Having finally arrived at the Hotel Cendevaves in Val Gardena in the heart of the Dolomites, I get out of my car and know that I can safely leave it there for the rest of my holiday. After all, I am in one of the greatest ski and hiking areas in South Tyrol. Atop the sun-drenched high plateau of the Monte Pana – a mere 2 km from Santa Cristina in Val Gardena – the view could not be more stunning. It seems as though you could reach out and touch the impressive Sassolungo mountains. The natural surroundings around the hotel are amazing. Mother Nature will be setting the pace from now on. She puts me at ease. Relaxation is more than a word and recreation is a promise.
Be a guest in culinary South Tyrol
Being out and about in the great outdoors around the Hotel Cendevaves in Val Gardena is something I can never get enough of. And at some point hunger raises its head and the thought of the delicious meal ahead grows. As soon as I enter the restaurant, I am hit by the mouthwatering scent of the finest delicacies from the Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine. Head Chef Francesco Caiaffa knows exactly how to pamper his guests. His cooking is light and balanced. Full of regional and Mediterranean influences and refined with an international twist. He conjures his creations from fresh local and seasonal ingredients – a mark of a true chef. And exactly right for outdoor enthusiasts like me. After all, a healthy diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. A motto the host of this Vitalhotel in South Tyrol always keeps in mind.
The sumptuous breakfast in the morning, the cold buffet in the evening, the varied menus and deserts, the barbecues on the terrace in the evening, the themed evenings and gala dinners show that healthy food can be so incredibly tasty. Christian Stuffer, the host and wine expert, serves accompanying wines from his well-stocked wine cellar. Around 150 wines from South Tyrol and all over Italy are stored here. Mr Stuffer holds interesting wine tastings to introduce these to his guests. A sporting holiday can be so enjoyable!
Running life can be so good
I simply set off running and leave everything behind me. Letting my thoughts go, I feel free. Since the first time I came to South Tyrol to go running, I know what it means to feel independent and completely free. I set off running right in front of the Hotel Cendevaves on the Monte Pana in Val Gardena. The most beautiful routes leading directly into the wonderful mountain world of the Dolomites start from here. Depending on how fit I feel, I choose a simple or a more demanding circuit. But I am always accompanied by the most beautiful views of a natural scenery that is second to none.
- Professional advice: As real running pros, my hosts always have the best tips and advice for me.
- High-altitude training at 1,650 m: Training at a healthy altitude, where pure mountain air fills my lungs makes me really fit.
- Panorama running routes: There are 10 different running routes around the Hotel Cendevaves to delight any running heart.
At the source of relaxation and revitalisation
Cendevaves. The old, Ladin name of the hotel on the high, sun-kissed plateau on Monte Pana is more than appropriate… it means ‘a hundred springs’. Here, 1,650m above sea level, I can take a step back and top up on energy, ready for the challenges ahead. In the magnificent countryside that surrounds me, I don’t just draw energy from the power of the water which flows from the ‘hundred springs’. Everywhere I turn, I come across other sources of energy, power and inspiration. Whether it’s next to the pond in the garden, on the terrace where the breath-taking mountain views unfold in front of me or in the spa oasis, I become closer and closer to myself. I can experience deep relaxation while meditating or practising yoga in the 100m², wonderfully lit meditation room with natural wooden floors, where I come to stretch and warm down after a run. The views of the legendary Dolomites from the Troi Unika art and nature trail in front of the house lift my spirits immediately. Moving through the countryside also does me a power of good. Knowing that I’m also enjoying natural, local and organic products increases my overall sense of well-being, too. I return home from my holiday full of peace and harmony, strengthened by the power of the hundred springs.
Image rights: Stefan Schütz, Daniel Geiger, Alessandro Trovati, Alex Filz, Max Lautenschläger, Helmuth Rier, Ugo Visciani, Peter Ehler, Christoph Blaas, Tappeiner, Lukas Runggaldier, Marc Forster
We are opened from the beginning of June to the beginning of October and from the beginning of December to the the beginning of April.