We first stepped into Hotel Schgaguler on a rare rainy day of January, and what an atmosphere – this hotel has the power of making you feel relaxed instantly, even after a long trip as in our case.
So as I said the weather was really bad that day, but isn’t that just the perfect situation to forget about the outside world and indulge in a spa? Heated indoors swimming pool(s): open 24 hours. That’s all we needed to know at check in time! And that was just the beginning of a wonderful, wonderful holiday in the Italian Dolomites.
The following morning we woke up to the view of the Sciliar Mountain peeking through the clouds, so photogenic and inspiring to start our exploration of the area!
Hotel Schgaguler… What an experience. Every time I think about this hotel I can’t help but smile. With this review, I will try and explain you why.
The Vitalpina Concept
Hotel Schgaguler is part of the “Vitalpina” hotels based in the Alps (South Tyrol to be precise). In order to enter this collection the standards are very high and important to guarantee all Guests an unforgettable trip and outstanding quality in every service.
We had the chance of experimenting all the following aspects – here is the statement that applies to all the Vitalpina Hotels:
- At least three guided hikes a week.
- At least three opportunities to do more gentle sporting activities in a natural setting.
- Our experienced hiking guides lead the hikes.
- Our program of activities varies in difficulty and length.
- We, as your hosts, accompany you on your hikes or program of activity at least once a week.
- Our free equipment rental includes backpacks, walking sticks, snowshoes as well as maps and informational materials.
- Upon request, we offer a drop off and collection service to the start point of individually planned hikes.
- We present our hiking and Staying Active program to you personally, once a week.
- We offer expert advice for individual tours.
- Our library with hiking guides and maps are of help to those planning individual hikes.
- The Vitalpina® hiking map contains at least 25 itinerary tips in the local area.
- We provide expert information on hiking and Staying Active program, on current weather developments as well as on public transport.
During our stay we really had the chance of being active – much more than expected! Hotel Schgaguler provides all Guests with a free pass for transportation, which saved us a lot of money, and made everything so much easier. Actually not hard at all.
Even if we don’t ski there wasn’t a day when we had too much to do. Every week the staff at Schgaguler create a new list of excursions organised and led by them, including a night tour of the town where Mr Schgaguler tells all about legends and myths of the area: witches, ghosts, fights and castles? Yes please!
On our first day we reached the lovely town of Ortisei where we rode the cable car all the way up to the magnificent Mount Seceda, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen with my eyes.
Also, Ortisei is full of boutiques and little shops selling lovely wooden handicrafts. I am not a fan of shopping but couldn’t resists and bought a bat-house for my future home! What I’m trying to say is that Ortisei is good for shopping, even if you’re not as quirky as me.
So many paths we walked, up and down the valleys of this incredible area. On our second day, as suggested by the super knowledgeable Staff at Hotel Schgaguler, we climbed up to the Fie Lake, which was completely frozen so we could walk over it.
I had no idea that frozen lakes make such creepy sounds when walking on them. Well they do. So I like to stay away and eat canederli by the shore instead, enjoying the sunlight!
Last day took us to the Sciliar Plateau for a full day walk among incredible scenery, sledding and even a snowmobile ride! All this led and guided by Mr Schgaguler in person, and in company of the beautiful Nanuk, the Schgaguler Family’s dog.
- We use and label regional and seasonal as well as biological products.
- We guarantee fresh bread from the bakers daily.
- We offer an alternative vegetarian menu daily.
- We take into account allergies and intolerances and offer healthy and diverse alternatives.
- You’ll find we have at least 20 different high quality wines from South Tyrol and five homegrown distillates.
- There are reading materials and cookbooks on environmentally aware and healthy nutrition in our library.
- Our daily Vitalpina® dish is healthy and light, made from homegrown and seasonal products. It’s not only good for our food!
Both me and my partner are vegetarians. Every day the half board menu had a separate option for vegetarians, which saved us from having to ask for an alternative every time, which is frustrating. We were so happy! We never felt like our “special choices” were demanding or annoying – and believe me this still happens a lot, all the time, both in Italy and abroad.
All food was of high quality, from breakfast to dinner. Choice was always wide, and buffets very rich. At breakfast, eggs could be ordered à la carte, free of charge. All this shows an outstanding degree of quality in service, and the great value for money.
Once a week, dinner is dedicated to the local food. Every other night local ingredients are used to serve international food instead. We’ll never forget those tortillas! Yum.
- We have one or more Finnish saunas and steam baths, which are available daily and without extra charge.
- Our quiet room is spacious.
- Access to our outdoor or indoor pools and swimming pond is free.
- We have at least one massage room with a qualified masseuse available.
- Our library contains literature on the themes health, nature and wellbeing.
- We offer at least three different types of massage, one of which is the Vitalpina® Juniper and Apple Massage.
- You’ll discover at least three spa treatments based on homemade products such as hay, whey, apples and herbs … including the Hay-Brush Peel with juniper essence and the Vitalpina® Steam-Bath Peel.
Particular attention is given to the SPA and all its services. From the point of view of guests, our experience was excellent, and we didn’t even have enough time to try out all the available options.
I had a full body relaxing massage. I have one almost everywhere I go, but this went straight to the top 3 massages of my life.
Everything was flawless: the massage room – completely quiet except for the soft music, with no background noise whatsoever; the heated massage bed and the temperature of the room, perfect; the scents and oil used by the therapist, which made relaxing even easier; and of course the skills of the therapist herself, which took me to outer space in the most relaxed state I can imagine. One suggestion: go for it.
There are 2 saunas, one of which – the Finnish Sauna, with hotter temperatures – is built with real Finnish wood coming from the wild north. The SPA is built with all natural materials, such as the heating stone slabs where one can lay and enjoy a pleasant beneficial effect on the body.
The “hay bath” also comes from the ancient popular knowledge of farmers that carried hay and found this paradoxically heals back pain. Nowadays you can enjoy the benefit without having to carry anything heavy on your shoulders.
The heated pools are open 24 hours a day for Guests to enjoy, so it’s very easy to avoid “peak hour” and enjoy the place all for yourself. Did I mention you can see Mount Sciliar while relaxing in the pool? You’ll never want to leave.
It felt like a hug. To stay in such a beautiful room.
When I first saw the hotel online, I fell in love with the Deluxe Suites and hoped my room would look like that. What a wonderful surprise it was to find out that not only it did, but it even looked better in person!
The whole hotel has this modern style, but is not aseptic. On the contrary, it feels incredibly warm, thanks to the masterly use of natural light and materials such as hardwood and glass.
Our room was very spacious and featured a kitchenette, living room and terrace facing the Sciliar Mountain. Other rooms, called “Panorama”, are smaller but with similar comforts.
What I loved:
What I didn’t love:
Euro 89+ / night / person
Find out more at www.schgaguler.com