Stay The Night: Lagacio Mountain Residence

This hotel reveals that Italy's South Tyrol is finally breaking with the Hapsburgs, says Minty Clinch

Although the Sud Tirol has been Italian by right of conquest for nearly a century, its heart remains in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire that shaped its destiny before the change of ownership in 1919.

As a result, the regional benchmark hotel is yesteryear Teutonic, with cherubs on the ceilings and dirndls in the dining rooms. Not so the Lagacio Mountain Residence, a new-build with attitude and a statement of intent. American condominium-style luxury is rare in this area, but Lagacio offers a flexibility that signals the shape of things to come.

Set in the upmarket village of San Cassiano, one of the Sud Tirol's quieter resorts, it is a suites-only boutique hotel. The exterior is sleekly contemporary – right-angled blocks delineated by horizontal wood, stacked up against the hillside. The natural theme is even more emphatic inside, with slate, wood and leather underpinning impressive interior design.

San Cassiano is in the heart of the Dolomites, nominated as a Unesco World Heritage Site for the drama of its towering cliffs, which glow every colour of the rainbow in changing light. The Piz Sorega gondola, 100 yards up the road from Lagacio, links into the Dolomiti ski circus, 1,200km (750 miles) of pistes and 450 lifts covered by the Superski pass, the most extensive in the world.

The bedrooms

The Residence has 24 suites in five categories, each named for a fossil type, ranging from Megalodonte for the smallest to Ammonite for the largest. This is in honour of the 18th-century French geologist, Deodat de Dolomieu, who gave his name to the mountains in which he did his ground-breaking research.

The bedrooms have padded leather headboards built into wooden walls, sturdy wooden-framed beds, and crisp white linen with tan cashmere throws. Cowhide cube seats and rugs add a rustic touch. The bathrooms, each with shower and tub, sparkle in ceramic and chrome. The sitting area is dominated by a widescreen TV and French windows open on to a small private terrace.

As is normal for condos, each suite has a cooking area, with fridge, hob, sink, microwave, and Nespresso machine. It would be a shame to dine-in too often in one of Italy's many great gastro zones, but the management will stock the pantry with organic foodstuffs on request.

The food and drink

The Lagacio continental breakfast is so delicious that it's hard to get out on to the slopes before it ends at 11am. Predictably, the theme is healthy eating: crisply fresh brown and grain breads, cereals with nuts and raisins, fruit, yoghurts, juices and homemade conserves. The coffee's great, too. The café and bar area near reception is a good meeting place, with hot and alcoholic drinks served throughout the day. The two-Michelin-starred St Hubertus Restaurant in the Rosa Alpina hotel (00 39 0471 849 500) down the road is a "must eat" at some stage – even if it means self-catering on other nights.

The extras

The La Pulsa Wellness area has a choice of saunas and a range of massages, baths, and beauty treatments. Alternatively, you can ski or snowboard until you drop, without taking a bus or taxi. The Sella Ronda circuit – linking Arabba, Canazei, Selva/Val Gardena and Corvara in the heart of the Dolomites – is almost on the doorstep. Skiable and well marked in both directions, it makes a rewarding day trip for anyone who can tackle a red run. Or you could drive to Cortina for challenging slopes, irresistible mountain restaurants, posh shopping, and Italian culture.

The access

There are lifts to every floor and three of the suites have been specially adapted for wheelchair access. No dogs. WiFi access in suites and public areas.

The bill

A suite for two, with continental breakfast, costs from £160 per night.

The address

Lagacio Mountain Residence, Strada Micura de Ro 48, 1-39030 San Cassiano, Alta Badia, Italy (00 39 0471 849 503;

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam