We stayed for 5 nights at Hotel Hanny early in June, 2010 and had a most pleasant time.
Hotel Hanny is set on a hillside among extensive vineyards on the outskirts of the mid-sized town of Bolzano (Bozen in German) in the Bolzano-Bozen province of Northern Italy. The hotel is a small, family-run (by Margot and Karl Riegler) establishment that looks as though it has been extensively renovated over the last several years.
We arrived at Hanny by car and found that there was ample parking available in two outside parking areas and one secure garage, which was located under the front terrace of the hotel. We made a slight mistake in giving back the rental car the day after we arrived as it meant it was most convenient for us to eat in the hotel restaurant each evening rather than walk into town, though this turned out to be not such a big deal.
Bolzano is at the foot of the Dolomite mountains on the main railway line leading from Italy into Austria and then Southern Germany. The drive North from Bolzano, across the Brenner Pass and into Austria is quite spectacular and well worth doing, though on this occasion we had planned to do the trip by train. The drive North to Innsbruck via the SS508 road, which runs along the valley directly opposite the hotel, and over the Samtal Alps is said to be delightful, but as it is very high it doesn't open until late June so we couldn't give it a try this time.
Hotel Hanny is very clean, and the rooms are large, light, bright, spacious and nicely furnished. As far as we could see, all rooms have a balcony. Our room was at the front of the hotel and from the balcony we overlooked a maze of vineyards directly across the valley, with the city centre to the left and the Samtal valley running North to the right. We weren't able to see the view from a back room, but it may be a bit more mundane than the one we had. The city centre is about a 15-20 minute walk away along the very pleasant promenade that runs alongside the river.
The hotel has an excellent buffet breakfast each day, though it possibly won't satisfy those who like something hot. However, the array of cold meats, cheeses, fruits, juices and cereals should be enough to satisfy the hungriest hikers and sustain them at least until lunch time. The Rieglers even make a decent coffee, which is sometimes not the case in country hotels. On warm mornings (we had several days around 30 degrees), having breakfast on the terrace is an excellent choice.
In the evening, the hotel had a bar and a restaurant, both of which seemed to be well patronised by local people. The menu is rather limited, and didn't change during the 5 days we were there, but the food is of excellent quality and the portions more than adequate. We had the same waiter each evening, and found him to be very pleasant indeed. He and the Rieglers speak quite decent English, so we had a live translation of the menu instead of a written-down one. As with breakfast, on a warm, still evening, dinner on the terrace is a good choice.
The restaurant is closed on Sunday evenings, but we found the walk into town and back wasn't too much of a strain, except for the last 100 yards of the road leading up to the hotel, which is very steep and not ideal to tackle with a full stomach after a few local wines. Speaking of local produce, the Rieglers go out of their way to use whatever they can reasonably get locally, and the wine list has numerous examples of local reds, whites and roses. The first night there we had an excellent bottle of white from a vineyard about 250 yards away across the valley.
One of the things that attracted us to Hanny (apart from its being out of the city centre but close enough to walk to it) was the fact that it is a short walk across the valley to the Jenesien cable car, which (for EUR2.50) will get you up to the mountain village of Jenesien. From here there are several hundred kilometres of walking trails, with enough variety to suit everyone – the tourist office in the town has an excellent guide/map. We enjoyed the Jenesian area a great deal.
Short summary on Hanny – spotless, excellent value for money, friendly hosts but not in your face, very good food and great location. We WILL be back, but next time we'll keep the car.
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- Also Known As:
- Hanny Hotel Bolzano