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Gardena Grodnerhof hotel review: laidback luxury in the heart of the Dolomites

The five star family-run hotel in Ortisei is  becoming popular with international visitors  (Gardena Grodnerhof)
The five star family-run hotel in Ortisei is becoming popular with international visitors (Gardena Grodnerhof)

In a nutshell: A five star family-run hotel in the centre of the Val Gardena with a stand-out spa and impressive mountain views

Location

Ortisei is an almost picture-perfect Italian mountain town nestled in the Val Gardena valley, surrounded by the striking mountain landscape of the Dolomites. The most popular among tourists of Val Gardena’s three towns (the others being Santa Cristina and Selva Val Gardena), Ortisei is a bustling ski resort in the winter, with links to the Sellaronda circuit and access to a huge ski area that’s popular with intermediate and experienced skiers.

Out of the ski season, it’s quieter but no less beautiful. Wildflowers dot the meadows in spring, autumn turns the mountains golden, and the alpine pastures become a playground for outdoor activities through summer. Gardena Grodnerhof sits right in the centre of Ortisei, so guests can take advantage of the plentiful shops, bars and restaurants. It’s within easy reach of the slopes during the winter season, and well located to reach the mountains for hiking, mountain biking and other summer activities.

Val Gardena is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise all year round (Gardena Grodnerhof)
Val Gardena is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise all year round (Gardena Grodnerhof)

The vibe

Gardena Grodnerhof has a strong focus on wellness (the spa is its standout feature) and this is felt throughout the hotel. The hotel is spacious and elegantly decorated in a pared-back alpine style that is modern and luxe, yet still feels cosy. Even when booked out, it doesn’t feel crowded or “touristy” – thus far it has largely attracted a domestic Italian crowd, although this seems to be changing.

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The service

Like the vast majority of hotels in the valley, Gardena Grodnerhof is family-run, and this comes through in the service. Staff are relaxed, welcoming and approachable without being overbearing. You will be met with a welcome drink, and the front desk will happily talk you through the amenities and activities on offer throughout your stay, and help arrange reservations, transfers or days out.

The rooms at Gardena Grodnerhof are spacious with a cosy, alpine feel (Fiorenzo Calosso)
The rooms at Gardena Grodnerhof are spacious with a cosy, alpine feel (Fiorenzo Calosso)

Bed and bath

Even the smallest rooms at Gardena Grodnerhof are a very decent size, which can be a rarity in mountain hotels. Decor is tasteful: think classic mountain style with neutral colours and lots of wood. All rooms have been finished to a high standard, and views from the balconies are gorgeous, looking out over the town of Ortisei and towards the mountains.

Food and drink

If you’re planning to dine at Gardena Grodnerhof, it is highly recommended that you book ahead and get a reservation at the Michelin-starred Anna Stuben. The food and wine are exceptional, and the service and ambience are flawless. There are just 12 tables in this intimate wood-panelled nook, served by friendly staff and a very knowledgeable sommelier.

At Gardena restaurant, the lunch and dinner menus are varied, including vegetarian options, and the food itself is very good but the space is large and can feel a little quiet and formal. The breakfast buffet is extensive and typically Italian, with an a la carte menu also available.

Food at the Michelin-starred Anna Stuben restaurant is exquisite (Fiorenzo Calosso)
Food at the Michelin-starred Anna Stuben restaurant is exquisite (Fiorenzo Calosso)

Facilities

The facilities at Gardena Grodnerhof are hard to fault. Alongside the restaurants, there is a pleasant lounge area serving food, and a bar with an excellent selection of wine, beer and cocktails. But it’s the spa that really shines at Gardena Grodnerhof. You’ll find steam baths, saunas, relaxation rooms, treatment rooms and even a ladies-only spa. The pool is large with underwater music in a beautifully lit space. It’s ultimate relaxation – and very tastefully done. The views from the outdoor hot tubs towards the mountains are nothing short of breathtaking.

Disability access: There are two accessible bedrooms on the first floor.

Pet policy: Service animals only.

Check-in/check-out: 3pm check-in, noon check-out.

Family friendly? Yes. The hotel has 20 interconnecting superior rooms that are ideal for families. The hotel also has 10 two-bedroom chalet suites that are spacious and would work well for families.

The spa is a standout feature of a stay at Gardena Grodnerhof (Fiorenzo Calosso)
The spa is a standout feature of a stay at Gardena Grodnerhof (Fiorenzo Calosso)

At a glance

Best thing: The spa. Everything from the pool to the treatment rooms is first class.

Worst thing: While the Anna Stuben restaurant is truly special, the Gardena restaurant lacks atmosphere and can feel a little uptight.

Perfect for: An active yet relaxing stay with a touch of luxe.

Not right for: A lazy stay. The surroundings are too good not to take advantage of.

Instagram from: The roof spa looking out over the mountains.

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