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Trying to pinpoint where to stay in the Dolomites as you explore one of Europe’s most captivating mountain ranges? Situated in Northeastern Italy, the Dolomites make up part of the Southern Limestone Alps and the more extensive European Alps.
The Italian Dolomites have always been a popular destination which means the variety of accommodation options is massive these days. A wealth of luxury hotels, gorgeous chalets, environmentally-focused eco-resorts, and quaint mountain huts (or rifugi) are just some of the options that await.
There’s no better time to start planning your trip to Italy. And with this ultimate accommodation and area guide, you’re sure to find a stay in the Dolomites with ease.
Main Areas of the Dolomites
Nestled between the River Adige to the west and the Piave Valley to the east, the Dolomites’ northern border fringes the Puster Valley, while to the south lies the Sugana Valley. Characterized by jagged peaks and breathtaking valleys, this large mountain region holds a collection of standout areas. Below are some of the main areas to keep in mind.
- Cortina d’Ampezzo: The Alpine town of Cortina d’Ampezzo is among the most popular places to stay in the Dolomites. Centrally located, its surrounding mountains offer unparalleled skiing, snowboarding, and hiking adventures.
- Val Gardena: Situated in South Tyrol, Val Gardena encompasses the entire region starting from the Gardena Pass through the Sella Pass and ending in Valle Isarco. A hotspot during summer, with many inviting villages dotting its landscapes.
- Alta Badia: Few spots in the Dolomites can compare to the level of luxury that Alta Badia offers. Located between several nature parks, it is highlighted by various Michelin-starred restaurants and numerous wellness hotels.
- Alta Pusteria: The gateway to the Northern Sexten and Northern Braies Dolomites, Alta Pusteria sits as the highest valley of Val Pusteria in South Tyrol. Thanks to its many outdoor attractions, it’s an ideal spot for families looking to explore the outdoors.
- Alpe di Siusi: The largest mountain pasture in Europe, Alpe di Siusi stretches between the Sassolungo and Sciliar Groups. Its high perch offers the perfect locale for a secluded getaway from the crowds, surrounded by captivating mountain views.
Blessed by a dramatic setting nestled in the Ampezzo Valley in Belluno, Cortina d’Ampezzo is hands down one of the most picturesque towns in the Dolomites, two hours from Venice.
Courtesy of its very central location, some of the area’s most beloved attractions are just a short drive away. Lago Federa is accessible with a quick 20-minute drive, while Lago di Sorapis is about 25 minutes away. Venturing a bit further from town, showstopping highlights such as Cinque Torri, Mondeval Plateau, and Lago di Braies mean an hour’s drive at most.
As for what to expect as you explore Cortina d’Ampezzo, there are countless activities dependent on the season. Winters here boast some of the ultimate skiing experiences you’ll find in Italy, with 140 ski runs surrounding the town. Summers, on the other hand, boast incredible mountain tours, hiking trails, and mountain biking loops just waiting to be explored.
Outdoor excursions aside, Cortina d’Ampezzo triumphs with a variety of must-visit cultural and historical sites. Visit the Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum, then head for Roman Catholic Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo.
This is an idyllic and lively town with a definitive luxurious flair to it, which means that Cortina d’Ampezzo leans to the more expensive side. Its vibrant showcase of top-tier restaurants, high-end boutique stores, and annual events easily make it one of the best towns in the Dolomites.
Luxury – Hotel de LEN
Situated right in the heart of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Hotel de LEN offers only the highest level of opulence and is within walking distance of the town’s top attractions. Its tastefully decorated guest rooms come with a range of high-end furnishings, while on-site, the property boasts a sauna, a hot tub, a solarium, and a daily buffet breakfast included in your rate >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo
Although housed within a historic building, the Grand Hotel Savoia, part of the Radisson Hotel Group, delivers affordable luxury in a glamorous way. Set within the town center, the interiors are modern and refreshing, with an on-site restaurant, attentive concierge, and a range of facilities, including a spa, indoor swimming pool, and bar >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Baita Fraina
For something on the more intimate side, book a stay at Baita Fraina, a welcoming little boutique B&B. Offering just six spacious, comfortable rooms, this spot sits a short five-minute walk from the heart of Cortina d’Ampezzo >> Check Rates and Availability.
A striking and vast valley connected by the eye-catching vistas of the Gardena Pass and the Sella Pass. Val Gardena is, without a doubt, the ultimate summer vacation destination in the Dolomites. Compared to other Dolomite regions, summers in Val Gardena usually last until mid or even late-October.
Known for its panoramic views and stunning encircling mountain peaks, the Val Gardena Valley is in between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Bolzano. When heading for the valley, the closest major city is Bolzano, which should take about 50 minutes to reach. Villages you have to visit are Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva di Val Gardena.
Ortisei reigns supreme if you’re after a convenient trip, thanks to its superb accessibility. From its town center, it’s easy to hop on the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cableway for visits to the Seceda ridgeline, the Resciesa funicular, and the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi RopewayGondola.
While in town, there are a variety of restaurants, cafés, and wine bars with menus that boast the best in local cuisine and wine.
Santa Cristina is where to stay in the Dolomites if a quieter and more relaxed vacation is on your agenda. Its village center and the Praplan car park make reaching the Alpine pasture huts of Baita Gamsblut and Baita Sëurasas an easy affair.
Finally, there’s the village of Selva di Val Gardena, between Sassolungo and the Puez-Odle Groups, nestled against the foot of the flat-topped Sella Massif. If you consider yourself among the many summer hiking enthusiasts, you’ll adore this town with the Alpe di Siusi and Val di Funes valleys close by.
Luxury – Hotel Angelo Engel
Seated directly in the town center of Ortisei, Hotel Angelo Engel is so much more than just an overnight stay. You’ll have access to a range of wellness amenities in the in-house wellness center, stylish rooms that feature balconies facing the nearby mountains, and complimentary hiking and skiing excursions >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Linder Cycling Hotel
A property that stands out with bold architecture, various urban accents, and a relaxed atmosphere, the Linder Cycling Hotel in Selva di Val Gardena is a must-stay. Its modern rooms come packed with modern amenities, while on-site, you’ll have access to a stunning rooftop terrace, indoor pool, and the tantalizing à la carte Luis Eatery restaurant >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Casa al Sole
Casa al Sole is perfectly suited to a tighter budget. It’s a freshly renovated and vibrant B&B in Ortisei located just a short walk from the Seceda cableway and Rasciesa funicular. Guest rooms display a minimalist design and a range of amenities, such as complimentary WiFi >> Check Rates and Availability.
A stay in the Dolomites is all about summer hiking and winter skiing through hills overlooking the finest ski resorts the region has to offer. As such, Alta Badia, about an hour and a half from Balzano, is an ideal destination.
It’s also super convenient to reach Alta Badia with the Gardena Pass, from Val Gardena, the Sella Pass, from Val di Fassa, and the Falzarego Pass, from Cortina d’Ampezzo in the north leading here.
A relatively short jaunt through the region will get you to either the Puez-Odle Nature Park, the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park, or Lago di Braies, about an hour’s drive. However, if you want to get to the outer edges of the Dolomites, Alpe di Siusi and Tre Cime di Lavaredo will mean driving for roughly two hours.
Some call Alta Badia the heart of the Dolomites. Its breathtaking alpine landscapes, cute villages, the highest concentration of award-winning restaurants, and Ladin heritage testify to this. Although there are a handful of towns to choose from, the surefire standouts are Corvara, Badia, La Villa, and San Cassiano.
Home to the region’s top summer hiking spots, including the Burning Dolomites Trail, the Lake Pisciadù, and Cima Pisciadù treks, Alta Badia is a hiker’s heaven.
The biggest draw here during its winter season is the nearly limitless world-class skiing potential, thanks to Alta Badia forming part of the Dolomiti Superski region. This means numerous ski lifts and ski runs for every level of skier.
Cementing its seat in Northern Italy, Alta Badia is also a culinary masterclass. Food connoisseurs and those looking to indulge in the best regional cuisine will find a favorite in a heartbeat. Expect Michelin-starred menus that blend together Italian, Austrian, and Ladin elements.
Luxury – Hotel La Perla
Luxurious Dolomite accommodation finds a home at Hotel La Perla located in Corvara near the Dolomiti Superski. It showcases comfortable rooms that come packed with ritzy amenities. Most rooms feature private balconies offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks. In peak season, there is a minimum stay of six nights >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Hotel Melodia del Bosco
This family-run hotel situated in Badia has recently undergone a complete renovation and is now undeniably one of the best mid-range hotels in the Dolomites. Beyond the Hotel Melodia’s well-appointed rooms, you can unwind in the expansive spa, which includes a Finnish sauna, Alpine herbs sauna, relaxation area, and steam sauna >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Hotel Rezia
Situated a short 10-minute walk from the La Villa ski lifts and ski slopes, the Hotel Rezia is an ideal budget-friendly choice for a stay in the Dolomites. Courtesy of its location away from the town center, it offers a quiet, more secluded atmosphere, although there is a free ski shuttle service >> Check Rates and Availability.
Locally known as the Land of Three Peaks, Alta Pusteria dominates as the highest valley of the Val Pusteria in South Tyrol. It’s most popular thanks to the access the valley provides to many of the most captivating peaks in the Dolomites region, which makes it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
As the valley extends from Brixen through to Austria, the closest major cities are Bolzano, which is a 45-minute drive away, and Innsbruck, Austria, an hour and a half away. Its central location for both summer and wintertime adventures makes it a must-visit during your stay in the Dolomites.
A highlight of Alta Pusteria to add to your Italy itinerary is ascending Tre Cime di Lavaredo (the famous three peaks). Luckily, the easiest way to do so is by driving the Rifugio Auronzo toll road. Of course, other noteworthy stops include Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, and its summit walk to Monte Specie.
But it wouldn’t be one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites without a number of gorgeous villages. While you venture through Alta Pusteria, be sure to add pit stops at Villabassa, Dobbiaco, San Candido, Braies, Bressanone, and Brunico. Val Pusteria is also renowned for the many castles that span its landscapes, with many representing much of the region’s heritage.
Be sure to visit icons such as Tures Castle, sitting high above Campo Tures, surrounded by the mountains of Valle di Tures. Then head to Brunico Castle. This castle sits in Val Pusteria’s heart and is an official Messner Mountain Museum.
Finally, explore Heinfels Castle with its impressive views of the valley towards the Eastern Tyrol border.
Luxury – Chalet Toblacher See
As far as luxury hotels in the Dolomites go, Chalet Toblacher See knows no equal. Its Dobbiaco lakeside setting is beyond compare, while attention to detail stands out in touches such as breakfast hampers delivered to your chalet daily. Each chalet comes with a terrace providing stunning mountain views and the perfect spot to unwind >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Romantik Hotel Santer
With its glamorous views of the Val Pusteria Valley, the Romantik Hotel Santer surpasses other mid-range Dolomites hotels with spacious rooms and a massive offering of amenities. Leisure facilities include a wellness center, an indoor heated pool, a solarium, and several saunas >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – Berggasthaus Agritur Moserhof
Offering a traditional and suitably cozy farm stay, Berggasthaus Agritur Moserhof is a fantastic option that won’t break the bank. Included in your room rate is a daily breakfast buffet and nightly dinner, while convenience is king thanks to the valley being only a five-minute drive away, while Lake Braies sits just 10 minutes away >> Check Rates and Availability.
Alpe di Siusi
The largest high-altitude Alpine meadow in Europe, Alpe di Siusi, is a jaw-dropping option for where to stay in the Dolomites. Its rolling plateau stretches between the famous peaks of Sassolungo, Sassopiatto, and Schlern high above the Gardena Valley in South Tyrol, offering some of the most mesmerizing views around.
Nestled in between Bolzano and Val Gardena, the nearest major city, Bolzano, is a 45 minutes drive away. Alpe di Siusi’s main towns of Compaccio and Saltria are a must-visit. If you’re visiting during summer, take note that the sunrise is around 5:15 am, and booking a stay on the plateau is the ideal way to ensure a front-row seat.
Keeping that in mind, summers spent in Alpe di Siusi mean partaking in some of the top hiking excursions the Dolomites have to offer, the day hike to Bullacia being a standout.
Be sure to bring your camera for some snapshots at the swing at Sanon Hut. When winter comes, its landscapes become the best in the area for cross-country skiing, toboggan rides, and snow-shoeing.
Accommodation in Alpe di Siusi is varied, from uber-luxe hotels to wellness-focused boutique hotels. There’s plenty to choose from, but be prepared to splurge a bit, as most properties in the region are quite expensive. Prices compared to Val Gardena, which is conveniently accessed via cable car to Ortisei, are roughly equal.
Luxury – Sporthotel Sonne
If experiencing the most glorious sunrises in Northern Italy while you stay in the Dolomites is at the top of your itinerary, the Sporthotel Sonne is a surefire choice. Its position on the plateau means near-ethereal photography opportunities, while its amenities go above and beyond. On-site is a wellness center where the crown jewel is the Sassolungo-facing infinity pool >> Check Rates and Availability.
Mid-Range – Brunelle Seiser Alm Lodge
This one-of-a-kind sanctuary in the foothills of the Sassolungo and Sassopiatto mountains offers a rustic yet modern range of accommodations. The Brunelle Seiser Alm Lodge focuses on comfort, while in-house services include the arrangement of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking >> Check Rates and Availability.
Budget – ICARO Hotel
Situated in the heart of the Alpe di Siusi ski area, the ICARO Hotel delivers an excellent location and affordable luxury conveniences. It’s one of the finest hotels on the plateau, and room balconies take full advantage of the surrounding views. On-site is a fantastic restaurant specializing in delectable Italian and Tyrolean cuisine >> Check Rates and Availability.
Other Dolomites Areas to Consider
Below are some other options for where to stay in the Dolomites and why they’re equally as awe-inspiring.
Val di Funes
Val di Funes in South Tyrol is an excellent choice for those looking for a romantic getaway or picturesque landscapes. The alpine pasture huts of the area offer a rustic look to the area.
Visit Santa Maddalena for some of the most ethereal sunsets in the Dolomites, or for a more cultural experience, visit the Church of St. John (St. Johann) in Ranui. Finish off with a scenic drive through Passo delle Erbe that connects Brixen with San Martin de Tor.
Located between the Catinaccio and Latemar massifs, Val d’Ega in South Tyrol branches from Eisacktal at Bolzano to Val di Fassa. While many come for the Via Ferrata hikes, the jewel of Val d’Ega is Lago di Carezza.
This emerald lake boasts some of the most photogenic locations in the Dolomites, and thousands flock here to fill their camera rolls. Spend a few nights here to explore the natural elegance of the Latemar and Catinaccio mountains.
San Martino di Castrozza
The resort town of San Martino di Castrozza is a show-stopping Dolomites attraction. Located in the Primiero Valley in Trentino, it’s framed by the Pale di San Martino and Lagorai mountain ranges.
Drive along the historic Passo Rolle that connects the Flemme and Primiero valleys, visit Baita Segantini to explore a genuine alpine pasture hut, and indulge in a hike into the Altopiano delle Pale di San Martino mountains. On lazy days, head out to the stunning Val Venegia and Val Canali.
Tips for Staying in The Dolomites
Here are some of the most valuable insider tips to make your stay in the Dolomites a memorable one:
- Most accommodations in the Dolomites require a minimum stay of between two and four nights. Bookings for fewer nights are very rare but possible in some areas.
- Should you not stay in a village or town, choose a property that offers meal inclusions or, at the very least, half-board options.
- Before preparing for some rest and relaxation in your chosen property’s spa and wellness center, be sure to check if access to these facilities is included in your price. Some hotels do not include this as a standard addition.
- Keep in mind that a majority of locations, attractions, and even accommodations in the Dolomites have various names. These are often in either Austrian, German, or Italian and can be confusing if you’re not aware of this before you head out. For example, Ortisei is Italian, while some call it St Ulrich, which is its German name.
Wrapping up Where Stay in the Dolomites
Most of the fun of any trip to the Dolomites comes down to exploring the many distinct areas that make up this Northern Italian jewel. Each delivers a different touch of excitement and various attractions that make choosing just one almost impossible.
While some areas are more expensive, there are options for every budget throughout, and you’ll find each a worthwhile choice. Whether you want a family-focused vacation or a secluded mountain escape, the Dolomites have something for every need.
You’ll need a car to get around this vast area. So have a look at this handy guide on renting a car in Italy for some essential tips.