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Seehof Nature Retreat – Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

The truth is, I’m not exactly sure why we booked the tickets to this winter vacation in Italy…

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

It may have been Daniel's birthday that prompted our search for flights and idea of a luxury vacation,  or, it could also have been the fact that we found super cheap flight tickets, and then decided to celebrate my love’s birthday abroad. Either way, we booked the tickets for our recent winter vacation with Ryanair, taking off from Ovda Airport near Eilat, and landing in Italy’s Bergamo Airport, costing us only 12.50 Euro for each direction! That’s right…. It was that cheap!

If you've read some of my travel guides, you probably know that I believe a fun vacation can be organized anywhere on the globe 🙂  So obviously we didn’t think twice and decided that no matter how we were to spend this holiday, there is no way we are not going – and we booked the tickets on the spot, with a suitcase and extra leg room upgrade, of course 🙂 and we immediately began to explore what could be done in the area.

Bergamo Airport is not too far a drive from Milan, but since we recently spent time in Milan on our last trip to Italy, and since this time around we were in the mood to be closer to nature , and less into an urban atmosphere, we began to explore spots on the map which we have yet to come by on our travels….

After some Google and Pinterest work, we knew where we wanted to spend our holiday – in a luxury spa hotel situated amidst the magical landscape of the Italian Dolomites. It was now up to us to find a hotel and look forward to a perfect pampering vacation. We began surfing through HotelsCombined, Booking, and other hotel search engines, but it was on Pinterest that we finally ended up finding the hotel of our choice! I recall typing a collection of words the likes of “spa hotel north of Italy” and a single photograph was enough for me to know this was the perfect place for this kind of holiday. The hotel may not be very famous, and you won’t find so many images of it on Instagram, but it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in, a true hidden gem.  

By the way, although we were guests at the hotel in February, at the very beginning of the season {the hotel actually opened two days before we arrived!}, the weather was sunny and perfect. I read somewhere that the sun shines there 300 days a years, at least, so I figured it’s pretty difficult to be there on a lousy day.

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

 

HOW TO GET THERE AND WHAT TO DO IN THE AREA?

The Seehof Nature Retreat is located in the south of Tyrol, a short drive away from the village of Naz-Sciaves and the town of Bressanone. It is a 3-hour drive from Bergamo Airport, but it was clear to us that this hotel is well worth the car rental {which we rented in advance} and the {relatively} long trip. Besides, we happen to both be roadtrip fans, so we enjoyed the ride, which included pit stops and local snacks, long talks, and singing at the top of our lungs to spotify {mainly my account😝}.

There are alternative ways to reach the hotel, that don’t include renting a car, but they do depend on where you start your trip {if you’re taking a train or landing in another airport}, you can read about them here. I still really recommend renting a car and taking advantage of the picturesque area for traveling around the hotel, too.

During our trip, we visited the nearby, picturesque town of Bressanone {a 15 minute drive from the hotel}. Bressanone is perfect for strolling between colorful houses, tasting local cheeses and sausage, and even get in some shopping if you’re in the mood. {There are many small local shops, and I did see a few international chains, but don’t expect to find an H&M or Zara}.

 

 

On our final day in the hotel, before making our way back to Bergamo Airport, we decided to accept the hotel manager’s recommendation, and drive to the not so famous ski town of Ortisei, located less than an hour away, in Val Gardena. Upon arriving,  we boarded a cable car that took us up to a restaurant named Seceda 2500m, which sits on a 2,500-meter peak with a crazy view of the Dolomites. Although Daniel and I were the only ones at the mountain-top who did not come to ski, our not-so-sporty apparel gave us away, the experience of  having a Pizza {which was deliciously perfect, by the way} and an Aperol Spritz was an unforgettable experience. I sincerely feel that words, and photos, do no justice to this amazing place.

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Just another few words about the hotel’s surrounding – like I said, the Seehof Nature Retreat is located in South Tyrol in Italy, but the atmosphere is slightly more Austrian than Italian {especially its views, style, and dialect}. How come? Very briefly – because of a history of Italy annexing Austrian lands (read the long story behind it right here).

 

OK, BACK TO THE HOTEL…

As you can see from its name, the Seehof Nature Retreat is the place to be for one to relax in a nature setting. Situated in a location so beautiful, one can only dream of, adjacent to a stunning private lake,  surrounded by greenery, dense forests, orchards lined with apple trees, and breathtaking view of the Italian Dolomites.

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

 

What I especially loved about the hotel is that it has everything – an incredible spa complex, fine culinary, high end design, enchanting scenery and an atmosphere that simply cannot pass the boundaries of a photograph. What amazed me the most was that all of these things are included at a very reasonable price. Unlike many hotels, there is no additional fee for access to the spa, saunas, and warm pool, and to top it off they serve three meals a day. Yep, all included!

 

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

 

HOTEL ROOMS AND OVERALL DESIGN

Constructed in 1974, in a classic, Austrian guesthouse style, the family-run hotel underwent extensive renovation after being passed down to  younger family members. The fresh owner decided that it was about time to redesign the hotel, in order for it to reflect their purpose, which was to situate nature and the value of leisure in the center of a holiday state of mind. With the goal of creating a unique spa experience ,different from those of the other Alpine spa hotels, they joined forces with the Italian architectural firm NOA*. The result, as you can see, is none other than dreamy. The new architecture and design have perfectly integrated into their natural surrounding and take no extra attention from the spectacular scenery.  

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

During the extensive renovation of the hotel, aside from the 33 existing standard rooms located in the hotel's main building, 16 new suites, meticulously retro-chic, were constructed in an adjacent building and added to the hotel, as well as a new spa center right by the lake. The hotel's new design is characterized by the use of natural materials such as wood, linen, straw, natural stone and copper together with a palette of light and neutral colors.

One of the most prominent features, and  my favorite part of the hotel’s new look, is the integration of large windows, installed in the suites, the dining room, and throughout the entire spa complex. All of these elements foster a relaxing and homey atmosphere, and link the hotel guests to the outdoors.

After speaking with one of the hotel managers, I discovered that the hotel's  interior decor and design concept reverberate the history of the place. She shared with me, that in the 1950s the landowner's grandfather founded a “land improvement consortium” for the village’s apple land, in order  to increase the traditional cultivation of apple trees in the area. Years later, they felt it was important to them to honor to this story, which is why they decided to incorporate elements of golden copper throughout the hotel, symbolizing the many water pipes that characterized that period.

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

 

We spent three dreamy nights in the hotel, during which we stayed in the Romantic Suite, located in a corner in the new building. It includes an amazing view of the lake, spa center, and lines of apple trees, against the backdrop of the Dolomites. The suite is very spacious and impressive, both architecturally and in terms of design and attention to detail, when the cherry on top is undoubtedly the huge bathtub with the golden brass faucets overlooking the mountains. Let me put it this way – I’m pretty sure this is the most beautiful room I have stayed in in my entire life, and you know I’ve been to some pretty nice places 🙂

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

 

THE SPA

The hotel’s new spa area is a paradise not easy to leave. Beyond the breathtaking facilities, the entire complex is designed to make guests relax and connect with nature in an ultimate way.

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

After all, what could be more relaxing than lying on a deck chair by the heated pool and looking out over the view of the lake and the Dolomites through the building’s large windows? Throw in dips in the pool and trips to the saunas {with a panoramic view of course – only, keep in mind, the sauna is strictly no bathing suits…} and relaxing in the corner lounges equipped with luxurious beds and soft blankets.

 

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

We enjoyed this pampering experience with a winter landscape and a most charming frozen lake, but I can only imagine that it is no less exciting in the spring and summer months, when you can enjoy the outdoors, get some sun, and even take a dip in the hotel’s natural lake. One of the things I most anticipated as I planned this trip was the massage I booked in advance, Natural freshness with apple & rose hips, which at a spa like this one, was no less than perfect.

Alongside all of these luxuries, one of the special things that the hotel offers at no extra cost is daily fitness classes every morning, such as pilates, yoga and forest walks. In addition to a fully equipped gym, of course.

 

CULINARILY SPEAKING

Ah! So we’ve come to one of the most significant parts of our trip! The food! Let’s begin with the excellent breakfast that includes a varied and quality buffet of fruits and vegetables, cold cuts and cheeses, muesli and cereals, a omelette station and local crepes {a dreammm}, freshly pressed juices, a tea stand, various types of jam and honey, and finally breads and pastries that one can simply not remain indifferent to….

Let us not forget the coffee – this is Italy after all! Wow, how I’ve missed such fine Italian coffee…

Besides the “standard” breakfast, there is a room service option for your first meal of the day, as well as an outdoor breakfast option, served in a picnic basket and , for an extra charge, can be enjoyed the forest.

 

A light lunch is served, also buffet style, including an amazing soup, an assortment of fine cheeses and cold cuts, breads, and dreamy desserts. Oh, and did I mention that you can go to lunch in your robe? Yes please….

And, if that’s not enough, dinner really left us speechless! Imagine a gourmet restaurant that serves a  4-course gourmet menu that changes on a daily basis according to most fine, seasonal ingredients, alongside a salad and cheese bar, and a range of fine wines. Some examples of what was served: Parmesan flan and truffle cheese fondue, ox cheek in red wine, purple coriander with potato dumplings, ricotta gnocchi in pumpkin and almond sauce, and this is just the beginning. To sum up, this hotel is perfect not only for spa goers but also for the fans of the finest culinary standards out there.

 

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Seehof Nature Retreat is the place to be when you want to take a break from reality, boost, recharge, and relax in nature. Daniel and I could not have imagined a better way to celebrate his birthday than at this hotel, and we would love to return in the summertime, to experience it in a completely different color pallette 🙂

 

Seehof Nature Retreat - Recharging your Battery in the Italian Dolomites

 

 

What do you think about Seehof Nature Retreat? Leave me a comment below 🙂

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* Many thanks to Seehof Nature Retreat for a perfect stay. 

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14 Responses

  1. Wow, I am so impressed, this really looks amazing. I’ve never been to Italy, but this really makes me think about it.

    Great pictures, by the way.

  2. The Photographs are just mind blowing, travelling to Italy is simply in my to do list, this amazing article simply increased my desire to visit it, which I ll definitely do.

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