A Dramatic Hotel in Northern Italy Is a Hiker's Refuge

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By Julia Brenner / Published by Dwell
Hidden in the alpine region of South Tyrol, Italy, Hotel Bühelwirt is a stunning, modern take on the hiking hotel.

Local practice Pedevilla Architects designed the award-winning Hotel Bühelwirt with thoughtful consideration of light, views and functionality, all towards the goal of creating harmony between nature and the built environment.

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Completed in 2017, Hotel Bühelwirt is situated in the alpine region of South Tyrol, an area of northern Italy renowned for its picturesque hikes and breathtaking topography. The darkened wood facade was specially tinted to reflect "the dark green, or often black forest tinge [that] seems to blend nature and topography with the building," say the architects.

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Structurally, the 20-room hotel echoes traditional hiking hotels of the region but offers a modern interpretation—a stripped-down translation  punctuated by an asymmetrical saddle roof and diagonally protruding bay windows that respond to climatic conditions. 

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Every room in the hotel is oriented toward spectacular mountain views, accentuating the guest's connection to the surrounding landscape. 

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The rooms are minimally but elegantly appointed. The design team relied on local resources, such as the rustic warmth of larch wood from neighboring forests. 

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The plaster applied to the walls was kept "slightly rough" to reflect the tones of the mountains, once again echoing the local topography.  

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The lamps used in guest rooms are handcrafted in pure copper, while the curtains are produced in a local loden factory (loden, from the old German word "lodo" meaning "wool bale," is a woolen fabric produced in the region since the Middle Ages), thus reflecting a strong regional connection to the hotel and its locale. 

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Hotel Bühelwirt offers travelers the opportunity to experience a modern interpretation of a traditional hiking lodge, in a setting that can only be called sublime.

Rooms start at €60 (approximately $75) for a standard double room.