Schgaguler Hotel is located at the foot of the Schlern mountain where it serves as a base to explore the Dolomites.
How would you describe Ottmanngut in a nutshell?
Ottmanngut is a small hotel in Meran, South Tyrol, Italy, but it’s more of a family house than a typical hotel. It’s calm and real, that’s the most important thing. It’s what we know and what we like to do. We offer authenticity, simplicity, and high quality.
Please tell us a bit about the hotel and its history.
The house was built in the 13th century. It’s about 700 years old. In the beginning, it was a farmer’s house and a vineyard. The vineyard had a little restaurant that served food from the garden.
Then in the middle of the 18th century, my great grandfather bought it, and at the end of that century it became a small hotel. In 1973, my grandparents took over, and in 2010, we renovated it completely.
Where did you get the inspiration from to renovate the hotel?
After my grandmother became too old to run the daily business we decided that we needed to renovate the hotel to keep it going. We knew that it was an old house and would be expensive to renovate. We ended up with a huge deal of reconstruction, but the passion and love for the house grew with every day. My father started everything, after a while my brother took over the site management and then I started to help out together with many other relatives. It became sort of a family project.
Did you retain a lot of original features in the hotel restoration?
Yes. It was very important to rebuild the house like it was. It maintains the tradition of providing a space for people passing by, like pilgrims used to do centuries ago.
We have retained many original features in the house, but didn’t want the style to get too dark and heavy. The light is very important to us. And from what our holiday guests have said, I think we have succeeded.
To you personally, what makes this boutique hotel so special?
The hotel is rooted very deeply in tradition and good, local food. Ottmangut is about bringing old traditions back to life, but with a fresh take. When you stay on holidays here you get the feeling that everything has a long story to it.
The combination of the house and the garden is very special too. It even won a price. A former officer of the authority for the protection of monuments of South Tyrol once described it as ‘a ballroom’. The garden is what truly completes the house and makes it a unit. That is something guests can truly experience during their holidays.
How long do you recommend to stay here on holiday?
It takes at least 3-4 days to fully appreciate Ottmangut and the region of South Tyrol. For the first 3 days most guests tend to spend time outside, go for a hike, visit a thermal spring or the Botanical Gardens. After that they start staying at home to relax and to enjoy the Ottmanngut garden.
What has been most rewarding to you personally about running a small boutique hotel?
The fact that our hard work was worth the effort. We had the challenge of uniting lots of different opinions and the ideas of many generations. To have successfully mastered this challenge is really rewarding. Also, to me personally, it is important that guests understand the authenticity of the house, the area and my true passion for it. But the best compliment to us is when holiday guests feel at home at Ottmanngut.