Visit Adler Mountain Lodge during the ski season and you’ll leave rejuvenated – and itching to return the following summer
Many head to the world’s snowy peaks in search of thrills and spills on the piste – and off it. But for skiing aficionados who would sooner enjoy natural charm and sybaritic living, this exceptional Dolomites resort in the South Tyrol region of Italy, about two hours from Verona, is one to make a beeline for. You’ll need a 4×4 though: situated 15 miles from the 18th-century parish of Urtijëi, Adler Mountain Lodge can only be accessed by driving over the slopes, and its isolation is all part of its charm. Visitors can only enter the national park that engulfs it between 5am and 6pm with a licence, and once the lift stops at 5pm, there really is nowhere to go.
This, you’ll quickly realise, is a blessing. The Adler’s tiered infinity pool with panoramic mountain views, as well as its spa, will see even the most wired visitor’s pulse reduce to a gentle throb. The star-gazing, assisted by a professional astronomer, also has a remarkably soothing effect, and even the skiing is relaxing – leisurely, with no black runs, still but reasonably quick.
Yet despite the outdoor attractions, it’s tough to leave your suite. A design marvel decades in the planning, the Alder’s 18 guest rooms are informed by centuries-old local woodworking traditions, the cosy Alpine effect of aromatic spruce complemented by beautiful checked upholstery and wool throws. Think utterly stylish without a hint of glitz.
Eventually though, your nose will lure you outside: Chef Hannes Pignater’s signature style is innovative spins on locally sourced fare: the omelette with meadow herbs and hay-roasted lamb being standout. Don’t forget to visit the ‘witch’s cauldron’ – the unofficial nickname of the vast glühwein vessel that sits at the front of the property – for a soul-firing apéritif.
Perhaps the best thing about the resort is that you can go there for an entirely different experience – hiking among Sound of Music-meets Middle-Earth scenery – in summer. We’ll be back in a few months.
Find out more information about this beautiful and isolated retreat at adler-lodge.com