Rosa Alpina, Dolomites, Italy
I loved the relaxed feel of the Rosa Alpina, but don’t let the understated charm fool you; this is a slick machine of hotel joy! From the minute you walk in the door where the staff greet you with huge smiles, to each day when you head out for a hike or return, they are always there, excited to hear about your plans or to see how your day went.
It has a lovely warm atmosphere both in the rooms and the common areas. Hugo, the owner makes everyone feel like they are at home and as a result conversation flows at the bar and strangers talk like friends, while the bar staff seamlessly keep everyone well watered and fed with the most delicious canapés.
For a smaller hotel, having three different dining options is brilliant and they have all bases covered with the relaxed wine bar and brasserie, fondue option and three Michelin starred St Hubertus. Don’t judge me if I say we tried every option and again the service was impeccable as was the food.
We went hiking from the hotel on our first full day in resort. We were all thoroughly in awe of the stunning scenery. I was lucky enough to travel to New Zealand earlier this year and to be honest, the Dolomites, a mere 2 hour flight away, give the South island’s dramatic scenery a good run for it’s money. After three hours of a gentle uphill amble (there was a fair bit of puffing and panting) we arrived at the beautiful mountain chalet, where the chefs were working hard to prepare our lunch. Actually let me clarify…. A four course lunch including, cold meats and cheeses with pickles and warm bread, risotto, a beautiful BBQ followed by a local dish with enough calories to get us back down the mountain! It was a truly magical setting for a superb lunch. This is something I’ll be recommending to all my clients.
With the amount of calories we consumed at lunch we all felt able to tackle the downhill route back to the village but Diego had other ideas… “Up” he said and off we went again, queue more puffing and panting. When there was nowhere higher for us to go we all sat on the top of the mountain and took in the peaceful view. That was until a helicopter came into sight and proceeded to land right next to us for our ride home. What an amazing way to end a very special day in the mountains.
Lets just say if the first day was all very Heidi, our second day was far more Rambo or Everest for those that have seen the film. We set off to “do” a Via Feratta. At this point I had absolutely no idea other than we got hooked on and made our way up something…. The reality was our poor guide Diego has chosen a rather challenging medium level climb for us. “I haven’t done anything like this before” I worriedly told him.. “Don’t worry, I’ll pull you up” was his response. Lets just say the beer at the top was the best beer I’ve ever had.
Diego and his wife spent the two days with us and Eevan joined us to “drag” up the other half of the Via Feratta team. They are basically mountain goats! Diego pulled Molly and myself up a sheer rock face whilst humming a tune from Les Miserables, which frankly is how I felt looking at the initial rock face! We did it though and with hindsight it was a challenge but hugely rewarding.
Thank goodness after that we got to soak in the Jacuzzi and loosen the joints in the various saunas. The spa is also lovely and low key. The staff went easy on us after our morning exertion.
How can you sum up such a special property and do the team justice? Lets just say we all felt completely spoilt, from the food to the attention to detail of the staff, to the incredible scenery and the fresh mountain air. The Rosa Alpina is a gentle escape from faceless tourism. Here the faces are everything and they are always smiling.