Sitting on a mountaintop in Cortina d’Ampezzo surrounded by the Italian Dolomites, Cristallo Resort & Spa is a place where posh travelers have gone to see and be seen ever since the property’s original opening in 1901.
Having hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Olympic athletes, and other celebs, there is no question that Cristallo offers its guests an upscale experience as the only luxury property in the Italian Dolomites. Keeping in line with that chic reputation, Cristallo recently underwent a refurbishing process and reemerged last year as a new member of Marriott’s The Luxury Collection. While the property undergoes some touch ups every time it closes during off-season (two months in both spring and fall), last year’s makeover elevated all areas of the resort, including the public spaces and the 74 guestrooms of which 22 are suites featuring interconnected rooms well-suited for multigenerational family travel. With each update, the property stays true to its Art Nouveau origins while also blending a traditional chalet style with touches of contemporary design and decor.
“On one side we have The Luxury Collection, which is a great brand within Marriott that allows us to have this kind of authenticity. We can maintain the unique history [of the property],” says Federica Bandini, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. “On the other side, we have the private owners who do invest a lot of money and you can see this in all the little touches.”
These touches of authenticity include hand-painted details on the walls and ceilings, black-and-white photos showcasing the property’s earlier days of operation, and the unique culture of its town, Cortina d’ Ampezzo.
“Being in Europe, you get the full experience. It’s not only about skiing in the winter or active holidays in the summer, you really get to know the culture,” Bandini says. “All the influences from Austria and southern Germany are still very present and you feel it in the culture and in the cuisine. We have a very special cuisine.”
Guests can experience this cuisine at one of the three onsite restaurants, which includes an intimate venue with only four tables that opens only during the winter months. Guests can also opt for a private Chef’s Table experience. In addition to its unique cuisine, the resort also features a complimentary kids’ club, a gym, a salon, a spa with eight treatment rooms, and a health coach program that can combine these different offerings to create a customized wellbeing vacation package for guests.
So what type of traveler is heading to Cristallo? Bandini says the demographics are very mixed as the property offers services and activities for guests of all ages, but Cristallo’s romantic setting is especially popular for honeymooners and couples in general. In addition, while Cristallo is especially known for its wintertime offerings like skiing in the Dolomites, its other opportunities for outdoor adventuring draw in many American travelers during the summer. According to Bandini, American travelers are the second biggest market for summer travel with 25 percent of visitors hailing from the U.S. These visitors tend to be from the East Coast of the country, but Bandini also notes that the resort is growing in popularity among travelers from other parts of the U.S. as well.
For more information, visit marriott.com.
Paloma Villaverde de Rico contributed to this article.