Passion. It’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of the Hotel Ambra Cortina. Passion certainly applies in the sense that most people would think about this time of year, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and this luxury boutique hotel is without a doubt perfect for couples. In fact, they have dubbed the month of February as the month of love.
There are hearts placed here and there around the hotel. Plus, For some reason I have yet to fully understand, even though the hotel was fully booked while we were there, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Hotel Ambra Cortina also has a few super cute romantic options like “Dinner under a blanket of stars”, which consists of dinner at the Ristorante Col Druscie which is at an altitude of 1778 meters. That altitude in itself is great for viewing the night sky on a clear night. But there is also an Astrological Observatory just a few feet from the restaurant, so if you book this option the expert guides will take you inside to explain. I mean what's more romantic than that!?!
But the word passion also extends to other facets of this hotel.
Enter Elisabetta Dotto, the locandiera/owner/general manager who purchased the hotel back in 2006. She truly loves this 24-room boutique hotel. Itis her passion. It gives her energy and vitality and she pours all of that good stuff back into this hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
I guess it makes sense for a woman who has spent almost her whole life in the hotel industry. Elisabetta's grandmother owned a hotel in her native town of Treviso. While she was still a very little girl her dad purchased a plot of land on the northern Adriatic coast. As Elisabetta tells it when the hotel first opened they didn’t have any baby cots, and so her mom put her in the bathtub and then tapped up the faucet just to be extra sure it didn’t leak and drown baby Elisabetta during the night. This lifetime in the industry is also visible in her modi, she is one of those people who can instantly make you feel welcomed and at home.
In fact, the lobby of Hotel Ambra Cortina has that feeling of home, like you just walked into her family room/living room/kitchen/bar. It’s cozy, complete with a few quirky touches that are too personal to ever be found in a chain hotel. At the bar, in the afternoon they set out homemade cakes and in the evenings you can find chips, nuts, and/or salatini (crispy flaky baked one bite treat with a variety of salty fillings ). Guests are more than welcome to grab a quick bite on their way in/out or they can sit down and order a drink at the bar.
Elisabetta’s presence is also visible in the physical aspect of the hotel. She’s a very elegant woman with her perfectly pressed hair, red painted nails, and a gold Rolex watch. This glitzy side of her being fits in perfectly with Cortina d’Ampezzo known for being a winter and summer destination for some of Italy’s richest families with its main streets which are lined with high-end stores like Salvatore Ferragamo and countless stores selling plush furs.
On that note, the rooms at Hotel Ambra are slightly different from one another sort of like the different outfits you could find Elisabetta wearing during the week (or when she changes for the evening). The room styles are divided into 5 macro categories: fashion, cinema, nature, theater and luxury roof.
Diego and I stayed in the luxury roof suite called Afrodite (Aphrodite). It was that perfect mix of what one would hope for in a modern mountain retreat: honey colored real wood paneling and wood floors, contrasting white and bright vaulted ceilings, a Jacuzzi tub and a few antlers here and there for good measure.
This last-minute invitation to stay at Hotel Ambra in Cortina d’Ampezzo came about a week before Diego’s birthday, so we planned it as a relaxing romantic birthday getaway. As such, in between the going around the village and participating in a few winter sports (which I’ll tell you all about in the next post), we also did a whole lot of nothing. We had a few long bubble baths, I napped warmly wrapped in the duck down duvet, we watched the snowfall over the city from our bedroom window.
We also ate a lot. (I’ll blame that on the cold weather.)
Being avid hotel breakfast connoisseurs the first day there, we moseyed on down to the breakfast area, to scope out our options. We had breakfast in bed/in the room the next morning. It was so cute, it was the first time Diego had ever order breakfast in his room.
They had all the trimmings one would hope for: a selection of local hams and cured meats, homemade cakes, cereals, croissants, jams, freshly made fruit salad, and a few gluten-free options, and perhaps most importantly to us the made to order free range eggs.
They were delicious!
From the taste and the bright orange color of the yolk, I could tell it wasn’t just that usual stuff you get at the supermarket (they tasted more like the ones my favorite farmer delivers to my house). They were a far cry from the yucky preblended egg liquid some hotels use for scrambled eggs. Diego also truly appreciated the freshly squeezed orange juice. We literally saw the lady in the kitchen cup a few oranges open to make it.
It’s these little touches that separate a comfortable stay from a great one. Elisabetta and the whole staff of Hotel Ambra obviously get that.
Hotel Ambra Cortina
Via XXIX Maggio, 28 – 32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL) – Italia
Tel. +39 0436 867344 – Fax +39 0436 879385
Photo credits. All the photos are mine, except for the image of Elisabetta in her fur coat.