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Once upon a time, there was a panoramic hotel in South Tyrol…

Our panoramic hotel in South Tyrol can boast a long, interesting history.

When God created the world, he also made paradise. For this, he picked one of the most beautiful pieces of heaven, stuffed it into his huge pack, and went on his way.

But there was so much beauty in heaven with which he wanted to please mankind, that he packed too much in his big bag… and then the unavoidable happened – the bag tore and a piece of paradise fell out without him knowing. This little piece of heaven turned into the one of the most beautiful spots in the Dolomites, the Passo Pinei/Panider Sattel, where our mountain hotel in South Tyrol is located. Mr. Oberrauch was so enchanted that in 1958 he decided to buy ca. 2,000 m² of this slice of paradise, which he described as “the most beautiful little spot far and wide”.

The name Pinei/Panider Sattel

The name of our panoramic hotel in South Tyrol is based on its natural surroundings. The name Passo Pinei (German "Panider Sattel") stems from the word "pinus" (Latin), and "pinch" (Ladin). These are the fir trees which grow abundantly in the forests around the hotel. As our panoramic hotel is situated on a small saddle (“Sattel”) between Castelrotto/Kastelruth at 1,090 m and Ortisei/St. Ulrich at 1,200 m, the geographic description was added to the name “Panider", hence the name “Panider Sattel”.

The geographic saddle also serves as a linguistic border between the German and Ladin (Rhaeto-Romanic) languages. Probably due the seclusion of the towns in which it is spoken, Ladin has survived in the four valleys around the Sella group. Far from being a dying language, Ladin is still spoken by the local population and even promoted by the local government.

How about the panoramic hotel? How did it all begin?

Back to Mr. Oberrauch …
Mr. Oberrauch built a small house, in which he lived and worked with his family for a long time. A house that would later become what today is the panoramic Hotel Pinei. In December 1967, the house was acquired through an auction by Barbara and Raimund – a young couple with hardly any money, but full of enthusiasm and motivation. The two got the ball rolling and in 1968 the first rooms were ready for the Mahlknecht family to move in.

In 1969 Raimund carried out some renovation works, based on a provisional sketch and with the assistance of private workers only, without any help from professional builders. This resulted in six rooms, each with a private bathroom with shower and toilet. At this time, the investment he made was still scoffed at, as this kind of comfort was found almost exclusively in luxury hotels. However, it was not long before the first guests started visit at the Passo Pinei/Panider Sattel and the Mahlknechts’ exceptional panoramic hotel in South Tyrol – just after Christmas 1969.

The hotel in Castelrotto/Kastelruth kept undergoing small improvements, complimented by the guests who returned year after year. Finally, it became clear that the hotel needed more than minor completion works, and in 1986 it was decided that a major reconstruction was in order. The aim was to turn the hotel into a proper panoramic hotel. At this time the owners also began to commit to the contact with nature and the emotional well-being of their guests, which led to the concept of the Hotel Pinei as a nature hotel in South Tyrol.

Even today one can sense and see that it is not just the locals who found in the Passo Pinei/Panider Sattle a little patch of paradise, but also the many loyal guests who, year after year, come back to enjoy their holidays at the panoramic Hotel Pinei.