This was our third trip to lovely Madonna di Campiglio and our first stay at the Hotel Montana. We were attracted by hotel's great reviews and the ski-in-ski-out location. We were not disappointed. Rosetta and Lorenzo are hands-on, hard-working and fully involved in everything going on in the hotel, from morning to evening when they knock off for a well-earned rest, leaving the hotel in the hands of a team of staff. Every morning Rosetta is there at breakfast in her charming Tyrolean dress ensuring all the guests' needs are catered for - and I really mean ALL their needs. I emailed Rosetta ahead of our trip to ask whether we needed to bring soya milk for my lactose-intolerant daughter and Rosetta responded that she would provide all that for us, which she duly did - soya milk, yoghurt and spread appeared every morning at breakfast. It's worth saying that the breakfast really is fantastic, with amazing cakes and pastries along with the usual breakfast fare, and on one occasion, delicious scrambled eggs which I was sorry wasn't repeated that week. When one of our rooms - a triple - became unworkable due to a snoring granny keeping the teens awake, a single room was found immediately, and Grandma moved to her new room along the corridor within the hour, thus rescuing the holiday from the jaws of disaster. These things make an enormous difference to your holiday....
We think we were the only English family at the Montana that week, and there weren't many Italian guests either as far as we could tell. The other guests were mainly Icelandic and assorted Scandinavian. My goodness, they are a jolly bunch who certainly know how to party - some of them celebrated a birthday during the week, with paper chains and garlands round the bedroom door, silver cowboy hats and champagne at breakfast, a big Icelandic sing-song in the bar one evening (with their own decorations, song-sheets etc), culminating with them dancing around to music played off their iphones. They were also first into the bar apres-ski to get settled in for the evening's drinking which continued well into the night. How they all got up and out on the slopes at 8.30am every day is beyond me, but they did - they can certainly hold their drink....However they were unfailingly civilised, courteous, considerate of other guests and always well-behaved, not to mention clearly appreciative of Rosetta and Lorenzo's substantial efforts to accommodate the various celebrations. I can only imagine the bar bill... My partner's birthday on the Wednesday was a complete damp-squib by comparison with these festivities.
It's also worth mentioning that Rosetta and Lorenzo are both ski-instructors and are available to give lessons to their guests. Unfortunately we didn't get our act together to arrange lessons for our group, but I ran into Rosetta in a lift queue one morning with a young guest from the hotel, and Rosetta was her customary friendly and enthusiastic self, as well as looking stylish and gorgeous in her pink jacket and Christmas tree-print salopettes.
The ski-in-ski-out location is a real winner, although it will tend to mean you finish your day on run no.1 whether or not that suits your itinerary for the day, but there are options in the morning: you can either clamber up the slope to run no.1 and whizz straight to Miramonti or Cinque Laghi lifts, or walk a few yards up the road and join the piste "unofficially" for the last few yards to the Pradalago lift. Either way, the location is a huge plus.
Another great plus is the ride in their truck to the hotel's associated ski-hire shop Olimpionico on your first morning; Rosetta's father waited in the truck outside the shop then brought all our kit back to the hotel in the truck. What a treat that was. However you might want to offset that against what seemed to us very high prices for ski-hire from Olimpionico - we have certainly hired more cheaply in MdiC from Sr Meneghini opposite the Savoia Palace, and it was equally good kit. Unlike at Olimpionico, Sr Meneghini doesn't have a fancy sporting goods premises to maintain, with the associated overheads...That said, there is the very considerable convenience of having the Hotel Montana take all your ski kit back to Olimpionico for you at the end of the week, which in truth is the last thing you feel like doing yourself after six days skiing, so like many things in life you pays your money and you takes your choice...I don't doubt that the Montana has absolutely no influence over Olimpionico's hire prices but I mention it so you can shop around should you so choose.
Madonna di Campiglio has changed quite a bit over the year, becoming very popular with countries from er, the former Eastern bloc. These guests have evidently exerted their particular influence over the resort in a number of respects, so you can decide for yourself, as we have, whether or not that influence is positive and beneficial. But we have found that either way it is inescapable and we feel it has definitely changed the previously very Italian character of MdiC. That aside, Rosetta and Lorenzo will certainly give you a very warm welcome at the Montana and based on our experience, will bend over backwards to ensure your stay is enjoyable, and help you in any way they can. They both speak excellent English - I was so impressed that Lorenzo knew the word "snoring" in English - and my GCSE Italian which I studied last year specially for these trips - barely got an outing. My elderly mother who travelled with us was also very well looked after, with help on bus timetables, information on places to go and things to do.
All in all, don't hesitate to stay at the Hotel Montana if you are going to MdiC - thoroughly recommended by us.
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