We know that you’re a fabulous 4-star hotel in a picturesque Alpine village, but can you tell us a little more about the Goldene Rose?
We have a very long tradition of hospitality at the hotel – there has been an inn on the site of the Goldene Rose Karthaus ever since the 14th century. This was always located just outside of the walls of the village monastery, and was a stopping point for weary travellers. The monastery was dissolved in 1782 but certain features endure to this day – such as the upper cloister – and are open to visitors.
What do you think Inntravel guests enjoy most about their stay with you?
A sense of sanctuary and peace. We like to think of ourselves as a port in the storm: a respite from mass tourism. There is a certain feeling of coming to rest that has existed here in our little Alpine village for centuries. We’ve designed the hotel to echo this relaxing effect – clean lines, harmonious colours, luxurious textiles, understated elegance.
What kinds of things can guests do from the hotel? Do you have a favourite walk in the area?
The Senales Valley is a hiker’s paradise. My favourite route is one that runs along the river, because the bubbling, crystal-clear Alpine water is so refreshing. That’s quite an easy hike. But you can also trek all the way up to where the glacial mummy Ötzi was discovered. What’s nice about this area is that there is something for everyone. There is a high-rope climbing park, which both children and adults love. There’s also an archaeology park where you can see how Ötzi lived thousands of years ago: you can bake bread like he did, shoot arrows, start a fire with a flint stone – it’s a lot of fun. And, of course, there’s great skiing and just being up on the glacier is glorious. It’s not too far either to the thermal baths in the spa town of Merano, where you also have fabulous botanical gardens to explore as well as great shopping!
South Tyrol is well known for its cuisine. Does the hotel have a ‘signature’ dish?
Knödel (dumplings). We’ve been famous for our Knödel for a long time now. Not just because we make this traditional Tyrolean dish with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, but also because we have a lot of fun trying new twists on the classic version. Guests come from far and wide just to sample our Knödel tasting menus.
You also offer guests of the hotel the chance to spend a night in your mountain refuge. How did you come to acquire such an isolated retreat?
I have to admit that it was largely due to good fortune! When the Bella Vista refuge came on the market many years ago, my mother bought shares in it and I relocated there – to work and live at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres on the edge of a glacier. It’s a very special place and a great base from which to explore the high mountains – hikers need only lace up their boots and step outside the front door and they’re straight onto the trails. Even though I now spend the majority of my time in the main hotel, I always find an excuse to visit the refuge to check on staff and guests and get that all-important, spirit-lifting mountain ‘fix’.
And what’s the refuge like inside?
The Bella Vista is no ordinary hut – we do serve a traditional menu of mountain staples such as Speck (a cured, lightly smoked ham) with fried eggs and potatoes, apple strudel and homemade cakes, but the bedrooms are better appointed and much more comfortable than you might imagine! The name of the refuge means ‘Beautiful View’, and all the rooms – and even the bathrooms – offer a stunning panorama over the Alps. You can watch the sun rise in the morning, admire the majestic mountain peaks by day and gaze at the glorious starry sky at night.
One final question: any exciting plans for the future?
Well, we’ve recently completed a large-scale renovation at the hotel, remodelling all of our rooms and expanding our sauna facilities. So we’re just enjoying a little breather before we get ready to welcome guests back later in the year. We’ve really missed them!