Austria: spa-ing it up in Sölden

view from bergland skyspa

Our first stop in the Ötztal was the recently-rebuilt Hotel Bergland in the mountain town of Sölden. Situated as it is in the Alps, it’s the kind of place that is full of skiers in the winter and hikers and bikers in the summer. After being welcomed with lunch in their dining room, we went on a tour of the hotel and then ended up at the top-floor spa for an afternoon of deep relaxation. Continue reading

Notes from the Dolomites

Bressanone, Italy

Tis the season of endless long weekends here in Catholic Bavaria, affording plenty of opportunities for short getaways. So away we got, three days enjoying the cognitive dissonance that is the German-speaking part of Italy.

This trip started, as so many do, with a quick stop in Bressanone for lunch followed by a proper Italian espresso. Continue reading

Italy trip highlights: Sleeping in Tuscany

Scott was responsible for finding us places to sleep in Tuscany, and he did a fabulous job.
For two nights we stayed at Hotel Il Rondo’, a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Montepulciano. Rarely have I stayed in a room so beautifully done. The ceilings had large square wooden beams as is typical in Tuscany, and many of the furnishings were antiques. Plus since the building is quite new, the facilities are modern, and there was even wireless internet access (which allowed me to easily do some blogging from the road).

In Siena we spent one night at the Chiostro del Carmine. The reception desk faces a gorgeous, secluded, quiet courtyard where I enjoyed relaxing for a few minutes. Our room was inside the old palazzo up a comically large staircase. From our room we had a sweeping view of the countryside around Sienna.

Neither of the hotels was super-luxurious, but both were clean, safe, and well-appointed. What I liked best, though, was how both of them felt like uniquely Italian accommodations. Such charming sleeping arrangements add to the overall trip experience in a lovely way. Sure beats the Holiday Inn.

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