We stayed at Hotel Rodella early in June, 2011, and enjoyed it greatly. Though the establishment had a few trivial minus points for us, overall it represented excellent value and made for a very agreeable week-long stay.
The hotel is on a hill overlooking the townships of Selva to the East and Santa Christina to the West – it is about equidistant from each, but the walk back from Selva to the hotel is the easier as it is not such a steep climb. There are magnificent views of the Dolomites from most parts of the hotel.
The hotel is managed by George Planker, with the assistance of his wife and his mother and father. George and his three children, aged from about 10 down to 6, are all quad-lingual in German, Italian, Ladin (the unique local language of Val Gardena) and English. George’s English wife also speaks at least three languages, and his parents, while having only a little English, also speak three languages fluently. We found it a little unnerving to hear the kids switch instantly from perfect colloquial English into Italian or German. We’d both kill to be able to do the same.
Our room was on the top floor, with a wonderful view over Selva and the mountains beyond. The only drawback with the top floor is that there are 36 steps between the lobby and the room, and no lift – the stairs can be a bit of a challenge when arriving and leaving the place, but no problem whilst there.
The room was comfortably furnished, with a marvellous bed in the European style (two mattresses, two duvets), a sofa, two tub chairs, a desk and plenty of storage space. The bathroom was excellent, with very hot water in the shower and a great volume of it. The towels were all high quality and very large, with a heated towel rail that ensured that they dried between morning and afternoon ablutions (both being necessary for us when on a walking holiday). There were also two chairs and a table on the large veranda, from which your reviewer and his dearly beloved often gazed out across the town below. Everything was spotlessly clean and in perfect working order.
We had half board during our stay – this holiday was the first time that we’d been on half-board all through the 5 weeks we were in Europe, and we were worried about how it might work out. We needn’t have worried about Rodella.
Continental breakfast was very good, though those who prefer hot food could be a little disappointed. However, we found the quality and quantity of what was available to be more than adequate to sustain us through a day of strenuous walking.
Dinner was excellent, with a choice of two starters and two main courses each evening, preceded by a large antipasto buffet and followed by a scrumptious dessert. We were pleasantly surprised that the quality remained high throughout our visit given that the Summer season was not yet underway so the hotel was rather lightly populated with guests.
Regarding Selva and Val Gardena: The area is breathtakingly beautiful, and, despite very poor weather and some heavy rain while we were there, we found the walking to be excellent, well signposted and well documented in local maps that George provided to us. George also seems to know everything there is to know about the local area and gave us some excellent tips on where to walk.
The roads getting into and out of Selva are challenging – we arrived over the Gardena Pass from Corvara in Badia, and it was a hell of a road, made more difficult by the fact that the scenery around it is so gob-smackingly beautiful. Be prepared to handle narrow and winding, plus large items of traffic (tour buses seem to love that stuff).
Selva, despite its being rather diminutive, has about everything a holiday maker could need from a commercial laundry (bliss after three weeks on the road), two decent Spar supermarkets, and bars and cafes enough for anyone. There’s a small store in the middle of town that sells English-language newspapers and magazines, and the Spars also have some newspapers. If you get sick of Selva, Santa Christina is close by (less than 5 minute’s drive) and Ortisei, the largest of the three towns, about 10 minute’s drive. In Santa Christina there’s an excellent Internet café that doesn’t charge the world (Chipware in the main street). If you take a laptop with you, I believe that Rodella provides free wifi connection (we didn’t try it).
When we arrived in the valley, it was the week before the opening of the Summer season, so lots of places, including many of the lifts up the mountains, were closed. It would be wise if you’re going there on the cusp of Summer to check what is open and what is not.
Downsides for us at Rodella: There wasn’t much. The lack of any English-language TV channel worried Ms. Crooksmeister, who is a news addict. The 36 steps was challenging when we arrived, though Andreas, who works at the hotel, was a great help in getting us settled. The walk from Selva back to the hotel was somewhat longer (15 minutes or so) than we were expecting, but that wasn’t really a problem – there’s no great up-hill in it.
Summary: Val Gardena is a place you have to see before you die – like Yosemite National Park, and it has about the same magnificence quota. If you’re going to see it, and you want a small, very comfortable place in which to stay while you do it, you can’t go far past Hotel Rodella.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small, family run hotel in perfect position - panoramic and very close to ski slopes and lifts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Rodella Val Gardena/Selva Di Val Gardena, Italy