The Perfect Ski Day – Hotel Leitlhof, Dolomites, South Tyrol

I wake up without an alarm clock as a ray of sunlight tickles my nose. A beautiful day greets me as I pull back the curtains. The fresh snow glistens in the sun, the pretty houses and the Innichen church spire create the picture of a perfect mountain hamlet. My heart skips a beat I feel so happy. This is going to be the perfect day, I just know it. I am excited about skiing in the Sextner Dolomites ski region today, and then almost a little bit more excited about what awaits me after…

I’m staying at the eco-hotel Leitlhof in Innichen in the Pusteria Valley in South Tyrol. The Leitlhof is a carbon neutral hotel that sets itself apart by demonstrating sustainable practices throughout all of their hotel operation.


Check out my perfect ski day and get inspired!

8h30 – Breakfast fit for a king

The breakfast buffet leaves nothing to be desired, an array of delicousness. I order fresh Italian coffee and enjoy the vast variety of food on offer: cereals, fresh fruit, eggs in every possible shape and form (omelets, fried, poached) – but nothing beats the freshly baked bread that’s made on the premises every morning. The honey I smear on my bread comes from a local beekeeper; in fact most of the produce and ingredients are locally sourced. This avoids long food delivery journeys and high quality standards are guaranteed. A truly sustainable start to my day!

9h – Shuttle service to the ski lifts

Who doesn’t know and loathe the pain of clambering for a parking spot as close to the ski lift as possible? Awful. I am leaving my car safely parked in the Leitlhof garage and hop on the free shuttle the hotel provides. It takes me straight to the Haunold and Helm ski lifts. In the spirit of being carbon neutral, the Leitlhof also offers a free Mobile Dolomites Pass, which allows me to travel for free on busses, local trains and ski busses in the entire South Tyrol region.


Morning – Ready, Set, Snow!

Queuing for hours for a ski pass? Not me. I bought my ski pass from the lovely Dietmar Walder at the Leitlhof reception so I can get straight from the shuttle onto the slopes. At 1.125m altitude the Pusteria Valley is guaranteed to have sufficient snow to explore the 31 lifts and offers ski runs for every level. What is more exhilarating than cruising down perfectly prepped pistes in the sun with a view of the stunning Dolomite Mountains?

skifahrer jump

12h30 „Skigaudi“ South Tyrolian style

There are several huts (Skihütten) in the Sextner Dolomite ski region that offer a real South Tyrolian experience: typical regional food delicacies, sunny terraces to relax on from an arduous morning skiing, and the kids are happy playing on the play grounds (the Rotwandwiesenhütte even has a petting zoo). A hearty „Tyroler Jause“ (a platter with local meats, cheeses and bread) restores my energy levels and prepares me for a few more runs this afternoon.


13:30h More skiing!

I just can’t get enough, it’s so much fun! Tomorrow, when my bones are inevitably sore, I can always go snowshoe hiking or cross country skiing.

ski wandern drei zinnen

15h Shuttle back to the hotel

I am being picked up again and brought back to the Leitlhof. The green hotel is situated slightly elevated from the village right by the edge of the forest with a view of Innichen and the panoramic Dolomite Mountains. Dietmar Walder greets me with a smile and asks about my adventures. They really make you feel at home here.

15h30 Hot, hot, hot – Sauna in the snow!

I’m so excited about what’s next on my “perfect day” schedule: the spa! Exactly what my tired legs need right now. I’m warming up in the fragrant birch and Swiss stone pine sauna that’s situated in the garden, with a breathtaking view of the Dolomites.


19h A culinary experience fit for an emperor

It’s a sustainable dream: the herbs have been plucked from the hotel herb garden, the lamb is from the hotel’s own breed. Fruits and vegetables are organic and gluten free and vegan items are available on request, too. I savor the local specialties with a delicious glass of red wine I carefully selected from the wine cellar with the help of a very knowledgeable sommelier.


20h Night Sledging

A special treat for after dinner: it’s a full moon and I’m going sledging at night. There are numerous sledging runs around Innichen and the conservation area „Drei Zinnen“. Today we are sledging on the house mountain, the Haunold. Even though we race downhill pretty fast, seeing the trees lit up by moonlight is pretty special.

22h30 Falling into bed – happy and exhausted

You know that feeling when you’re completely exhausted but in a good way, because you spent time outdoors, exercised and treated yourself with some spa time? To fall into a soft, warm bed and resting my tired head on the pillow, I immediately drift into a restful sleep, and that’s just the perfect ending to the perfect day.

Thank you Leitlhof!