We chose this hotel after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor and so had very high expectations. Despite this he hotel still managed to exceed those expectations.
The hotel's location really couldnt be any better. It is situated at the top of Selva, very close to the three main lifts and the ski school. The ski school is a 75m walk up the hill - which in my rather unfit state was a bit of a shock on the first day (but got easier as the week went on). The Dantercepies and Costabella lifts are about 50m away and the main Campinoi gondola is about 80 metres away. I got in the habit in the mornings of walking down the gentle hill to Costabella and skiing the red/blue down to the ski school - a fantastic way of getting into the groove for the day ahead.
The hotel sits slightly up the hill with really nice views of the town and the slopes and mountain.
Most of the life in the town does seem to be up the top end of the town and so there are various shops, cafes, bars and restaurants within touching distance from the hotel. That doesn't mean that the hotel is in a noisy spot - far from it, we actually found the hotel to be incredibly tranquil and there was neither noise or disruption from the world outside.
We had a comfort double room in the separate but connected building (by a lovely underground walkway - filled with wine and skiing memorabilia and a heavenly vanilla scent...). My wife, who is a huge Michael Schumacher fan noticed a photo of the great man with a member of the family and every morning, as we strolled to breakfast and evening, as we strolled to dinner, she said hello!
Unusually for Selva it is possible (almost) to ski back to the hotel. There is a blue run that comes down from the reds of Costabella and Dantercepies and the ski school which curves around the hotel and ends about 15 metres outside its front door - fantastic.
There are a lot of ski hire places all around Selva but there is a good place just outside the hotel which was very convenient and high quality.
Put simply, it is lovely. I have tried to think of some areas that could be improved to ensure a balanced review but that is a bit of a challenge. The reality is that the hotel is that perfect size where there's enough going on that you don't feel too visible but not so much that you feel anonymous. The balance is spot on.
It goes without saying that the hotel is spotlessly clean, the public areas are very welcoming - they serve the most amazing hot chocolate - it is high quality without being in any way pretentious.
We used the beautiful spa / pool a few times and it was wonderfully peaceful - apart from my wife, I swam alone on the times that we visited the pool. There is a sauna (be warned - it is a naked area), massage and beauty treatments and a lovely quiet room where you can lie on water beds, sipping a herbal tea looking at the slopes - bliss.
As mentioned, we had a comfort double which was surprisingly large. It comprised a very nice bedroom area with flat screen tv and plenty of storage space, a partially screened sitting area with a sofa and coffee table, and an enormous bathroom with natural stone tiling and a large bath which was perfect for lying back and soaking the tired limbs at the end of the day.
There is a stocked fridge (which is big enough that you can store your own things if you want) and a safe.
The room was really light and airy and had views over the town and slopes. We could lay in bed and watch the Costabella lift and Campinoi gondola toiling away each morning. Unlike some ski hotels we have been to which can be stiflingly warm, this one was not overly hot at night.
What can I say...the food was absolutely top quality. It was fresh, imaginative, extremely tasty and well presented. Normally, even on half board, we eat out a few times so that we can experience the local community but we didn't do that here.
There is a self service salad course where the ingredients really couldn't be fresher. A soup course, an intermediate course, the main course and desert. There are 3-4 options on the intermediate and main courses which cater for all tastes. Well, nearly... One one evening my wife (who doesn't eat veal, lamb or most fish) found it difficult to get excited about the menu - the staff picked up on this and after a few minutes a personalised menu had been agreed - consisting of terrific penne with pork ragu followed by some chicken. This was all done in a way that conveyed a genuine desire to please a client.
The hotel has a really good wine list which is remarkably good value. We enjoyed some of the regional wines, in particular a lovely Chardonnay by Elena Walch called "Beyond the Clouds".
Apart from perhaps the staff at tthe Burg Hotel (in Oberlech, Austria), I don't think I can remember such friendly, helpful and professional staff. Whilst this applies to the whole hotel, the restaurant staff deserve a special mention - they were absolutely wonderful throughout our stay. Attentive without being smothering, leaving you alone so you could have a conversation but without feeling ignored.
We liked Selva - it's not as convenient for skiing as say Oberlech, where you put step outside, put on your skis and off you wobble, but it isn't so inconvenient to be a problem. There is a bit of walking involved but within comfortable limits. Choosing a hotel close to the main lifts would be a good idea but most of the hotels will offer you a shuttle to the lifts anyway.
The town is sort of a "Y" shape and most of the activity is mainly either side of the main road (which can at peak times get quite busy with traffic) and so much of the shopping etc is along this strip. There are quite a few wood carving shops (the area is famous for its wood carvings), cafes (Cafe Mozart is recommended) restaurants and other shops. There is a really good SPAR in the town which was well stocked with lots of interesting things to try. Wine is very inexpensive - in fact we thought the prices of most things to be incredibly reasonable (even ignoring the fact that it is a ski resort).
Restaurant prices were notably reasonable, even in the huts up the mountains.
There is a bowling alley with 4 lanes, a few nightclubs (one connected to the hotel in fact - but we heard no noise from this at all).
I am a cautious intermediate skier and I found the skiing excellent. The Costabella run down to the ski school was a great wway of wwaking up in the morning - its a tiny bit steep at the top as you come off the lift, but then settles down into a nice blue run through the trees.
The whole area is ideal for intermediates and whilst there are certainly some challenges, I felt that I was able to deal with most slopes. There is a tricky red at the top of the Campinoi gondola which is quite steep and icy intially - I spent a few minutes watching before setting off. The Sasslong (world cup downhill run) is great first thing in the morning when there's fresh snow and fewer people around...it is steep in parts but a rewarding challenge.
On the whole the lifts were pretty clear except for around the 10-10.30 peak period. Costabella can get a little crowded at this time but it clears fairly quickly (5 minutes shuffling along with the pack). The Dantercepies lift at 10.30 was a bit of a scrum and took 15 minutes of polite barging to get through but other than that, no problems.
The area has world class snow making and the quality and coverage of the snow was really good.
My wife tried cross country skiing and there is a lovely circuit at Vallunga (further up from the ski school) where you can hire the skiis etc. I tried it one afternoon and, apart from the fact that it is tiring, it was so tranquil gliding through the trees.
We really liked Selva and I would certainly come back. The hotel though, we LOVED! They have got a perfect blend of quality, professionalism, friendliness, warmth, location and range of facilities. Superb!
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Sun Valley Val Gardena/Selva Di Val Gardena, Italy