We have stayed at this hotel three times now. It is very clean and tidy, with comfortable, though simply furnished, rooms, well-furnished “public” areas (lounges and dining room etc) and good “wellness” facilities. There’s also a nice bar area. It’s not too big a hotel – about 50 bedrooms. We asked for, and were given, a room with a balcony. We find the hotel nice and quiet – which is what we want. Children (of whom there don’t seem to be many there) can be noisy at times, but not for long and are usually well-behaved. The staff are friendly and a lot of them speak English. The food is plentiful and dinner menu varies each day – you have a choice of three entrée and main course options and there’s a self-service well-stocked salad bar. Each week there is a Gala dinner and this occasion also includes a raffle (tickets 2 for 5€ or 4 for 10€) which we’ve never won. The fare may seem unusual to a UK-trained palate, but this isn’t the UK and anyway you will usually find something you like. Drinks are not included – and the wine is not cheap – especially considering what you can get for a few Euros in the Spar across the road. Wine is typically 14€ a bottle (or more) though you might have expected it to be cheaper on the Continent. Draft beer (Nastro Azzurro – very nice) is 2€ for a small beer (200ml) and double that for a large.
A key factor for us in choosing this hotel is that it has a steam room and sauna, which we used most days. They help us recover from the, how shall I put it, the exertions, perhaps, of skiing and we find we ache less by this sort of “heat treatment”. These steam/sauna facilities are free, though you have to pay 2€ each for a fluffy towel. There are other facilities available but they cost. You do need to wear swim-wear and to have a dressing gown and slippers (we took Crocs) to wear down to the basement where the facilities are, though there is a changing room in the suite. The whirlpools (2 one-person ones) cost 10€ for about 10 - 15 minutes. As last year, we treated ourselves to a go on our last day – they pummel you quite nicely and are worth the money after all the exercise (sorry, I don’t mean to go on about that) on the slopes.
We did use the ski/boot room at the hotel this year for the latter part of the week and were impressed. To begin with, as in previous years, we stored our stuff at By Maestri beside the Hotel Vittoria (from where we had rented the skis and sticks) and walked from and to the hotel. However, the Gardenia’s minibus does regular runs (morning and afternoon) to the car park by the slopes and other places. We used this service (and the ski room at the hotel) from the Wednesday and it is very good. The minibus runs so regularly you never have long to wait, and in the morning you can be dropped off at various places as you wish – for example, at the main pistes meeting point (opposite the Miramonte hotel) or opposite the Paradiso Gondola (for the Blue 18 [direct access from the car park there] or to go up to the glacier) or in the car park by the Valbiolo chair lift to go up to the Scorpion Bar. The driver is very accommodating.
If you want to wander around the town (which is not large) you can always go out again after changing out of your ski boots etc. There are a couple of Automats in the town, useful as we always take a Travelex Euro card for our Euros. And we look around the shops there – not many – and the Spar.
I would be happy to recommend this hotel to visitors to Passo Tonale.
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- Also Known As:
- Gardenia Hotel Passo Tonale