It’ll be alright on the Dolomites!
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It’ll be alright on the Dolomites!

Rachel Soffer travels to the stunning Italian-Austrian border and enjoys the breathtaking views of this world heritage site

Lake and mountains at sunset, Dolomites Alps
Lake and mountains at sunset, Dolomites Alps

From the moment you arrive in the picturesque Dolomites town of Ortisei, you’re in for a treat.  

The attention to detail in this region, nestled between the Italian and Austrian borders, is more than evident and nothing short of spectacular, as we make our way towards our accommodation.

Winding and weaving our way through the Italian Alps, we were met with spectacular views of perfectly-constructed Bavarian-style homes and buildings.

Arriving at the Adler Hotel in Ortisei, we felt an immediate sense of calm. The smell of the hotel, the calming music playing and the very welcoming and polite nature of the staff all felt like the start of something very special indeed.

This historic hotel, which has maintained many of its original features, including its 19th century grand staircase, is just a short train ride away from Verona, a charming town that plays host to more than just the house with a little
balcony said to be the inspiration behind Romeo and Juliet’s famous scene.

There is also a massive 1st century Roman amphitheatre, which still hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances today.

But Jewish travellers may also want to visit the Great Synagogue, with its grand 18th century architecture.

View from the Adler Hotel of houses around town

Other places of interest include the city of Bolzano, around an hour’s drive away, which is also home to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where the famous Ötzi the Iceman – a perfectly preserved 5,000-year-old man – is on show.

But, first, we eagerly explored the Adler Hotel. Inside, it feels spacious and open, but equally evokes a serenity and a sense of privacy; the hotel is designed from top to bottom to help guests unwind and escape in the most stylish of ways.

Upon reaching our room we were struck by the beautiful, original wood carving on the wall, as designed by one of the founders.

Then we saw the view from our private balcony; breathtakingly special vistas of the mountains, as well as the local town.

We were treated to fresh fruit, tea and coffee in our room and, dining at the Adler Dolomites ensures you  escape the pressures and noise of day-to-day life too.

A relaxation room overlooking the mountains

Not only does the hotel cater for all dietary needs, with fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and much more on offer, but it feels very much like a luxurious home away from home.

Each section of the dining room has a slightly different feel to it, ranging from cosy mountain lodge to grand dining room, and where you eat is entirely down to you.

The quaint ski town of Ortisei and its surrounding region could well have come straight from a picture postcard and is a delight to explore, with shops selling artisan wood carvings, clothing, gelato, boutiques and gift shops, meaning you’re never short of options.

Our stay coincided with an annual concert, during which the locals dress in traditional 19th century outfits and dance through the town orchestrated by a marching band. It was easy to imagine what  life was like in Ortisei in days gone by.

Hotel guests get free e-bike rentals, so exploring the scenes just a stone’s throw away from the hotel is easy. In under five minutes of cycling, you’ll find view after breathtaking view of meadows, mountains and undisturbed towns perched upon mountains.

Rachel and David enjoy a bike trip around town

There is also a cable car (just €20 per person) with a journey time of under 15 minutes, which takes you more than 2,000m up to the peak of the town, a UNESCO heritage site.

The sights atop Ortisei were ones that cannot be forgotten. We walked around the endless meadows and reached the Adler Lodge, yet another gem in the Adler crown, which offered freshly-made coffee and fresh milk from the very cows grazing on those wonderful meadows.

Returning to our hotel, we had a huge choice of spa treatments, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools and relaxation areas. One of the flagship treatments of the Adler Dolomites is the Savonage treatment, which cleanses skin and relaxes the body, leaving you feeling as refreshed as you do relaxed.

After the treatment, there is the choice of lounging in one of the numerous relaxation rooms, visiting the on-site doctor at the adjacent Adler Balance for a health consultation or simply lying outside beneath warm mountain sunshine.

The Adler Dolomites is a hidden beauty in this region and we will definitely consider coming back here again.

Rachel’s travel tips

Rachel flew from Stansted to Verona with Ryanair and then travelled by train to Bolzano. Ortosei is a 45 minute car journey away. She stayed at the Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti, where a double superior room starts from €1,464 for four nights, on a half-board basis. Details: adler-dolomiti.com/en

 

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