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The Adler Dolomiti Hotel ~ at the UNESCO world heritage site The Dolomites

The Adler Dolomiti Hotel ~ at the UNESCO world heritage site The Dolomites

Hashtag Life visits the Dolomites for an enchanting stay at The Adler Dolomiti Hotel. Read our review below on this hidden gem, which should be a must-visit on every traveler’s list.

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Visiting the Adler Dolomiti hotel in the quaint, colourful town of Oritisei – is a peaceful experience which takes you away from the bustle of 2017. It allows you to harmonise yourself; with your mind, your body, the nature around you, and even with time which seemed to stand still for the few nights I visited. My stay at Adler allowed me to take my time to relax, unwind and reflect. But that isn’t all its about, an array of spa-like pools, a UNESCO world heritage site which invites you onto scenic hikes, and a sense of community within the hotel, and the gourmet dining provide the perfect balance to satisfy any traveler’s curiosity and desire for culture.

One of the Adler’s key selling points, but by no means the only one, is what it dubs as “the largest Water Spa in South Tyrol.” In other words, if you are usually a beach-holiday junkie (like myself), and you feel you’ll miss the water,  then look no further. You can afford to try a different one each day, with an array of thermal and therapeutic pools including indoor and outdoor jacuzzis, whirlpools and of course a normal traditional swimming pool thrown in for good measure. The outdoor heated pool with a stunning, uninterrupted mountainous backdrop of the Dolomites, was, for me, an absolute winner. The pools offer not only tranquility, but a sense of relaxation which drifts so calmly through your body, that I could’ve lay afloat there for hours, within the comfortable embrace of the Adler hotel.

By day you can earn your indulgent SPA session through hikes around the breath-taking mountains, valleys and trails of the UNESCO protected Dolomites. Be it by foot, or mountain-bike rides, skiing in the winter, or even tobogganing, there is an activity to suit all nature and adventure seekers throughout the seasons. I would normally visit a region and hotel like this during Ski Season – but my stay at the Adler showed me that without the distraction of snow and skiing, there is so much more to appreciate in a region such as this. The hotel offers daily complimentary activities, ranging from outdoor yoga to wine tasting sessions in the lounge.

Let me dedicate the rest of this tribute to the dining offering at this hotel. If you manage to pull yourself out of your bathrobes in the SPA’s relaxation area, and if you haven’t gorged on the bottomless bowls of dried fruits and nuts, then you’ll wish dining at the Adler could last forever.

Many 5 star hotels offer sumptuous, eclectic restaurants  with menus spearheaded by experienced, award winning Chefs. This is usually wonderful and worthy of the prior months spent shrinking our waistlines in preparation of the gorging we won’t be able to resist on holiday. Add a full-board basis and you’re at risk of spending more time eating than doing anything else. This is always great, until you realise you’re limited to the “buffet” restaurant with a sub-par offering, and the option to pay a premium for the ‘real’ dining experiences of the hotel. At Adler, this would simply never happen. I am certain that no matter the profit that such a model may yield they would simply not have it. Perhaps this is owed to the sanctity of eating (very) well to Italians, as I have only ever had such a gob-stopping dining experience across every region I visit in Italy.

Dining at the hotel is hosted in a huge space on the ground floor partitioned into separate areas with such varied ambiences, that each could easily form different restaurants. On night one, I was led to a low-lit, quiet area of the restaurants which seemed to mimic the kind of dining room that could be built into a wine cellar. Five course menus ensue, and the waiters are somewhat puzzled when you only opt for three. The dishes resemble many Italian and Mediterranean staples: such as an abundance of seafood, grilled meats, and an ever-tempting risotto and pasta selection. They are all crafted however with a Southern Tyrol/North Italian influence, so introducing new flavours into familiar home comforts was just what I needed after a long day of travel, exploration and hard work in the Spa! The wine list here cannot be rivalled, and a beacon of knowledge, in the form of Christian the sommelier, is on hand to guide you through the perfect pairings to your feast.

It was following this food-coma on my first night that I happily bounced down the stairs at dinner time the next day: little did I know how far my expectations would be exceeded. It was barbecue night. Not British barbecues where you indulge in several helpings of meat with very little room for anything else. No, Adler do things very very differently. Long tables are laid out across all aspects of the garden. One table by the entrance mimics a bar, as you’re enthusiastically served more than one ‘welcome drink.’ As you approach the spreads you really don’t know where to look. One row was dedicated entirely to aperitifs of octopus, squid and many other carpaccioes, king prawns, truffle! caviar! The dishes became more and more indulgent as you moved along: there was no gourmet ingredient not on offer here. If you dared, you could then move on to a steaming hot pan of paella, fried squid and so on. Finally, you arrive at the actual barbecue which I’d forgotten all about. Succulent cuts of beef filet, and a variety of grilled fish are made to order. At the Adler, you really will be fed like a king, and the quality of the food which is sourced here will encourage you to keep going. On my next visit, I have decided that I will need to go armed with self-restraint mantras to practice before each meal.

There is so much more which goes beyond the experiences of my stay at this enchanting and homely hotel. Medicinal therapies and weight loss programmes can be found beyond the typical offerings of the SPA, romantic packages and activities can be planned for couples and special occasions, wine tasting excursions and picnics by the mountains: even healthy dining options for those on a restorative break can be found at the “Balance Gourmet Restaurant” of the adjoining ‘Adler Balance Hotel’ which focuses on stays geared toward wellness and rejuvenation. The abundance of activities aside, if there is something not already on offer which you need: the gentle, hospitable staff at Adler will seamlessly see to your requests as best they can – never opting for the ‘computer says no’ response that one can so easily stumble upon at even the most prestigious of hotels. Then, if somehow, you manage to still have time for more, the nestling village of Ortisei is right on your doorstep to explore some South Tyrenol charm, history, and beautifully fresh air.

Nearest Airport: Innsbruck

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