It’s hard to believe that Alpine-chic Magdalener Hof was once a mere rustic barn. Affectionately known simply as ‘Magda’, personality flows from this mountainous bolthole of boutique-style. Famed for its lively restaurant scene, al-fresco dining in the beautiful gardens and terraces, and not forgetting the fabulous pool - it is no wonder that this is a popular hotspot just on the edge of downtown Bolzano. Framed on all sides by glorious greens, thanks to its location in choc-box Bolzano within the South Tyrolean Dolomites, Magda will soon become your New Best Friend.
When land was bequeathed to owner Jakob Ramoser’s father in 1978 by his mother, her only request was that he build something he loved. A passionate cook, Magdalener Hof was originally created as a restaurant with rooms.
Now Jakob, the next generation and a hip creative innovator has brought a new sheen of chic style and playfulness to this corner of northern Italy. Merging the best of Tyrolean heritage with a new minimalist design template, the hotel is a cosy hug of alpine loveliness overlaid by clean urban lines and flecks of fun.
Inside, wood-beamed ceilings hint at its altitudinous DNA; and cutesy overflowing flowerpots and flourishes of handcrafted lace contrast with raw timbers. New contemporary touches come in the form of deep pile sofas in shades of dark chocolate, parked by angular side tables, topped with fashion photo books.
A stairway takes you down past a collage of recycled emerald-green bottles to the 14th century wine cellar – now a subterranean den for after-hours cocktails or excellent local wine, surrounded by inky-blue drapes and swishes of metallic.
Pared-back and unusually spacious bedrooms are monochromatic with steely glimmers of mother-of- pearl grey. Some open out onto fondant-white balconettes, perfect for admiring the 360 undulations: gently rising rows of neat vineyards (that provide the delicious wine you’ll drink,) all the way to meet the lofty Dolomites.
Outside, landscaped gardens have been carved from the encircling lush terrain and here there’s an outdoor terrace, where prettily laid tables come with white tablecloths that ruffle in the breeze, and jasmine and rosemary scent the air. A funky eat-me menu tempts you to sample an international smorgasbord including paella and sourdough pizza.
Down a stone-stepped pathway that cuts through the lawn, a curved swimming pool awaits for afternoon chill time, with the all-hours cocktail bar and dapper pool boys creating a party scene for those that want it. Equally, staring at the mountains might be as active as you’d like to be at the cool new kid of the Dolomite block.
Whether you pick a classic double or a suite, the bedrooms are a soothing palette of white linen, steel-grey throws and polished pine flooring. Welcoming touches include fresh fruit and a silver platter with a decanter of local wine. The huge windows let in streams of light and allow you to daydream over the patchwork of green that make up your private view onto the jade mountains, old churches and flower-strewn valleys that circle it.
Bathrooms are sparkling white modern affairs, with chunky wooden vanity units with generous helpings of luxurious Italian hemp oil skin products.
Some rooms come with bijou balconettes which facilitate further gazing at the view. On one side is nestled a cosy, cushioned seat-for-two, perfect for morning coffee or a cold drink as the sun slinks behind the mountains and anticipation for the evening grows.
Placed firmly within the traditions of the South Tyrol, take breakfast on the sunny terrace feasting on local produce – mountain milk and cheese, speck and ham, strudels and seeded rye bread.
The recently refurbished restaurant offers lunch such as truffle pizza or a steamy seafood paella that will have you reaching for your phone such is its ‘work of art’ appearance. In the evening, the restaurant which has notoriety in the neighborhood becomes busy with locals, so be sure to book ahead to enjoy its unique, candlelit atmosphere and dishes such as their famed homemade smoked salmon, eggs with truffles or mixed fish platter.
After dinner, descend to the cavernous Lounge Bar where a dimly lit cellar has been transformed into a perfect spot for one more drink, or maybe two.
For something traditional and local, wander into Bolzano to find an authentic Schnitzel restaurant to savour this iconic breadcrumbed treat.
Those that enjoy activity on holiday are in for a treat. Magdalener Hof took a clever design decision to renovate the fusty meeting room into a state-of-the-art gym. For fitness fanatics, the gleaming equipment from Life Fitness is a dream come true or for anyone keen to work off too many strudels.
Poolside, weekly yoga classes are a rejuvenating way to inhale fresh mountain air whilst perfecting your sun salutations.
Magdalener Hof was born when owner Jakob’s father was given a piece of land by his mother, and with the instruction to ‘build something you love’ he created from an ancient barn, a restaurant with rooms, which fuelled his passion for cooking.
Now in Jakob’s hands, he too has infused the property with his own sense of fun and style, renovating and updating the property, adding a state-of-the-art gym and modernised restaurant, whilst still keeping traces of Tyrolean history that created so many strong local traditions. Jakob’s modus operandi is to ensure that guests visit Magda like they would the home of a close friend.
Bolzano (Bozen), close to the border of Germany and Austria is located in the South Tyrol province of northern Italy. Here, cradled between the awe of the Dolomites sits chic refuge Magdalener Hof.
With rolling greens as far as the eye can see, the sensational panorama creates drama from dawn until dusk with each season bringing its own magnificence to the peaks and valleys.
There are several National Parks within walking distance of Magdalener Hof for those wanting to get up close to nature. The steep-sided walls of Runkelstein Castle built on a rocky outcrop in 1237 makes a worthwhile day trip. Be sure to explore Bolzano’s pretty, pastel streets and weekly markets filled with regional produce and artisan craftmanship.
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