A stay at Adler, the original spa resort in the Dolomites

Last spring I was invited to spend some time in the Dolomites at Adler, at the original, historic lodge where the resort first began in 1810 in the centre of the picturesque, pastel-toned town of Ortisei (Urtijëi) in Val Gardena in the South Tyrol. Around the Dolomites area, Adler have four resorts (the other we stayed in on this trip and I’ve written about before is Adler Lodge Ritten), plus one in Tuscany at my favourite hot springs Bagno Vignoni, and one in Sicily.

Surrounded by the stunning Dolomites mountain range, which you can see from every angle, you can soak in the warm waters of the outdoor pool, enjoying the views and breathing in that fresh mountain air, or sunbathing in the garden. It’s easy to imagine how incredible it would feel, after a day of hiking nearby in the summer or skiing in the winter (the resort is right next to two lifts that take you to the Super Ski area of the Dolomites with 1200 km of skiing to be had, and if you’re not a skier there are horse carriage ride or tobogganing), to have a long soak in the spa and then relax in the day bed by a fireplace. But to be honest, even just a weekend enjoying the spa and not going anywhere other than a stroll through town — as we did — was absolutely blissful.

The theme here is wellness and relaxation and this is what Adler deliver so well. From the moment you step into the beautifully designed building with its warm wood interiors and large windows with views to the mountains, you can feel it. I indulged in a full body massage — there is an absolutely dizzying choice of offerings and packages from the impressive spa menu with solutions for everyone in the family (my girls would love the chocolate massage with a milk bath in the wooden Tyrolean tub for kids!), which you can combine with a visit to their salt grotto for the ultimate relaxing treatment.

The bar was our favourite spot to wind down in the late afternoon, there is an enticing buffet of cakes and other treats (I couldn’t say no to a slice of the traditional apple strudel), a selection of local wines and great cocktails that we enjoyed on the winding wooden terrace with it sweeping views, cosy blankets and outdoor fire pits — the whole place is teeming with that wonderful Alpine atmosphere. The restaurant offers a Tyrolean-Mediterranean menu with plenty of lighter dishes, a salad buffet and all of it with a preference for organic, local and seasonal — their olive oil and wine comes from their own production in Tuscany.

We left our kids home this time but I know that if they were here they would have absolutely loved it, and especially loved the kids club (as they did at the Tuscan resort in Bagno Vignoni), which even has an all day juice bar and snack bar for the children!

As in the other resorts, dressing gowns, flip flops and spare towels are provided in the rooms already. Bring your workout clothes so you can take advantage of the well-equipped gym and activities such as yoga classes on offer too — just perfect before another long soak.

Thank you Adler for this rejuvenating, special stay.


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