Aug 28, 2015

Review: Garni Wolf (Val Gardena, Italy)

I stayed 3 nights amongst the magnificent Dolomites and stayed in Garni Wolf. Here's my review of the place.
 
Name: Garni Wolf
Address: Street Plan de Gralba 25, 39048 Selva Gardena Valley (BZ)
Tel: 0039 0471 795035
Fax: 0039 0471 794359
Email:
info@garni-wolf.it
website: http://www.garni-wolf.it/
Price: €40 - 70 (price varies depending on season)
 
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Room


I got a single room in the 2nd floor. The room is simply furnished with a queen sized bed put together by 2 single beds. 2 pillows and a comforter is provided. The comforter however is not big enough to cover the entire bed (proof I guess, that the beds were originally 2 single beds ahha). I believe the hotel would definitely provide a bigger comforter or an extra one if you asked but since I was staying alone, I didn’t bother.

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There is a little chandelier at the top with a small curtain like deco on top of the bed.  A small TV is attached to the wall with a remote controller. There is also a mirror and a  reading table with a chair. There are also some storage cabinets, plenty of space for one person.
 
There is no kettle and drinking ware so you can't do any sort of cooking here. But there is an attached balcony with comfortable tables and chairs for you to enjoy the scenery .

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The corner of the balcony even had a corner for you to dry your laundry.
 
 

Cleanliness

The room is cleaned daily and smells nice.  The entire hotel’s floor is carpeted and feels clean.
 
 

Bed


The bed is comfortable and clean. The pillows are once again, too soft for me. But they are long/big enough so I fold them in half when I sleep.
 
 

Toilet


The attached bathroom is simple but well furnished. Toiletries are given though strangely 2 shower gel sachets were given instead of shampoo lol. A face towel and a body towel is provided. Hairdryer is included with a power socket in the toilet. There is only a shower head with hot and cold water. Everything is nice , clean and brightly lit.
 
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Location


Getting here was not easy as it is very far up the mountains. From the nearest train station,  you will require 2 bus changes. The first Bus is 350, the second bus is 471.

The Bus stop is walking distance from the little train station. The train station is the greyish brown building in the middle of the photo. The blue signboard on the left is where the bus stop is.

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The nearest train station is Ponte Gardena, Stazione (aka Waidbruck, Bahnhof ). When you search for the station online, they probably state it as Ponte Gardena/Waidbruck. Other train stations that connect bus 350 to Val Gardena area is Bressanone Stazione (aka Brixen, Bahnhof) and Bolzano, Stazione (aka Bozen, Bahnhof). The names that are in brackets () are the German names. Click the link below to download the Bus schedule for Bus 350. You will notice the bus schedule includes both the German and Italian names for the same bus stops on either side of the table.
 
Val Gardena - Bolzano Bus Scheduel PDF:
 
 
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Get off from Bus 350 at Plan (it is the last stop)

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It’s a bit hard to tell which Stop you are at because the Bus stops does not indicate (such ingenuity -_-) , but there is an Auto Nocker shop just beside it. If ever in doubt, just ask the bus drivers.

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After that, take bus 471 to Plan De Gralba .
 
Bus 471 Schedules PDF :


A landmark to look out for is Hotel Plan de Gralba, it is just beside the road. In the photo below, the 2 Neon blue signs are the Bus stops for Plan De Gralba.
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Another 10 minutes walk on concrete and gravure paths is required. The  bus will pass by this little road that goes into the Street Plan De Gralba, look out for this signboard that states the different hotels, apartments and restaurants in this street. Take this path in.
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Below are photographs of the scenery you will see along the way. Garni wolf is the 2nd last hotel at the end of the road. The Piz Sella Cable car also operates from here so that’s another landmark for you.

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If you are coming with lots of luggage, better plan to arrive early as buses to Plan Del Gralba from Plan ends at 5:26pm. Below is the Google Map embed of Garni Wolf.
 
 
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Summarised Travel route: From the train station,  take bus 350 to Plan. Then from Plan, take bus 471 to Plan del Gralba. Then walk 10 minutes to Garni Wolf. For the full range of Bus schedule to and from Val Gardena, pop over to Val Gardena’s official website.
 
Check out Garni Wolf’s official website for more information about their location .
 

Price


€50 per night might be on the slightly steeper side. But since the room is big, sharing with a friend would make this stay very affordable. Not too sure how breakfast would be split but I’m sure you can work something out with the lovely staff .

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And yes , breakfast is provided. Having breakfast is such a lovely thing because you can then pack some extra for lunch or dinner. Plan del Gralba is a little far from the towns and can be difficult to stock up on groceries unless you drive. There are a few restaurants near by but they are not cheap.
 
The best place to get groceries is the Ortisei Village ( aka St. Ulrich or UrtijÃĢi) as it is the biggest village and has a couple of supermarkets within it. It is however quite a distance away from Plan De Gralba.
 
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Miscellaneous

Wifi is strong and available in the rooms and the hotel’s entire compound.
 
The hotel will give all guests a free Val Gardena Mobil Card. It is a card that gives you free bus travel within the Val Gardena area. I am not sure how long it will last but I am under the impression it will last for 7 days.

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The Hotel is also part for the Val Gardena Active programme so guided trekking tours are free for staying patrons. You just need to inform the staff and they will book the tour for you. However any extra cost required in the trek such as cable cars or funiculars rides will need to be paid by the patrons.
 
The staff who checked me in and was around to assist me was very friendly and helpful. She was always ready to give transport advice and always helped me check the bus timing, something very critical here as the buses are infrequent and confusing. She even proactively offered to help me write the bus timings down and on my first day of arrival, printed the Bus 471’s Bus schedule and gave me maps of the locality.
 
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However because there is only one staff and her boyfriend (seems like a family business as childhood photographs of the lovely lady could be seen around the place). Getting them during the afternoon can be difficult. I missed my bus and came back around 11am one day hoping she could book me on the next guided day trip  and waited an entire hour with no one in sight.
 
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The breakfast spread is simple but good enough for me. The breakfast includes bread, butter, cheese, a few different Jams, fresh fruits, cereals , milk, some sliced meat and cheese. There are also sweet pastries such as cakes, crispy toasts  and biscuits etc. Of course, Coffee , tea and juice is included.
 
 

Conclusions

The only issue I have with the place is the inconvenient location and public transport. The only bus up to the hotel ends at like 5:26pm so I spend many evenings hiking back to the hotel from the 2nd closest bus stop (Plan). And mind you, it’s 20 minutes of up hill climb. However this is a mountainous area and infrequent bus services is to be expected . In a way, this is what I signed up for so I guess I can’t complain.

However being so far out meant you are closer to the Dolomites. Having breakfast beside the Dolomites is an amazing feeling! Yes, this hotel is that close to the mountains!

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Breakfast beside the Dolomites!

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The cosy deco of the entire hostel feels very homey and I look forward to coming back one winter day to enjoy a fire by their fireplace!

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Like I mentioned above, the staff is very friendly and I felt right at home immediately. Just make sure you plan and research how to travel in and you should have a great time!




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