guests and friends, so it was natural for us that it should continue with that same function, albeit with a different format”, explains Aurora, the owner.
There are now sixteen accommodation units, with plans in place to expand further in the coming years. The old manor house houses elegant suites furnished with contemporary and vintage design and fine fabrics made in Como by the family weaving mill especially for Dandelion, as a tribute to the city's long textile tradition. In the boutique hotel’s shop, visitors can buy textiles made from the same fabrics that adorn Dandelion's interiors. Inside the courtyard, which once housed the service staff, there are comfortable flats furnished in contemporary style, but where there is still that cosy atmosphere typical of the traditional courtyards of Lombardy. “During the renovation work, we strove to keep the two souls of the place alive: on the one hand the elegance of the villa, reinterpreted for a holiday feel, while on the other hand embracing the rural spirit of the courtyard, where the lives of those who dwelled here were marked by the slow rhythms of nature”, says Aurora.
The whole building is surrounded by centuries-old grounds where guests can wander on long walks or relax in the Finnish sauna or the meditation area set in an exotic bamboo grove. Dandelion also offers a lounge area for aperitifs with a menu of signature cocktails with names inspired by Rolling Stones' numbers, as well as the old stables where breakfasts are now served, made with highest-quality, and completely fresh, local products. The same philosophy guides the restaurant's own culinary choices with its dishes from the traditional repertoire of Lombardy, reinterpreted in a contemporary key, accompanied by local wines in a simple yet elegant setting.
Previously reserved for hotel guests, the restaurant is now also open to others in what has been a further opening up to the community of Villa Guardia, which has for centuries been clustered around this court. This place has always been something of a local hub and meeting place, a heritage that Aurora and her husband are determined to preserve: “We know that this place is very special to the past and present of the people of Villa Guardia, with its historic chapel where small religious services are still held. We like the idea of establishing a true connection with those who once inhabited these spaces and of continuing to conserve and promote the richness of their local traditions”.