There are many ways to experience the Dolomites. For those that want to experience the culture of the valleys and the towns, we recommend staying in farm stays. For those seeking a luxurious getaway, look no further than the region’s 5-star spa hotels. And for hikers who want to stay in the mountains, we recommend sleeping in mountain huts (rifugio, Hütte).
Roter Hahn Farm Stays (South Tyrol Only)
Roter Hahn (Red Rooster) is a trademark given to farmhouses in South Tyrol that provide quality holiday accommodations. There are 1,600 Roter Hahn farms in the region. The goal of Roter Hahn is to put people in touch with the rural world of South Tyrol. Another objective is to help farmers establish another occupation and stream of income.
We stayed in three Roter Hahn Farms and had outstanding experiences each time. The hosts were hospitable, the rooms were clean, and overall the prices were cheaper than other accommodation options.
To look for farm stays, use the Roter Hahn website. There’s a form, next to each farmhouse page, that lets you reach out and request a reservation. If the farmhouse has availability for the date(s) given, they’ll reach out to you via email.
Luxury Spa Hotels
If farm stays sound too rustic, and you’re in the mood for a real treat, check out some of the best 5-star hotels in the Dolomites.
Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa is a mountain hotel in San Cassiano (St. Kassian), Alta Badia. Rosa Alpina has a spa and wellness center replete with a Finnish sauna, an indoor pool, a Turkish bath, a hot tub, and a fitness center. With its “Dine Around” concept, you have a lot of choices for on-site dining, including the 3 Michelin-starred Restaurant St. Hubertus, the Fondue Restaurant, and the Restaurant Wine Bar & Grill.
Hotel Montchalet is a splurge-worthy hotel in Ortisei (St. Ulrich) in Val Gardena (Gröden). This 5-star hotel features a swimming pool, spa, and wellness center, bar and restaurant. The room rate includes breakfast and dinner.
Alpenroyal Grand Hotel Gourmet & Spa is a 5-star resort in Selva di Val Gardena (Wolkenstein in Gröden) in Val Gardena. With unbeatable mountain views and spa facilities, Alpenroyal is a perfect place to stay in summer and winter (600 meters from Col Raiser ski area). Breakfast is included in room rate. In the summer, there are free hiking trips available daily.
Mountain Huts (Hütte, or Schutzhaus in German; Rifugio in Italian)
One of the best things about hiking in the Dolomites is that you can sleep in a mountain refuge (hütte, rifugio). These mountain huts are located directly on the trails and enable you to stay on the mountain, without having to carry camping gear. Whether you want to break up a longer trek, or simply wake up in the Dolomites, sleeping in a charming Hütte is a rewarding experience. The Dolomites have a vast network of mountain huts, which allows you to hike from one hut to another. It’s important to make reservations in advance.
Mountain hut setup and amenities
- Showers. The hut may, or may not have showers. If they do have a shower facility, you will have to pay about 4 EUR for a 3-minute hot shower.
- Rooms. Depending on the hut, you may, or may not have a private-room option. Some huts only have a “Lager” option, which is a large room with multiple beds.
- Food. Most huts offer Halbpension, which means breakfast and dinner are included in your room rate. Sometimes, they only offer Frühstücks-Pension, which means only breakfast is included.
- Bathrooms. Bathrooms are almost always shared.
What to Bring
- Cash. Mountain huts don’t accept credit cards. You’ll need enough money for the accommodation, dinner (if it’s not included), extra drinks (wine, schnapps, espresso drinks), and a hot shower.
- Waterproof House Slippers. Bring a pair that you can shower and walk around in. You’ll be asked to take off your hiking shoes, before going to the bedrooms/bathroom areas. We always bring our Crocs.
- Sleeping Bag Liner. Your rifugio will notify you if you need to bring one.
- Playing Cards.
- Basic Cosmetics.
- Sleeping Mask.
- Ear Plugs.
- Washcloth, or Microfiber Travel Towel.