27th July 2020
COVID Caring Hotel Lorenzetti in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
I have stayed at the Hotel Lorenzetti every year for many years. As soon as I could travel during the COVID-19 crisis I went back, curious to see the changes that had been made.
Italy was badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the first European country to close its borders. It was also the first to re-open its borders. Since the start of the pandemic, Italy has had safeguards in place so I felt confident about staying at the Hotel Lorenzetti. I was also curious to experience my first COVID-19 hotel. Hotel Lorenzetti is an excellent, Italian, family-run, four-star hotel. It is situated on the edge of Madonna di Campiglio a mountain resort in the region of Trentino and can only be described as excellent. It has maintained a reputation for great hospitality and superb cuisine for more than thirty years.
How the Hotel is Safeguarding Guests against COVID-19
I was already wearing a face mask as I approached the entrance of the hotel. I had travelled here by bus and the wearing of face masks on public transport is compulsory. A notice at the entrance informed me I had to put on a mask and to use the hand santiser gel before entering the premises. I followed these instructions and went inside.
My welcome from a masked receptionist behind a Perspex screen was as warm as ever. I was soon checked in and on my way to my room. After my long journey up the mountain, I was ready for some tea and cake. Hotel Lorenzetti provides afternoon snacks. After ordering some tea at the bar I collected a piece of cake from the table in reception. This was the first major change. On the table, there was a pile of plastic containers and a slice of cake inside each one. No jugs of fruit juice and large bottles of water but instead small, individual bottles of fruit juice and water.
I put on my mask before going down to dinner in the hotel’s large elegant restaurant. There are several notices in the hotel advising clients they must wear masks when moving around the hotel. I soon got into the habit of hanging my mask on the inside door handle so I would remember to put it on every time I left my room. I used the hand sanitiser gel before entering the lift and again before entering the restaurant, as requested. The restaurant is as grand as ever but the tables have been spaced out to allow social distancing. All the staff are wearing face masks. There is no salad and cheese buffet. Apart from these changes dinner was served as impeccably as ever.
The menu changes every night and the food is excellent. Especially their speciality desserts. The hotel has retained their tradition of serving little biscuits at the end of the meal but these now come in small containers, not on a plate. Guests can take their masks off as soon as they are seated at the table but are requested to put them on when moving around the restaurant.
Breakfast the next morning was a very different experience. There is still a breakfast buffet but every item has been put in a paper bag or a small container. The rolls and croissants are in baskets each with an example of the contents of the paper bags in a container with a transparent lid. Portions of cereal have been set out in bowls topped with a plastic lid and next to each a small container of milk. Small portions of different fruits in little glass bowls are stacked up, each with a plastic lid. There are slices of cake, ham and cheese each in its own plastic container. Hard-boiled eggs, each with a sachet of salt and individual portions of butter.
The preparation is meticulous and every need has been catered for. There are large bowls of fresh fruit and menus on the table suggesting guests might like to order some cooked items. Hot drinks are ordered from the waiters but cold drinks are in individual bottles on the buffet. It is impressive. Guests are requested to wear their face masks while selecting items from the buffet.
The Location and Facilities of the Hotel Lorenzetti
Hotel Lorenzetti is on the outskirts of the town overlooking the stunning Brenta Dolomites. There are many areas in the hotel that maximise the views of these spectacular mountains. They overlook its sun terrace and guests can watch the amazing pink sunsets from the balcony outside the bar. A twenty-our hour shuttle bus is available to take guests into the centre of Madonna di Campiglio unless they prefer to take the twenty-minute walk. Face masks must be worn in the shuttle bus.
The hotel is not purpose-built and offers a range of rooms from luxurious suites to small standard rooms. All the rooms are comfortable and impeccably clean with en suite facilities, television, telephone, fridge and free WiFi. A large bar area and lounge are decorated with carved wooden panelling and plush armchairs. The ideal place to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif or a mid-morning coffee while digesting the daily news. Now, there are fewer tables and chairs and guests are encouraged not to linger too long and to use the terraces outside. The Well-Being Centre features a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath. There are restrictions on the number of guests using the pool at any one time and the length of their stay in the pool. Massages and beauty treatments are still available subject to the wearing of a mask and protective clothing. For the more active guests, there is a gym extension. After a swim or a treatment guests can relax on the sun terrace outside this centre, on sunbeds spaced out for social distancing.
Both summer and winter Madonna di Campiglio has plenty to offer its visitors. Walkers of every standard and cyclists will be delighted by the large variety of well-maintained paths threading their way through the Dolomite mountains. Mountain restaurants serve traditional cuisine. Currently, measures have been taken to ensure safety and social distancing in these establishments. Fencing surrounds some of them to direct clients to the entrance and control the numbers on the premises. The best way to enjoy all the activities available during the summer is through the purchase of a Dolomeet Card. This card offers unlimited access to the cabin lifts and some shuttle buses that transport visitors to local beauty spots. The card is available online and transfers and other activities (there is a big choice) must be booked online to limit numbers. In the winter well-groomed slopes, accessed by modern chair lifts, weave their way down the forest-clad slopes. The Hotel Lorenzetti is a wonderful place to spend some time both summer and winter.
Valery Collins is the Experienced Traveller
An excellent raconteur, Valery has been writing about her experiences on the road since she started travelling 25 years ago. After publishing 4 books she turned to online travel writing and photography. Today she is editor, features’ writer and reviewer for ExperiencedTraveller.com and regularly contributes guided city walks to GPSmyCity.com