We visited the hotel in Summer, and absolutely loved it. In fact, we liked it so much that we decided to break the habit of a lifetime and revisit - this time in Winter.
It was, if anything, even nicer with the snow all around. The log fire was always cosy, and the food was consistently superb - just as good as we remembered.
The staff were excellent. Petra and Daniella ran the reception with superb efficiency, the restaurant staff were very good, and the unsung hero was Alex. He appeared to be the porter, but was magnificent as a general "fixer". If you needed a lift or to borrow some ski poles, he was there, eager to help. Can't get your car started in minus 20C temperatures? Just call Alex, and he'll manage it, somehow... The staff were virtually the same as during our summer visit, which was good to see - consistency of staff can be difficult to achieve in the hotel industry.
The views were even more dramatic with the mountain snows glowing red in the sunset.
There is an efficient ski bus which takes you down to the slopes, a journey of less than a kilometre. Ski-ing is the reason most people visit in Winter, and the San Vigilio network connects easily to the giant Kronplatz, so there are plenty of runs for every level of ability. My wife enjoyed her ski classes, and was delighted to find that her instructor was the wonderful Walther, who acts as the hotel's hiking guide during the summer season.
It is worth paying the few extra Euros for a ski-pass covering the entire Dolomites. The journey to Corvara, and the wonderful Sella Ronda circuit, is well worth it. The spa, of course, really comes into its own after a hard day on the slopes.
The hotel remains genuinely anxious to please its guests. We found ourselves next door to a peerfectly nice Italian family, but with hyperactive children. The hotel immediately upgraded us to a quieter room, and all our luggage was moved for us while we were out. Then they organised a snow-shoe expedition high in the mountains, and even though my wife and I were the only takers, they insisted on running the trip. Walther taught us how to use snow shoes in deep snow (not easy if you are my weight!) and afterwards took us to an isolated mountain restaurant where we were treated to huge platters of locally made ham, cheese and wine. It must have cost the hotel a significant amount to run the tour for just two people, and I suspect many would have cancelled the trip when the take-up was so low.
This hotel remains one of the very best in the Dolomites. It is extremely good value, and is a gem just waiting to be discovered. Summer and winter both have their charms - whichever you choose, we cannot recommend it enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel is surrounded by the impressive and fascinating Alpine backdrop of the Dolomites, and towers above the idyllic village of St. Vigil. ... more less
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