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Ines - 33 years oldRead here how we were enchanted by the Ritten mountain!

Emil: full steam ahead

In the heart of South Tyrol – actually no, rather its navel, above Bozen – there is a particularly sunny plateau with charming hamlets that prompt one to fall in love at first sight, with far-reaching meadows, ancient farmsteads and an impressive history. There are bathing lakes, trekking uplands, amazing panoramas. No prizes for guessing that I truly like this place: the Ritten mountain.
The “best station in the world!”
And yes, there is also this fine hotel up there where I always wanted to spend a few days. I have been past it dozens of times, running, cycling, walking, strolling, and each time I thought it looked very smart from the outside. Special somehow, and different: the Parkhotel Holzner.

A family weekend at one of South Tyrol’s Familienhotels is something we had wanted to do for a while, so I of course suggested the Parkhotel Holzner. I could not in the end say who was more excited: 4-year old Emil or his mummy – me :)
The short trip up to the hotel was relaxing and exciting, depending upon which of the three of us you ask: Emil loved the cable car as we soared comfortably in the cabin over the houses of Bozen, then over the treetops and finally right to the hotel door! Well, so it seemed, as the top station is pretty much adjacent.

But before we could actually take our luggage through the gate and the park into the hotel, as I had so often imagined, a loud cry came across the square: “A traaaaiiiin!” As Emil had now attracted the attention of everyone around us, I made reassuring signals. Everything’s fine, no need to panic, it’s a completely normal reaction… Trains are – like cable cars – very much Emil’s thing. And there indeed was the cute little Rittner train, which runs several times a day on my beloved Ritten, connecting one hamlet with another. It whistled, ready for departure. I actually had nothing against a quick sightseeing tour, so we all three hopped aboard.

Pastures, meadows, wonderful views. Small talk with other holiday guests. Cameras click, smartphones pivot. And Emil with a beaming face. There and back on the choo-choo over the Ritten.

But we finally made it through the gates of the hotel, only to be astonished by the architecture and furnishings. The entire establishment was wonderfully authentic, venerable indeed, all in art nouveau style. The room was full of details that I excitedly investigated. And then, suddenly, a shout: “The caaable caaar!!!” Sure enough, the reason for this cry of joy could be seen: the cable car was visible from one of the many windows as it glided over the wide slopes. Everyone has his own passion.

A sunny day in September, straight out of the book, and an infinity pool with magnificent panoramas that were also straight out of a picture book. I took my own book to the pool, while husband and son put on water wings after a cool drink and then splashed around, while I dozed and let the September sunshine colour me a slight golden brown.
Another cry interrupted the peaceful swimming-pool atmosphere. “The caaable caaar!!!” Yes indeed: it could also be seen from the swimming pool. Truly the icing on the cake for this wonderful open-air pool.

Emil set off to discover the numerous play rooms. There were some really great toys there, he said. “What did you play there, Emil?” I asked. “Train”, came the reply.
Of course.

As the sun went down, painting the nearby summits a beautiful pink and bathing the fields in golden light, we decided to enjoy an aperitif on the panoramic terrace as an intimate threesome, telling each other by turns in romantic tones how much we loved one another. Then we went to our beautifully laid table and spent the entire dinner-time uttering tones of appreciation at the fantastic gourmet menu. And we three certainly appreciate a good meal: it’s not just trains and cable cars. We then planned our next day on the Ritten, deciding to go to the summit, the Rittner Horn. By cable car, of course.

“Mummy”, said Emil that evening as he dozed off in his little bed. “This is the best hotel in the world for children. It’s as good as a station.“


Find out more about this Familienhotel here.

Parkhotel Holzner ****s
Bolzano and surroundings - Renon
Panoramic views with all the time in the world
Details about the accomodation