Written by Staff Writer Kristina Soares
Tucked away in the village of Northern Italy, San Cassiano is a tranquil, fascinating and historical tourist district called Alta Badia. In this small town with a population of about 750, there are hotels, restaurants and even churches that have survived hundreds of years including both World Wars.
The Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina has been run by the Pizzinini family since 1939 even though the hotel itself has a history all the way back to 1850. Over the years it has become a magnificent five-star hotel and includes nine suites, nine Junior Suites, eight Châlet Loft Suites, 22 De Luxe double rooms, three De Luxe single rooms and one Penthouse Suite. As for the rest of the hotel, you can find an indoor swimming pool, a Turkish steam bath and Finnish sauna, whirlpool and gym, Beauty Spa Daniela Steiner with ten treatment cabins, the gourmet restaurant St. Hubertus with Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Norbert Niederkofler, Hotel Restaurant Wine Bar & Grill, breakfast restaurant ‘Limonaia’, Fondue Stube, a hotel bar with a terrace and the “Novum” hotel shop.
Hugo Pizzinini was born into the hospitality industry and grew up in the family-run hotel. The current owner is his father, Paolo Pizzinini and before that it was Paolo’s father, Engelbert Pizzinini.
“The whole area is family run, it is a very local feel,” says Hugo Pizzinini. “The guest that comes back only a second time is already recognized, in fact 80 percent of the guests here are returning.”
At the Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina, guests have many unique options for spending their vacation. From nature tours through the beautiful, scenic mountains with the family to a romantic getaway, Rosa Alpina exceeds anyone’s expectations.
The area is full of great ski slopes, beautiful hiking trails and if you rather just stay at the hotel, there is plenty to do within the Rosa Alpina grounds.
For many years, Rosa Alpina has offered private cooking classes with their award-winning chefs. “The guests love it,” explained Hugo Pizzinini. “We have the whole family all cooking together. The kids can cook something fun like pizza or ravioli while the parents can learn to cook something more serious.” These unique classes are a great experience for couples, families or even small company groups.
Another fun event that is offered is Dining with the Stars, which is a culinary tour with five gastronomic weekends in the Italian Orient-Express hotels. Together, the ten participating chefs have 21 Michelin stars. The chefs coming up in September are Pietro Leemann and Heinz Beck (to see the full program with a list of all of the highlighted chefs, click here http://static.orient-express.com/pdfs/ocip_dining_with_the_stars_2012.pdf).
The Dining with the Stars event started just three years ago and has been a great way for the surrounding hotels and restaurants to work together instead of competing against each other. Some of which have family ties to the Pizzinini’s, such as Restaurant Siriola which is owned by Hugo Pizzinini’s cousin.
“We differentiate ourselves from other five-star hotels because we are a border region which has many different cultural influences,” says Hugo Pizzinini. “We have had our staff for many years and every Rosa Alpina employee speaks at least three languages.” The most common languages spoken are Italian, English, German and Ladino, which comes from the Roman conquerors and is a mix of Italian, French and Spanish.
Everyone knows that Italy holds some of the most beautiful places like Venice and Rome, but don’t miss out on this hidden treasure tucked away in the Dolomite Mountains.
Hotel website: http://www.rosalpina.it/
VIDEO: HOTEL ROSA ALPINA