48 Hours at Castel Fragsburg
"High above the wonderful thermal town Merano, there is a dazzling star...", this would be the perfect way of how to begin this South Tyrolean fairytale. Before we headed to Merano Wine Festival we checked-in at the world class Castel Fragsburg, a place which is only known to real insider of South Tyrol or hotel connoisseurs. Recently awarded with the fifth star, this is now one of only a handful five star hotels in the most wonderful region of Central Europe (well, not THE most wonderful but it definitely made it under the TOP5 ;-) ).
So upon driving a windy mountain road for nearly 10 minutes, we finally arrived at the gate to luxury: the entrance to the Castel Fragsburg - our autumn getaway and base for the most amazing weekend of the year! After entering the rustic door and the charming lobby we were greeted by Philip, the front desk attendant, who accompanied us to the restaurant. We were immediately offered a welcome drink, which we decided to take on the breath-taking terrace. Our server Karol was arriving with some fine finger food, a Venetiano and an excellent Rosé Sparkling wine from South Tyrol. What an excellent start in this weekend full of Italian Wine! Beside a picture perfect view, probably the best weather of the month and excellent service, there was just one thing missing: Mr. Beverage Executive, who is normally in charge of taking the best pictures of the best drinks! So I tried myself and am not sure if it was successful or not.
When we returned to the front desk, we were greeted by the PR Manager of the Fragsburg and afterwards Philip showed us to the room, or more correct, our Suite. With 90° panoramic views, this Suite is overlooking Merano, the valley, the Fragsburg plateau and the mountain range of the hotel on the back. Upon entering we immediately fell the smell of fresh alpine air and wood. It seems that they use a very special wood throughout the property, which gives a heartwarming and traditional smell. Even more important in our today's society: we felt like we are in South Tyrol, nowhere else! This is something I hate about big chains such as Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons or Sheraton: they rarely present the local tradition inside the hotel.
Our suite had a large entree, a living room with two comfortable lounge chairs, a big balcony with two chairs next to the living room, a separated toilet with bidet, a huge marble bathroom with double basins, bath tub and a spacious walk-in shower. The wardrobe is situated in the bedroom, which boasts an amazing panorama window with sweeping views over the valley. Beside the sofa, the television, which comes out of the commode upon clicking the remote control, there is another small balcony with seating arrangements.
The bathroom products were - unfortunately - Relais&Chateaux branded (they used to have Etro toiletries on the pictures on their homepage and I think since they have five-stars it's another reason to keep this standard). When I took a bath, I had to experience that it was the perfect size of bath tub and therefore very relaxing - a perfect option for everyone seeking for a kind of pool. The comfort of the suite was amazing. The beds are extremely heavenly, the living room is simply a place to dream and hide away, while the bath couldn't got larger to feel like at home!
Breakfast is served daily until 10.30 but when guests seat longer they keep the buffet until 10.45, which is kind of flexible as the service team has to prepare for lunch. On our first morning we got the upscale "Fragsburger Deluxe Breakfast", which is served in 5 or 6 courses and includes champagne and oysters - yes, it has its price at a surcharge of 18.00 euros per person in addition to the normal breakfast, which is normally included in the price. I would say that's the perfect start of a day when you celebrate something, because you don't have to leave the table - very relaxing. The products at breakfast were extremely good and they offer a wide range of their extensive breakfast and their breakfast menu.
I ordered myself the scrambled eggs with mushrooms and herbs from the hotel garden - a special creation by michelin chef Alois Haller: It was simply perfect! After experiencing the most extensive a la carte breakfast I have ever had on the first day, we had to be satisfied with just half the selection on the departure day (because we had to leave the Fragsburg at 8.00 am due to the tourism fair in Salzburg, Austria). The kind service attendant offered us an extensive selection at 7.30 am, but as you might guess, we were not in the mood for such a breakfast - not just because the great Open Day Party the night before (a review is coming soon for this amazing event) - it was simply too early for us.
Finally we had to say goodbye and Philip checked us out in a warm welcoming way, so that we are already planning for a glamorous return one day - maybe next year for the Merano Wine Festival 2015, but then with Mr. Beverage Executive!
It was the best weekend of 2014 so far and the funniest work experience for us, as Travel Bloggers, since it was the most welcoming hotel we have ever stayed at!
We would like to thank the Management of the Castel Fragsburg for the generous invitation to stay here for two nights during the Merano Wine Festival 2014. Furthermore we have to thank the whole team of specialists, which made us feel like staying at Northern Italy's Best Hotel! Congratulations!