When Ava was released from the hospital the first thing we wanted to do was travel. But we knew we wouldn’t be able to fly anywhere so it had to be close. We asked for suggestions on Instagram and got some amazing suggestions that we have added to our travel list! Since we would only be able to travel by car we thought 6 hours maximum as Ava is TERRIBLE in the car! Then we realized we probably wanted to start out with 3ish hours in the car because we only had 4 travel days and didn’t want to spend so much time in the car. I started looking at hotels and contacted several about our situation with Ava but got negative feedback from almost everyone. Then I found the Filario. It was on the Design Hotels website which I love because I used to design hotels for a living. I contacted them and I was shocked because they emailed me right back. As I told them our situation with Ava and that we have a few special needs they were beyond sweet to accommodate us! So we booked our stay and we couldn’t have been happier with this hotel.
The Filario is located in Lezzeno which is between the city of Como and Bellagio. As a former hotel designer I pay attention to design details when I enter a hotel. And when I say details I look at every grout line and joint, the lighting, what materials were used and so on. When I enter a hotel I see drawings and workers and supervisors, and everything that went in to building the hotel. So when I walked into Filario I knew I was in a well designed, well executed hotel. Only the finest materials were used and they keep the hotel impeccably clean. As we approached the front desk a sweet woman greeted us and said she had been waiting for us to arrive. Not to sound super cheesy but it was like we had just gotten home and they were so happy we had arrived! They asked the girls names and never forgot them after that! The entire staff was amazing!! They saw to our every need and were beyond sweet with Ava. Not once did anyone ask about Ava’s scars or ask what was wrong with her….which sounds normal, but believe me, we get A LOT of questions each day about her scars, ommaya reservoir and why she doesn’t have hair. So it was refreshing for people to see Ava for Ava and not as a sick kid.
The hotel allowed us to stay in the suite with a private pool which was completely sweet. Normally they only let 3 people stay in that room but because Ava can’t swim in public pools they made an exception for us. But they do have apartments for families to stay in and a wonderful infinity pool for all the guests. We loved the suite. It was the perfect size and the girls basically lived on the balcony and in the pool. And I really can't tell you how nice it was to see Ava swim again...and basically just be a normal kid.
I always tell people that traveling in Italy with kids is so easy because of the food is so kid friendly and the food at the Filario was no exception. They made Taylar basically anything she requested. Their menu was simple yet very good. We ordered a lot of room service and it was fantastic because it came so quickly to our room. A lot of parents worry about food when traveling but we didn't have to worry at all. We ate almost every meal at the hotel and really loved it.
One of the other things we really loved about the hotel was that it was small so you felt like the staff knew who you were and what you needed. We have found many hotels have gotten so big they don't pay attention to the guest. We alway felt like they knew what we needed and accommodated our needs and especially Ava's needs.
This trip for our family was monumental because it was hopefully the start of many more trips for our family post cancer. It also helped us feel like a normal family again and not a cancer family. We owe it all to the people at the Filario hotel, who made it so special for us. We really couldn’t have had a better experience! If you are in the Como area, I highly suggest a stay at the Filario. You won’t regret it.