Nestled in the Dolomites, the five-star Hotel Sassongher has been owned by the Pescosta family for over 70 years.
Directly below its namesake mountain, Sassongher, the hotel is steeped in Ladin and South Tyrolean culture.
Where is it?
Hotel Sassongher is located in the town of Corvara, in the Sellaronda ski area of the Dolomites – a north-eastern Italy in a region of the Alps. Visitors will find the nearest international airports in Innsbruck, Austria (85 miles/136 km) and Venice’s Marco Polo (109 miles /175 km), and the hotel will provide car transfers to and from the airport.
Corvara is the main ski village in an area known as the Alta Badia (“high Badia”), which also includes a number of other beautiful Italian-Alpine villages. The hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the Corvara town-centre and is within easy walking distance to the local slopes and restaurants. If you don’t want to walk to the lifts, there are also on-call vehicles at the hotel that can take guests to and from local destinations.
With a classic chalet-style facade, inside the hotel guests will find a mix of traditional Italian and Austrian-Tyrolian décor, with wood panelling, antiques and oriental rugs throughout. We found it pleasingly eccentric.
The family-run hotel has been extended over the years and now has around 50 rooms, but is still in keeping with the local traditions and environment.
As a result there is a cosy, private feel to the hotel and the modern spa area and pools are nicely integrated into the space.
The hotel caters for couples, groups and families in equal measure. We were there for a romantic break and felt we had plenty of privacy.
Hotel Sassongher is a wellness hotel at its core and the spa facilities are five star.
The hotel’s ‘Rita Pescosta’ philosophy is ultimate pampering, and guests can choose from alpine beauty treatments, body treatments, face treatments and massages. The spa area also includes a Finnish sauna and an Infrared sauna, whirlpool, swimming pool and a sun terrace – the latter ideal for the summer months.
Our favourite communal space was the outdoor hot tub overlooking the town and the incredible alpine vista beyond.
Staff were on hand to help with every request and organised all of our ski rental, passes and ski lessons.
There is also lift and the hotel caters for disabled guests.
Food and drink
The hotel has fantastic dining, set in the Jägerstube dining-room that dates back to 1520. During our stay we were served excellent Italian options every evening.
The wine list is extensive and the staff are incredibly accommodating; everything you would expect from a five star experience.
The snugs provide a romantic setting and the larger spaces of the main dining room are perfect for families or groups of friends.
The piano bar is also quintessentially alpine and creates a relaxed ambience.
The rooms are spacious and have been modernised but are still sumptuous and in keeping with the traditional feel of the hotel.
We had a lovely, comfortable bed that was fashioned from local timber and the room gave us enough space to easily change into, and out of, our ski gear.
The best part of our room was the view. The hotel is elevated over the town and the mountains in the background create an almost unreal, beautiful backdrop.
We were there for the skiing. I’d been told that the Dolomites, which have UNESCO World Heritage status, are one of the most stunning mountain ranges in the world and the scenery delivered.
The spiky peaks and steep cliffs have been used by filmmakers for decades to represent an idealised version of alpine settings and you can see why.
Our ski pass covered the entire Alta Badia ski area and the main Sella Ronda route connects the villages in a giant circle.
Skiing around the route from village to village is a marvellous day-trip that, if properly planned, can include a delicious lunch at one of the many slope-side restaurants.
The skiing is fun and is perfect for beginners and intermediate levels. Certain areas will appeal to advanced skiers but if you are looking for extreme skiing, narrow chutes and tight tree-runs, then you might want to look elsewhere.
There are snow-parks and pipes but the scene is more leisurely. This also applies to the nightlife; the quality of the dining in the area can be excellent but there are not many options to party afterwards, if that’s what you are looking for.
Those looking for long ski days meandering through beautiful towns and incredible scenery.
When to go?
We went mid-March and the snow base was excellent. We were lucky enough to get some sunny weather but that meant the lower slopes had a spring-snow feel to them.
The hotel is also open for the summer season and I can imagine the area is wonderful then too.
Hotel Sassongher has rooms available from £151 (€175) per person per night, based on two adults sharing a Comfort Room on a half-board basis. For bookings and further information, visit sassongher.it or call +39 0471 836085.
Dolomiti Superski ski pass: From £47 (€55) for one day per adult. Full price list here
Alta Badia ski pass: From £43 (€50) for one day per adult. Full price list here
David Tomchak and his wife stayed as half-board guests of the hotel and their ski passes and ski rental was supplied by the hotel, as were transfers from the taxi company Taxi Alfredo. lascalira.com