Merano's Secret Treasure
If you are looking for a family run, family loved, home away from home, where you can relax feet up, explore feet forward and breathe in the fresh mountain air of Italy’s northernmost point, then look no further than Ottmangut in Merano. This is our hands down favourite South Tyrolean ‘Suite & Breakfast’.
Situated at the foot of the Dolomites, just outside the old city walls of the spa town of Merano, this picturesque white manor house holds a history nearly as majestic as its surrounding peaks, with the first reference to the building dating back to 1290. It wasn’t until much later, during the mid 19th Century, that it was acquired by the Kirchlechner family (100 year old tortoise Max and the younger Helmut didn’t join until later). Their love affair with the property, spanning many generations, continues to this day.
Hospitality at their hearts, the family have welcomed guests to their home since day one and over the years Ottmangut has served as inn, restaurant and even as a refuge for soldiers during the wars. Today, current members of the family, father, and sons Georg, Clemens and Martin Kirchlechner, along with the latter’s wife, Katharina, run the establishment hosting guests with inimitable warmth and grace. The building underwent a fully-fledged renovation in 2010 – whilst their principal premise was to restore Ottmanngut to its former glory and retain its rare other-worldly elegance, modern comforts have been added to ensure that guests wholeheartedly enjoy and unwind at this beautiful retreat.
Eleven exquisite suites are for you to choose from. There is no ‘standard’ at Ottmangut and all rooms come with a view (and a view to die for!) Some named after acclaimed, long gone but forever cherished guests, including the painter Friedrich Wasmann, each of the near dozen suites boasts a highly individual yet equally mesmerizing character. Opt for the western positioned chamber Das rot Salettl with rich red hues to match the sunsets. Or the more Mediterranean in feel Palmenzimmer, dappled with whites and greens which blend into the gardens below. The rooms are paved with centuries old wooden panel floors (discovered during the renovation); Biedermeier and Art Nouveau furniture from the family’s collection is bestrewed throughout.
You will take to the Mediterranean gardens like Adam and Eve. Brim full of cypress, palm and lemon trees, a constant bloom of flowers and herbs galore, they are Ottmangutt’s pride and joy. The magnificent three-course breakfast, to call it a breakfast is a severe understatement, is sourced locally and served al fresco or in the sweet citrus-smelling Orangerie. You will tuck into a morning meal fit for a day in the mountains: fresh baked breads (Martin’s speciality), endless arrays of homemade jams, bircher muesli and seasonal specialities. The plump vineyards that trail behind the gardens also provide – the house wine is a house must!
Fuelled in force for the day’s adventures, the region and the town of Merano are yours for the taking. The Dolomite mountains are literally on your doorstep, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, and offering a diverse terrain for walkers with 20 km of paths. Merano is famous for its Terme spa pools as well as its architecture, with Fin de Siecle buildings lining either side of the Passirio River, where you will find charming cafes and restaurants. On your return to Ottmangut you will be transported back to a distant past, to a gentle world of comfort and pleasure.
A few segreti (secrets) from Katherine & Martin:
Monocle Shop in Merano (via Dante, 25)
Ristorante Meteo (Passeggiata D’Inverno, 51)
Rahmen Egger Cornici (via delle Corse 55, nella galleria Ortner)