You are never prepared for the beauty of a Unesco World Heritage landscape, but pair that with the luxury Hotel Ciasa Salares, and prepare to be wowed. Guests have front row seats to the dramatic scenery of the Dolomites mountains from large windows in every room.
Built in the typical chalet style, the hotel offers welcoming family-run accommodation yet does not sacrifice luxury. Guests have access to a spa, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, Turkish baths, fitness facilities, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. In addition, on a recent visit, we were lucky to experience blue skies and white, soft, “whipped cream” snow.
Ciasa. This is the word for “Home” in the local Ladin dialect. This is how wintertime guests feel when they arrive and experience the warmth and the smell of the log fire inside. Run by the same family since the 1960s, guests are well cared for from arrival until departure. Children of longtime clients often return to the hotel on holiday with their own children, to enjoy the family hospitality combined with luxury.
Enjoy the hotel’s superb location by sitting on the terrace or relaxing on your balcony in the room. Attend a barbecue at the hotel’s private mountain baita (photo above) in the summer. Swim in the pool and work out at the gym, or relax in the spa with a massage. Book an appointment for the letto di fieno (hay bed), a traditional health treatment of the Alto Adige region.
Rooms are comfortable and cozy yet elegant, and the wood smell of the natural furniture made from pine, larch and fir trees matches the landscape outside.
The cuisine at the hotel is amazing. Breakfast is substantial, with lots of choice. Choice is the best word to describe the exceptional variety of restaurants within the hotel. Visit the Salares and La Terrazza restaurants for delicious breakfasts and lunches. For a sophisticated dinner, book La Siriola, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. The restaurants use locally sourced products in addition to national and international top quality foods. The service is impeccable and the timing precise.
Most noteworthy for foodies are the wine cellar, the cheese room, and the chocolate room. The wine cellar offers about 1800 labels, and is a perfect place for a degustazione of local wines. The Cheese Room (photo above) carries 80 different types of cheese, and offers tastings. A visit to the Chocolate Room is a must: part of La Siriola Restaurant, it carries about 40 types of chocolate. We recommend the “fountain experience” which involves dipping fruit or ice cream into 100% dark chocolate.
The hotel is just a few hundred feet from the village of San Cassiano, a small town with great restaurants, summer festivals, and a lively main pedestrian area. The gondola that goes up the mountain is a 5-minute walk from the hotel.
In the wintertime, guests take the lift up to a fantastic ski area, Dolomiti Superski. This ski area includes 12 valleys, all accessible with one ski pass, and caters to every level of skier.
In the summertime, the same lifts take walkers and hikers up the mountain to follow well-marked paths. Trails lead to mountainside restaurants complete with full menus, extensive wine lists, and even espresso machines. Children’s playgrounds can be found everywhere (at the tops of lifts, next to restaurants, in hotels), and the area is also a cyclist’s paradise – for both road and mountain biking.
This part of Italy is not (yet) well-known to North American travelers, but Italy Beyond the Obvious has created many Dolomites trips. Our travelers always marvel at the area’s amazing food and wine, gorgeous scenery and efficient customer service. It’s also one of Italy’s most family-friendly areas, making it a perfect destination for a multi-generational trip.
With luxury hotels, incredible food and wine, and both summer and winter activities, the area is ideal for active travelers, luxury travelers, and families. Getting there: it’s just a couple of hours north of Venice, yet not accessible by train, keeping it just off the beaten track. In addition to flying into Venice, travelers can also arrive in Milan or at Bergamo’s Orio Al Serio airport.
Contact us to help you plan an incredible trip to the Dolomites – in summer or winter.
Thank you to the Ciasa Salares for hosting Italy Beyond the Obvious for a wonderful stay. Photos courtesy of Ciasa Salares. Words and opinions are our own.
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