FORESTIS Dolomites is an adults-only mountain retreat offering a sanctuary for holistic regeneration and wellbeing. Set 1,800m above sea levels in the UNESCO Dolomites, this family-run hotel offers spectacular panoramas of the mountains and forests and is the perfect location to immerse yourself in nature in a tranquil setting.
Ideally located for a luxury hideaway, the hotel is the perfect year-round destination for regeneration and relaxation in the crisp mountain air with summer hikes or winter sports as a ski-in/ski-out hotel.
FORESTIS Dolomites is reachable from Innsbruck, Austria or Verona, Italy which is just a short 2.5 hour flight from the UK. The hotel's secluded location means that it isn’t easily accessible by public transport so the hotel can also help to arrange transfers from Innsbruck airport which is a shorter 90-minute drive or from Brixen train station. I chose to hire a car from Verona which took 2.5 hours and was a simple drive down the highway before allowing me to enjoy the stunning views as I made my further up the mountain through snow-filled roads towards the hotel.
FORESTIS is made up of 3 towers that blend into the natural surroundings while the interior has been intentionally designed with a minimalist feel in cool stone tones which draw on the natural elements inherent to its location (pure spring water, pristine mountain air, and a mild climate) and emphasise the views of the natural surroundings. What I really liked was the emphasis on sustainability which made me feel even closer to nature – the hotel's energy supply is provided by its own plant and a wood heating system and open fireplaces light up the exterior.
The three towers house 44 suites with a tunnel leading directly to the main part of the hotel. I stayed in a tower suite that had floor to ceiling windows offering breath-taking views of the south-facing mountains and opened up to a spacious terrace with a daybed. I stayed in October when there was an unusual week of snow so sadly didn’t have the chance to sleep outside but I did sleep with the curtains open so I could wake up to the incredible views. The suite was spacious and minimalist in design with light wooden furnishings, a large corner sofa, walk-in wardrobe area and bathroom with a rain shower, two sinks and a separate bathtub. There was also a complimentary non-alcoholic minibar filled with healthy treats and drinks which was replenished daily. What I really liked was if you activated the ‘no housekeeping’ button, the management plants one tree per housekeeping-free day of your stay as a thank you for helping to conserve natural resources.
There is one restaurant at the hotel with full front floor to ceiling windows. I was allocated the same table for all my meals - the tables are all semi-circle booths which allows for a more private dining experience and all face the window with stunning panoramas of the Dolomites. Breakfast offered a vast variety of options with locally sourced honeys, cheeses, meats, fresh bread, pastries and cakes with plenty of gluten and lactose-free choices. There was also an a la carte menu for hot dishes as well as a juice bar where you can prepare your own fruit and vegetable juices.
I chose the half board plan which I highly recommend, especially as there isn’t much in the surrounding area. This included a seven-course Forestis or detox tasting menu and you could substitute up to 3 dishes with the a la carte menu which included plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too. The head chef, Roland Lamprecht, creates the dishes using his knowledge of forest cuisine and Michelin restaurant experience, mindful of packaging waste, water pollution and food waste, with locally sourced ingredients from farmers and suppliers in the surrounding area.
The 2,000sqm spa is the centrepiece of the hotel and is spread over 2 floors with an indoor to outdoor pool which shares stunning views of the mountains, steam room, 4 saunas including my personal favourite - an outdoor sauna in a traditional South Tyrolean wooden house with a cold plunge pool, and 3 relaxation areas including one silence room. Daily sauna rituals take place in the afternoon which allows you to relax and rest in a safe space. As a Brit, I was initially surprised and shied away from the non-clothed sauna, opting for a towel to cover my modesty but after my first sauna ritual to the sound of the drums, my mind and body relaxed, and I immersed myself into the authentic South Tyrolean sauna culture.