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Nils - 35 yearsBad Ratzes – A warm welcome to your family holiday

Comfort in the Heart of the Dolomites

There still exist those hidden places that do not try to impress with their glass façades and chrome, but simply with the warmth of their welcome; that do not employ star chefs, but simply offer good food; and do not create a separate space for children to be parked for the entire “family holiday”, but a place where children are looked after and form part of the hotel family throughout the holiday.
A carefree family holiday
It was precisely this sort of place that my wife, my small son and I wanted to switch off in for a weekend: to be more exact, at the Familienhotel Bad Ratzes in Seis, not far from Kastelruth. We had hardly arrived (to be welcomed by our hostess with the words “Now you are finally on holiday”) than we set off on an expedition. When asked why they decided to become one of the Familienhotels, Eva Scherlin, one of the two sisters who have been running the hotel for decades now, says: “We never really wanted to make a big thing of it. It just turned out that way”. This relaxed attitude can be sensed throughout the hotel, which has its own chapel, reading rooms and a lounge complete with fireplace: places to browse and relax, utterly different from the “kid-centred entertainment concepts” on offer at other hotels. Our Ben had a quick look in at the “Marmot Room” where – instead of a ball pit the size of a football pitch – he found a small group, looked after by trained carers, who introduce the children to nature and treat their charges in an individual and kind way.

Thus we adults could also enjoy a little time for ourselves and switch off that lunchtime, enjoying a glass a wine with it – a rare occurrence. We were finally on holiday. We had had time for another aperitif on the sun terrace with its views of the Schlern massif – a simply perfect day.

A carefree family holiday
In the afternoon we took the pushchair containing our happy little son, and set off into the surrounding forest. As snow lay all around we had to stay on the cleared paths, but we could see that this would be a paradise for children to play in during the summer. Because here, at the end of a small side valley in the middle of an ancient pine forest, directly below the Seiser Alm and in the shadow of the Schlern massif, can be found two things in particular – nature and peacefulness! Two things that stressed city dwellers urgently need…

The large adventure playground in front of the hotel is ideal for fun and games, with the gently murmuring brook that runs alongside the perfect spot for adventures and cooling off in summer – everything that children could need. There are also climbing walls for older children, as well as a pool table, ping-pong and table football. For skiing during the winter holidays the Seiser Alm is easy to reach via ski bus and cable car.

Welcoming holidays in the “Heart of the Dolomites”
I had to smile as I saw this phrase on the hotel’s website, as it is probably the most popular hotel slogan in South Tyrol – but we have seldom been made to feel so welcome. After our walk in the forest – Ben used the opportunity to take a short nap – we then tried out the pool. Simply wonderful: parents love to see their kids happily jumping in. Then straight back to our room to get ready for dinner, this time together with our little one, who was subsequently taken off for dessert by “his” carer so that Mummy and Daddy could finish off their meal in peace.

And so we sat, the two of us enjoying the time spent together and we were delighted when, just in time for bed, our son was brought back again, soon to fall asleep with his bottle in front of the fireplace. We hardly noticed the time as the fire burnt down and we enjoyed another glass or two of wine.

Unfortunately we did not have the time to make it up onto the Seiser Alm. But we certainly enjoyed being in the hotel, with its attentive staff and early spring sunshine. We relaxed a bit on the terrace, knowing Ben was in good hands, then – our strength restored – set off back home, safe in the knowledge that we would be back again in the summer for adventuring in the forest, playing by the stream and games on the playground.

Simply being a child – and simply being a family
Perhaps the expression “Heart of the Dolomites” was directed more at the hotel’s staff than its location – because the entire team was extremely friendly, making every effort to ensure the comfort of their guests. Where else will you find the hostess asking at breakfast whether you have slept well, whether the mattress was just right and if the pillows were too hard or too soft? There is no need for a wellness temple, cocktail bar or multimedia show – because, if “home is where the heart is”, we were not actually on holiday at all but simply in our temporary abode!


Find out more about this Familienhotel here.

Bad Ratzes ****
Dolomites - Siusi allo Sciliar
Between rushing streams and enchanted forests
Details about the accomodation