Hotel Belvedere: A Gourmet Wellness Destination on a Unique European Plateau

San Genesio Atesino

Lucia Facchini
copertina hotel belvedere

At 1080 meters on the Salto Plateau, where the largest larch meadow in Europe spreads its fragrance, a family started from the local trattoria to create a fairytale-like screensaver-worthy establishment. With orthodox dumplings and fine dining game dishes, discover the surprises of the Hotel Belvedere.

The story 

Immaculate rooms, a welcoming red carpet, packed entertainment schedules from morning to night. What truly sets a hotel apart from all the others? The list could go on, and we'd never be certain we've considered all the variables of our holiday contentment. Perhaps the point is something else: hospitality lives (also) in intangible details that go beyond the finesse of bedspread embroideries or the blend of fragrances in the aromatic Spa sauna. Sometimes, to be truly moved, all it takes is a shared view.

hotel belvedere Panorama 2
hotel belvedere visuale

This was clearly understood by the couple Frieda Pollinger and Martin Reichhalter when they purchased a dated trattoria in San Genesio Atesino - "Bellavista," to be precise - 68 years ago with the intention of turning it into a screensaver-worthy fairytale establishment, of the kind that if you see them from a distance, you're already there with one eye on the horizon and the other on Google Maps.

san genesio
hotel belvedere Panorama 1

The initial mix of dreams and pragmatism, as often happens, led them to create a point of interest that subsequent generations would enrich, shifting the focus to widespread well-being. A place to immortalize "until check-out do us part," yes, yet, this is far from being another run-of-the-mill stay in the flowered resorts of the Bolzano region.

hotel belvedere san genesio staff

This destination is situated at 1080 meters on the Salto Plateau, where the largest larch meadow in Europe spreads its fragrance, while a small community of 3000 residents lives in a tree-lined condominium perfectly in tune with the sparse tourist activities.

belvedere san genesio oanorama

Today, the rustic mountain venue has transformed into a 4-star resort, and the successors of the founding dynasty (Renate Winkler and her husband Hans Leonhardy) continue to expand their horizons, indulging in bold architectural additions. For instance, the extended terrace on the slopes of the hill, an infinity pool that justifies the establishment's new name ("Belvedere"), and the bistro ready to restore the local culinary pillars without uprooting them from a well-defined comfort zone.

hotel belvedre proprietari
belvedere san genesio infinity pool

It goes without saying that the awards have not been slow to arrive, igniting the enthusiasm of this hardworking family since 1939. For example, the Iconic Award for innovative remodeling of spaces ("We shouldn't build in a place but construct the place itself" is the motto of the two designers Michaela Wolf and Gerd Bergmeister, responsible for recent improvements), or the Relax Spa Award, which recently included the property among the top 100 regional wellness hotels of 2023. Setting aside the preface, let's return to the initial question: what truly sets this hotel apart from all the others?

Suite Amira1
Relax room1

The Hotel 

If "sleeping means getting away from the world," as Jorge Luis Borges wittily claimed, then it's worth immersing yourself fully in the reality before closing your eyes for a few hours. At the Belvedere, the feeling is not one of temporary isolation from the mountain attractions but of encountering them face to face, starting from the oak-framed windows that alleviate any skepticism with the tree trunks outside the suites, to the red porphyry details evoking the idea of bare and pure rock.

hotel belvedere esterno struttura

The same attention is found in the outdoor tubs - such as the organic pool with 100% drinkable water - all heated thanks to a solar system that eliminates the often "invisible" waste of old-school hotels. Between a full-body energizing whirlpool and a visit to the sauna-stube (shaped in the image and likeness of the South Tyrolean "sweet home"), the appetite arrives through swimming, and this is where the hotel's cuisine finally comes into play. 

hotel belvedere san genesio salumi

During the day, the rendezvous is at the bistro, which, in the warm months, moves outdoors for a privileged view of the Bolzano valley, capable of inspiring even the shyest for a selfie; here, the menu captures the landscape with an easy but precise touch, drawing from nearby pastures and lakes, and even directly from the San Genesio bakery, providing its fragrant bread with seeds and Schüttelbrot to sparkle (or request extra) until dessert.

belvedere san genesio

If you love canederli  (traditional dumplings), you'll find them faithful to the orthodox version: lively, bursting with savory flavor, with slightly rough pasta that magically melts in the mouth when combined with the broth. Equally enticing is the Arctic Char Carpaccio served with whole-grain galette, hazelnuts, and mint cream, the Burger made from locally-sourced beef, and the super-spiced Strudel, a solo of flesh and cinnamon beneath the fine pastry.

hotel belvedere piatto pesce
hotel belvedere Pietanza 3

"We try to produce as much as possible ourselves and, at the same time, support the artisans who give value to the village. Butchers, bakers, farmers, and breeders sustain a complex ecosystem without which there would be no future," they explain in the dining room.

christian reiterer hotel belvedere Dolce 2

Frieda's Fine dining

Remember Grandma Frieda? Mentioned a few lines ago in the introductory greeting, the former "first lady" of the hotel has almost taken over the role of a literary heroine in the eyes of those working at the establishment today. And indeed, she lends her name to the restaurant designated for dinner, an original antique wood stube where the constellation of candles scattered among the tables light up high plateau night views, awakening both wonder and a sense of intimate familiarity.

hotel belvedere Stube 1
hotel belvedere Stube 2

The menu is sleek, consisting of a single 5-course "blind" tasting (to remain on topic) by Chef Christian Reiterer and his young brigade. There's no fear of leaving with lingering hunger since the tastings feature generous portions, little showmanship, and plenty of fresh produce.

Chef Christian Reiterer2

This is the case with the luscious Sweet Potato Velouté and Tyrolean dumplings, sprinkled with edible flowers to break the creaminess, while the bread remains firm and dunkable. Among the mains, the Roe Deer Saddle is enveloped in a crispy "corset" of dried fruits, adding toasty notes to the naturally sweet game; the crust pairs with a celery and vanilla cream for dipping the bite with a double consistency, making it triple.

hotel belvedere pescato del giorno
hotel belvedere Pietanza 4
hotel belvedere filetto di cervo

The meal concludes with an unusually vibrant dessert: the "Raffaello," a kind of extension of Ferrero's miniature snack. Breaking the sphere reveals coconut flakes; a tropical detour brought back on track by whole berries and gelato. This time, there are no krapfen or strauben; the dessert ventures to different shores before returning to the starting point, gathering juicy gems along a flavorful journey.

christian reiterer hotel belvedere Dolce 1

Via Pichl, 15, 39050 San Genesio Atesino BZ, Italia
Telefono: +39 0471 354127

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