My wife and I have long wanted to ski in the Dolomites but year after after, the snow wasn't that good. This year there were feet and feet of snow and we decided it was time to fulfill our Dolomite dream. When choosing a hotel, we looked at at a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor and finally decided that the Aartiz was the place to stay. We totally concur with all of the excellent reviews given by previous guests. We have stayed in many ski hotels in the US and Europe and the Aartiz was far and away the best. From the warm welcome by Susy, the owner, to the friendliness of the staff, to the comfortable, updated rooms, to the incredible food, to the wonderful bar, the hotel is outstanding. There are so many other reasons to like this hotel. The spa area is wonderful, and unlike the hotels we've stayed in in Austria, you're not subject to a lot of unattractive middle aged people parading around in their birthday suits. Sure there is an area where people take off their suits for the sauna and steambath, but it's not something you have to look at or join in. The spa also has a hot tub that is truly hot, something we have rarely found in Europe, where most whirlpools would be better called lukewarm tubs. Susy was also flexible on arrival. Many (if not most) European ski hotels insist on one-week stays with a Saturday or Sunday arrival and departure. In our case, Susy readily accommodated us with a Thursday to Saturday (9 day) stay.
The hotel's location is outstanding: it's directly across from the principal gondola leading to the counter-clockwise tour of the Sella Ronda. A chairlift leading to the Sella Ronda in the other direction is a five minute walk. It's not exactly ski-in, ski-out but it's pretty close. You can ski within 50 feet of the hotel from whichever direction you arrive. I could go on-and-on but just will add just a few more comments. One: Italy is truly a non-smoking country. People do not smoke in restaurants and bars. Except for a little lingering smoke from staff who smoke in the back reaches of the hotel, the hotel is smoke-free. When we stayed in Austria a year ago, the hotel was smoke free but smoking was permitted in common areas and permeated the whole hotel and the mountain restaurants were often smoky, too. Two: the hotel provides wireless internet at no extra charge, which is great, but it kept dropping off and we would have to constantly log in again. That was a bit frustrating. Three: this last item is totally out of the hotel's control, but one of the disadvantages of the hotel's central location is that all the drunks getting out of the town's bars at 2 am walk right by the hotel and are not quiet about it. The hotel's windows are thick, so if you keep your window shut it drowns out most of the noise. We like to sleep with the window open, but just couldn't do it there. The upside to all the drunks is that while they are sleeping it off, if you're on the lift when it opens, the first hour or two on the slopes tends to be fairly quiet.
Finally, the skiing: the Dolomiti Superski region is huge. It extends for miles and miles and miles. Someone told us the ski pass is valid for over 450 lifts. Besides the Sella Ronda, which is a famous (and very crowded) ski-on tour that takes several hours and goes around a mountain range, there are all sorts of lift-linked valleys to explore. The lifts are generally very modern high speed chairs, gondolas and tramways. The whole time we were there, we only waited 5 minutes for a lift one time. The only slight downside to all those good lifts is that European ski mountains are laid out very differently from those in North America. Most lifts have only one or two runs down from the top, which means that the popular runs tend to be more crowded and that by midday, they are often totally chopped up, especially if the snow is soft, as it was during our late-March visit. Still, the beauty and variety of the area make up for these slight downsides and the Aartiz will do its best to make you as comfortable as possible.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Aaritz Val Gardena, Italy