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In Conversation: 5-Star Hotel Granbaita Dolomites

Hotel Granbaita Dolomites.

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By Niamh Walsh on 28th December 2023

Discover the allure of Hotel Granbaita Dolomites, where tradition meets innovation in a five-star Alpine retreat.

Within the breathtaking landscapes of the Dolomite Mountains sits Hotel Granbaita Dolomites. More than just a luxurious accommodation; the property is a testament to the intertwined legacy of the Puntscher-Perathoner family and the rich heritage that defines this Alpine haven. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the history, design philosophy, culinary offerings, and the unique blend of tradition and innovation that make Hotel Granbaita Dolomites a standout destination for discerning travelers.

1. Can you tell us about the history of Hotel Granbaita and its connection to the Puntscher-Perathoner family? How has this heritage influenced the hotel's character and guest experience?

HGD: Hotel Granbaita Dolomites first opened December 1961 by Richard Puntscher and his wife Sofie Insam. In 1999, it was then taken over by the Puntscher-Perathoner family with Carmen, Raphael and their children Marco, Alexander and Anna. In the years 2007-2009, the first SPA Savinela, outdoor swimming pool and garden was constructed. Fast-forward to 2019, major renovations took place to reopen the hotel as a five-star establishment, with an entire refurbishment of the main house (bedrooms, restaurant, bar and lounge, entrance and reception). At this time, we also proudly opened the new Gourmet restaurant with specialties by Chef Andrea Moccia. The renovations were made by the architectural firm Rudolf Perathoner Architects with a modern traditional touch. We have always been proud to be a family-run hotel combining innovation and tradition to create excellent hospitality.

 

2. The hotel underwent a significant renovation in recent years. Could you share some insights into the design philosophy behind this renovation and how it successfully blends tradition and innovation in the South Tyrolean style?

HGD: Since its construction in the 1960s, the Puntscher-Perathoner family home has been the focus of countless structural expansions, renovations and modernizations, so much so that in 2019 the time has come for a complete renovation of the main building with reception, bar and dining room and wellness area, to give it an architecturally contemporary look. Faithful to the motto "gran baita", inspired by a large (ital. “gran”) mountain hut (ital. “baita”), the wood has been used in various ways, both inside and outside. The idea of a barn has been reinterpreted, giving the house the modern and contemporary touch. In close collaboration with the experienced Puntscher-Perathoner hotelier family, the architects, technicians and creatives commissioned by the South Tyrolean architecture firm Perathoner Architects, have created a hotel with an absolutely contemporary 5-star standard.

The balconies and wooden cladding, with the existing roof and veranda, were torn down and subsequently renovated. The connection between the main building and the new extension building creates an elegantly curved, single-storey structure. The extension becomes the new architectural brand of the hotel thanks to the high windows and the characteristic wood cladding. The completely renovated existing facades made of dark larch wood have a robust appearance, giving all parts of the traditional house a uniform 5-star appearance.

The oak interior design of the ground floor has been kept elegant and intentionally timeless. The upper floors have a slightly rustic touch. Below we find the entrance, reception and lounge as well as the new, special gourmet area. The wooden cladding of the uniquely designed columns is reminiscent of trees, whose branches are gracefully lost on the ceilings, decorating the simple dining rooms. This not only looks good, but also ensures pleasant acoustics. On the outer edge of the large, slightly curved terrace, a crown is created, which is optically highlighted by the lighting. Thanks to the round-shaped buildings, a partial ellipse is formed from the green roof.

Hotel Granbaita Dolomites Exterior

All the rooms that have been created there have been kept particularly large to offer guests as much space as possible and convey a feeling of private luxury. The choice of high-quality materials and products that have been used for the architecturally timeless interior design should not be underestimated. For example, we find smoked oak wood, gray natural stones and to add colour accents, fabric coverings typical of the area. The precision in the choice also characterizes the numerous and refined carpentry works and the ingenious lighting.

The design concept for the harmonious atmosphere also continues in the wellness and spa area, which has been refurbished to create a modernized relaxation oasis: Finnish sauna, aroma steam bath, exclusive snow grotto, brine bath, pine sauna, hay sauna reminiscent of a barn, indoor and outdoor whirlpools and various treatment rooms. Even 35 luxurious rooms of 51 total rooms and suites have been redesigned following the design of the house. Contemporary architecture is combined with the latest technology and high-quality materials. The elaborate structural elements behind the beds attract attention, allowing elegance to convey a feeling of timelessness.

 

3. The Dolomite Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to your hotel. Can you describe the unique views and natural surroundings that guests can enjoy from the various room and suite categories?

HGD: All our rooms have mountain view. In front of the Hotel (East) we have the Sella massif, on the northern-west part you can see the Stevia mountain, Vallunga valley and Cir peaks. On the southern side you see the Sassolungo peak (partially).

Junior Suite
Junior Suite, Hotel Granbaita Dolomites

 

4. Food plays a crucial role in any luxury hotel experience. Could you highlight the culinary offerings at Hotel Granbaita, including the two restaurants - the Main Restaurant and Granbaita Gourmet Restaurant? How do these restaurants incorporate local ingredients and traditions into their menus?

HGD: Guests are invited to embark on a delicious journey through the delights of traditional South Tyrolean cuisine, emphasizing the use of local and fresh ingredients, including those from small producers. They can also explore refined offerings from Mediterranean and international cuisines, choosing from an astonishing variety of around forty dishes à la carte. With influences from South Tyrolean, Italian, and international cuisines, guests can choose between our Daily Menu, as well as the Vital Menu (varying from day to day, delicious and low in calories, for those looking to detox and lose weight during their vacation) and the à la carte menu, every guest can create their own dinner as part of the half-board package.

Our Executive Chef Andrea Moccia also oversees the dining experience at the Granbaita Gourmet Restaurant, among the must-visit destinations for the most refined dining in Val Gardena. Open to external guests as well, the restaurant features a contemporary design, a cozy atmosphere, and only 7 tables to ensure the utmost comfort for diners. Andrea Moccia and his team offer an exciting journey of taste, blending research and a modern reinterpretation of local traditional flavours. The dishes, a result of continuous experimentation and great passion, change periodically, following the cues of the seasons. You can choose from the à la carte menu and the Gherdeina Tasting Menu (5 courses) and Dolomites Tasting Menu (6 courses), or entrust your dining experience to the Chef's Surprise, a symphony of flavours crafted by the chef, paired with exquisite wines from the hotel's wine cellar (over 500 labels, including those from South Tyrol, Trentino, and renowned Italian and international wineries).

Granbaita Gourmet

5. The Savinela Spa sounds like a haven of wellness. What inspired the spa's design, and could you describe some of the treatments and experiences that guests can enjoy in this 2000sqm oasis?

HGD: The spa at Granbaita Dolomites takes its name from a delicate flower, the Savinela, and it's a true temple of alpine wellness. Everything, from the products used to the treatments, draws from the beneficial active principles of the natural elements of the Dolomites, elixirs of beauty and health. It offers a wellness journey, with guests having free access to enjoy the benefits of hay and stone pine saunas (local tradition), the Finnish sauna, aromatic and steam Turkish baths, a panoramic sauna, and private saunas for those seeking the utmost privacy. There's also a beneficial saltwater oasis with a 37°C saltwater pool featuring underwater music and a healthful salt cave with nebulized iodine. Guests can also enjoy a world of revitalized waters using the GRANDER method, enhancing their natural characteristics and positive effects. Furthermore, there is the large pool with 32°C water, creating a harmonious continuum between the spacious indoor pool and the outdoor panoramic pool, accompanied by indoor and outdoor hot tubs. More details about the Savinela SPA can be found here.

95°C Sauna
95°C Sauna

6. The hotel offers various activities during both summer and winter. Can you elaborate on the outdoor adventures and wellness activities that guests can engage in when staying at Hotel Granbaita?

HGD: Walking, cycling, engaging in outdoor physical activities in the heart of the Dolomites, immersing oneself in ever-changing and enchanting landscapes, is a boon for both physical health and the spirit. In summer, the hotel organizes daily excursions with experienced guides to explore the most spectacular places in Val Gardena. There are also panoramic E-MTB rides along legendary routes. Furthermore, for the more sports-oriented, a weekly guided cycling tour of the 4 Ladine valleys, namely the famous Sella Ronda, is on the schedule. All of this is made hassle-free, even for those without their own bicycles and appropriate equipment for excursions, as the hotel provides everything necessary free of charge, from free electric mountain bikes to helmets, walking sticks, and backpacks.

 In Winter: The hotel a wide range of services for skiers. Guests have access to a secure ski storage in the supervised ski room to safely store their skis. Additionally, there is a complimentary shuttle service that takes them to the main Dantercepies and Ciampinoi ski lifts within 5 minutes. Ski passes can be conveniently booked directly at the hotel's reception, and if guests need ski equipment, there is a ski rental in the hotel.

 An unforgettable experience is the free Ski Safari, where an expert instructor guides skiers on tours to explore the most beautiful slopes in the majestic valleys of the Dolomites. For those who prefer activities other than skiing, various outdoor winter activities are organized, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skate rentals at the Ice Stadium adjacent to the hotel, nighttime sledding, and snow biking. Hotel guests can also participate in discounted and partially free activities offered through the Val Gardena Active program, which provides a wide variety of options.

Cycling in the Dolomites

 

7. In a world of countless travel options, what do you believe sets Hotel Granbaita apart as a truly exceptional destination for travellers seeking an Alpine retreat?

 The Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is suitable for those who want to experience a 360-degree experience. It begins with activities (both in summer and winter), continues with relaxation in the wellness area, and concludes with savouring dishes that are both traditional and local, as well as those inspired by cuisines from around the world.

Find our Dolomites Travel Guide here!

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