Do you know this? You have a date, look at each picture ten times until the meeting, know already at the first characteristics wow, that’s exactly what you stand on, anticipation of the meeting rises, slight nervousness. Then, the moment of the first meeting. And it is not as expected. But live even better. At the first contact you immediately have the feeling that it all feels right, you feel comfortable, you can be yourself and you know: this is a good flirt, an even better date, but above all the start of at least a wonderful friendship, even better a long-term relationship. That’s what happened to me with the Vinum Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof in wonderful Merano in South Tyrol. There, a cuvée of architecture, design, bathing fun, culinary pampering, cordiality and wine love is served, which is as delicious as it is lovingly pressed together. Take a glass of wine, the article will be a little longer.
Vinum Hotels or short: in best wine hands
The prospect that your wine infatuation will meet with reciprocal love and that the hotel flirtation will result in a real match is guaranteed by the membership of the Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof in the VINUM HOTELS . This is an association of 29 hotels, all of which are located in one of the seven South Tyrolean wine-growing regions. And all members share my wine quirk respectively then theirs with you. Translated: In the hotels, the focus is on fruit salad enjoyment, the cultural asset wine can be experienced in many entertaining ways. Each Vinum Hotel Südtirol is managed by passionate wine connoisseurs very personally, some even have an in-house winery at the start or, as in the Vinum Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof, three wine cellars (the historic wine cellar dates back to 1277), where not only tastings but also romantic private dinners are held. Host Johannes Gufler, at the time Italy’s youngest sommelier at the age of 23, makes these tasting rounds or guided wine tours with the oldtimer with expertise, charm and the best local knowledge to the experience. So you sit at the source of good humor, can enjoy wine accompaniments, cellar tours or the event Rock & Wine, get advice on pouring and start with the best views of the mountains or simply switch off. This and the combination of thoughtful alpine design and great bathing experience were the ingredients for an unforgettable stay in Merano.
14.30 p.m: check-in at Panorama Suite
My first thought as we enter the Panorama Suite: Pack once, I would like to have that as a one-bedroom apartment in Munich. Unfortunately, you can’t take the view of Merano with you – but that’s what you’re here for. The suite looks as if Drake is about to shoot a music video in Miami, everything is kept in white, on the wall a huge mirror, on the large balcony two large and really attractive comfortable lounge divans. This will be one of your favorite places, I promise. From there, the view straight ahead falls on the roof terrace with Jacuzzi as well as to the left down on the central pool and the garden. But more on that later. When the oak floor suddenly looks like the gleaming silver interior of a fashion spaceship and becomes slightly warm underfoot, you’ve arrived in the bathroom area. The large fixture including mirror is partially indirectly illuminated – fancy and smart at the same time. And from the glass rain shower, you can also enjoy the panoramic view outside – or, of course, just remember to close the curtain. But don’t worry, there are no paparazzi up there.
Mirror, mirror …
Allow me: your own wine refrigerator, including all the important accessories.
Vinum Hotels or: Here you go, your mini wine bar in the room
But the real highlight, especially for wine fans for me, can be found right next to the large closet. A shelf with the most important equipment – bottle opener, glasses, even a carafe. And above it a tempered wine refrigerator with a selection of wines from Gewürztraminer to sparkling wine, which you can also find on the large restaurant menu. Of course, they’re not free, it works kind of like a wine minibar – but the idea is super smart and the wine costs the same as if you ordered it by the bottle at dinner. Here you immediately notice how the Vinum Hotel idea was also implemented in the room design. And if you have any other wishes – there is also a dressing table. The other room categories also differ in size, look and design (even their own sauna or pool) – so everyone can find the right overall concept for themselves.
15 p.m: go for a walk
But the Hotel Plantitscherhof does not need make-up, here they rely on naturalness. Both in the warm welcome and in the beautiful garden, which we inspect with a welcome champagne. From the hotel entrance or the terrace, the view immediately falls on the pool, whose blue water flashes through the green wall of plants that grows up the long side. No matter where you walk and look, you always discover something new. Seating and lounges like natural séparées are waiting everywhere; you want to take in all of them, each with a glass of wine. Whether it is the fountain in the hollowed stone, hanging flower vases with strawberries that one may nibble, two idyllic chairs including a mirror on the tree or the numerous plates with proverbs inlaid into the ground. From the garden you can also get up to the roof of the garden house with the panoramic Jacuzzi – but more about that. The whole hotel is laid out in such a way that you can get from A to B everywhere underground. That takes a day to get used to, but then you get the hang of it and literally fly from spa to wine cellar or restaurant.
Plural? Yes. After the first unpacking and a short orientation walk, you can choose from a menu of bathing flirts. A must is a jump into the outdoor pool, heated to 32 degrees year-round, with a view of the garden and the impressive mountains of South Tyrol. Especially in the morning you have the pool almost to yourself, but even in the afternoon it is never crowded and you can always find a lounger. Once inside, you don’t want to get out. If it should rain, you can easily move to the indoor pool. The marble saltwater pool is also heated to 32 degrees, and there’s also a Jacuzzi in the back. My tip for after-dinner swimming: before dinner, take a dip in the 38-degree whirlpool on the roof terrace. Even up here you have enough privacy at a late hour and relaxing with a view of the mountains, while a light fresh wind blows over your face – priceless. Here you forget at the latest what day of the week it is.
No plastic palm trees. Every corner in the Vinum Hotel Plantitscherhof is a new experience.
Swimwear. Although it was already October, you could still swim so relaxed in the heated pool.
19.30 p.m: Dinner
After relaxing, bathing and drifting, it’s time for the first wine date. From 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. you should be at the place to start the dinner. In the half board, the evening culinary cuddle unit consists of a menu with two starters, a kind of intermediate course and three main courses to choose from and a dessert. But before that, it’s off to the buffet for the pre-appetizer. And that has as much to do with normal buffets as many Instagram profiles have to do with real life. In addition to a large selection of salads, delicacies and dishes are served there that appear elsewhere at the earliest on the a la carte menu. Carpaccio or vitello tonato as a double entrée? No problem.
Fairness by bottles
The gourmet treats also change daily, plus there’s a truly exquisite cheese selection to go with the last glass of red wine – if you make it to dessert at all. Keyword wine: In the book menu there is a selection of about 5 open white wines (from 7 euros), an open rosé and 5 red wines served by the glass. Among them were wines from winemaking legend Alois Lageder, or two sensational South African wines, so you can already imagine the level. Tip: It is worthwhile in terms of price to share a bottle. There are great white wines from South Tyrol already from 30 euros, which is very fairly calculated. Undecided? Easy to ask the service, as Vinum Hotel is of course a certified sommeliér at the start, which makes it really casual.
21 p.m: Wine & Drinks
Just as there are different characters, there are also different drink preferences. I like wines and whiskey – both can be found in abundance at the Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof. But also guests who have a soft spot for gin or rum can discover one or the other jewel there. At the bar, more than 350 different whiskies and rums, over 60 different gins and an impressive variety of cigars await an affectionate glance from you. The bar location is as diverse as the spirits menu. There are several slightly separated seating areas with armchairs, couches, even a fireplace beckons you to cozy up for a drink. Just cool for the curious: its own tasting menu, which the bar manager is happy to help with. For tasting, there are 6 different whisky varieties at 1 cl each as part of 9 different whisky packages.
9.00 a.m: Breakfast
Help yourself, order a scrambled egg or omelet with ham, bacon, cheese, onions or all of the above, which the pan DJ will mix onto your plate in a matter of seconds, then grab some donuts, coffee or one of the freshly squeezed juices (please be sure to try the apple juice, which will disenchant everything apple that you have drunk so far), because afterwards you should be strengthened for a little adventure trip. Oh yes: When you come to the table, you will find the menu of choice for the upcoming evening. Take a look or let us surprise you – you decide.
10 a.m: Wine-Tour in an oldtimer
Lean back, please: For the first time, I can completely enjoy the views to the left and right of the roads myself. Every week, host Johannes takes guests on a wine tour in a VW Bulli. He has even more vintage cars in the garage, which you as guests can also borrow for a ride – but let’s be honest: Unfortunately, you can’t fit four people plus a picnic basket and wine into a Ferrari. Our trip takes us along the South Tyrolean Wine Road to Lake Kaltern and to Margreid to the winery of Champions League winemaker Alois Lageder. There you can try a glass of wine culture in the „Paradeis“ right away, and quite by chance a few specialties from the kitchen.
Doorman. Alois Lageder’s wines are among the best in the world.
During the trip, Johannes will explain the most important facts about South Tyrolean wine or special locations – and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Wine is not about knowing better or enumerating aromas. It’s about learning and discovering, having fun with it, sharing it, simply tasting it. The tour also takes you to places that you would probably never have discovered, and when you enjoy your first morning white wine in the middle of the vineyard with a panoramic view, it will be remembered for a long time.
You could get used to such stops: Wine tasting in the middle of the vineyard.
Host Johannes Gufler packed the house bar for his wine tour in a vintage car. Smart idea.
Cold Vernatsch, cozy oldtimer and end nice view: already one is happy.
The guided motorized wine tour is an experience to toast. And every guest can relive it.
In addition to the van, there are also highlights like this Ferrari in the garage. And yes, you can borrow it and drive it.
14.45 p.m: little snack
A quick snack is always a good idea. From 13:00 to 17:00, the restaurant offers a cake buffet with homemade specialties. And the cakes that are served there are as fancy as they are delicious – let yourself be surprised!
15.15 p.m: relaxation & massage
What makes me want to get the wine glass out of my hand and lie down on a lounger? About a massage that makes curious. Because there is enough time after the wine tour and before dinner, and the body is also happy about a little caress after the trip, it makes sense to take a look at the SPA offers in the Golden Spa of the Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof. In the room you will find a small book in which all relaxation & beauty treatments are listed. Nice: Symbols illustrate whether particularly suitable for women, men or both.
Hot Stone meets Hot Spot
The hot stone massage catches my eye – so here we go. The treatment can be booked in 50- or 80-minute sessions and consists of two types of play-full-body massage and the use of hot stones. First the body part in question is massaged with sesame sunflower seed oil, then volcanic stones heated to 64 degrees are used, as they store the heat particularly well. What does it feel like? As if a mix of a cuddly bulldozer and a Formula 1 car were delicately doing laps on your body and applying relaxing hot brakes in all the right places. Unfamiliar, but when you stand up after just under an hour, it feels like you’re floating. Of course, we paid a visit to both the pool and the rooftop Jacuzzi afterwards. And: We were allowed to take a quick look at the penthouse suite including its own pool. Take advantage of the water hotspots, depending on the time and light you always have new views.
Viewpoint: the private pool in the spectacular Penthouse Suite.
There are only two penthouse suites, and I can see why they are so sought after.
Absolute favorite place. In the jacuzzi with panoramic mountain view, time stands still.
Before going to dinner, first study the wine list, or better: the fruit salad book.
19.10 p.m: date in the cellar
Once a week, host Johannes offers a tour and tasting in the wine cellar. We asked nicely and were allowed briefly into the treasure chamber, which is reached via a secret passage. I also used the time to make a small spontaneous wine shopping list with Johannes – which South Tyrolean wines you must try when you check in and great pictures from the wine cellar can be found here:
19.30 p.m: Dinnertime
Off to the evening dressing room and off to the palate-pleasing. If you want to keep the surprise, don’t look at the menu at breakfast – I admit, we’ve never been able to resist. The selection is as good as it is nasty – because all of them are delicious, have an unusual combination of ingredients and invite you to try them: one day meat, one day fish, sometimes the focus is on the side dishes. How tempting are the desserts? Let’s put it this way: you don’t need makeup or lingerie.
I like that you can start slowly and feel your way through the really sensitively selected open wines depending on the menu choice. A light white wine, but something with more temperament? Or first an easygoing red with the buffet, before one then takes, for example, a Cabernet Riserva from Alois Lageder with the menu? We had – and I can only heartily recommend – the aforementioned Riserva, a fruit salad board between berry-cheeky and spicy-elegant, which really flirted with beef with horseradish as well as the cheese platter, or the Patricia from Cantina Girlan, a creamy, berry-fruity entertainer. And please, to start, be sure to try a glass of Redstone Chenin Blanc!
The cheese selection is as refined as the wine list. Among them are varieties refined with rum, chocolate or marc. And a really nice chili chutney. Wow.
22.00 p.mr: Late Night Drink at the Oldtimer Living room Lounge
Off to the playroom. What sounds like a punishment for the little ones, because the grown-ups would like to enjoy a moment for themselves, is aimed at all adult children at the Vinum Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof, who have a desire for a living room of a different kind. In the vintage living room right next to the entrance to the reception you can sweeten your retreat with noble, loungy leather armchairs and glass cabinets full of spirits. Like a large selection of cigars, these are definitely there to be enjoyed and are all waiting for a tasting.
Home bar safari.
The location could also be in a Scottish castle and captivates you as soon as you enter. This is also due to the details. A steering wheel spoke lies on the table, a large chandelier lights up the ceiling, there’s a jukebox in the corner, various automotive, gourmet and lifestyle magazines are on display for you to read, and you can spend hours marveling at the cabinets of whiskey, rum and gin while you think about how you’re going to sample it all in two or three evenings. It’s not possible, of course, but you can come back for that. The process is easy: just let the service at the bar know which cigar and which drink you’ve chosen, and find a seat of your choice.
10 a.m: Breakfast
Sleep in with a clear conscience. You can drink a glass more in the evening or enjoy the view of the sea of lights of Merano at night from the balcony a few minutes longer – the sensational breakfast buffet is open until eleven o’clock. If you are still packed in the evening, like us, you can take a relaxing dip in the pool after scrambled eggs, avocado with egg, coffee and smoked salmon.
11 a.m: Check out and (unfortunately) departure
The important thing is that the room is vacated – after checking out, you can take a last relaxing dip in the pool or jump into the steam bath, and then change in the cabins there before heading home. If, like us, you’ve brought a bit of luggage, no problem: the team will take your suitcases and co. to the car and stow everything away, while you try to tear yourself away with a heavy heart and say goodbye up at the entrance with a view of the garden and pool. I’m more in favor of a goodbye – because it will. It must!
Vinum Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof: 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 it was noticeable (and we had fun with it) that people dress a bit more smart casual and a bit fancier for dinner.
- Half board includes breakfast until 11am, dinner with a gourmet menu, and an afternoon buffet with terrific cakes from 2:30pm to 5pm.
- There is an extensive selection of SPA offers, which are also described in detail in a spa guide in the room, including an all-round treatment with wine marc. In addition, there are some treatments geared toward Gentlemen or Gentlemwomen. Simply request an appointment in good time one day in advance or even before arrival, and it will work out.
- The shower in the Panorama Suite is glazed to the front, which means you have an unobstructed view of the mountains while showering. And the roof terrace opposite – but you can simply draw the curtain. Very relaxed.
- Information and tips on hiking routes and bike tours through the (wine) mountains are available at the reception – e-bikes are easy to rent.
- There is a large underground garage with ample parking space. Free of charge: the view of great vintage cars.
- 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 possible.
- Enjoy the approach via the South Tyrolean Wine Road – if you are coming from Munich, as we did, I recommend arriving via the Reschen Pass. Much more attractive than via the Brenner Pass!
Whether vintage or wine: Here you relax with charm. And you won’t want to leave.
All framed up!
Vinum Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof: What i love:
- The self-contained design garden oasis with the mix of architecture, location, plant playground, environment, wine and hospitality.
- The view – whether from the pool, the Jacuzzi on the roof or the spacious Panorama Suite balcony.
- The warm character heads – from the hosts Margit and Johannes Gufler to the always helpful reception or the relaxed service team that also remembers small details.
- The room service with humor. For example, the team put my hat on the cuddly toy mascot and placed it in front of heart-shaped draped bed sheets. I celebrated that.
- The charmingly and thoughtfully different rooms and suites with modern design and alpine look, without even a hint of kitsch.
- The Panorama Suite. Miami look in white with glazed balcony and most comfortable bed.
- The wine fridge in the Panorama Suite. Minibar for wine fans on a whole new level.
- The size and style of the suite and the storage space of the closets.
- The balcony. Simply. Wow.
- The large wine cellar complete with countless wine treasures that you’ll want to spend hours exploring, and where you can soar a dinner for two.
- The „see, taste and repeat“ option: you can buy wines tasted directly in the vinotheque in the hotel and drink the wanderlust at home.
- The informal, charming ambience.
- The wonderful garden area around the pool and entrance area, designed with love and attention to detail, with many small natural séparées, where you can always find a place for yourself. Perfect for a daydrinking or in the evening a glass at the fireplace outside.
- The pool – thanks to heating, you can still swim here in the autumn between palm trees and panoramic views.
- The cuisine. For me, it’s on a star level, cooked with love for selected and local ingredients.
- Have I already mentioned the awesome food? Before your vacation, be sure to have a clarifying conversation with your stomach about capacity – here you want to take everything that goes on your plate.
- The wine offerings. There’s a weekly tasting with the host, you have the vineyards on your doorstep, and of course you’re always allowed to take a glass to the pool. Or two. In addition to XXL book wine list and wine tasting, there are weekly wine tours in a vintage car and wellness treatments with grape marc in the SPA. Wonderful.
- The wine list. Thick as a novel, filled with a round trip through the best of South Tyrol, plus insider tips from Italy to France to South Africa.
- The price/performance ratio.
Not goodbye, but goodbye: I’ll be back. I must!
Vinum Hotel Ansitz Plantitscherhof: Travel documents
Overnight accomodation with 3/4 Geniesser pension start in the Vinum hotel seat Plantitscherhof in Meran starting from 165 euro with half-board, more info finds you under vinumhotels/plantitscherhof or directly over www.plantitscherhof.com/