Spectacularly located at an altitude of 1,200m and over-looking three Dolomite valleys, San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge must surely be the only chalet in The Alps with a private golf course.
Aptly named “a Hole in Heaven” the course is an extraordinary feat of engineering; using local artisans and international landscape planners to ensure that the course offers excellent play and blends with the stunning surroundings. Available for exclusive rental for up to ten guests, the lodge was originally a 16th century hunting lodge transformed into an exquisite 4-bedroom mountain retreat.
Perfectly located for keen golfers, it is also possible to heli-transfer from the lodge’s helipad to some of the region’s very best courses. Padova, a golf course with a long history has 27 holes and is 35 minutes flying, whereas the well known course at Cortina has 9 holes and is just 18 minutes, with the beautiful course at Kitzbuhel also only a short distance.
Completed in October 2012, the lodge’s own course is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and the result of a unique collaboration between renowned American golf course architect, Ron Kirby, and Paolo Gueltrini, a young golf designer from Ravenna. Together they created nine flag positions and six tees. With three flags of different colours positioned on the green, guests can golf 18 extremely enjoyable and challenging par-3 holes at 1,200 meters in altitude.
The green includes a replica of the famous “Valley of Sin” from St. Andrews Old Course in Scotland. Surely one of the steepest courses in the world, golfers look out across the tops of the magnificent Dolomites from a course that blends with the surrounding grass and woodland. For further golfing, the lodge’s helipad allows guests to travel to many other famous courses, where in most cases the helicopter is able to land next to the green at some of the best courses in The Alps.
“To visit the Italian Dolomites should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’2, says Ron Kirby, “and for a golf designer this was a wonderful opportunity to create a golf experience for players to enjoy while viewing the mountain panorama. I am very happy and proud to have San Lorenzo Golf as part of my design history.”
In addition to the golf, and skiing in the winter months, the fully staffed lodge has all the trimmings of a luxury hotel – mini spa, outdoor whirlpool and wine tasting room. There is an extensive food consultation prior to the guests’ arrival, ensuring that menus are tailor-made to their preferences. The lodge’s former goat shed is now a celebrated Wine Cellar & Tasting Room, where guests are encouraged to join the wine connoisseur owner for tastings. Home to 1,500 bottles of local wines with 142 different labels, this intimate wine tasting room is hailed as the best representative of South Tyrolean wines in the world.
Owned by Giorgia and Stefano Barbini; grand daughter of the founder of Brioni menswear and former CEO of fashion house ESCADA respectively, the couple have brought their incomparable knowledge of style, luxury and personal service to the lodge. The exquisite restoration was a true labour of love, a design project that saw this historic building brought back to life. This mountain retreat is favoured by discerning guests in search of an authentic alpine experience without any compromise on luxury, service and privacy.