To find the Ansitz Fonteklaus, you’ll have to turn off your GPS and follow the directions on the website. Upon arrival, you will be pleasantly surprised: the Ansitz Fonteklaus is a grand 13thC former manor house that sits proudly at 900m above sea level in the picturesque Isarco valley in South Tyrol.
Brothers Arnold and Andreas Gfader have run the Ansitz Fonteklaus since 1979. Andreas, who is the head chef, serves local Tyrolean dishes such as speck alto adige served with quark and south Tyrolean bauerntoast. The wine cellar is teeming with local and international labels, and Heinz, who speaks excellent English, is a qualified sommelier.
The Fonteklaus has ten bedrooms, each furnished with traditional Alpine styling. The views from the forward-facing rooms and the terrace stretch as far as the Dolomites. The hotel also has a chlorine-free, natural spring water swimming pool.
The location of the hotel makes it an ideal base for Alpine hiking and biking. If walking and cycling aren’t for you, then don’t be put off: the Isarco valley still has plenty to offer. The pretty medieval town of Chiusa - known locally as the artist’s town - is just 3.5km away, and has a charming selection of galleries, shops and cafés. The city of Merano is also a short drive away, and because of its unique geographical position, boasts many natural hot spring and spa therapies and treatment centres.