We had visited the Braies/Plätzwiese area before, but never stayed in Hotel Hohe Gaisl which lookes pretty romantic and inviting from the outside. This summer we reserved the "penthouse suite" which must be South Tirolian slang for: a huge attic with a balcony.
The people that are running the hotel are provenly old and tired. Welcoming us seemed to take the last breath of the lady of the house. Although we were immediately correctly identified without asking our names, the rest of check-in was pure operations and extremely to-the-point. After having found the elevator and the room ourselves (one additional stair to climb in the room itself; no problem), we entered this huge attic.
As per our request two additional beds had been placed in the room, in what we thought (from their website) was a kitchen area. The beds and their location was perfect, however in this area of the room only partly curtains were available. It turned out that our kids would wake up at around 5am at sunrise. The hotel adressed the situation quite adequately by covering the concerned windows with black plastic waste bags. That worked, although the level of McGyver was quite big regarding the price we paid for the room (EUR 400 per night).
The furniture in the room definitely requires replacement. Couches in the room are old and worn out sleeping couches that are now only in use to sit on....although the wooden arm rests are dangerously loose. In the Dolomites we think you should not sit on your behind inside too long, so for us it was a minor issue we laughed away, but again for the price you pay.
Beds were in perfect shape and a delight to sleep on, although some might find them a bit on the hard side.
Sound: no sound, repeat, no sound. Not interior, not exterior. Howver, it did rain (and hale and thunder) one night and rain drops falling on some windows integrated in the slope of roof made quite some noise; we considered it romantic!
The actual big unique selling point of Hohe Gaisl must be its full pension mealplan. Breakfast buffet is huge and good, afternoon Tea provides a really vast choice of cakes, cookies, soup etc. and dinner is enormous. We found the quality of the foods not to be "haut cuisine", but very good. Daily menus provide lots of variation as well. What we actually were missing was the enthusiasm among the staff. They appear tired and bored, certainly not unfriendly though. There was hardly any attempt to make personal contact (except one waitress who tried to communicate in a very funny with our kids; they do not speak any Italian).
Would I come here again, well only because the Dolomites and particularly the Platzwiese is such a wonderfull place to be and the Platzwiese is otherwise quite difficult to reach (without being packed iwith the masses n the shuttle bus). Hohe Gaisl owns the monopoly here if you are looking for something beyond a youth hostel.
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