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Sommerfrische – Fine hotels and mountain retreats

Sommerfrische – Fine hotels and mountain retreats

Starting with the Makers Bible “The Alps”, we decided to look beyond workshops and studios, with their extraordinary Makers & Crafters, and also introduce passionate hosts and accommodations.

To survive in the Alps, a roof over your head, an accommodation, is essential. In the Alps the “shelter-seeker” also experiences a unique hospitality. Traditional locality and skilful craftsmanship, once out of necessity, now as a return to the past, are of great value. 

So go ahead, discover our makers and enjoy the hospitality in selected accommodations. Here is a small selection for a change of scenery, fresh mountain air and cooling off in the pool or a mountain lake around the corner.

Haus Hirt

Once a salon for big names like Thomas Mann, Stefan Zweig, Somerset Maugham, Lady Churchill and the Shah of Persia, Haus Hirt is today a salon, hotel and private home for free spirits who are looking for balance, enjoyment and like-minded people. A breathtakingly beautiful hideaway surrounded by greenery, far away from the ravages of time, and views from its summit as far as the eye can see. 

With large rooms, charming nooks, and delightful spaces to stay and socialize, this hotel is also the perfect base for great outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. There is a lot to discover in Bad Gastein and the surrounding area, and the hotel provides its own guide to help guests with excursions. Although it’s a year-round destination, a winter stay at the Haus Hirt will prove to be a very relaxing ski holiday.

The hosts Evelyn and Ike Ikrath exude contagious enthusiasm and inspire guests to recharge and simply unwind, with or without family in tow. The cuisine at the restaurant is laid back and best described as Austrian Alpine with dishes that may well distract from the breathtaking view from the dining room.


Kaiserhofstraße 14, 5640 Bad Gastein, Österreich


In the world-famous Dolomites is a hotel property like no other with natural elegance and luxury, offering warm hospitality and privacy. This is a place of escape, a hotel that is designed to meet guests’ needs filled with staff ready to assist with discreet and customized service. 

It takes a team of farmers, craftsmen, architects, visionaries, and 35 dedicated employees to make each guest feel privileged and welcome. Inspiration comes from traditions and the alpine lifestyle with the motto: good things take time. With our fast paced modern lives ever encroaching in on us, time away has become more important than ever. At Miramonti Boutique Hotel, staff attentively listen to guests’ wishes and apply the philosophy of slow.

Spacious rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, full of nature and regional culture. The Miramonti is an ideal starting point for year-round outdoor activities, with shuttle services to different locations. The Vitalis Spa offers an indoor swimming pool with outdoor views, fitness and work-out studio, Finnish sauna, tropical showers, Kneipp treatments, solarium and massage. 

While the world around us is ever changing, Miramonti is a place of steadfastness and peace. 


Kathreinstrasse 14, 39010 Meran, Italien


Berge is for people who love the mountains, need a retreat away from technology, and want some peace and quiet. Nils Holger Moormann, a furniture designer and lateral thinker, built each room of this unique hide-away by hand using clean lines and natural materials with an attention to detail and simplicity. There are no distractions here, no television, no WIFI, no restaurant or bar, just stillness, reflection, and inner peace. The Berge inspires the simple life, like reading books, strolling through the garden, playing Boccia ball, and sitting by the fire.

The guesthouse in Aschau im Chiemgau at the foot of the Kampenwand has received numerous design awards, and where possible, historical parts of the structure were preserved, such as the creaking plank floors on untreated steel and exposed stone walls.

Most apartments are equipped with a kitchenette which invites guests to cook, and supplies can be brought in by request. There are also chefs and caterers for meetings and celebrations. An adventure inside and out, the Berge is the place to reconnect with one’s soul.


Kampenwandstraße 85, 83229 Aschau im Chiemgau


Eating here means feeling the mountains. Sanbrite translates to “healthy farm”. What is healthy here is the heart-warming personality of its owners Ludovica and Riccardo Rubbini, and their friendly staff, in service and kitchen alike. Yes, the kitchen staff participates in serving and interacting with guests as well, allowing the discerning foodie to meet and talk to the people directly responsible for assembling and crafting the sustenance that graces the tables of Sanbrite. Under the tutelage of owner and chef Riccardo, who has practiced his skills in the kitchen of Trattoria Francescana in Modena, they create –and partly serve– dishes one will not soon forget. 

And back to the “health” of this “healthy farm”. All ingredients used here are from around the garden and the parent’s farm up the hill, fresh, naturally and sensitively treated. 

Riccardo confides, “The secret to my recipes is that ingredients are created first, and then the dish is composed”

A Sanbrite meal is having a straight-from-the farm, freshly milked-milk, self-made cheese, nose-to-tail eating and olfactory experience.


Località Alverà, 32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italien


Scalottas restaurant in Lenzerheide is run by Hansjörg Ladurner who cultivates an alpine culinary art which is both sustainable and conservation-minded. All supplies that arrive on site are checked for their quality and sourcing. When the chef isn’t in the kitchen, he is visiting farms and suppliers to confirm where his food comes from. He knows all the producers personally, as well as the livestock. Hansjörg uses the “nose to tail” philosophy out of respect for animals, which begins with caring for them and ends with an escort to the slaughterhouse. 

Whatever produce is currently ripe is what Scalottas uses to cook with, and when there is an overabundance, it is canned and put away for the future. Nothing goes to waste. This philosophy exists in the preparation of the dishes as well, so they are perfectly portioned, so only clean plates come back to the kitchen.

Scalottas creates a win-win situation: fine cuisine for guests, fair prices for producers and conservation of the environment. 


Voa principala 39, 7078 Lenzerheid

More accommodations, restaurants and friendly hosts can be found in the issues “The Alps” and “Human Space“.

Photos: Haus Hirt – Cathrine-Stukhard, Klaus Vyhnalek; Miramonti – Patrick Schwienbacher; Sanbrite – Lenny Pellico, Stefania Giorgi; Scalottas – Dolores Rupa, Tina Sturzenegger