The Dolomites, Italy
If you’re wondering, yep, it’s THAT place, with one of the most recognizable pools in the world, that you’ve seen on every traveler’s gram. Visually stunning architecture that impossibly blends and balances minimal modernism with woodsy warmth. Meet Hotel Hubertus.
There’s always the issue of expectation, knowing the myth of a dreamy escape, versus the reality of what you find when you arrive.
Yes, it is as magical as it seems.
If it’s any indication, I actually cried when I saw the Dolomites about 30 minutes before we arrived. These compelling mountains are overwhelming as they storm upwards in striking configurations soaring two miles skyward like storybook cathedrals of stone. More than 2,000 distinct mountains encompass the Dolomites, scattering the sky with white and gray summits with jagged surfaces.
A majestic hovering. An energetic transportation.
There’s really no place like the Dolomites, located in the Italian Alps, where German is spoken by about 70% of people, and once a part of Austria. Franz Kafka describes South Tyrol as the most beautiful land he had ever seen. These mountains are protected as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, they dominate Eastern South Tyrol, in Northern Italy.
The land around Hotel Hubertus is intertwined with lush trees, orchards, and vineyards, framed by romantic castles, picturesque lakes, and historic ruins. Between the summits you find land cherished for its healing properties, celebrating the curative powers of pure mountain air, mineral-rich water, wild plucked herbs, and sundrenched scenery in a dream-like setting.
The hotel artfully harnesses their natural surroundings, infusing modern contemporary design with chalet-style warmth. Not an easy feat.
Adventure + Activities
The amount of available options for hiking, biking, and trail running can be mind boggling. Like any good American on a holiday to relax, I made a full, curated schedule. There was just too much to experience in a week. Unspoiled landscapes, majestic peaks, blue skies, and the activity program are the ingredients for an unforgettable active holiday. Guided tours, free equipment rental, and transport passes are all included.
Their weekly program includes countless activities, 15 guided hikes, leisurely e-bike tours, speedy Nordic walking, zipline adventures, sunrise hikes, farm visits, and rafting. This is accompanied by a colorful exercise program, ranging from aqua gym lessons to circuit training, Pilates, yoga, stretching, and back exercises. Even their large gym has an unobstructed panoramic view and balcony.
There are jaw-dropping lakes and peaks within a 40-minute drive. I finally got to hike the uber instagrammed Lake Braies, only 26 minutes away. It did not disappoint. For those big hikes, I like to cheat and cable car up, and hike down, stopping for apple (apfel) strudel at every opportunity.
Let’s Talk Wellness
Alpenreych is the name of their 7,000 m2 park with five outdoor pools, relaxation pavilion, fireplace, islands of peace, log cabin sauna, alpine panorama sauna, and Dolomite cave steam bath. Stroll through the gardens of this family-run hotel, past South Tyrolean fruit trees, breathe in the scent of local herbs, sink into the sensation of being surrounded by staggering mountains, known for their powerful grounding energy.
The village of Olang is located directly at the foot of the hiking and skiing mountain Kronplatz. Ski lovers skip Aspen and Courchevel because this is a winter sports dream. Within 45 minutes you have key destinations like Three Peaks and Lake Braies. The Three Peaks are the landmark of the Dolomites and the natural highlight of the region.
The Plätzwiese high plateau is one of the most visited places in the area. In order to protect and preserve its pristine nature and allow all the visitors to enjoy nature as quietly as possible, there are special traffic restrictions during the main season.
At this family-run hotel, Senior Director Christian Gasser has always been fascinated by the interplay of nature and architecture. For the Sky Pool, he needed 28 companies to make his vision a reality, unsurpassed and unparalleled in its scope. It was his vision that led not only to the semi-circular extension and the unique Sky Pool, but also to the latest architectural masterwork: the Sky Spa with the evocative name Heaven & Hell.
Quite the undertaking. The elegant huts that adorn the impressive steel structure and are repositioned upside down on the lower levels are reminiscent of traditional mountain cabins. The lower level has been turned upside down. Things really heat up in the textile-free area, where guests can look forward to two saunas, whirlpools, an ice room, and of course an unobstructed view of the mountains. Once a simple guest house in Geiselsberg, it has become one of the most beautiful holiday refuges in the Alps.
Here everyday life fades into the background while guests immerse themselves in beauty and let nature work its magic.
» An Architectural Marvel
Their celebrated 25-meter-long Sky Pool in South Tyrol, filled with crystal-clear mountain spring water and heated year-round (91.4°F), is a true architectural marvel. Floating above the mountain meadows, touching the horizon, and giving you an incomparable feeling of weightlessness. Surrounded in a sea of mountain peaks, in the most gorgeous mountain chain in the world, The Dolomites. Located in the village of Olang, just 29 minutes from the turquoise, picturesque Lake Braies.
» Heaven & Hell Sky Spa
Turning wellness upside down—quite literally—their newest architectural masterpiece, a free-floating platform, which extends beyond the hotel, across two levels with lie-down and seated whirlpools as well as two panoramic saunas, a textile-free whirlpool, and ice room. Heaven & Hell is connected via a walkway to their new relaxation room, which gives you new perspectives thanks to its large floor-to-ceiling windows.
Here’s the Scoop on Their 7,000 m² Wellness Area
Indoor adventure pool (30°C)
Outdoor Sky Pool (33°C)
Outdoor panorama pool (33°C)
Outdoor brine flotation pool (33°C)
Two outdoor whirlpools (37°C)
Three new whirlpools in the Heaven & Hell Sky Spa
Log cabin sauna (82°C) with fireplace
Panoramic pasture sauna (92°C)
Dolomite cave steam bath (42°C)
Vitality center with steam bath (45°C)
Herb sauna (55°C)
Infrared cabin (35°C)
Two saunas in the Heaven & Hell Sky Spa
» Well-Being Extras
Seven different relaxation rooms.
Panorama fitness room with gym area.
Relaxation program with aqua gym lessons, workouts, yoga, Pilates, meditation, and more.
Free rental of hiking rucksacks, water bottles, hiking and Nordic walking poles, snowshoes, tour maps.
Free rental of bikes and mountain bikes.
Hotel’s own hiking and ski bus.
Holidaypass for the free use of all public transport.
Laundry room with washing machine, dryer, and iron.