Cristallo Hotel, Cortina D'Ampezzo
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Cortina D'Ampezzo is a destination which I had been recommended on countless occasions, so there was no doubt that it would feature in this trip to Italy. Upon doing research of the area, the countless positive reviews made it very clear that THE hotel to stay at was The Cristallo.
Built in 1901, The Cristallo is a hotel which is steeped in modern history. During WWI it served as a hotel, it has hosted notable guests such as Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones and my personal favourite being Brigitte Bardot.The hotel has long been popular and attracted wealthy international travellers who are searching for world-class skiing and a taste of "La Dolce Vita". As soon as you set eyes on the staggering views of the Dolomites you will be mesmerised. You can see what lures them all.
Seamless, sleek and incredibly chic. Nestled between trees on one of Cortina D’Ampezzo's many hills, this stately ivory and pastel blue palace is like something from a Disney fairytale.
The grand art nouveau rooms of olive green, pastel blues and blush pink are perfectly curated with marble tables, delicate furniture and hand painted wildflower wall-detailing. Coming from the alpine settings of Ortisei, this hotel gave me more than a little slice of 19th century grandiosity.
The WiFi is fast throughput the property, the only thing faster is the service by the staff. I racked my brains and truthfully the only thing I can fault is one that I should have asked for a harder pillow and one of the bulbs were out in the spa. That really does put in context how brilliant The Cristallo does things.
Detailed furnishings, a hand painted ceiling and a chandelier which would make a magpie have a panic attack over. The intricate decor along with a balcony overlooking the dramatic backdrop of the Dolomites and "Sound of Music" style valleys is something I easily became infatuated with. We were welcomed by a glass of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, an elegant welcome from an even more elegant hotel.
Then, coming back to the turn down service at night, with perfectly wrapped up hard boiled sweets from Baratti & Milano and San Pellegrino served in crystal glasses made bedtimes an unexpected luxury.
White table cloths, candelabras and the pristine vista of the Dolomites make this a very special affair even before eating. During breakfast I felt I was being waited on hand and foot in my very own palace. A tiered selection of pastries, cakes and other delights are presented to you along with a menu which can be ordered from. The smooth, Italian coffee and juicy, ripe fruit along with a menu as long as my arm mean you simply have to stay more than one night. I was spoilt for choice each morning and the whole experience truly was faultless.
Each evening I took an aperitivo in the bar, which Marco kindly presented to me with a drinks party worth of bar snacks- arancini, nuts, crisps, cheese. It was a performance in itself.
You won’t be disappointed by The Critallo's cutting edge spa. With a palatial pool, newly refurbished sauna and steam room along with each and every Transvital Swiss treatment under the sun. You could easily spend a day working around the facilities.
Understandably Due to COVID you are required to prebook your time in the gym, pool and spa facilities.
Cortina is located 2.5hrs from Venice and 3.5hrs from Verona airport.
There is a shuttle which will drop you to the centre of town throughout the day, otherwise it is a short downhill 15min walk.
Giovanni, the concierge, gives insider local tips - he sends you to restaurants you actually want to visit, which feel more like hidden gems than tourist traps. His in-depth knowledge of the local area helped me curate a tremendous three days, the only negative is that I wish I had spent longer there.
Address: Via Rinaldo Menardi, 42, 32043 Cortina d'Ampezzo BL, Italy
Packing Tips: Anything and everything designer
Dress Code: Cortina D'Ampezzo is a mountainous Cannes, channel your inner magpie and wear all the jewels, fur, and fanciness you have
Local Restaurants: Ra Stua, Il Vizietto