A lovely drive along a narrow country lane, through mixed woodland and past Alpine pastures brings you to the east of Merano where Castel Fragsburg, 300 years old and a hotel for more than 100 years, commands splendid views of the Texel massif. Externally, Fragsburg still looks very much the hunting lodge, with carved wooden shutters and balconies. A terrace along the front of the house, covered with wistaria, is a wonderful place to eat or drink: you seem to be suspended over the mountainside. The adjoining dining room can be opened up in warm weather, and the food - a seven course dinner prepared by the Michelin-starred chef - is 'superb', says local editor Nicky Swallow, and served in a 'gorgeous dining room with great service'. In cooler weather you can choose from various Tyrolean-style sitting rooms and a congenial little library. Bathrooms are modern and spotless and bedrooms all have balconies, carved pine furniture and colourful country fabrics. A wellness centre has now been added to the sauna and gym in the old cellars. The wooded gardens provide plenty of space for lazing as well as a wooden shelter reserved for all-over suntanning. The pool has a stunning view over the valley. Delightful owners.