Marble? Gold? Five pools, butlers, as many stars as possible? What does luxury really mean in a hotel? For me personally, the term has long since changed and is being redefined. I don’t need big hotel bunkers or hotels that you just go to because that’s what everyone on Instagram is doing. For me, luxury when traveling means feeling good. Coming home when you’re far away. The fact that the Hotel Hanswirt in Rabland near Merano is one of those rare places where you feel at home and secure from the very first second is perhaps due in part to the fact that the hotel in South Tyrol bears the name of my grandfather – Hans – in its title. He always used the term 3G, which he fortunately never had to know, in a positive way: kind, sociable, and hospitable. When traveling, he was always curious to learn about other cultures, and used hands and feet to communicate when necessary. When my sister and I would stop by to babysit after school as little kids, there was never a shortage of food, and some dishes are still associated with the memory to this day. Okay, my grandpa definitely leaned more towards beer than wine, but I’ve got the wine-celebrating thing down pat now. But back to that Wolfühlungs vibe. You know how it is: you hear a song, and from the very first beats and notes, it gets into your ear, books a season ticket there in the auditory suite, and from then on, it’s the soundtrack that’s always there when it’s needed? Put it on when you’re annoyed, put it on when you need cheering up, put it on when you’re going somewhere, put it on when you’re partying? Exactly this soundtrack was the Hotel Hanswirt from the first welcome beat. In short: classy eye sound.
Stories can be written about the traditional hereditary farm particularly beautifully, because its history can be traced back to the eighth century. For almost 500 years, the Laimer host family has been sitting at the typewriter and shaping hospitality there with a feel for the changing needs of their guests over generations. How? They mix history with vision and zeitgeist, modern interior design, a picturesque pool garden and literally excellent cuisine, which also likes to give old South Tyrolean recipes a modern remix. The hotel Hanswirt in Rabland has thereby however only 20 rooms and suites – and exactly that makes the charm of this calm adventure playground for culinary and Wellness. How such a stay on site could look, I have you exemplary times together. Of course, seriously researched in practice on site.
13 p.m: Arrival and culinary hello
From Munich you can reach the Hotel Hanswirt in Rabland via the Brenner Pass in about 3.5 hours, from the other direction via the Reschen Pass you should plan a good 4 hours. When you turn off the busy main road in Rabland and park in the parking lot after steering left twice, traffic and hustle and bustle are already faded to a minimum level. The eye is immediately drawn to the charming architecture, the red and white gables and the large winter garden. The front area, where we parked the car here, belongs to the restaurant of the Hotel Hanswirt. The hotel entrance and the picturesque pool-garden duet can then be reached in a few steps to the left around the building. The hotel is architecturally shaped like a big C, with the pond, park and pool in the middle.
Finally, the checkered flag. Upon arrival at the Hotel Hanswirt, one of the trademarks is immediately recognizable: the red and white shutters.
Great fun: the path to the castle-like main building – the pool on the left, a pond on the right. Double-Like.
We make our way in the direction of the hotel entrance – and there is directly a full concert on eyes and ears. You see a lot and hear: nothing. The Hotel Hanswirt in Rabland is an absolute oasis of peace in the middle of town, although the road is only a few meters away. To the right of the path with accurately trimmed hedges lies an idyllic pond complete with koi and babbling brook. To the left, a few steps lead down to the pool area and the large garden. Because our stomachs growl and demand lunch, we head straight for the restaurant before going back to the room. Because we have just missed the lunch time, the kitchen is of course closed. One offers us however uncomplicated to serve a bread time plate with South Tyrolean bacon, horseradish, cucumbers, tomatoes and bread. Cool gesture, and quite honestly: that’s all I need at that moment. If the product is that good, ciao! And since the wine list knows no non-opening hours, everything is doubly fine there. The first sip of South Tyrol flows into the glass in the form of a Pinot Blanc. Already with the small detail one notices: Down-to-earth hospitality is at work here. But then quickly to the room, curiosity about the rest of the hotel beckons!
Back to the basics: On arrival in the afternoon we will have a bacon platter and South Tyrolean wine to fortify ourselves.
14 p.m: check-in into Junior Suite Churburg
All 20 rooms and suites at the Hotel Hanswirt Rabland face the entrance area with garden, pond and pool. We move into the Junior Suite Churburg on the second floor. And when we enter, we immediately know: here are sweet suite dreams. The suite extends over 52 square meters, has a very large bathroom with shower cubicle and bathtub and enough storage space for the clothing luggage of at least two little princesses. Or princes. Feel free. The room is divided into sleeping area and living area by a retracted partition with a pass-through including a column that extends halfway up the suite. The king-size bed is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on, the interior modern charming, and all free of kitsch. The patterned wallpaper and murals add a baroque touch that, when paired with the freshly elegant furnishings, makes for a very cozy mélange. Everything seems very bright, very open. And then there’s the balcony.
You have to take your hat off to the design of the Junior Suite Churburg. Open, plenty of space, classy modern material mix, beautiful details like the wallpaper: this is how feel-good rooms work.
The Junior Suite Churburg is visually separated into the living area by a wall that reaches half of the room …
… and the sleeping area. The opulent mirror opposite then helps with outfit selection.
As elegant as comfortable: the ultra-cozy double bed.
The large balcony including two chairs whispers immediately: I’m going to be one of your favorite places here, count on it! And one agrees inwardly directly. From our vantage point, you can see the entire garden and pool area of the hotel, follow the road out of the valley with your eyes, until the cars become tiny, blurred dots flickering between the mountain slopes. Up to the right, the peaks rise steeply; you follow the cable car with fascination as it climbs upward like a miniature version. Even if the Hotel Hanswirt plays all its culinary cards: you can’t get enough of the perspective. Another advantage is that you can check at any time whether your favorite lounger by the pool is free. Or watch the parents of the host of the Laimer family picking herbs from their own garden and speculate how and in what form they will be served in the evening.
Predicate open-air cinema: the view from the balcony of the Junior Suite – you have the whole adventure playground of the Hanswirt in view. One of my favorite places!
14:30 p.m: Small walk and discovery tour
I always like to take a walk through the Loaction after checking in to get an impression of where I can find something. Right up front: You don’t have to be afraid of getting lost in the Hanswirt. After half a day you have all the routes in your head and know where to turn. There are only three directions. If you take the elevator down to the reception and look ahead toward the entrance, you’ll go straight into the garden and to the pool. To the right, the path leads down one floor to the spa area with sauna and Jacuzzi and to the indoor pool. To the left is the connecting corridor between the hotel and the inn, where you can enjoy culinary delights. In this corridor you will also find a showcase dedicated to the seasonal delicacies that Anna Laimer in particular makes according to home recipes. Jam, for example, which you can also buy on site. Or the terrific olive oil from own production.
Pool attendant. Next to the balcony, the pool is of course my next favorite place at Hanswirt.
Relaxation garden with a view: The green roof of the indoor pool entices with tranquility and a far-reaching view.
As always, we are first drawn to the pool. Take pictures, check the water temperature, look for nice photo spots. That somehow already runs as a matter of course, although you’ve only been there for 2 hours. The sense of time ticks differently. And this is probably also noticed by our host Matthias Laimer, who comes to greet us at the pool and gives us a sentence that only confirms these impressions and sets the direction of travel in the hotel: “I’ve seen that you’ve immediately behaved like at home here. Please keep it up! Make yourselves at home here, ask if there’s anything wrong, but just have a good time.”
Coming home to the valuable – that is the slogan of the hotel. You check it out relatively quickly if you don’t translate it materially, as mentioned at the beginning, but as hospitality, discovering culinary home, family, consciously enjoying, consciously switching off.
In the front part of the outdoor pool you will find a relaxation circle. Or in short: an integrated Jacuzzi.
17:00 p.m: Pool Time
In the vacation soundtrack of the Hotel Hanswirt in South Tyrol, the garden with pool is the earworm refrain. You come back to it again and again, press repeat. My garden-enthusiastic dad would first applaud here in a standing ovation, and then spend hours quietly checking out all the plants, flowers and details. The plant is super well-kept, everywhere distributed you will find cabanas or loungers. Keyword sunbeds: Here, too, no one has to be afraid of going empty at the pool. There are only 20 rooms and suites, and they get lost anyway, because some guests go hiking or are actively on the road, so there’s always a place to be found. The bathing oasis consists of the glassed-in pool house with indoor pool and the heated outdoor pool, including the circular integrated Jacuzzi at the front end. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it?
The pool area consists of indoor pool and outdoor pool. The latter is also pleasantly heated.
Through the beautiful glazing you always have the great garden design with small stream and colorful plants in view.
19:00 p.m: Dinner
Out of the bathing suit, into the evening dress: Dinner time! One thing right away: There is no dress code in the hotel, you can feel completely at home, as I said. I just think it’s always appropriate to dress up at least a little when I know the dishes on the plate will do the same. I was curious about Hotel Hanswirt primarily because of their cuisine. So not because I like to look at the stove and pans, but because they have a regional and sustainable concept. And: The whole thing is not because it’s trendy now anyway, and that’s just the way it’s done. For over 30 years, they have been cooking here with a conscious focus on local products, without airs and graces, but with a lot of honesty and heart.
Ready for Dinner. There is no dress code at the Hanswirt Rabland, but we are happy when there are occasions to send the elegant team onto the field.
Repeatedly awarded Gault Millau, Michelin and Gambero Rosso, the gourmet restaurant Hanswirt in Rabland is at home in the popular restaurant guides. The hosts cook themselves, reinterpret old recipes, adapt them to the zeitgeist. Matthias Laimer, the owner, is personally responsible for the award-winning cuisine, which is among the best in South Tyrol. The passionate chef loves the products of his homeland. And so the products come, as far as possible, from selected producers from the region, many even from the family’s own organic farm. Exactly: Because many of the product beats, which are then mixed into the dishes, come from the in-house farm. Manuel, Gerlinde Laimer’s husband, manages the farm. He is a fruit and wine grower, grows apples and berries, herbs from his own garden, homemade jams depending on the fruit season, and juices.
The food is served in the special ambience of the farmhouse parlors. The mix of rustic round arches and wooden ceilings with contemporary furniture rises like a beautiful bread dough. Seriously, this harmonious flair of yesterday and today is something you have to get right first. Sorry, the pun was still in the oven. We take a seat in the parlor behind the area where the breakfast buffet is set up in the morning. Gray stone arches, wood, white tablecloths, red benches: the color combination is right. The seating areas and niches give you a bit more of a feeling of being to yourself, all very coherent. We have half board in the accommodation package. That means: On the dinner menu is a 5-course menu, where the first two and the dessert are fixed, for the main course you have three courses – also vegetarian – to choose from. I like it, I love these trips because you can try something. Every day dumplings is not wrong, but a little bit of discovery makes more mood. How the first menu of the arrival day looked? I just let speak pictures.
In the half board there is a 5-course menu, where you have three dishes to choose from in the main course. Here we start with fennel-orange salad, marinated in lemon juice and olive oil.
The first wine date: lots of South Tyrolean love with the “Reserve della Contessa” from the Manincor winery.
Then: paper-thin carne salada with raw marinated asparagus and bread chip. A first for me – makes you want more.
Klotzen dumplings (made from pear flour) filled with cheese fondura on leek cream. This is also a first and one of the dishes that bring old recipes into the modern age. Addictive!
For the main course there was then the red card. Here are changing other wines open, for all those who like to drink by the glass – just ask relaxed.
Beef steak with vegetables and a superior jus. The basic product simply decides.
And as an afterthought: strawberry and curd gratin with vanilla ice cream.
22:00 p.m: Balcony & wine
I can only recommend that you return via the conservatory exit and take a short digestive walk around the left side of the garden, which works wonders. And you’re back in shape for the post-game on the balcony.
View-pampering from every perspective: Here from the balcony of the Junior Suite Churburg on the source of the stream that flows into the koi pond.
Everything under control. The balcony is a wonderful place to go on a glass journey. Here with a – naturally South Tyrolean – rosé. The menu of the Hanswirt is very finely selected.
Just ask if you can take a glass upstairs, we still had the bottle of rosé from the shooting of a reel open in the picture – perfect for reviewing the impressions of the first day on the cozy balcony. And when the view appears at night without much light in a whole new light, you look spellbound simply in the distance. And to the pool. And into the distance. And to the wine bottle. Until she says good night.
Also magical at night: the balcony view.
9:30 a.m: Breakfast
The morning starts with breakfast – which is served until 10 and is taken on the spot for dinner. The offer is like the hotel: small, fine, to the point. I don’t need XL buffets with masses of ingredients that make as many international guests happy as possible. I’m in South Tyrol because I want to taste local delicacies, not Chinese dumplings or English breakfast. At the buffet you will find, among other things, a honeycomb, cold cuts from Italy, fresh bread and pastries, a wide selection of cereals, milk and yogurt, fresh juices and homemade jams. At the table you can then order once across the coffee universe or choose an egg dish: Scrambled eggs, mirror with bacon, omelet. That’s all I need. Back to basics is cool.
Wake up: Besides coffee, this works best with fresh South Tyrolean apple juice.
9:30 a.m: Discovery Time
Thus strengthened and rested, the only question remains: Where to put the energy? I would have no problem chilling out by the pool, but a little something for the conscience must be discovered. If you want to do a little hike, you can go to the mountain station of the Texelbahn, and from there you can be brought up to 1544 meters in five minutes. We took advantage of the time, and on the third day of our stay, we went to Tramin on Lake Kaltern, about 45 minutes away. Whenever we are near there, we visit the Plattenhof and its restaurant. The wine-focused hotel with a dream pool (click: read all about the stay here) was the first feel-good place we found in South Tyrol, visiting host Werner and team always a pleasure. In addition, there was a small visit to the winery Manincor, also directly on the Kalterersee, which in its architecturally really very charmingly implemented tasting location also has many wines open to try there. A visit is really worthwhile, there is more about the winery soon in a separate story here on the blog. Or you can simply wander through the hotel grounds. Everywhere invite seating to take a relaxed seat, whether at the koi pond or in front of the restaurant.
I fell in love with the garden of the Hanswirt Rabland. You can see the attention to detail.
And of course there’s always another spot to get an overview of the location during the tour. With a rosé, things went particularly smoothly.
13 p.m: Lunch at Restaurant Hanswirt
Because the hotel and South Tyrol are really appetizing, we took the chance to have a bite to eat at the Hanswirt restaurant on the second day, right on time for dinner. And to drink a small bite. More appreciation for the midday wine in place! To the tartar of the local young bull on sour cream mustard cream with homemade toast first a Pinot Gris, then a Sauvignon Blanc flow into the glass. On the menu, for example, you could have tried roasted asparagus with burrata, fresh mountain trout stuffed with garden herbs, or homemade potato dumplings stuffed with wild garlic and curd cheese – always this deciding. But I get there when writing directly again appetite.
Lunch date with tartar, homemade bread, homemade olive oil of the final stage and South Tyrolean white wine: more lunch moment does not go.
We enjoyed lunch in the restaurant’s covered conservatory. There the light falls particularly well into the glass.
14:30 p.m: Pool and spa indulgence
Inviting from every perspective: the outdoor pool.
Whether hiking or like me – pleasure hike – as a reward a date with the pool awaits. It was never loud or hectic here, so you can swim relaxed and switch off. Daydreaming is also allowed. The only constant that is always there: the robotic mower, which lonely circles on the lawn. And if it gets a bit chilly outside, or you want to be a bit more to yourself, you hop into the heated Jacuzzi in the spa area.
The location in the garden, overlooking the castle-like main building, is all water.
Then, in the spa area inside, you’ll find the nicely heated little Jacuzzi. This will also become a favorite spot!
18 p.m: Aperitivo
I’ve already mentioned it above: We should really pay more attention to midday wine or day drinking. It’s about conscious enjoyment and not bottle uncorking in Mallorca style. The South Tyrolean wines on the menu are too good for that. They should be enjoyed with a clear conscience and an alert mind. You’ll find plenty of places to do so at the Hotel Hanswirt in Rabland. A rosé by the pool or on the balcony, however, is unrivaled. Again, just ask: the open wines vary from day to day.
A new favorite spot around every corner. At the Hotel Hanswirt in Rabland, one charming spot after another beckons you to sample the wine list and simply unwind.
One of my favorites: the Rosé Luis from the wine manufactory Luis Oberbach.
A true symbol: at Hotel Hanswirt Rabland, a whole pond of South Tyrolean wines is waiting to be fished.
19 p.m: Dinner
The best thing about dinner is always the curiosity about where the plate journey will go this time. Well, that also depends a bit on when you check in here, for example. Sustainable cooking also means cooking seasonally. And some products are only available at a certain time, or they deliver the best taste only at a certain time. In the end, it’s the whole family that sits at the kitchen mixer and decides what to serve. Georg Laimer has built up and expanded his parents’ Hanswirt inn and has found an enthusiastic innkeeper in his wife Anna. Now, with son and host Matthias, the next generation is also at the stove. Together, traditional recipes are given new twists. Before the culinary tour begins, the only question that remains is: Which wine would you like first today? This time, too, we reach for an old acquaintance from South Tyrol.
Always follow your nose. The restaurant area with small, winding seating areas, stone arches and wooden ceiling has real charm.
It starts with a salad of cannellini beans with Tropea onion and seared tuna. You can’t get more flavor to the point. A short-crunchy announcement. Just look at the degree of cooking. Accompanied by a Chardonnay from exceptional winemaker Elena Walch.
Classic: sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil. The dish shows what makes the quality of a product in the taste. Not all tomatoes are the same, not all oil is the same.
Homemade Schüttelbrot ribbon noodles with lamb ragout and morels.
Veal piccata alla milanese, with house pasta and tomato coulis. A classic dish, few ingredients, but then the craft is all the more evident. Feel good food! A picture of the dessert is missing, because original was simply no more place in the stomach. The aftertaste was a noble burnt fruit. Also counts.
Location with character. In restaurants like the Hanswirt, culinary discovery is really fun.
22 p.m: Good night wine vibes
Parlor, winter garden, balcony? How, where and with which wine you end the evening is of course up to you, depending on your taste. We were delighted that host Matthias Laimer took the time to answer a few questions and provide some insights, despite the hectic pace and kitchen commitments. When I visit new hotels, it always excites me to find new photo spots or angles where you can photograph and shoot the location from a perspective that is not yet so familiar. So it was even cooler to have found one at the entrance of the restaurant at night. Matthias liked the motif with the reflection in a glass plate, which gives a view of the old foundation underneath, so much that we offered to shoot the photo spontaneously with him. Again, such an action that shows that you can just be yourself here and the owners are approachable and host also really live. Not for nothing Matthias calls the Hanswirt not hotel, but inn, or guesthouse. Because the focus is on hospitality. On the beautiful experience there was then the remaining bottle of Lagrein on the balcony to toast. And somehow also quietly prepare farewell. Unfortunately.
At night, the building unfolds a whole new, impressive side.
Find highlight for me: the photo spot next to the restaurant entrance. At night, you discover a magical reflection in the glazed floor plate here.
We also recreated the staircase picture with host Matthias. What impresses about him: that he is a warm host, and everything, but one thing: not posed.
09.30 a.m: Breakfast
I don’t know about you, but the last breakfast before departure always has such an aftertaste. Nevertheless, the motto here is also clear: Take once again everything that South Tyrol has to offer in terms of breakfast. Your stomach will understand you.
11 a.m: Check out and unfortunately leave
Checkout is at 11, but you can also extend a little by arrangement. And it’s no problem to jump into the pool again after checking out – that was the first thing I did. Saying goodbye to such places of well-being is somehow always like those hot-in-love flirtations at the beginning, when you see each other day and night for a few days, you don’t leave each other’s side, you’ve experienced countless little bonding moments – and then suddenly you have to involuntarily distance yourself again, because the other person lives at the other end of the country, in a village without bus connections or simply the plane leaves a day earlier. But unlike Rosamunde Pilcher, I find heartbreak in South Tyrol hotel matches absolutely legitimate. Because you know: Four hours from Munich (if you come from further north, you can also fly to Bolzano) are not out of the world and somewhere one or the other vacation day and one or the other good account moment will flutter along like a smiling firefly and make a new repeat date possible.
Stop, switch off, lean back: this is possible at the Hotel Hanswirt Rabland from the very first second.
Architecture and host combines down-to-earth character with a flair for details.
I have, of course, investigative research and searched, but I can, as you notice when reading carefully, not find many hooks at the Hanswirt. Perhaps simply because it is a place to switch off, where each guest has the freedom to do what he feels the most. Staple yourself by the pool or actively hike towards the mountains, indulge in pure meat and red wine or simply stab the best vegetables on your fork, don’t be afraid of fancy food, instead have everything down-to-earth on the counter to dive deeper into South Tyrolean (table/cuisine) culture: everything easy, everything in, the main thing is to feel at home. I will definitely check in at Hotel Hanswirt in Rabland again, circumstances permitting. There are still enough wines on the menu that I haven’t managed a date with. Besides, Matthias is a passionate sports car fan – I would have liked to try out if I could have talked my way into the passenger seat for a ride. And maybe there’s another picture motif hiding somewhere that needs to be discovered and captured.
If you enjoy indulgence and wellness for a really fair budget, like to stay in hotels that are of a manageable size but have a lot of charm and are curious to discover South Tyrol in all its facets, you should take a look at the South Tyrol soundtrack Hanswirt in Rabland. But beware: danger of catchy tunes.
What you need to know:
- There is no dress code. As long as you don’t come to dinner in just a bathing suit or bikini, everything is fine – but we sensed (and had fun with) that people are dressing a bit more smart casual for dinner. The dress code on the plate is also appropriate.
- Breakfast is always included, at dinner the Hanswirt has the philosophy not to dictate anything to the guest, therefore to leave free choice and order accordingly then a la carte. However, it is also possible to book half board (as in our case), then an almost fixed 5-course menu is served for dinner, where you can choose between 3 alternatives in the main course.
- There is an extensive selection of SPA offers, which are also described in detail in a spa guide in the room. Also with in-house reference. Thus, an organic salt-apple peeling can be found on the menu, with apples from the organic farm of the Hotel Hanswirt. Simply inquire in time one day before or already before arrival an appointment, then it works.
- There is sufficient parking space. Either in front on the parking lot of the restaurant or covered in the underground garage.
- All rooms and suites look out towards the garden and pool.
- Dare to ask. No question or request is too stupid, at the reception or in the restaurant they always help. The hosts are always approachable and help with expertise where they can.
In the hotel, like here in the corridor to our rooms, you can always find elegant furniture and seating.
And having a free natural cinema on board right away with the balcony makes checking in even more appealing.
What i love:
Hotel Hanswirt Rabland – on paper hotel, at heart: inn.
- The self-contained design garden oasis with the mix of architecture, location, plant playground, pool, environment, wine and hospitality.
- The well-kept garden area, which is taken care of every day. Various trees, palms, flowers, grasses, picturesque colors – dream.
- The view – whether from the balcony, from the pool, or while walking through the village. South Tyrol in all its facets.
- The countless places to linger, to look at the hotel or, like us, to sit down with a glass of wine.
- The warm character heads around host Matthias Laimer with his wife, family and team, that also remembers small details and simply goes about their work in an approachable manner and with a twinkle in his eye.
- The charmingly and thoughtfully designed rooms and suites with modern design.
- The Junior Suite Churburg. South Tyrolean furniture meets baroque-looking details, plenty of space, lots of light, comfortable bed and a balcony with a nature cinema view.
- Did I already mention the balcony? Simply. Wow.
- The carefully, finely and entertainingly compiled wine list with lots of entertainment from South Tyrol, from established to young and wild.
- The winter garden of the restaurant.
- The remixing of old South Tyrolean recipes, the preservation of kitchen culture with a new twist.
- The product quality in the restaurant, the focus on regional ingredients, the growing and serving of home-grown produce on the family’s own organic farm.
- The informal, charming ambience.
Looking back, and then returning: I have found a feel-good place in Hotel Hanswirt in my favorite region of South Tyrol.
Hotel Hanswirt Rabland: Travel documents and info
When a sign directly awakens wanderlust again, that says more than a thousand words.
Where: Geroldplatz 3, I-39020 Rabland/Partschins bei Meran.
How: By car you can reach the Hanswirt from Munich in about 3.5 hours. However, the hotel also offers shuttles from the airport in Bolzano or from the train station.
What: For connoisseurs exciting: the offer “Hanswirt Genusstage”, soon again in the period from 17.10. – 29.10.2022. Included are, among other things, a glass of South Tyrolean sparkling wine as a welcome aperitif per person, 1 x dinner as part of half board on the second evening of your stay and 1 x organic apple salt body scrub á 25 min. per person.
Hotel Hanswirt Rabland, Overnight stays in the Junior Suite Churburg from 154 Euro, more info atwww.hanswirt.com