The Best Boutique Hotels in the Dolomites

With direct flights from London and a flurry of new boutique hotel openings, this gourmet ski region has never been cooler.

Unsurprisingly, Italians know how to do ski holidays in style. "Dress to impress" is the rule of thumb in the Dolomites, with locals thinking nothing of carving down a black run in a fur-trimmed ski suit and designer sunglasses. What's more, no one overdoes the skiing: think leisurely breakfasts, long slopeside lunches, accompanied by a few glasses of South Tyrolean wine, before some sunny afternoon descents, all rounded off with a lavish Michelin-starred dinner. It's paradise for the fair-weather winter sports fan, with wide, gentle pistes and plenty to do in the villages. Dolomiti Superski is the largest ski area in the world, offering 1,200km of perfectly bashed snow. Hit the pistes early or ski over lunch, and you'll find them blissfully deserted.

Until recently, the region has been largely out of reach for all but the most intrepid of UK travellers, with the closest airport, in Venice, being a three-hour drive away. With the launch of a direct flight from Gatwick to Bolzano with Sky Alps this season, however, the untouched snowy terrain and gourmet credentials we've long dreamed about are suddenly within tantalising reach.

Luckily, there's a flurry of new boutique hotels and wellness offerings joining the time-honoured rifugios and family farm stays. Read on for our pick of the best.

Boltholes to book: 11 of the best hotels in the Dolomites

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Rosa Alpina

In the heart of the impossibly quaint Alta Badia village of San Cassiano, the luxurious Rosa Alpina is so beguiling that you’ll never be able to book a budget ski holiday again. You’ll find owners Hugo and Ursula happily serving tables and doing room service, with no air of pretension despite the fact theirs is one of the best hotels in the Italian mountains. This is the place to go for gourmet skiers, with Norbert Niederkofler’s three-Michelin-starred St Hubertus – a worthwhile destination in its own right – attached to the chic yet cosy hotel. Having had a zero-waste policy and a focus on hyperlocal gastronomy since long before the hype, the restaurant received a Michelin green star last year in recognition of its “cook the mountain” philosophy. Oh, and did we mention the two swimming pools and Finnish sauna?

Address

Strada Micurá de Rü 20, 39036 San Cassiano

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Mi Chalet

This tiny two-person pied-à-terre is the kind of building you’d see on Grand Designs but never imagine you could actually stay in. It was created by wood architecture pioneer Dr Karl Heinz Castlunger with sustainability, warmth and beauty in mind, and the interiors are flawlessly chic. It shouldn’t really be called a hotel, apart from the fact you’ll have a private chef, turn-down service and wellness treatments at your fingertips. Despite backing on to a forest, Mi Chalet is only a short stroll from La Villa, where you have access to hundreds of kilometres of slopes, plus shops and Michelin-starred restaurants galore.

Address

Strada Colz 9, 39036 La Villa

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Hotel Cappella

After a complete refurbishment in 2021, Hotel Cappella is back with the snowy vistas, design-led chalet style and impressive art collection it is known and loved for. All rooms have been refitted with private balconies and huge picture windows, offering jaw-dropping views of the mountains. The hotel’s famed wellness centre has been expanded, too, with a new relaxation zone, and the heated indoor pool is surrounded by glass walls. The hotel is in the heart of Colfosco, which has the best beginner slopes in the area, making it ideal for young families.

Address

Strada Pecei 17, Colfosco, 39033 Corvara

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Chalet Sotciastel

Nestled between a charming alpine chalet and boutique hotel, this character-packed farmhouse can be booked on a room-by-room basis or you can take over the whole place. The farm itself, which dates back to the 1200s, underwent a full refurbishment in 2020. Owner Hildegard is determined to hold onto her Ladin roots (the indigenous mountain culture of Alta Badia), and breakfasts showcase home-cured bacon, cakes, jams and mountain cheeses. The Marmolada glacier and Gardenaccia massif are on the horizon, and the centre of Badia is just a short drive away.

Address

Strada Sotciastel 5, 39036 Badia

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Hotel Las Vegas

If you want to wake up already up the mountains, it doesn’t get better than Hotel Las Vegas. A buzzing après-ski destination by day, this tiny family-run refuge is located at 2,050m, meaning you’ll be first on the slopes and last home each night. It’s one for serious adventurers: in the winter months, you’ll need to take a snowmobile or ski lift to get here. An elevated twist on traditional Alta Badia cuisine is served each evening, and the 12 bedrooms catch arguably the best sunrises in the Dolomites from their private balconies.

Address

Strada Piz, Sorega 15, 39036 San Cassiano

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Maso Runch

This delightful farmstead in rural Alta Badia is best known for its rustic trattoria, where guests are treated to a one-size-fits-all feast of traditional local dishes such as canci (stuffed pasta) and pössl da pom (apple pancakes). Its cosy wooden dining rooms are always fully booked, but the farm also has five wonderfully sweet and affordable apartments, sleeping between two and six guests. It’s a short walk or drive to the ski lifts, from where you can access the Dolomiti Superski region and, trust us, nothing tastes as good as Maso Runch’s slow-cooked leg of lamb after a day on the slopes.

Address

Località Runch 11, 39036 Badia

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Forestis

A relative newcomer in the Dolomites, Forestis is all steaming infinity pools and minimalist luxe - a welcome break from too many log fires and reindeer-hide rugs. Set on the south-facing slope of the Plose mountain, the independent hotel is surrounded by dense forest, with all 62 bedrooms offering panoramic views of the Dolomite massif. The Plose is home to some of the world's purest spring waters - a fact the Forestis founders have cleverly worked into every element of their wellness programme. In keeping with the pristine mountain air and unspoilt surroundings, the property is a CO2-neutral construction, with a commitment to using 100 per cent renewably sourced energy. Aside from some of the most picturesque skiing in the Dolomites, you've got toboggan runs, winter hiking trails for non-skiers and mountain tour routes on your doorstep.

Address

Palmschoß 292, 39042 Brixen, Dolomites

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Hotel Sassongher

A stalwart of the Dolomites, Hotel Sassongher offers panoramic valley views, along with all the Italian whimsy and Austro-Germanic prestige this part of the world is synonymous with. The restaurant is deeply traditional, with a three-course mountain dinner and hugely generous breakfast buffet served in stube (parlour) dining rooms, but you’ll also find a huge rooftop sauna and hot tub with prime views over the mountains. In the evening, a pianist regales guests in the bar with Italian pop songs from days gone by.

Address

Strada Sassongher 45, 39033 Corvara

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Camping Sass Dlacia

Camping may not seem like the ideal ski holiday choice, but bear with us: these magical and isolated mountainside huts, or üties, are actually rather glamorous in their simplicity. This is the highest campground in the Dolomites and, while the dwellings are basic, there’s a pretty spectacular sauna and hammam to warm your weary limbs in. You’ll also find a traditional Ladin restaurant-cum-pizzeria, cooked breakfast options including pancakes, waffles and marinated local salmon, plus in-house masseurs. Finally, the largest ski area in the world is a free two-minute ski-bus ride from the campground. So, yeah, it’s not really camping.

Address

Sciarè 11, San Cassiano, 39036 Badia

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Hotel de la Poste

Cortina, perhaps more than any other village in the Italian mountains, is a place to see and be seen. Think vintage glamour, cosy wine bars and long ski-in, ski-out lunches. Hotel de la Poste doesn’t have the mod cons of some of its neighbours, but it’s dripping in history (having been around since 1804) and old-school charm. Think roaring fireplaces, wood-clad bedrooms and the same familiar faces that have been here for as long as anyone can remember.

Address

Piazza Roma 14, Cortina d’Ampezzo

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