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Subdued and Subtle

South Tyrol, Italy

On a site receiving guests since the 14th century, a hotel in South Tyrol receives a makeover fit for the 21st century

With three properties already in their portfolio, South Tyrol born-and-bred hoteliers Klaus and Moritz Dissertori knew just how to welcome travellers to the region’s capital city of Bolzano. The pair set their sights on reviving Parkhotel Mondschein for their latest project, a historic hotel which finds itself uniquely set amongst lush parkland within Bolzano’s old town.

Marked by its distinctive ochre-hued façade, whose Art Nouveau balconies peek out of a blanket of thick green ivy, the building first opened its doors as Bolzano’s first Gasthaus, or tavern back in 1320. Since its inauguration more than seven centuries ago the property has undergone various reincarnations as an inn, a manor house, and more than once a hotel, acquiring a mix of architectural styles along the way. A series of wide corridors, high ceilings, and stucco decoration, the result of an 1890 Belle Époque-style extension, now sit with the wooden ceilings, Travertine flooring, and period light fixtures which were added during the 1950s and 60s. The brothers entrusted Studio Biquadra to not only sensitively reimagine the hotel but also take a sustainable approach by reusing these existing materials where possible. Design details such as terrazzo flooring and years-old doorways have been retained whilst a collection of furnishings including armchairs, tables, and even the antique silverware, have all been restored to their former glory.

The studio has continued to pay homage to the building’s history in the 63 rooms and 13 suites, which are connected via a preserved stone staircase. The arched windows, wall mouldings, and oak parquet floors have been refurbished and provided a blank canvas for an earthy colour palette of green, brown, and grey which nods to the surrounding parkland and the mountainous backdrop of the Italian Alps. Curved velvet-clad sofas and tasselled ottomans add a touch of sophisticated nostalgia which is balanced by the clean, contemporary lines of bespoke walnut furnishings. Smoothly weaving together these references to old and new are the carefully considered accessories, notably lamps by Hay, a collection of modern art, and in select rooms, record players and rotary dial telephones.

Ground floor restaurant Luna Bar has been similarly dressed in sombre shades and layers of tactile materials, from the panelled wood bar crowned by a row of vintage-style glass lampshades to the mix of patterned fabrics covering plump sofas and Scandi-style chairs. Dusky pink drapes hide the doorway leading guests outside to the large terrace and a collection of sunbeds and park benches surrounded by the shade of leafy palms.