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      September 2010 > Location, Location, Location

Location, Location, Location

KastelruthHere in the Sales Team, we know the value of including hotels that are not only welcoming and comfortable, but are also situated in fabulous settings. And so it was with some excitement that I embarked upon a recent trip to the High Dolomites in Northern Italy, keenly anticipating some spectacularly situated accommodation.

Location 1:
From the airport in Verona, we caught the train – with a lot of agitated gesticulating to ‘ask’ for our tickets – and we were soon heading north in the direction of South Tyrol, home to the famously jagged and beautiful Dolomites mountain range. After some more hand gestures and nods, we were in a taxi winding our way up to our first hotel, the 4-star Hotel Lamm, bang in the middle of the small, historic town of Kastelruth. It was charming, and a delightful introduction to the region. Our three-night stay here was great. The staff – at meal times and on reception – were very helpful without being ‘in your face’. Sasha, the ‘Maître D’, ran a tight ship with good humour and professionalism, and the food was very good indeed. I can particularly recommend the breakfast buffet, and the 5-course evening meal, including a mouth-watering octopus salad, simply blew me away!

Our first full day in the mountains was spent wandering through meadows where haymaking was in full swing, bringing memories flooding back of a childhood spent in the south-east of England. Next we entered pine woods, where the shade was very welcome on such a hot day, as were the small hüttes selling ice cold lemonade. The best way to get to our next hotel was on foot: following a path which was both steep and beautiful, we then hopped onto chair-lift taking us straight to a mountain hut where the views were outstanding, the mountain goats very tame, and the traditional ‘oompa’ band highly entertaining.

At the top of SchlernLocation 2:
Later that day, we reached Compatsch and the Hotel Plaza. And what a place! We were 1,825 metres up in the mountains now, on what is regarded as the largest area of high mountain pasture in the world. The different types of Alpine flowers that we encountered were amazing and the views were simply inspirational, our hotel nestling among such steep mountain summits. The warmth of the welcome we received here was fantastic, and the comfortable rooms were a tonic for sore feet. What makes this place even more memorable is the knowledge that it was the starting-point for one of the ‘top ten’ days of my life so far...

Although I enjoy walking, it’s hardly the be-all-and-end-all for me. Having said that, the next day was a truly unforgettable highlight. Completely unaided by chairlifts, we climbed the mighty Schlern, pausing only for a cooling glass of lemonade half way up. The summit looked impossibly far off, the path a mere thin white line in the far distance, but make it we did – despite aching legs, being passed by a couple of runners, and the constant wonder (doubtlessly shared by many other Europeans) at how good our dear old OS maps are in comparison to anything else!

Hotel FloralpinaAfter soaking up the marvellous views, we returned in triumph for a very hearty meal, and reflected on this magnificent day - it wasn’t just the stunning scenery or the feeling of being so small in such an enormous landscape, it was also the physical and mental challenge that I took on and overcame. Words cannot properly describe how I felt on that momentous day…

Location 3:
Towards the end of our trip, the weather began to close in, but nothing was going to dampen my spirits by this stage. We enjoyed two more walks on the Seiseralm Plateau before heading to our final hotel. The location of the aptly named Floralpina, won my vote by a whisker as to my favourite of the week. I suppose its charm lies in the fact that it’s friendly, welcoming and offers great views – while being situated seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

For me, what made the trip so wonderful was walking amid such grandiose scenery – and waking up each morning to see such beautiful views from the hotel window. Location really is the key…


Posted: 07/09/2010 13:58:41 by | with 1 comments
Filed under: Italy, nature, walking

Jill Gittins
Next time you're on the Seiseralm in clear weather, be sure to step outside during the hours of darkness to see a million twinkling stars in the Milky Way - magical!
14/09/2010 16:17:18

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