With its generous 3/4 board offering (breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner are included in the room rate), family-friendly as well as adults-only spa, and the most picturesque infinity pool in the Dolomites, this luxury hotel is a great option for a summer, autumn, or winter holiday in the Italian Alps.
If you visit between June and October, Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort serves as an excellent base for hiking and biking in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you visit between December and March, this ski-in & ski-out hotel offers direct access to the Plan de Corones/Kronplatz ski area.
During your stay, you can partake in a range of complimentary activities and excursions, including yoga, guided hikes (winter and summer), archery and climbing wall for kids, and more.
Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort: Ski-in Ski-out Hotel in San Vigilio, Italy: Hotel Review
- Where: San Vigilio, South Tyrol, Italy
- Number of Rooms: 36 Rooms and Suites
- Dining: 3/4 board included in room rate
- Hotel Facilities: Cocktail bar, adults-only sky spa with infinity pool, family-friendly spa, bike storage room, ski room with lockers, children’s playroom, and children’s climbing wall.
- Room Amenities: Nespresso machine (extra change), electric kettle and tea (complimentary), mini fridge, safe, TV, and hiking backpack.
- Summer Perks: HolidayPass (free local transit), bike storage room, guided hikes
- Winter Perks: Ski-in & ski-out hotel in Plan de Corones/Kronplatz ski area, ski lockers, guided ski safari, guided winter/snow shoe hikes
- Parking: Free garage parking
- Kids: This is a family-friendly hotel
- Closest Airports: Bolzano Airport (BZO) and Innsbruck Airport (INN).
- Where to Book: Booking.com
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Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort is located in San Vigilio/St. Vigil, a village in Val di Marebbe/Val de Mareo, which is a side valley of Val Badia.
Val Badia is the Dolomites valley that runs between Val Pusteria and Passo Gardena and Passo Valparola. The upper part of Val Badia is branded as Alta Badia (holiday region/ski area), whereas the lower part of Val Badia forms part of the Plan de Corones/Kronplatz holiday region.
Plan de Corones/Kronplatz comprises the Val Badia villages of San Vigilio, La Pli, Rina, San Martin, Antermoia, and Longiarù.
San Vigilio/St. Vigil is the gateway to the striking Val di Tamersc (Valle di Rudo in Italian, Rautal in German), which leads into the heart of Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park. Pederü is the starting point for hikes to Rifugio Fanes, Rifugio Lavarella, Rifugio Sennes, and Rifugio Fodara Vedla. During our stay in Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort, we hiked from Pederü to Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella.
If you visit in summer, or fall (June – late October), the hiking options are endless in and around San Vigilio. We suggest:
- Sass de Putia circuit trail, starting at Passo delle Erbe
- Ütia Ciampcios – Kreuzjoch Circuit Trail in Puez-Odle Nature Park, starting near Longiarù
- Monte Pares, starting in Ciurnadù near La Val
- Armentara Meadows, starting in Bada, Alta Badia
- Pederü to Rifugio Fanes, starting near San Vigilio
In winter (December – early April), San Vigilio/St. Vigil lies within the Plan de Corones/Kronplatz ski area (120 km/74 miles of ski runs), which is part of the Dolomiti Superski Network.
Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort spans three buildings: (1) Dolomites Lodge, (2) Castello Excelsior, and (3) Residence Excelsior.
The buildings are linked together by an underground corridor.
The property is continuously being updated and renovated. In April 2024, the whole Dolomites Family Spa, the restaurant and buffet, 4 rooms, and 2 suites will be renovated.
Before our stay, we were emailed a Pre-Check-in form as well as helpful information for our stay. They ask guests to communicate any food allergies and/or special requests in advance.
You can also inform the hotel of your sleeping style and they’ll prepare the perfect mattress for you.
Furthermore, you can purchase special Excelsior packages (e.g. room arrival packages, birthday cakes, flower arrangements, romantic arrangements, picnic sets, and more).
When we checked-in, we were given a short tour of the hotel on the way to our room.
There are several different categories of rooms spanning from traditional double rooms to modern, freshly-designed suites.
We stayed in a 37 m2 suite with a private balcony, hardwood floors, wood paneling, a plush chaise lounge and coffee table, plentiful and functional closet space, and a large bathroom.
Our room was extremely quiet and comfortable.
In the dresser, there’s a Nespresso machine with a dozen capsules (extra charge), an electric kettle with a generous assortment of teas (complimentary), and a mini fridge stocked with juice (extra charge).
Wellness and Spa
The wellness and spa area is located in two main areas of the hotel.
The adults-only Sky Spa is located on the third floor of the Dolomites Lodge, whereas the family spa and treatment spa area is located in the lower level of the Castello Excelsior. There’s a long corridor that connects the two buildings.
The benefit of the disjointed wellness area is that the adults-only space is far away from the “louder” family-friendly wellness space. The disadvantage is that there are more saunas in the family-friendly space than in the Sky Spa. So, if you want to use a steam sauna, for example, you have to walk all the way to the family spa.
Adults-Only Sky Spa
This is where you’ll find the cinematic infinity pool that overlooks St. Vigil and the Dolomites mountains.
The Sky Spa is the newest addition to the wellness area. It’s a gorgeous space with a large relaxation area with cuddle boxes and lounge chairs, an outdoor terrace, a tea and snack bar (with nuts and dried fruits), a large Finnish sauna (textile-free), showers, and two 2-person infrared saunas.
The only thing that the Sky Spa is missing is a steam sauna.
There are daily infusions in the Finnish sauna.
The Family Spa occupies the lower levels of the Castello Excelsior building. Most of the space is dedicated to families with children, with the exception of two adults-only saunas (1 steam and 1 Finnish).
Compared to the Sky Spa, this whole area is quite dated and in need of renovation. Fortunately, the family spa will be renovated in April 2024.
There’s an outdoor whirlpool and indoor pool for families, tepidarium, finnish sauna, sanarium, Kneipp pool, bio herbal sauna, sole inhalation grotto, and larch sauna. There are also relaxation rooms here as well.
Dining at Excelsior
All guests receive 3/4 board as part of their stay, which includes breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner.
The hotel can accommodate all dietary restrictions, special requests, and allergies (surcharge may apply).
Dining seats are assigned. You’ll eat breakfast and dinner at the same table during your whole stay.
The breakfast buffet is supplemented with a made-to-order menu featuring egg dishes, crepes, fruit shakes, and more.
Coffee is served to the table. Tea (loose leaf and tea bags) is available at the buffet.
A light lunch buffet is laid out between 12:30 pm and 2 pm. It comprises a daily soup, salads, and warm dishes (including a vegetarian dish).
Water is freely available. You can also order drinks, but there’s no pressure to do so.
Afternoon Snack / Teatime
Between 2:30 pm and 5 pm, you can help yourself to a selection of sweet and savory snacks at the buffet. Tea and water are complimentary.
We were very impressed by the smoothness of the dinner service. The pacing was perfect and the staff was diligent.
A delicious, gourmet dinner is served in four courses: starter, first course, second course, and dessert. The food was excellent.
A full water carafe is provided at dinner, which we greatly appreciated.
There is an alternative menu, which is basically a kid’s menu. We don’t recommend supplementing daily courses with these alternative menu choices.
Sample Ladin-Themed Dinner Menu
- Duck breast carpaccio
- Healthy Detox smoothie: strawberry, red turnip and black grapes
- Ladin-style barley soup
- Pressed dumpling with herb and gray cheese, hazelnut butter, stewed lettuce, homemade cranberry jam
- Fried dough bags filled with chanterelle and cottage cheese
- Wok-fried mignon vegetables with tofu
- Local lamb chunks – black and curly cabbage with garlic, potatoes with local herbs
- Mixed local cheese plate
- Sweet cheese mousse with vanilla, marinated apricots, peanut butter ice cream on yogurt earth, hazelnut crunch, strawberry meringues
In addition to the four served courses, there’s a small salad buffet and a kid-friendly ice cream buffet.
Excelsior Cocktail Bar
The bar shares the same space as the lobby. The bartenders approach cocktail-making as an art and even as a show. The bar is open between 3 pm and midnight.
Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort Hotel Perks
The HolidayCard is a transit card, which grants you unlimited access to the entire South Tyrolean public mobility SAD free of charge.
The complimentary HolidayCard is distributed upon request at the reception.
During our stay, we used the HolidayCard for the bus ride between San Vigilio and Pederü.
The Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort weekly program highlights special events in the region as well as guided excursions, exercise classes, sauna infusions, and more.
All the excursions are complimentary, but require a reservation.
Good to Know | On Fridays, the Sky Spa infinity pool stays open until 11 pm. And, on Sundays, the hotel owners (Call family) welcome guests to dinner with an aperitif.
Kids have access to an indoor lounge, where they can play video games, pool, table tennis, iWall, and more.
While supervised by the Excelsior staff, kids can climb the Excelsior climbing wall. The climbing route zigzags up the Dolomites Lodge building. They can also partake in archery (weekly program activity).
Behind the hotel, there’s an adventure park in the forest with a tree house, rope garden, and slackline.
Kids can also watch movies in the Excelsior Cinema, play in the craft room, and more.
Service and Staff
The owner, Werner Call, is involved in the day-to-day running of the hotel. He’s available for questions, gives great advice, and is a fabulous host.
We were very impressed by the dining staff, a team made up of hardworking professionals. It’s evident that they are giving each meal service their absolute all.
Overall, we enjoyed our experience staying at Excelsior Dolomites Life Resort. We loved our suite, the quality of the dinner, the adults-only Sky Spa, and the location.
The resort looks uniform and aesthetically harmonious from the outside. The interior, however, is a bit discombobulated. Newly renovated contemporary spaces clash with the dated areas of the hotel. But, this observation will soon be obsolete, as many areas of the hotel will be renovated in Spring.
We think this is a great hotel in the Dolomites for families with children, as there are many spaces and activities devoted to children.
We recommend booking your stay using booking.com for the greatest flexibility (cancellation options), best rates, and efficient booking process.
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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials
When to Visit the Dolomites
Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit is between mid/late December and March. To find out what to see and do during the festive advent season, read Dolomites in December.
Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to road trip and hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can easily continue until late October.
How to Get to the Dolomites
Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to travel to the Dolomites from the closest airports, train stations, and bus terminals.
If you’re traveling without a car, also check out How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car.
The easiest way to travel between hiking destinations in the Italian Dolomites is with your own car. Check out our itineraries for trip inspiration:
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Best Places to Stay
Figuring out where to stay in the Dolomites is probably the biggest hurdle to planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ve created three guides to help you decide where to stay:
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer: best villages and towns in South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno
- Best Hotels in the Dolomites: best boutique and luxury hotels in the Dolomites
- Dolomites Accommodation Guide: farm stays, mountain huts, wellness hotels, aparthotels
- Best Val Gardena Hotels: best accommodations in Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva di Val Gardena
We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.
- Base 1: Val Gardena
- Base 2: Val di Funes
- Base 3: Alta Badia
- Base 4: Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Base 5: Alta Pusteria
- Base 6: San Martino di Castrozza
What to See & Do
During your trip to the Dolomites, you can go via ferrata climbing, culinary hiking, hut to hut hiking, cycling, paragliding, and so much more. We’ve highlighted our favorite experiences in Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.
Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and incredible natural landmarks.
In Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites, we’ve outlined the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Val di Funes, Lago di Braies, Lago di Sorapis, Lago Federa, Cadini di Misurina, and Baita Segantini.
Dolomites Hiking Guides
Hiking in the Dolomites is our passion. Year after year, we love discovering new trails and expanding our knowledge of the area. For day hiking, check out 25+ Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites. For trekking, take a look at our guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites and Alta Via 1.
For region-specific hiking trails, check out:
- Best Hikes in Val Gardena
- Best Hikes in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Best Hikes in Alta Badia
- Sexten Dolomites Hiking Guide
Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites
Superb Hotels in the Dolomites and South Tyrol
- Hotel de Len in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Camina Suite & Spa in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Badia Hill in Badia, Alta Badia
- Locanda degli Artisti Art Hotel in Canazei, Val di Fassa
- Dorfhotel Beludei in Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
- Naturhotel Leitlhof in San Candido, Alta Pusteria
- My Arbor – Plose Wellness Hotel near Brixen, South Tyrol