Did you know that South Tyrol is located in the most northern tip of Italy, bordered by Austria and Switzerland, and is home to many luxurious hotels, high-quality restaurants and the mighty World Heritage Site the Dolomites?
It's the region with the biggest offering of Spa’s and Michelin Star gastronomy in Italy. Therefore if you want to visit the most impressive Unesco mountain area of Europe, combined with the best wellness facilities and high-quality food at the end of an active day, then this is the place to be, both in summer and winter.
In my opinion road trips in Europe are the best way to travel, especially now, and a visit to the Dolomites should be on everyone's bucket list! I found the ultimate hotel in this region, which I’m happy to share with you, to make your visit to South Tyrol as comfortable, cozy and classy as possible!
At Hotel Plunhof in the sunny Ridnaun/Ridanna valley, just 80 kms from Bolzano and a 30 minutes' drive from the border of Austria, you'll be welcomed like family and pampered with good food, friendly service and all the luxurious facilities you might need, in a cozy atmosphere and stunning nature setting.
I’ve been there 2,5 years ago already in winter time, and was truly impressed by the magic and warm atmosphere of this luxurious family-run Spa hotel! I always said I wanted to come back in summer to experience the hotel and South Tyrolean nature in full bloom, and last month this dream finally came true!
During a 5 day visit end of July we experienced almost everything this cozy hotel has to offer and did several day trips to the most beautiful areas of South Tyrol, about which I will tell you more in this South Tyrol exploring blog.
But first, let me show you why this hotel represents the perfect combination of authentic chicness to me, with its 5 star level facilities, traditional woodwork, cozy atmosphere and a wide panorama over the 3,000 mtrs high Stubai Alps, flowery meadows and impressive forests all around. Get an impression through this gallery:
Impressions of Hotel Plunhof
How to get there?
I went to South Tyrol together with my photographer friend Joyce, and drove to Ridanna from the Netherlands in the newest Peugeot 2008 SUV, in 12 hours nonstop! We departed at 5.30 in the morning and arrived at Hotel Plunhof at 6 pm.
I have to admit it was quite a challenge, but do-able if you can take turns in driving. And luckily it was very comfortable in this brand-new Peugeot model with many great features, and felt quite safe as we passed through Germany and Austria, which both have good highways with wide lanes. Although I was a bit nervous to travel abroad again after staying in my homeland for 4,5 months, it was comforting to know that with a car you're flexible enough in these corona times to drive back home quickly when anything changes.
Just remember to bring enough facemasks, because in Germany, Austria and Italy you're obliged to wear them at all gas stations at the moment.
On the way back we decided to stay overnight in Frankfurt, which is halfway for us, so we could enjoy our last morning at Hotel Plunhof to the max, and check out late😊
Unique features of Hotel Plunhof
This hotel has much to offer with their recommended half-board concept, and extensive Spa facilities, but besides that, these are the things I value most about Hotel Plunhof:
Although the hotel officially has 4 stars, everything is of a 5 star level, and with the extensive facilities and extra activities offered, it certainly deserves 5 stars in my opinion.
The Volgger parents founded the hotel 35 years ago and currently run it together with their 8 siblings and 1 grandchild, which makes it a home to 3 generations already! Each with their own specialty and function, creating a real family vibe and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is super friendly and will make you feel right at home.
The family-run hotel currently has 70 rooms spread out over 3 floors, with several room types to choose from, including spacious family rooms. Although everything is built mainly using natural materials from the region in typical quaint Alpine style design, each room offers all the amenities you might need and has a balcony with mountain views.
My room was designed in an authentic mining theme, relating to the grandfather’s history of working in the regional mines. It included a lounge, spacious balcony with table and chairs, a fridge with plenty of cool water, tea, a water heater, safe, bathrobe, slippers, minibar, LCD TV, music in the bathroom, and of course free and very fast WIFI in the room and throughout the hotel.
Around the hotel there's plenty of parking space, but you can also park in the on-site parking garage free of charge.
The spacious lobby has a big traditional seating area by the fire place, a playroom for the kids, you are welcomed with Prosecco upon arrival, and they even have a bowling room and large outside terrace with tennis table as well.
Hotel Plunhof offers many daily activities you can take part of free of charge. There are guided hikes, e-bike tours, nature walks to the hotel’s own mountain cabin (alm) with bbq’s in the summer. And in winter many winter sports activities are offered as well. Besides that the hotel offers yoga classes, regularly organizes special events in the sauna’s, there’s an extensive indoor fitness and a yoga/meditation center with panoramic views.
The breakfast here was a dream, as the buffet has everything you can wish for! Including gluten-free and vegan options, freshly baked pastries and pies every morning, omelets according to your preference, Prosecco, fresh juices, and you can even make your own smoothies.
And because we had a half-board booking we had dinner here every night, which was a true feast! One of the Volgger brothers is the chef and creates pure culinary art, which is something that should be mentioned more extensively! Get an impression through these breakfast and dinner photos taken by me:
Hotel Plunhof’s restaurant with wooden booths and cozy tables is spacious, yet intimate, with a very swift and friendly service. If you book a half-board arrangement you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying a 5 course dinner here every night!
In the morning you get to decide on your menu with several dishes to choose from for the evening. Consisting of a big variation of traditional Alpine dishes with Italian and Mediterranean influences. Each dish felt perfectly weighed to make them light enough for 5 courses, yet healthy and nourishing, prepared with fresh local ingredients, unique flavour combinations, and a beautiful display, making every course a culinary treat!
Good wines from the region, as well as international wines, are served from the hotel’s extensive wine cellar. And cooking classes are available upon request as well.
The setting of Hotel Plunhof in the idyllic village of Ridnaun/Ridanna 1,340 meters above sea level, is spacious with nothing but unspoilt views over nature and mountains. Located near the main ridge of the Alps, combined with the mild Mediterranean climate of Italy, the crisp mountain air and pure environment invite you to explore, as there are many natural wonders near the hotel in this region of South Tyrol.
It however also has a soothing effect and creates the perfect setting for the extensive Spa and sauna facilities of this hotel! To me 2 of the most unique features, and certainly among my favourite Spa and wellness facilities around the world!
Hotel Plunhof offers a 4,000 m2 area of swimming pools, relaxation, wellness and Spa areas, award-winning and acknowledged as one of the most exclusive Spa Hotel facilities in Europe.
Their bathing suit area is lovingly called Acqua Minera: World of Water, consisting of a large indoor section with 20-metre heated swimming-pool connected to the outdoor area, including a spacious Jacuzzi and plenty of lounge beds and relaxation space.
The outdoor area is even more extensive with a natural cold pool, a 2nd 17-metre all year round heated swimming-pool, hydromassage tub, plenty of lounge chairs and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views upon the stunning mountains and the quaint Santa Maddalena church, built by local miners in 1480.
They're even planning to extend these facilities with more pools, bathing suit sauna's and rooftop terraces in the near future!
And for the true Spa and wellness lovers Hotel Plunhof offers 2 levels of relaxation, called: Spa Minera, with panoramic views, a nude area with several sauna’s, indoor-and outdoor areas. Upon request the open-air salt-water pool with hydromassage system is also included in the nude bathing area, and looks even more stunning at night:
With 5 different relaxation areas to choose from, offering water-and hay beds, a big variety of lounge chairs, fire places, a steam bath, 6 different sauna’s, of which 2 with panoramic views. And plenty of outdoor space with various lounge options to cool down and immerse yourself in the stunning mountain settings, this Spa offers everything you need to fully regenerate, relax and unwind.
And of course no wellness center is complete without a range of massages, rituals, treatments and wellness packages to choose from. At Hotel Plunhof these are performed by the most skilled therapists, using essential oils from the region and traditional Alpine ingredients.
This destination Spa was designed in a unique theme to honour the centuries-old mining tradition in this area of South Tyrol, around Ridanna. Visible throughout the Spa area by the use of natural materials of regional stone and wood, unique mining decorations, several historic mining pieces displayed, and in the decor of the stunning Knappensauna:
I hope I was able to show you that Hotel Plunhof is the perfect place to stay if you want to visit Northern Italy and the mighty Dolomites, combined with the best food and wellness facilities. Experience South Tyrol in a more luxurious, yet authentic way, while feeling at home with all the comfort, service and facilities you can wish for, both in summer and winter!
To read more about my experience at Hotel Plunhof in winter time, you can check this blog: Top 7 things to do in South Tyrol.
And find out more about the hotel and book directly on their website for the best deals: HotelPlunhof.
What do you think of this authentic chic hotel in Ridanna Valley, South Tyrol? Always happy to hear your feedback here, or on social media, via the direct links at the bottom of this page, where I'll also post more pictures of Hotel Plunhof and our daytrips through South Tyrol!