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Hideaway in the Heart of South Tyrol, Italy

Northern Italian Alps 

Hotel Alpiana

Instagram: @alpiana_greenluxury


Standing on our balcony after check-in, my partner looked at me and said, “Doesn’t this feel more like Hawaii?” It felt more tropical than we were expecting in South Tyrol, in northern Italy. It’s a rich blend where the mountains meet lavish greenery. The harmony of contrasts is reflected in their name, Alpiana (Alpine + Mediterranea).

It was lush, with deep green layers, a palm tree–laden backdrop behind the layers of swimming pools, and rolling hills covered in apple vineyards. We were lucky enough to be there in early October, with full sunshine and clear skies, at the height of the apple-picking season. 

Located in Völlan, a sunny spot near the celebrated spa town of Meran (one of my favs). It is a place where you can breathe freely in the midst of verdant countryside. The Dolce Vita Hotel Alpiana—run by the Margesin family—blends beautifully into the landscape of orchards and green meadows, chestnut groves, and mountain forests. Völlan is a climatic spa, with distinct contrasts, far-reaching views, sharp contours, and splashes of color.

It feels like an Austrian version of a Norman Rockwell painting but set in northern Italy. South Tyrol, Italy, is a rich mix of cultures where German is the main language; it once belonged to Austria, whose architecture and heritage are beautifully preserved. 


It felt like a lush paradise for kids and families. We saw children having the time of their lives in the swimming pools while parents relaxed in the loungers, taking in the sun. It just couldn’t have felt more Italian-European perfection.

We saw families mountain biking and hiking together. Kids as young as six years old were clipping in and rock climbing with their parents. And this idyllic life in nature—most of these people are of Austrian descent, and as an American, it’s just something I would expect to see in a movie.

We drove to the newly renovated Lana cable car, where we took a series of gondolas to dozens of hiking trails. One of them was an open ski lift—feet dangling, birds singing, and the smell of pine; it was pretty picturesque. Parents can also escape to well-groomed golf courses with stunning meadow views, dotted with cows, and the sound of their bells in the distance. 


I get so busy in life that sometimes I forget the important things, like notifying a place that we’re plant-based in a gourmet resort where meals are included. Depending on the region, it can be very difficult to find food if you have any special dietary needs. 

As we were checking in, I froze a bit and remembered I forgot to tell them that we were vegan. Without hesitation, they said, “Oh, we have a full vegan menu.” I thought they must have meant vegetarian, but when we sat down at dinner, they brought us a full vegan menu with options to choose from for each course. If you’re looking for a mountain getaway, with or without lederhosen, and you want next-level culinary plant-based food, this is really your holiday. They can also create gluten-free meals. 

They serve seasonal and regional recipes with an eclectic blend of new interpretations and combinations intertwined with rustic favorites like Schlutzkrapfen and steamed dumplings. 


A spa and wellness world: lounges, pools, and saunas extend over three levels and 2,000 square meters. Immersed in their Mediterranean-style gardens, you’ll find five outdoor swimming pools (570-square-meter water surface). The large pool garden stone and wooden decks are laid like small islands, while cocoons and hammocks allow you to relax by the water, surrounded by fragrant herbs, lounge corners, and aromatic poolside flowers. 

A 17-meter-long indoor pool (32°C) is connected to the infinity pool (23 m) in the garden by means of a sluice. The heated water (32°C) steams when it gets cold outside—a seemingly endless pool leading to the horizon. Their nature pool (320 m²) lies like a blue lagoon in the middle of the mountains. Invigorating spring water is heated by the sun. Reserved for adults, their heart-shaped sun pool gives you time immersed in warm water (33°). Kids love nothing more than water, and they have their own special pool, allowing you to take a much-needed book break. 


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