Pool, Design & Wine: Alto adige Hotel Bucketlist, part 1

Pool, Design & Wine: Alto adige Hotel Bucketlist, part 1

New flirts for my South Tyrol infatuation. From design to dream pools and wine experiences: I’ve accumulated quite a bit on my destination wish-discovery list for when it’s all go again – and these South Tyrol hotels are at the top. Dreaming allowed.


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Last year I was in South Tyrol for the first time and knew pretty quickly that I wanted to do what Robert Lewandowski does when it comes to scoring goals: regularly add one more. Why? In the region, my quirks for cool pools, exciting wine and enjoyment have an adventure playground with endless condition. You can read about it here, for example, in the reports to relive from Vinum Hotel Plantitscherhof or Vinum Hotel Plattenhof. The association of Vinum Hotels guarantees that there trained staff and hosts with wine passion, partly winemakers themselves, smoothly take care of you. In the meantime – you really have enough time to browse currently – some more exciting locations have been added, which I have discovered, and would definitely like to visit, if it works again. Maybe there is also one or the other inspiration for you!

That’s where I want to go: South Tyrol Hotels to fall in love with



Designhotel Gartner

You’re not serious, are you? That was my first thought when I stumbled across the Design Hotel Gartner. Yes, it is, but that’s what makes it so charming. Because Barbara and Florian Gartner, the owners, have put a very special viewing platform in this wanderlust location. The hotel in Dorf Tirol above Merano is home to a bubble bird’s nest: a dream whirlpool on an old tree. Whirlpool alone is already attractive, but this thing really puts on the tree top. To me, it’s kind of like a mix of hip-hop and classical, and that goes for the rest of the hotel, too.


hotel gartner südtirol luftaufnahme
© Daniele Barraco

Kitschy alpine vibes from dusty TV formats? Not a chance. Everywhere, the eye discovers art that likes to be more colorful. The rooms score with different personalities. Some are cozy, others pop, some clean-detailed, some luxurious-cozy. Large window fronts, spacious bathrooms, and private garden areas await. And, of course, there’s still a large pool, which, unlike the tree whirlpool, is down-to-earth.


hotel gartner südtirol luftaufnahme

Clear colors, clear surfaces, but always with a portion of charm: the rooms in the design Hotel Gartner.


hotel gartner südtirol luftaufnahme

Culinary indulgence is available either in the winter garden restaurant “The View”, in the dining room “The Taste” or in “The Stube”.


hotel gartner südtirol luftaufnahme

Cuddly decorative. This is how modern vacation is done.


hotel gartner südtirol luftaufnahme

From the bird’s nest to the bird’s eye view. Isn’t the pool inviting? And you can’t see any wine yet.


hotel gartner südtirol luftaufnahme
© Designhotel Gartner

Casual, stylish, informal – just my thing. It’s an adventure playground for pleasure hikers, so to speak. Because culinary delights and beautiful wine soundtracks are also taken care of there. So all my senses would have appetite now, and I can already see myself waving goodbye to stress with a glass of Vernatsch on top of the whirlpool nest. Very cool: The breakfast buffet in the winter garden with mountain views is available until 11 am, so if you want to sleep in, there’s no rush. In the evening, there are three gourmet menus with many creative dishes to choose from in the modern panorama restaurant “The Taste”, the terrace restaurant “The View” or the elegant traditional Tyrolean Stube.

Designhotel Gartner, stays from 146 Euro, more via hotel-gartner.com/de/das-hotel-gartner



Castel Hörtenberg


Castle? Fairy tale place? I think this wanderlust spot can be the setting for some pretty real pleasure stories. Okay, and you can feel a bit like a prince and princess. Just in a down-to-earth way. That’s important to me when traveling anyway, I don’t like distant luxury bunkers, I like to discover the story and the idea of the hosts, and also drink a glass together sometimes. There are certainly enough cool places for that in Castel Hörtenberg. And this interplay of history and modern design whets the appetite anyway, doesn’t it?


© Castel Hörtenberg

© Castel Hörtenberg

Like a switch-off oasis, the Castel Hörtenberg is located in the middle of the old town of Bolzano. The Renaissance castle with a wonderful garden was also infatuation at first sight. I immediately saw myself lounging by the pool, a glass of South Tyrolean wine, and this knowledge in my head that dinner was coming up shortly. You do not have to worry about anything, but simply have a horny date with the country’s cuisine, where professionals take care that it also runs entertainingly fluid in the glass.


A castle that does not seem closed at all. In Castel Hörtenberg you can always find a cozy place. Even at dinner.


The owner family Podini has understood how to approach these stories and re-sound the original character of the Ansitz for the modern playlist. I like how the rooms and suites combine wood, beautiful fabrics and lots of light. Classy, but unexciting.


Old round arches meet modern furniture. Even Harry Potter would have nothing more to add.


Off to the wine cellar! I would be ready for the adventure playground here.


What particularly attracts me to discover the Castel Hörtenberg? The family has its own winery, Ampeleia in Tuscany. The Podini brothers produce almost 200,000 bottles of excellent wine from biodynamic cultivation every year. At the same time as the estate in Tuscany, the Podinis also acquired a plot of land on Lake Garda, where they have planted over 500 olive trees on 4 hectares of land. And logically, whoever checks in at Castel Hörtenberg can taste family-owned wines and olive oil. This gives you an even closer relationship with your hosts, and makes the culinary experience just that little bit more exciting.


© Castel Hörtenberg

Those who want to get to know history and nature around the Castel can, for example, book the package of the South Tyrol Hotel, which bears the same name. Included are, among other things, 3 nights in the Superior Garden in the park with a relaxing view of the lush greenery that surrounds it and the pool, the chef delivers a welcome selection of culinary happy makers to the room, there is a guided excursion to discover the Ritten/Renon high plateau, plus a romantic four-course dinner with a selection of biodynamic Ampeleia wines from its own winery. Oh yes: there is of course a tempting wine cellar, ready for tastings and experiences, plus the Hörtenberg Spa for relaxation and head-free moments. With every letter I typed, I got more travel fever. Where is the wanderlust doctor?

Castel Hörtenberg, one night with romantic dinner in the wine cellar starts with 300 Euro for two, more via castel-hoertenberg.com



Vinum Hotel Der Weinmesser

Sometimes it clicks immediately. The pool, gorgeous views, and hosts who simply live wine – that would be waiting at Vinum Hotel Der Weinmesser. That the hosts would charmingly feed my quirk, of which I could already form a foretaste during the short interview for the glass trip to South Tyrol. Host Doris and Christian Kohlgruber brings there in Schenna wine indulgence and wellness shutdown together. And because it is a member of Vinum Hotels, and incidentally South Tyrol’s first wine hotel, that would be an adventure playground of the first order for any wine celebrator like me (and you), where you can certainly learn quite a bit about South Tyrolean wines.


vinum hotel der Weinmesser

At Hotel Der Weinmesser, a multifaceted gourmet world, design, (wine) wellness and a highlight program under the motto “a passion for wine & nature” go hand in hand. Host Christian, for example, provides insights into proper wine tasting, and on request there are Wine & Dine evenings including a tasting menu and matching wine accompaniment. In addition, there are also vacation packages such as “Wine Lovers” to book, which complements the stay with, among other things, a themed tasting with one of the certified sommeliers, a Wine Surprise menu in the red wine cellar with matching wine accompaniment and the “Chef’s Favourites”, in which the certified sommelier and host Christian Kohlgruber presents his favorite wines in the Weinmesser’s Vinothek. Because wine is (dis)exciting on many levels, treatments with grape seed extracts are offered at the Weinmesser Spa.


vinum hotel der Weinmesser

Wouldn’t you like to beam yourself right there? Of course, you always have the mountains in view from the pool.


vinum hotel der Weinmesser

Beautiful earth tones, ample space and awesome details like the wine cabinet on the wall are what make Der Weinmesser stand out.


vinum hotel der Weinmesser

A real board: South Tyrolean cuisine at the Vinum Hotel of the wine knives.


I’d already have an appetite, but there’s still one more course to go. With the pleasure concept “MyWay” every guest has the free choice to arrange the stay with half board culinary completely free. A prepared menu from the kitchen team as part of the classic half board? But rather à la carte restaurant? Or a completely free hand and an extra portion of variety on the menu? Everything is possible.


vinum hotel der Weinmesser

Adventure playground deluxe: the wine cellar.


The rooms and suites are also wine-inviting in the truest sense of the word: Their names are based on wine-growing terms, and a wide variety of utensils from wine culture have been repurposed and tell little stories. For example, the wood of old wine barrels, vine branches and wine crates were used for the design.

Vinum Hotel der Weinmesser, sleepover starts at 107 Euro, more via www.weinmesser.com or www.vinumhotels.com/de/hotel-der-weinmesser



Hotel der Waldhof

I first saw the picture here from the Waldhof in Völlan near Meran, and it was as if Harry Potter had come by with a glass wand and given me a lightning bolt. Dreamlike pool, dreamlike view, if a vacation should go swimming voluntarily, then please also here, right?


Der Waldhof meran südtirol hotels
© Der Waldhof

Surrounded by the 30,000 m² in-house nature park with idyllic natural pond, the Waldhof² offers plenty of free space, tranquility and dreamlike views. The spot mixes modern design and Italian lifestyle with South Tyrolean hospitality. Oh yes: Did I already mention the infinity pool?


Der Waldhof meran südtirol hotels

Mountains, pool, time out: what more could you want? That’s why you love South Tyrol hotels like the Waldhof.


Der Waldhof meran südtirol hotels

Prospect of relaxation with a view: tempting package.


Thanks to the ¾ board you don’t have to worry about culinary indulgence. There is breakfast brunch with a magnificent view of the South Tyrolean landscape, homemade cake or strudel specialties in the afternoon, and at the end of each vacation day a 5-course menu of choice with the best of Mediterranean and traditional South Tyrolean cuisine, accompanied by a selected glass of wine. Perfect recipe, isn’t it?

Hotel der Waldhof, 3 stays with 3/4 board starting at 441 Euro, more via www.derwaldhof.com



Vinum Hotel Schloss Plars

Vacationing in a castle is anything but kitschy. One that is still on the wish list is also located in South Tyrol, and is on top – yes, it gets even better – a Vinum Hotel. In Schloss Plars, your wine taste buds can be pampered in a royal, but down-to-earth, affordable way.


vinum hotel schloss plars südtirol hotels
© Schloss Plars

Behind the castle walls of Schloss Plars wine & suites is an elegant, small boutique hotel that flirted with me with historic wine cellars, gorgeous terrace and panoramic pool. There are only 8 rooms and 4 suites, all in elegant, restrained design, classy, without hashing for effects. So a certain tranquility is assured.


vinum hotel schloss plars südtirol hotels

Temporary lord of the castle? At Plars Castle always happy to!


vinum hotel schloss plars südtirol hotels

Elegant-cozy design with beautiful details: this is how to feel good.


vinum hotel schloss plars südtirol hotels
© Schloss Plars

Why the castle Plars makes me so curious? So clearly, next to the dream pool, where I see myself with an individual cooling wine tasting with the in-house wines? Because there’s plenty of vino in the Vinum Hotel again. Andreas Theiner, lord of the castle and winemaker offers wine walks with wine tastings as part of his South Tyrol hotel, plus individually designed wine seminars. In this individual workshop with Andreas Theiner, the guest learns a lot of interesting facts about the work in the vineyard and various cellar techniques, about South Tyrol’s growing regions, grape varieties and wines, about tasting techniques and menu adjustments. Of course, you can also check in there without wine curiosity, but you would just really miss something.


vinum hotel schloss plars südtirol hotels
© Schloss Plars

I was particularly curious about a special vacation package that Vinum Hotel Schloss Plars is currently offering. Quasi a double castle flirt. The “2 Castles Experience” allows you to discover both Plars Castle and the nearby Vinum Hotel Schloss Korb. Both share a passion for wine, architecture and hospitality. What does it look like? You spend 3 days each with half board in both locations, then enjoy, among other things, a wellness evening for 2, a South Tyrolean snack, a Vespa excursion into the vineyards and a wine tasting. All for around 650 euros – if that’s not wine-inviting?

Vinum Hotel Schloss Plars, sleepover starts at 81 Euro, more via www.schlossplars.com


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Vinum Hotel Spitalerhof

And again pure wine load. I had the Vinum Hotel Spitalerhof especially in mind, because the team there once opened a very large barrel and the hotel has rebuilt. Keyword barrel: Now you can stay there in wine barrels. Including your own whirlpool. And that’s right: This adventure playground for wine fans in the Eisack Valley is also a member of Vinum Hotels. Logo that it is on my list, I celebrate that when you can get to know the regional wines and everything around it together with the hosts.


vinum hotel spitalerhof südtirol hotels
© Tobias Kaser
vinum hotel spitalerhof eisacktal südtirol hotels

The Vinum Hotel Spitalerhof invites gourmets, leisure winemakers, bikers and mountain lovers alike. Even though I tend to climb culinary and liquid tasting peaks.


vinum hotel spitalerhof südtirol hotels

The new rooms focus on beautiful wood, clean shapes, lots of light and charming details like the cool light fixtures.


vinum hotel spitalerhof südtirol hotels

Gets an extra heart from me: The lamps in the form of wine bottles.


vinum hotel spitalerhof südtirol hotels

Earth tones are mixed with beautiful fabrics, tree trunks add ambiance: I like the cozy vibe at Spitalerhof.


In addition to the newly designed bathing area, I am particularly curious about the Fassl Lodges. In the former wine barrels you can spend the night with a direct view of the vines, chill out on the pine terrace, relax in the private outdoor whirlpool and drink wine and yes, there is still a well-filled wine safe. The Vinum Hotel Spitalerhof also has its own vacation packages for this on offer. In the “first-time bonus” guests receive a 20% discount for 3 nights in one of the “Fassl Lodges” or the new junior suites “VITIS” in addition to inclusive services around the favorite themes of wine, pleasure, relaxation & mountain time. Or you can try the “Fassl Romantic” with a 5-course menu in the evening.


vinum hotel spitalerhof südtirol hotels
© Tobias Kaser

Why I have even more appetite? The Spitalerhof not only has its own winery, and grows Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon blanc, Vernatsch, Pinot Noir and Lagrein, but also has a distillery. If there the vacation shutdown does not run smoothly, I do not know. First of all, a wanderlust-Vernatsch.

Vinum Hotel Spitaler Hof, sleepover starts at 70 Euro, more via www.vinumhotels.com

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