Tourists enamoured with high-altitude pursuits have long flocked to Alta Badia, a jewelled valley of rolling hillocks at the foot of the Dolomites. In winter, the setting is frosted with thick snow and come spring, the heavy woods and stony peaks make for sun-lit days of idle walking. Through it all, the Hotel Gardenazza has been a reliable constant for its unblocked views and charming service, and now even more so after a slick facelift by the London- and Vienna-based architects Sirs.
The original 1939 facade has been replaced by a new slatted silhouette made of local larch that echoes the steep mountain peaks behind, framing the balconies of the hotel’s 18 rooms, and green plant boxes. The interiors are clad in a mix of local pine panels, oak and terrazzo floors and limestone tiles, while the rooms are dressed in locally sourced wool.
The distractions are suitably alpine, not least a garden bristling with tall conifers and lawns for sunbathing. The kitchen turns out hearty servings of bacon dumplings, and cancì, a South Tyrolean ravioli that’s stuffed with spinach, ricotta, chives and nutmeg, whilst a low ceilinged room furnished with puffed up sofas leads to a Finnish sauna and infra-red cabin.