There are few places in the world that have a special magic, that leave you speechless everyday you are there, and where the location captivates you in every possible sense. A unique interplay of nature and man-made creation has risen from the ruins of the old hotel Mezdi, on Europe’s largest plateaux and in the middle of the incomparable Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage site. I have never found it so hard to leave a hotel and for the very first time on leaving I was already looking for availability for my next visit to this very special hideaway offering spectacular views of the wide-open rolling mountain pasture against the jagged and dramatic peaks of the Dolomites.
In 1999 the Sanoner family acquired hotel Mezdi and re-built the hotel as a collection of wooden structures modelled on the old Tyrolean mountain dairy huts to blend in with the Alpe di Siusi. Inspired by African lodges the Sanoner family brought in local architects from Ortisei to build a true mountain lodge entirely of wood called Adler Mountain Lodge. The main lodge includes 18 alpine suites, a spacious sun terrace with blankets and gas fires, a panoramic restaurant, a stylish lounge featuring an open fireplace and bar, an incredible wellbeing spa and the most spectacular outdoor heated infinity pool. The bedrooms, built in natural spruce are minimalist, light and spacious; each with their own balcony with breath-taking views of the Dolomites.
Adler Mountain Lodge has been designed to radiate peace and relaxation. Tranquillity emanates from the unspoilt landscape, from the freshest of air and the setting sun’s light on the glittering mountains. Every view from the lodge looks out on to this unparalleled view. The team at Adler want their guests to feel relaxed throughout their stay, in their every encounter with the lodge; and thus have decided to take out the decision making process for guests whilst they indulge in the delicious food and mouth watering wines and beverages at the lodge. Unlike most luxury hotels in Italy, Adler have chosen to be an all-inclusive lodge to enable their guests to be carefree and truly let go and indulge; and it works perfectly!
31-year-old chef Hannes Pignater creates culinary masterpieces for every meal you will eat at the lodge. Hannes focuses on quality produce from South Tyrol and relies on culinary traditions, whilst injecting his creative energy to produce an authentic and fresh dining experience.
Breakfast consists of a wonderful spread of fresh fruits, yoghurts, breads, pastries, mueslis and a medley of seeds. My favourite morning treat was making my own green juice from the day’s choice of vegetables. Guests can choose from a choice of cooked breakfast from an omelette with meadow herbs to thin pancakes lined with nutella. Adler offers all types of teas and coffees including my breakfast must Rooibos.
Adler puts on a “light” lunch, which includes an exceptionally healthy salad bar – featuring every single vegetable from broccoli to artichokes. This alone would be suffice for lunch; however guests are spoiled with a 3 or 4 course a la carte menu; which for vegetarians typically consisted of a light soup, a pasta dish and a refreshing desert like panna cotta or a sorbet.
Dinner is fine dining at its best with an exciting beautifully presented 5-course menu to be unravelled in a scroll every evening. I was anxious as a vegetarian we may just be eating a variation of pasta every evening; though I was pleasantly surprised.
Our menu would feature mouth-watering dishes like: spelt salad with cucumber and oven baked tomato, cream of herb soup, grilled polenta ratatouille, zucchini stuffed with carrots and parsnips, and ravioli filled with celeriac root and black truffle. Every course is perfectly paired with an Italian wine to complement the delicious flavours Hannes had carefully crafted. Desert was by far my favourite part of the dining experience. Hannes would often select an ingredient, lemon or chocolate for example and delight you with a selection of 5 small deserts that build up to a crescendo of flavours that burst in your mouth.
Whilst the food took centre stage of our dining experiences at Adler; it was also the staff who delightfully took care of our every needs. I still remember the entertaining and charismatic Maitre D’ Nicolantonio who made our every meal feel special. A number of the staff at the lodge have their own special talents, and share them with their guests. Arik, a waiter is also a talented photographer and one afternoon as one of the many activities Adler provides, Arik took us out on a photography hike.
Relaxation is the motto and ethos of Adler Mountain Lodge. For some that means skiing down the Alpe di Siusi, or cycling or hiking through the honey roasted meadows, or taking a yoga and outdoor fitness class organised by the lodge. For me the ultimate relaxation process took place in Adler’s luxury alpine spa.
The outdoor pool heated to 36 degrees, overlooking the outstanding views of the Dolomites, is the perfect place to drift off and unwind. Adler offers every possible treatment you could imagine. I thought I would try something different and went for the massage that uses the baobab nut to massage you. It was certainly relaxing but can be a bit of an anti-climax if you enjoy deep tissue massages (which of course is available).
Like almost every room the relaxation room has a panoramic view of the mountain range. With a fireplace in the middle, big glass windows and comfortable reclining beds; the relaxation room is dreamy and hard to leave. My favourite spa experience was the organic hay sauna. I often find saunas unbearably hot. The hay sauna has an earthy aroma, spectacular views and is comfortably hot without scorching your body.
Adler Mountain Lodge is now my favourite relaxation destination and I can’t wait to go back! Incredible uninterrupted views of the soaring peaks of the Dolomites, outstanding cuisine, delightful hospitality, and plenty of activities making this the perfect year round destination. For approximately 250 Euros per night per person guests get a junior suite room, enjoy all three meals and all beverages, and participate in any of the daily activities the lodge organises.
Adler Mountain Lodge, 11 Piz Street, I-39040 Alpe di Siusi, South Tyrol, Italy