Hotel Cavallino d‘Oro: Experience Timeless Enchantment in the Dolomites


Kate + Vin

Hotel Cavallino d'Oro in Castelrotto near the Dolomites
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Hotel Cavallino d‘Oro offers you a unique escape into the splendor and romance of the Tyrolean past. Discover why you will adore staying at this charming bed and breakfast where history and hospitality invite you to relish the warmth and wonder of a bygone era.

Tucked in the heart of Castelrotto (Kastelruth), under the imposing shadow of one of South Tyrol’s tallest bell towers, lies Hotel Cavallino d’Oro. This historic haunt gleams like a beacon above the town’s ancient cobblestones. You can’t take your eyes off its golden facade.

We certainly couldn’t the first time we visited Castelrotto. And we couldn’t again this past Christmas season when we bobbled our luggage through the town’s winding alleys toward the hotel for a three-night stay. Its walls seem to hum with magic as old as the stones beneath your feet.

Beauty Beneath the Bell Tower

hotel cavallino doro castelrotto church bell tower

From the outside, Hotel Cavallino d’Oro appears almost as if it were a perfectly preserved architectural find from the age of poets, painters, and philosophers. It stands like a bridge between centuries.

Gazing up at its exterior embellishments, especially its wrought iron sign emblazoned with the year “1326”, you can’t help but feel compelled to know what lies behind its fresco-framed windows, which even in the gray of winter, somehow defy the season with a bed of bloom.

hotel cavallino castelrotto italy

You find yourself pondering the myriad of souls who have traversed the hotel’s floors. Were they perhaps a knight, clad in armor, passing through on a quest for glory or a tragic romance? Or maybe a roving minnesinger, whose jovial ballads once echoed in dimly-lit taverns across the Alps, or even a lone pilgrim, seeking redemption atop South Tyrol’s “Holy Mountain”.

Whatever tales Hotel Cavallino d’Oro holds, it’s hard not to speculate a little romantically about what its walls have witnessed. Out front, the weight of history presses upon you, leaving no doubt in your mind that to wake up here is to bless yourself with wonders lost to modern day.

cavallino doro historic hotel
Hotel Cavallino d’Oro has provided shelter for weary travelers since 1326.

As you stand there admiring Hotel Cavallino d’Oro, your eyes tracing its ancient contours, you wonder if time has taken a cue from its golden stallion and galloped right on by this place. Then you spot it: a website address painted discreetly next to the hotel’s name. Oh well, it seems even this bastion of the past has conceded to the present.

But trust us, this minor concession to the digital age does little to diminish the timeless enchantment of Hotel Cavallino d’Oro. In fact, it simply reassures you that the comforts of today can be enjoyed during your stay.


Where History Unfolds

hotel cavallino doro lobby

Stepping inside Hotel Cavallino d’Oro is like walking into a vintage Tyrolean mansion. You immediately notice the seamless blend of grandeur and simplicity. The heartfelt devotion to the beauty and craftsmanship of old is evident in every choice.

All around you are antiques, artwork, and furnishings that speak to its 700 years of history. Some are exquisite pieces that lend an air of regalness to the hotel while others are more humble — telling tales of daily life centuries ago. You’ll even encounter the occasional whimsical item, such as a witch of Mt. Schlern dangling from above. Such carefully curated adornments add to Hotel Cavallino d’Oro’s charm and bring a smile to your face.

Collectively the hotel appears like a living museum. In each common room, a different chapter of history unfolds — painting a vivid picture of a bygone era. The shifting ambiance is stunning. You get the sense that every detail is as unique as the guests who have stayed here over the centuries.

cavallino doro interior

Walking through the hotel, you’ll eventually encounter its modern amenities, but even those are woven into the design in such a way as to not detract from the historical appeal. Hotel Cavallino d’Oro’s elevator, for example, is tucked behind a stone archway making it seem as if you are stepping into a medieval wine cellar instead of a lift to your suite.

And if you’re like us, as you look around the hotel, you might even wonder if there is a ghost or two haunting the shadows, silently observing the passage of time and the comings and goings of guests. You are after all in Alpe di Siusi, a hallowed region of the Dolomites brimming with folkloric tales of the supernatural. It’s a land where the veil between the known and the unknown is tantalizingly thin.

hotel cavallino doro artwork

Fortunately, Hotel Cavallino d’Oro offers a convenient way to dull such spine-chilling superstitions. In its cozy lounge, you’ll find the hotel’s honesty bar. This isn’t a bar you belly up to. No, instead you get to play bartender and patron all at once. The counter is stacked with a variety of adult libations to mix or you can pluck a bottle of wine or beer from its storage area. All the hotel asks is that you jot down your room number and the item you took.


During our stay, we loved this touch of self-service. It was wonderful to return from dinner in the evening and relax in the lounge with other guests before calling it a night. Through its windows, we could watch the bustle of Castelrotto’s boutique Christmas market, which was softly lit by holiday lights and the flicker of a wood fire.

hotel cavallino doro lounge areas

If you wish to enjoy a more intimate setting in the evening, Hotel Cavallino d’Oro also offers an elegant game room and library. It’s the kind of space you could envision 007 engaged in a high-stakes poker game with the fate of the world in the balance.

Beyond these common areas, you can also venture to the hotel’s serene wellness spa located in Hotel Cavallino d’Oro’s historic wine cellar. There you can let a Finnish sauna or steam bath wash away any tension from a day spent hitting the nearby ski slopes or hiking trails.

cavallino doro spa
Hotel Cavallino d’Oro transformed a centuries-old wine cellar into a refuge of relaxation.

Afterward, you’ll find it hard to resist the relaxation room, which is surrounded by ancient stone walls ambered by candle glow. Drifting off into a nap here isn’t just a possibility — it’s as certain as the sunrise.

Waking Up at Hotel Cavallino D’oro

Just as the common spaces on the ground floor refuse to conform to a single mold, no two guest suites at Hotel Cavallino d’Oro are cut from the same cloth. When booking a room, you are presented with an array of choices that run the gamut from simple to ornate. This makes finding a room that fits your budget and needs quite easy.

We stayed in one of the hotel’s Comfort suites and enjoyed a balcony with a grand view of Mt. Schlern and Seceda in the distance. Watching the morning sun break over the peaks each morning was a spectacle. The first light painted the mountains in hues of gold and pink until their snow-kissed summits beamed like jewels against the sky.

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Beyond your balcony over the rooftops of Castelrotto looms Mt. Schlern.

The room itself was tastefully decorated in classic Tyrolean style and bathed with plenty of natural light. Aside from a small television in the corner, it looked like a time capsule from another century. It was adorned with traditional wood furnishings and came with a large wardrobe closet that made hiding away our luggage very easy to create extra space. Inside, the closet was also a pair of comfy spa robes and slippers.

On the nightstand was a black vintage rotary phone. The type you find in classic spy thrillers. We expected it to ring any minute with an urgent message from Winston Churchill. Alas, it was silent during our stay.


Sweet Beginnings

cavallino doro breakfast dining rooms

Few things can match a sunrise in the Dolomites, but each morning we discovered that the hotel’s breakfast buffet came close. Laid out before you is a feast for the senses: freshly baked breads, croissants that flake at the touch, and an array of local cheeses and cold cuts. Jars of homemade jams and honey glisten under the morning light, while a selection of yogurts, fruits, juices, and cereals offer you lighter fare if the previous night’s dinner was too sinful.

We especially savored devouring Hotel Cavallino d’Oro’s homemade specialty, which rotated each morning. This culinary highlight added a delightful element of surprise to our mornings. Apfelstrudel is something we typically enjoy in the afternoon or evening, but the homemade rendition at Hotel Cavallino d’Oro’s breakfast buffet was a revelation. The sugar-powdered crust, tender apples, and just the right touch of cinnamon and sugar made for an extra sweet way to begin the day.

cavallino doro breakfast buffet
Hearty and healthy choices await you each morning at the breakfast buffet.

Hotel Cavallino d’Oro’s dining area is divided into spaces that allow you to fuel up in different cozy settings. Each morning we ate in the hotel’s hand-carved wood Stuben overlooking Castelrotto’s main square. However, you can also dine in a corner area with windows facing Mt. Schlern and Seceda or you can choose a table in an open area surrounded by gorgeous oil paintings.

No matter where you sit, you’ll find the hotel staff courteous and attentive. We were immediately served with our choice of freshly brewed coffee or tea once we arrived, ensuring the morning started on a perfect note with personalized service that made us feel both welcomed and valued.


Who Should Stay at Hotel Cavallino D’oro

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Hotel Cavallino d’Oro reflects in the waters of Castelrotto’s famous town square fountain.

Hotel Cavallino d’Oro will enchant couples and friends on the hunt for a getaway that melds historical charm with the allure of adventure just a short jaunt away. We found it to be an ideal escape for those seeking to step beyond the typical alpine retreat and experience life in a quaint mountain town.

Solo travelers will also find the hotel appealing as it offers single-bed rooms and the opportunity to connect with other travelers either in its common areas or in the establishments just outside its door in Castelrotto. Plus, the bus stop is a short walk away making Hotel Cavallino d’Oro extra convenient for anyone relying on public transportation while visiting South Tyrol. Furthermore, the main lift to Seiser Alm (Alpe di Siusi) is only minutes away in the village of Seis (Siusi).

Those driving in Italy can park for free in an adjacent underground parking garage. From there, an elevator whisks you to the street that runs right past the hotel.

hotel cavallino doro evening

While Hotel Cavallino d’Oro offers rooms larger than our Comfort suite, we do not think it would be a great choice for families with little kids as it does not feature a play area and the amenities are clearly for those seeking an evening of quiet sophistication rather than the bustling energy of family activities. By the way, not all rooms have a balcony facing the mountains so if a private perch overlooking Mt. Schlern is important to you, be sure to select the appropriate room or make the request when booking.

If you are keen to enjoy wellness beyond what Hotel Cavallino d’Oro offers, you are in luck. The hotel is operated by Hotel Villa Kastelruth, which is located less than two blocks away. Guests can pay a bit extra to access its wellness oasis, which includes a panoramic sauna and a 4-season outdoor pool framed by the Dolomites.

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Admiring Castelrotto and Mt. Schlern from atop Kalvarienberg (Kofel Hill) on a moody winter day.

For added convenience, you can also book a half-board option upon request and dine each evening at Hotel Villa Kastleruth. In addition, if you would like to partake in group activities such as guided hikes, you can meet at the hotel and enjoy such excursions at no additional cost.


Room rates at Hotel Cavallino d’Oro vary by season and month. In general, rooms run from 85 € to 156 € in Summer and 82 € to 188 € in Winter. Prices are dependent on the type of accommodation you select. Note: If you stay longer than 3 days, the rates decrease.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Hotel Cavallino d’Oro for allowing us to experience its rich history and exceptional hospitality! It was a true joy to stay there during the Christmas season.

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