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Friday, January 13, 2012

Hotel Mayr - Italy

Even though we don't even own our first house yet, we already know where we want to own our second house. Yes I realize I am putting the cart before the horse here, but stay with me. The first time we went to the Dolomites in October 2010 we fell in love. We fell in love hard. We had a full on affair with the Dolomites, returning there for Christmas 2010 and 2011. We would have gone back a few more times last year but we forced ourselves to explore new places. 

Whats so magical about the Dolomites? 

 Pretty amazing, right?

The second thing that are in love with is Hotel Mayr. I've mentioned this place before, so I hope you aren't sick of it. I wanted to share with you exactly why we are in love with this little hotel so much.

This family run hotel is located in the small town of Castelrotto (Kastelruth). It is centrally located to the middle of town as well as many hiking and walking paths leading into the surrounding fields and mountains.  We love the fact that this is a family run hotel. The husband (chef) and wife (reception and hostess) team take good care of their guests - always ready to make a recommendation for a hiking path, a bottle of wine or pretty much anything else you can think of! The rest of the small staff are equally as warm and welcoming and help to enforce that "homey" feel.

There is ample sitting room outside of the dining room that you can use all day long. Our favorite thing to do when staying here is to have a glass of wine (or two) by the fire. The multiple sitting areas around the fire and the bar are wonderful for a pre- or post-dinner drink, a round of cards with some friends or curling up with a good book and a coffee.

Enjoying a glass of wine before dinner during our first stay at Hotel Mayr
Speaking of dinner, another reason we return here time after time is the food. The room rate includes half board, which means that breakfast and dinner are included. But not just any breakfast and dinner - a fabulous breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is an ample buffet, including breads, meats, cheeses, fruit, croissants, cereals, granola, yogurt - the list goes on and on. You are assigned a table along with your room and you sit at your table for all meals. If you are staying a few nights your quickly get to know those who are sitting near by and quite often you'll find yourself making friends.

Dinner is perhaps the highlight of the day though, with a five course meal of the highest quality. Dinner starts with a huge salad buffet. Be careful not to fill up too much though as you still have four more courses! Select a bottle of regional wine (all of the ones we have tried have been exceptional) and get ready for the first course. Usually it is some sort of soup or appetizer, something to wet your palette. Next comes the pasta course, which personally I think is the best course. We have had some of the BEST pastas here - including the best lasagna I have ever had in my entire life. Literally I wanted to make out with this lasagna. I wanted to take this lasagna home with me and have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Seriously, it was good.

If you can fit any more food in your belly then next up is the meat course. Osso bucco, lamb - all cooked to perfection. And at the very end of this amazing meal, is dessert. It might be last, but it is certainly not least. Desserts range from fruity tarts to fresh ice cream to chocolate cakes. You don't want to miss dessert, so make sure you save room in one of those legs of yours. After dinner, roll yourself back out by the fire and relax. I promise I won't tell if you steal a quick nap.

Homemade Italian cookies served at Christmas time
And lastly, the reason why we love this place so much, is because we want to steal all of their interior decor. All of it. Every last piece of furniture and decoration we want to steal and put in our own house. Or, rather, our second house.

The interior is almost completely fitted with light wood. Normally I am a dark wood kind of girl and get claustrophobic in rooms that are floor to ceiling wood, but there's something about this wood that makes me swoon. The entire hotel is light and airy, with big windows that let in tons of natural sunlight and the incredible views. Most of the wood on the ceiling and the walls is locally hand carved, and it matches so perfectly with the heather grey and cream color palette throughout the rest of the hotel. There are natural accents everywhere - from deer antler lamps to stone based hurricane lamps, even down to the natural linens that are used on every table - you really get a sense of the outside coming in. 

The best time of year (of course) is Christmas, when the hotel is decorated with wood christmas trees, pine cones and tons of candles.  In the evening you can't help but feel a few butterflies when walking into the main room with candles lit, cookies on the tables, a roaring fire in the center of the room and snow falling outside the windows. And any hotel that can give me butterflies earns a special place in my heart.

Hotel Mayr
Marinzenweg 5 Via Marinzen 
Kastelruth I-39040
Tel: +39 0471 706309


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