An article which was published in the magazine "Great Places and Space Hawaii" about our Pennhof.
Visit a unique BioHotel in beautify North Italian Alps
If you are looking to spend some amazing time in a truly unique atmosphere of a “green hotel” the Bio Hotel Pennhof is the right place for you. The traveler who is unfamiliar with “green tourism” should not expect Spartan accommodations with leafy or tasteless health food. In the contrary, we were very fortunate having spent four lovely days, indulging in the culinary creations of owner and Chef Elmar Braun and enjoying the unique facilities of this first class hotel. The small 16‐room family run hotel is located a short 30 Minute drive North of Bolzano, which is the Capital of the famed South Tirol region in Northern Italy. We were fortunate to get one of the five popular chalet‐suites, which are the largest rooms in the hotel, with their own patio, a bedroom, a sitting room and spacious bathroom. The room interior uses only natural materials without any chemical treatment. This is important for travelers looking for a place where your allergies are giving a deserved break. We all have tales of hotel rooms where too much chemicals were used to sterilize everything between occupancies. Pennhof recently invested a small fortune in transforming the older accommodation to anti‐allergy marvels of rooms, rich of indigenous and rare wood that only grows at very high elevations. Plasters at the walls of a special earth material
and the bathroom has sinks carved from stones of nearby rivers. The beds have a special natural mattress which should be an attractive to all of us who dread normal hotel beds. At night electric utilities are set at a low electric emission level to give you a sound and relaxing night’s sleep. We urbans creatures can only marvel at feelings of cleanliness and peace in these rooms. The daily room rate includes a sumptuous breakfast buffet and 5‐course dinner. In the afternoon there are free offerings of cake and pastry baked only for guests. There are different types of pastry and, as common for all food offerings at Pennhof, all is clearly marked whether it is suitable for guests with certain allergies or diabetics. We opted for the “regular” indulgence of sweet things which went very well with an Italian style cappuccino or a latte from the host. The culinary experience is maybe the most outstanding feature of Pennhof. The owner Elmar is a seasoned Chef who has worked for some of the most famous international Chefs. Elmar’s dream was to create an unique culinary destination. But rather than offering upscale traditional Italian cuisine, he has established himself as an innovative Chef who only uses natural ingredient, his own‐grown vegetables and meat from animals which have never been exposed to anything but natural and pharma free food. We were amazed tasting some culinary triumphs out of Elmar’s natural kitchen. He is a master using rustic vegetables to create fabulous treats, such as red beet pasta, ice cream and quiche. These were original food tastes that we have never experienced before, but which left us enchanted and wanting more. The dinner usually has six courses. There are two choices, one meat and the other strictly vegetarian. Guests are asked in the morning to make a selection and the dinner is then prepared specifically for the guests. After the first evening we opted to kick our usual meat eating habit and indulged in some vegetarian delights. If you think vegetarian cooking is taking away from the culinary delight Elmar will let you experience a different and fascinating culinary universe. The area around Pennhof offers very unique opportunities for challenging mountain treks or leisurely hikes. We opted for the leisurely routes to nearby destinations. The charming way of hiking in the Alps is
that you will have ample opportunity to rest at many, what is called “Huetten”. These are guesthouses in the mountains offering food and beverages. On one of our strolls through the forest above Pennhof we passed an old church building, which dated back to the year 1200. It was actually three small churches built adjacent to each other and it is a well‐known landmark. We went to a nearby guesthouse where the host and caretaker of the church handed us the keys to the church. She was asking us to
return the key to her and not pass it along. The church interiors were dotted with antics and precious objects. The US traveler will only marvel at the thought of being handed a key, as a stranger, to a gem place of worship with its unique assortment of Christian art. Well, it is the Tyrol hospitality and welcome, which you will feel at every turn of the road. For people who like Old‐world wellness and sauna, Pennhof offers a small but cozy and private wellness area. Cooling off in the endless all‐natural pool, without chlorine but a self‐cleaning waterfall instead, one can soak in the stunning panorama of Dolomite mountain peaks that surround the Pennhof hotel. If you are lucky to stay in a chalet, each has a private wood tub which is heated with a wood stove. For the three nights we stayed at Pennhof we sat in our private and natural hot tub marveling at the night sky and the mountain views, while drinking one of the many great wines the hotel has to offer.
Learn more about Pennhof at http://www.pennhof.com/en/ Review written by Great Places & Spaces
Sustainable Design & Consulting LLC
Great Places and Space
P.O. Box 25914
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825-0914, USA