Cortina is among the most chic ski resorts in the world. In the spectacular
Dolomites of Italy, Cortina is considered the jewel of the crown. When
skiing Cortina, you should stay at the best –
The Cristallo Hotel and Spa. This
1901 palace-style hotel in Cortina is five star all the way, from the spectacular
setting overlooking the town of Cortina, with views of the dramatic dolomite
Tofane Mountains across the valley, to the opulent décor and luxurious service –
second to none. From the moment you arrive, your skis and boots are whisked to
the ski room and your luggage to your suite, while you sip Prosecco or a James
Bond martini in the scenic sophisticated Cocktail Bar.
This grand century-old hotel is decorated in old-world elegance, reminiscent of
the Belle Epoque, with modern touches in the 74 guest rooms- many of them large
suites. Cristallo is the most famous luxury hotel in Cortina, and was ambitious
to build in 1901 – the first of its kind in the Dolomites. Ask for the Frank
Sinatra Suite, a guest here, or the Peter Sellers Suite - he stayed while
filming the Pink Panther in Cortina. Cristallo has hosted VIPs, dignitaries, and celebs for over a century–
with gracious discrete service for all. You sense the elegant lavish
heydays of Cristallo, like when Cortina hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics –
evidenced by the grandeur of the lobby, bar and dining rooms. The Hotel actually
closed in 1995, and reopened in 2001 after significant renovations. Guest bathrooms are modern, while the overall style evokes a classic
Mornings at Cristallo begin with opening your heavy drapery to reveal the
Dolomites, glimmering in the sun. A bountiful buffet breakfast is served in the
Dining Room with a view of the slopes of Tofane where World Cup ski races are
hosted annually. For a big skier’s appetite – there is an omelet station, plus a
beautiful display of fresh breads, salmon, local cheese and meats, fruit,
yogurts and grains, the list goes on. And of course – your server hand makes your Italian coffee - cappuccino or espresso.
Off to the ski room, which is luxurious too, with inviting couches to boot up in
your warm dry ski boots off the dryers. The Cristallo ski shuttle will drive you
the 10-20 minutes to the ski lifts of Faloria or
Tofane, and pick you up at the
end of your ski day. In the afternoon you can lounge over snacks in the ski room
on the convivial couches, even plug in your GoPro video for everyone to watch on
the TV Video station provided.
Albeit fancy, The Cristallo Hotel is ideal for families, five star but very
family friendly. The indoor pool is obviously great after a day of skiing for
the family. While parents relax, take a spa treatment or sip an aperitif
cocktail at the piano bar,children go the Kid’s Club - a play room just below
the grand dining room with games, toys and a very happy spacious environment.
The Cristallo Spa offers full massage and beauty treatments, a fitness room, and
a big indoor swimming pool with a see-through whirlpool, all complimented by
stunning mountain views, plus a Sauna and Turkish Bath steam room for adults
You’re a quick complimentary Hotel shuttle to downtown Cortina for après ski and
shopping. Walking Cortina’s boutique-lined pedestrian zone by the church and
clock tower, the Corso Italiano, is a pastime, to watch the fabulously dressed
Italians stroll the cobbled streets – to see and be seen. Local tradition is to
have an aperto – coffee at a café like Lovato in town, not the
wild après ski
scene in Austria. Italians here prefer their fashionable
socializing and dining over partying in their ski attire.
Have an aperitif at the historic 1835 Hotel de La Poste’s American Bar – perhaps
a Bellini, and dinner in one of the top restaurants in Italy like Tivoli or El Camineto just beyond town. Or you can stay right at the lovely Cristallo Hotel
overlooking Cortina’s downtown and dine in any of the four Cristallo restaurants - the Main Dining Room, the Gazebo, the cozy wood-lined
Stube 1872 serving fondue or Cantuccio. Dining at Cristallo is sophisticated but
gracious. The team of waiters remember your name and your preferences, while
Hotelier George is ever-present to greet guests warmly and inquire about their
day skiing and exploring Cortina.
In the evening, Cristallo has pleasant entertainment in the lounge, and The
Monkey Bar is a hip bar you can reserve for late night socializing in the Hotel.
We hear Jambo is the late night place in Cortina, but we are more about the
skiing and sleeping in our dreamy Cristallo suite than dancing, especially after
a four course dinner with Prosecco, local wine, followed by grappa – pillow per
favore – grazie - prego!