Take 2: Tyrol and South Tyrol. Or how to pack as much good karma as possible into 1 week

I firmly believe in travelling. Travelling broadens the horizon, educates and simply makes me more interesting as a person. That’s not a superficial statement, no, it comes from the deepest travel heart and after a week in Tyrol and South Tyrol in summer. Wellbeing and hotel hopping in the finest way and the most beautiful contrasts.

Yes, I know: there is a whole list of important things that shape intellect & ME. That really and in earnest move you forward, sharpen your mind and build your personality. But I strongly advocate the easy kind of doing nothing. Valuable time out, in nearby Austria & upper Italy. Experience pleasure with all senses, evenings full of laughter and good conversation, flanked by delicious food and wine. What can you discover in the process? Discovering yourself better, what is important to you and what you might want to leave out in the hamster wheel of life in the future.

The Singer in Tyrol

But let’s start with the travel story at the beginning: At the Hotel Singer on the Berwang sunny plateau, 1336 metres above sea level, in the highest village of the Tyrolean Zugspitz Arena. The Singer stands in the middle of Berwang surrounded by Tyrolean giants, to which you actually have a 1A view from all rooms. A place for hiking fans, mountain bikers, skiers, tennis players, golfers and relaxers. A family hotel for 3 generations, personal, homely – this word keeps coming to mind here – and incredibly friendly. All the staff wear name tags on their lapels: Mrs Birnbacher, Mr Berning, Mrs Ildiko. Just as I am addressed by name from the first time I meet them: “Another coffee, Mrs. Artz?” Yes, with pleasure, Mr. Rückhörmann. Thomas, for the sake of completeness. Restaurant manager, sommelier, at the Singer since 2001 and by vocation an interpreter of wishes. “I order a white wine for dinner that rolls off the tongue in a really pleasant way. I love white wine, rosé and red wine, in that order of popularity, but have no expertise to speak of. “Purus”, Riesling from the Weszeli winery, Mr Rückhörmann recommends. I don’t like Riesling, but don’t want to spoil the pleasant mood and nod. From the first sip, I am paradoxically happy. Great, this “Purus”! I cancel my “Riesling principle”, immediately follow the winery on Instagram and order a few bottles for home. “Thank you” Mr. Rückhörmann. “You’re very welcome, Mrs Artz”.

Tradition with talent

Many employees have been here at the Singer in Tyrol for years and decades. This is exceptional and the best business card for host family Florian & Christina Singer with mother Gerti. The good climate grips the traveller immediately from the reception, over 3 restaurants, alpine relax garden, pool and spa with cosmetic hot spot. The next morning I walk there dry-footed through the hotel’s own tunnel. Outside it is storming and raining – cosy! I could say tons about the wellbeing in the Singer’s SPA – but you have to experience it better! But since my vocation is to be very, very bad at saying very little, this much: we are human beings on a planet in crisis. What we take in, inside and outside, affects how and what we radiate back to this, our world. This is not from me, but from a spiritual yoga context. And the mantra that slides unasked back and forth in my head during massage, peeling and wraps under the expert hands of spa manager Natascha Rehberg. I take in plenty of the good stuff at the Singer. After the sauna and steam bath, I take a short stroll on the foot reflex circuit. A circle laid out with soft meadow, hard pebbles, soft sand, woody bark mulch – gentle and demanding, soft and hard, foot massage à la nature.

Delicious: Ceviche

Back through the tunnel, I float as if in a fit of weightlessness, up the stairs to my room in a flowing bathrobe and down again to dinner. We have half board and that is my unconditional recommendation! In the multiple award-winning restaurants of the Singer, chef Thomas Kunath cooks fantastic Tyrolean cuisine with passion and commitment: tartar of chanterelle with Tyrolean bacon, pike perch with organic lentils, pink veal rump with sugar snap peas, farmer’s curd with apricot and thyme…. Delicious!!! Recipes to follow here and a video of the ceviche on my Instagram account – all fresh and with best regards from the Singer in Tyrol.

After 3 days at Singer in Tyrol, we’re off to South Tyrol. Why only one hotel when you can pack 2 hotel gems into 1 week: Off to Schgaguler, a 3-hour drive away.

The Schgaguler in South Tyrol

The Schgaguler is located in the Dolomite region of Alpe di Siusi. This is the place to go if you appreciate design and love breathtaking nature. If you like bikinis in the sun in summer, as well as hours of hiking. If you are looking for the priceless advantage of a stable nervous system and actually find it just by looking at ancient, monumental rock massifs. Tasting the new in-drink on the spacious terrace and realising after 5 minutes of looking at the mighty Sciliar that you haven’t said anything for 5 minutes. The Hotel Schgaguler gives space to the essentials: 3 high gables, lots of white and floor-to-ceiling windows that let the outside in directly. OM! It seems as if the mountains accompany you through the house and here you better find the ability to leave out the wrong things in life.

Our room greets us with crystal clear light, lots of wood, a freestanding bathtub on grey resin flooring, glazed bathroom and shaded loggia with transparent balcony balustrades. WOW! No matter where I move, the power of the mountains is with me. At the Schgaguler you meet a colourful mix of holidaymakers: young families, honeymooners, singles, family clans from grandparents to babies and besties W/M/D.

Window seat in the Dolomites

For dinner, everyone gathers in the glassed-in restaurant. Sitting outside? What for? You’ve been there all day. But the Schlern now knocks pink from the floor to the sky-high window and you ask yourself enraptured over the rim of the wine glass: Is this real or fake? What am I drinking? “Upupa” in white, from the Abraham winery. Yes, of course I also follow the top winery in South Tyrol subito from the first sip. The name is already a show and the taste of the cuvée is a stunner. There are also stories about vino and regional winegrowers from Somelière Sandra Schgaguler. I love stories and could listen to her for hours, looking at her straight bob with the extra-short fringes. Great! Woman, hairstyle, wine, ambience. And the food? Chef Guiseppe Petrosino uses only local products for his fine South Tyrolean creations: Grilled bacon dumpling with grey cheese and orange foam, tartare with summer truffle, lasagnetta with asparagus, porcini mushrooms and Alm Espuma. How delicious is that, please?

The Schgaguler is also a family hotel, run by four siblings – 1W, 3M. Martin Schgaguler (industrial designer and photo artist) created the large-format, wood-framed pictures of the South Tyrolean mountains in the lobby and hallways. And I pick up this hiking wisdom from host, hiking guide and father Gottfried while reading about the hotel: Four steps when breathing in, four steps when breathing out – saves energy and is a healthy pace in “small steps”.

In Drink: Dolomite Martini

The next day it’s up into the mountains. I breathe and climb past free-roaming goats and downhill hikers, steadily up to the Marinzen-Alm. At the top, there are too many tourists sitting and lying on the summer meadow and strolling on the terrace, so we walk straight on to the Schafstall hut. A good decision, less people, top-quality Kaiserschmarrn, lazing in a deckchair, with the sun on our blinking faces. Life is so beautiful!

I don’t like to close with my travel experiences and would like to tell you about the delicious “Dolomite Martini” from Chef de Bar Peter Stauder. But it’s better to drink it yourself anyway … It’s also possible without the terrace of the Schgaguler, but with a sous-vide bar … How now? More in the video on my Instagram account. Click on it and bang(!) you’re in South Tyrol at the Schgagulers watching Peter create the aperitif happiness. It’s great that I was allowed to be the doorman to two extraordinary hotels in Tyrol and South Tyrol by your side, for all of you who have read this far. There are few things I prefer to do more than travel. Which is why I like to think of things from the end back to the beginning: every departure is actually just the prelude to next travel adventures. There you go!