This Italian Hotel Is Like Sleeping Inside an Art Gallery and Wine Cellar All at Once

italian dolomites hotel
This Hotel Is Perfect for Art and Wine LoversCourtesy of Karla Walsh

Something old, something new, something borrowed…all enjoyed at the foot of a big, blue mountain. That’s what I was delighted to discover as I walked up to the front door of Romantik Hotel Turm this fall.

Tucked away in a 13th-century tower in a village called Völs am Schlern, this hotel sits in the shadows of Schlern Mountain, a notable peak in the South Tyrol region of the Italian Dolomites. In earlier times, this hotel has acted as a courthouse and even a prison.

While it might not look luxe from the exterior, as soon as you step inside Romantik Hotel Turm, you’ll see what it’s deemed an art hotel. Owner Stefan Pramstrahler uses the building as a canvas—a cozy museum of sorts—for all of his interests, which include several of the finer things in life: art, food and wine.

The art collection features more than 2,000 pieces of art and religious relics, including pieces by the likes of Picasso and Italian painter and politician Renato Guttuso, all of which are sprinkled throughout the rooms, staircases, restaurant and art gallery. The design of the rest of the chalet feels very alpine chic, thanks to dark, shiny quartzite stone, rich woods and a mix of antique and contemporary furniture. Sweeping windows and glass walls and doors ensure that outside and in seamlessly blend together.

Another impressive collection can be found underground the 800-year-old estate. Many of the carefully aged bottles are from the hotel’s own line of premium wines which are grown 10 minutes away in the 8 ½-acre Grottnerhof wine estate. Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, gewürztraminer and sauvignon blanc thrive in this region.

As do apples, which you’ll find all over the breakfast buffet—included with each stay—and dinner menu. Beyond being hoteliers, art curators and vintners, Stefan and his wife Kathi love food, too. After a day full of hiking, guests can refuel with a four-course “Romantik” menu (also included with your room rate), five-course “1001 Calorie” menu, or order a la carte off of chef Mathieu Domagala’s seasonal creations. Depending on the time of year, you’ll spy copious amounts of pears, strawberries, and apricots alongside the ubiquitous bread and charcuterie that are viewed as an essential offering at every meal here.

Enough about the hotel, though. Why would you want to detour to this remote village in the first place? South Tyrol is just a few miles away from Bolzano, which you can get to by train from Milan and Venice. The area is rich with history, eye-catching architecture and top-notch hiking, cycling and skiing. And compared to more popular tourist cities in Italy, it’s whisper quiet and feels stuck in a far earlier time. (Many locals still wear traditional apparel and communicate in Ladin, a romance language that natives—and about 4 percent of the area’s population—speak.)

While the hotel’s amenities and design feels rich, you need not be to stay there. Due to its under-the-radar nature, rooms at Romantik Hotel Turm hover around $350 to $425 per night.

You Might Also Like