Have you ever felt like you had stepped into a storybook, a fairytale wonder you can only find in your dreams? Well, I found the living version of that, nestled in the heart of the Dolomites, at the Chalet del Sogno Mountain Experience Hotel. A five star located in Madonna di Campiglio with only 18 unique suites, this wooden beauty spares no detail. Nature and technique meet harmoniously in this charming chalet just a few steps from the ski slopes. Not only is it a cozy lodge, but it is also completely sustainable, using a geothermal system for heat and gas, and everything is run from underground (it is the first hotel in the Alps to use this system). Timeless local materials from the surrounding valleys enhance the design, following the finest principles of bioarchitecture, and giving it a true Italian touch. Chalet Del Sogno was dreamed up by Ex-Olympian skier Alberto Schiavon’s family in 2006, whose roots run deep as he was the park manager and helped turn the land into the impressive ski park it is today. Alberto currently runs the property alongside his parents.
He says, “The property is a home for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s not so much a hotel, but rather a private home, offering guests hospitality in discreet style and refined taste. Sports enthusiasts can’t help but fall in love with one of the pearls of the Dolomites.”
The hotel breakfast is top notch and the spa, restoring both beauty and health, soothe sore muscles post-ski, with a choice of a steam room, Finnish sauna, and indoor pool/hot tub area with a water gym and hydrojets.
At the downstairs bar, the artisanal fireplace is completely original and handmade, with an intimate sitting area where mixologists create crafty cocktails for guests. Even the rooms have kept the original ovens and their balconies boast a stunning view of the snow-peaked mountains. Elegant, spacious and superbly quiet, the suites use top quality insulation, bio conditioning, and artistic details showcasing local fauna and flora, with larch, fir and pine paneling.
As a sommelier, Alberto knows a thing or two about food and wine, which was very apparent after experiencing Ristorante Due Pini, run by Chef Alessandro Nocella. A gourmet dining experience, where tradition meets contemporary, all of the food selected for the hotel and restaurant are locally-sourced from the land, and the menu is divided into 7 different areas or categories: mountains, forest, farm, garden, rivers, lakes and seas. I opted for the egg complemented with ricotta cheese and bulgar to start. The artichoke is grilled with a side of rosemarine puree and the goat cheese ravioli with saffron was mouth-watering. The cherry on top was the rose cake (literally shaped like roses), with fleur de la gelato and sweet zabaglione (egg mixed with sugar) for dipping.
Madonna di Campiglio is unlike any ski town I have visited. As one of Italy’s top Alps ski and snowboard destinations, it is home to 70 ski-lifts, 150 miles of slopes, and 4 resorts, all nestled within 3 valleys. The ski trail, Campiglio Dolomiti di Brenta, is the largest in the Trentino region, so you can never get bored. The best part of the property is the simplicity and efficiency of the entire skiing experience. The ski-in, ski-out property is directly next to the lift and guests can grab their ski equipment downstairs in the garage of the hotel. There was no need to waste time taking a bus or shuttle, since all of the ski areas are connected. With 4 main lifts allowing access to various sides of the mountains, the lifts are completely modern and upgraded, with plastic pods to keep warm on the way up, as well as heated seats. With unique untouched backcountry access, the value and quality of what you are getting is imminent, with a mere 52 EUR daily ski-pass ticket, (EPIC PASS owners get 7 consecutive days of free ski pass). Even if you don’t ski, there is plenty to do on the mountain, including snowshoeing, ice skating, horse riding, sled dog, and driving experiences.
My skiing experience was a pleasant one because the ski area is quite literally a sun bowl, so I had full, comfortable ski days basking in the sun, with optimal snow conditions and temperatures. It was extremely easy to take breaks and stop for some food or coffee, with top-notch restaurants located directly on the trails. Even the mountain huts offer a La Carte lunch with breathtaking views, delicious food and a quality kitchen. My sister and I were different level skiers, (she is more advanced), but due to convenient access and ease of the trails, we were able to ski together all day long.
Surrounded by two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Dolomites of Brenta and Natural Geopark Adamello-Brenta, Madonna di Campiglio is only a one hour drive from Garda Lake and a two hour drive north of Verona. The town center is quaint, beautiful and only a few minutes walk from the hotel, filled with lively bars and restaurants (There are 27 restaurants, 9 of which made the Michelin guide). The village itself is even ski in, linked to various trails, making it easier to ski to the pharmacy rather than walk. A famous and historical glamour destination, the first skier landed there in 1911, hosting the initial Ski World Cup event, an iconic stop of the World Tour, the oldest World Cup competition held in Italy. While the usual number of town goers is 900, Madonna di Campiglio hosts around 32,000 people around high season Christmas time. Every 22nd of December, the World Cup Winter Olympics is held in this sunbowl town.
But Madonna di Campiglio isn’t just a dream for winter, it also has tons of activities and options for visiting during the summer time. Whether your passion is trekking, hiking or biking, the land is a paradise for outdoor lovers, boasting waterfalls, alpine lakes, majestic peaks, and spectacular views over two World UNESCO Heritage sites.
All in all, if you are looking for a dreamy escape for the winter without the hassle, a touch of genuine mountain quality, and a breath of fresh air, look no further than Chalet Del Sogno in Madonna di Campiglio.
Summer 1st June – 6th October
Winter End of November – Middle April