Cast in wonderfully inspiring blackened larch wood, Hotel Bühelwirt Ahrntal in Italy’s stunning Valle Aurina is a designer hillside bastion framed by lush alpine forests and snow-capped mountains.
The essences of the traditional cocoon the Bühelwirt's saddle roof and angular structures, joining its gabled origins with contemporary architectural cool via a sleek wooden footbridge. Merging the original alpine chalet, handed down the generations lovingly as “Old Gal”, with its latest charcoal hued designs of angular proportions and soft wooden interiors, Hotel Bühelwirt merges seamlessly into the landscape, a design den deeply connected to ancient traditions and its Ladin legacy.
A striking South Tyrolean design outpost of modern meets heritage cool, Hotel Bühelwirt boasts the added twist of inherently fun alpine treehouse vibes, as local larch wood dominates and myriad loggias open onto that great, panoramic view. A cocoon of easy living and natural charm, Bühelwirt is surrounded by the rivers, fells, mountains and waterfalls of a family holiday’s Insta-dreams, and come snowfall, becomes a winter wonderland of wildest imaginings.
The contemporary interiors create a retreat to timber-clad rooms of pure design simplicity, offset with putty greys, copper lighting and the soft warmth of ancient Ladin cloth in earthy greens. Balconied angular windows peek out from all directions at mouth-gaping panoramic views, while inside a nuanced, pared back Alpine style quietly reigns; simple never looked so good.
A hillside spot of natural glam where home-y vibes meet design crew, it is yet always nature that takes centre stage – from the local South Tyrolean beauty products and fresh spring water that grace each room, to the organic veggie fare at breakfast and supper and of course, touching every moment, the view.
Italy’s Hotel Bühelwirt Ahrntal sits 1,175m up in South Tyrol’s beautiful Ahrntal Valley, also known as Valle Aurina. A famed walking haven located just by the Rieserferner Ahrn Nature Park and the Hohe Tauern National Park, nearby are also two popular ski resorts, Klausberg and Speikboden, as well as Kronplatz, an hour and a half’s drive away.
A cultural haven, too, you can visit the Prettau Demonstration Mine, the medieval Taufers Castle, the Reinbach Waterfalls and Zaha Hadid’s Messner Mountain Museum.
Local, organic, fresh and authentic – these four foodie tick boxes all ring true when dining under Bühelwirt’s chicly slanted roof. Strictly vegetarian, and vegan if need be, all of Bühelwirt’s foodie fare is uncomplicated and wholesome, pulled up from veg plots and scattered with lashings of Ladin mountain soul.
Mornings are greeted with the hotel’s classic “Good morning” breakfast, brimming with regional and homemade breads, cheeses and jams, while dusky evenings are welcomed in with first a peruse of the mouth-watering antipasti at the large vitamin salad bar, before tucking into a tempting choice of three different starters and mains, all washed down with local craft beers, exquisite wines, fresh spring water, South Tyrol’s special “Caroma” coffee, Yogi Teas, and for those of you who want to conk right out before you hit the hay, the finest single malts. Watched over by owner and skilled sommelier, Matthias Haller, you can be sure of excellent pairings that effortlessly merge food, wine + view.
Chillax in a panoramic sauna, wave to the mountains themselves from your warm reverie in the relaxation zone, or treat yourself to a honey or herbal stamp massage with herbal South Tyrolean beauty brand, Trehs.
Hotel Bühelwirt Ahrntal is a cocoon of comfort after pursuing the great outdoors all day, and, partnering with nearby Acqua Cascade (neatly settled in prime location at the foot of the Reinbach Waterfall), you cool cats also get free entry there, to a design den menagerie of holiday relaxation and chill. With five indoor pools, two outdoor ones, a kid’s pool and a unique natural bathing pond, swim the Alps in style before hopping into one of their six saunas and Kneipp facility, keeping you feeling cool and collected (while of course, snug and warm).
For more heritage Kneipp treatments follow the Leonardi trail from right outside the hotel’s very front door, and follow a cultural yellow brick road through a forest and above the village, lined more with wooden sculptures than talking scarecrows and cowardly lions. The art works of famed artist Jakob Oberhollenzer lead you to your Kneipp facility destination after just 15-minutes, where you can indulge in the ethos of 19th century Bavarian priest Sebastian Kneipp, who pioneered hydrotherapy and promoted a sense of wellbeing through nutrition, exercise and balance, all thoughts we tend to align ourselves with today.
Complete the circuit and you will be back at base within an hour, full of culture, a spa sesh, nature and ancient remedies - not a bad round trip.
Hotel Bühelwirt Ahrntal is an ideal family holiday destination when seeking Italy’s Alpine nature vibes. Owners Michaela and Matthias Haller have three children of their own, and so understand the needs and demands of these little adventurers. With a large indoor play area full of toys, table tennis and a slide, as well as a sandbox just outside the hotel in the village square, you will always be able to find a moment of peace and a little down time post hiking/biking, horse riding or just chillaxing. The “Farmland Dwarves” summer adventure program in July and August lets them learn more about Mother Nature with trained supervisors, perusing local museums and enjoying life on the farmstead with its many animals, while in winter, numerous ski schools offer highly trained ski and snowboarding instructors, helping them make their way on the slopes, and offering you a moment of peaceful snowiness.
Spearheaded by dynamic duo Michaela and Matthias Haller, whose paths first crossed way back in the romantic mists of school days, the couple eased into the hotelier lifestyle when Michaela was left the Bühelwirt by her grandparents.
After seven years in banking, Matthias left to join her and, along with their three little Hallers, family and business grew.
Innovative, inspired and driven, Michaela and Matthias pioneered the beautiful new building alongside local firm, Pedevilla Architects, always working with a consciousness of their surroundings, heritage, family and style.
With a trained sommelier qualification on board and an organic approach to each day, the two have perfected the good life in the mountains, and are slowly claiming the Ahrntal Valley as their own.
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