Around 1,320 metres above sea level, high on a mountain side above the Isarco valley, in South Tyrol, is the stunning location of Pension Briol. Accessible only on foot or in a special four wheel drive taxi, most guests will drop off their baggage with the taxi driver and take the hour long walk or hike up the mountain. Marking the edge of the inhabited world, are the small Dreikirchen church and the guest house of the same name, beyond which there are only forests, ferns, babbling brooks and meadows, until around a sharp bend in the road, you see Pension Briol come into view.
Commissioned in 1928, the architect and painter Hubert Lanzinger designed Briol in a simple Bauhaus style, with loggia type balconies and views out over the greenery and the valley in the distance. The salon with its traditional stove is on the ground floor next to the cosy, wood panelled dining room. Also designed by Lanzinger, the simple yet ingenious wooden chairs are still in use after almost a hundred years. Upstairs, most of the bedrooms have their own balcony, where the sunlight streams in all day, the white walls, with a just a hint of yellow around the windows, and simple wooden furnishings, are almost Spartan. There are no curtains at the windows, no TV, internet, or telephone, or even central heating in the bedrooms (although there are hot water bottles for in the bed) and the bathroom is in the corridor. If you crave an even more restful stay, situated slightly further down the mountain there is also a separate annex and a villa, where the style and taste of the dÃ©cor is consistent with the main building. Everyone comes and sits outside when the weather is good, on the terrace, around the unique swimming pool (built in 1928), or simply on the grass where every day the white washing hangs to dry, fluttering in the breeze. There are plans afoot for the hotel; as well as the famous architect Peter Zumthor who wants to build a unique tree house here, Johanna wants to extend the hotel even further, by using other houses on the mountain, and she also has intentions to open a cookery school to teach people how to bake bread.
If you love the concept of staying in remote places, stay tuned because we are launching soon our website about Remote Hotels. Perfect for when you have the need to get off the map and be away from it all.