Val Gardena Accommodation
The Val Gardena ski resorts of Selva, Santa Cristina and Ortisei (St Ulrich, Urtijëi) are all attractive places to stay in, with wonderful views and a good range of hotels (from luxury to basic) and apartments to rent. There are also a few chalets in Val Gardena and the Sella Ronda.
Where to stay in Val Gardena. Which ski resort?
Selva (Wolkenstein): Elevation 1563m
For keen skiers, Selva is the obvious resort to stay in because of its location at the head of the Gardena valley where Val Gardena meets the Sella Ronda. The resort itself is attractive with low-rise chalet buildings and traditional Tyrolean architecture, and stunning views of the surrounding Dolomite peaks. The resort is quite strung out, however, so unless your hotel is near its north-eastern (best for the nursery slopes) or south eastern edge (best for the main lifts), you will be riding the ski-bus most days. The main road running through Selva is also surprisingly busy.
Santa Cristina (St Christina): Elevation 1428m
Santa Cristina is much smaller (about a third the size of Selva). The village is by-passed by the main road between Selva and Ortisei, so it’s also quieter. The mountain scenery around the village is spectacular, whilst the village itself is easy on the eye, although it does sprawl up the mountainside. A lot of the hotels are in a central area within easy walking distance of the Saslong gondola (the main lift that takes skiers to Ciampinoi from where more lifts and pistes lead to Selva and the Sella Ronda). The Col Raiser gondola, which leads to Seceda and then onto Ortisei, is at Plan da Tieja near the top of the resort, but this is linked to the Saslong gondola by a funicular railway which runs beneath Santa Cristina. Near Plan da Tieja is a small nursery slope. A third lift, at the western end of the village, goes up to Monte Pana where there are more nursery slopes. All the lift stations and Monte Pana can also be reached by bus. Near the Saslong gondola there is a small, artificial ice rink. Towards the top of the town is a nice promenade, with benches and a children’s playground, and some noticeboards revealing that it used to be part of a railway built by the Austro-Hungarian empire in the First World War. One of the old railway’s tunnels, near the church, has been turned into a small underground museum.
Ortisei (St Ulrich, Urtijëi): Elevation 1236m
Ortisei is a pretty mountain town with year round inhabitants rather than a ski resort. It’s as popular in summer as it is in winter, and famous for its wood carvings. Its two main ski lifts are more than 500m apart (a long walk in ski boots). On the south side of town there are some nursery slopes and a gondola that goes up to Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi; on the north side another gondola heads towards Seceda from where there there are lifts and pistes that ultimately take you to Santa Cristina and possibly onto Selva, although if you want to ski the Sella Ronda you should take the valley bus because it’s much quicker. A third lift (a funicular railway) accesses the longest toboggan run in the Dolomites at Resciesa. Between the three lifts is an attractive and fashionable pedestrianized centre with plenty of shops and galleries displaying local carvings as well as other art works, a good museum, and lots of hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants (including some very smart ones).
Val Gardena Hotels and Apartments
Hotels and Apartments in Selva (Wolkenstein)
The 5-star Alpenroyal Hotel has its own park with multiple spas and pools, and a restaurant run by a Michelin-starred chef. It’s located close to where Selva turns into Santa Cristina, so you can choose to start your skiing from either of the two resorts. The hotel provides a shuttle bus to take guests into central Selva and the main Selva lift station, and there is also a public ski bus stops nearby to take guests to the Col Raiser ski area which is only about 600m away.
The 5-Star Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is not quite as grand despite its indoor and outdoor pools and wellness centre, but gets slightly better customer ratings. Arguably it’s better located for skiers too, being at the eastern end of town were the lifts are. It’s 100m from the Nives lift which is where the nursery slopes are, but further from the Dantercepies and Ciampinoi Gondolas which are more useful for experieced skiers.
The 4-star hotels most highly rated by customers include Hotel Chalet S, the Hotel Fanes , Hotel Genziana, and the Mountain Design Eden Selva but there are others and they face fierce competition. Many of the 40-plus 3-star hotels and 3-star Garnis (similar to a very smart guesthouses) are chasing hard on their heels. Some are ski-in ski-out such as Garni Schenk and the Hotel Condor. And there are plenty of 2-star and simpler guesthouses with fewer amenities but high standards of service. And there are even more apartments, some of which offer comfort levels equivalent of a luxury hotel such as the Residence Villa Garn Baita.
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Hotels and Apartments in Santa Cristina (St. Christina)
Santa Cristina has some good 4-star hotels which tend to be slightly cheaper than those in Selva. The 4-star AlpenHotel Plaza is about 5 minutes walk from the Saslong gondola and the funicular and has 2 restaurants, a wellness centre and a swimming pool with a truly spectacular view. The Boutique & Fashion Hotel Maciaconi – Gardenahotels is also 4-star, also conveniently located for the Saslong lift and the funicular and also has a pool and wellness centre. The Dorfhotel Beludei is another 4-star hotel within 10 minutes walk of the lifts. The SportHotel Monte Pana is a true ski-in/ski-out hotel sited on the slopes one lift up the mountain at Monte Pana, near the nursery slopes.
There are also around a dozen 3-star hotels and simpler budget hotels and guesthouses. The 3 star Hotel Cristallo has an indoor pool and sauna and is about 250 metres from the Monte Pana Chair and 350 metres from the Saslong gondola and the funicular.
Santa Cristina also has lots of apartments to rent including some serviced ‘aparthotels’ like Oberaldoss Residence Wellness which provides breakfasts. It’s near the top of the resort and within walking distance (450m) of the Col Raiser gondola and the upper funicular station at Plan de Tieja. But there are many others, including simpler, cheaper apartments.
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Hotels and Apartments in Ortisei (St. Ulrich)
Ortisei has lots of hotels populating the steep south-facing mountainside above the village, all of which have sweeping views down the valley and relatively long descents into town centre.
There are three 5-star hotels, the Adler Dolomiti Spa, the Gardena Grodnerhof, and the Montchalet with not much to split them as they all have very high customer ratings and excellent facilities.; a dozen 4-star hotels, such as the Hotel Grones; and around thirty 3-star hotels as well as numerous pensions and apartments.
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Chalets and Chalet holidays in Val Gardena and the Sella Ronda
Specialist UK travel agency Alpine Answers has a small selection of chalet holidays in Selva and at the other end of the Sella Ronda at Arabba. Currently they are offering Ultimate-Ski readers a £20 discount per group booking so make sure you mention Ultimate-Ski on their enquiry form if you want to claim this.
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You can also book some chalets in Selva direct. These are mostly self-catered. The luxury Chalet Plazola is in a ski-in, ski out location near the Nives lift close to Dantercepies, and has been subdivided into smaller units. Chalet Plazola (6 people), Chalet Plazola – Chalet Sella (4 people), Chalet Plazola – Chalet Dolomiti (4people) and Chalet Plazola – Suite Puez (4 people). Search these and other self-catered chalets in Val Gardena here >>>
Accommodation in other Sella Ronda villages
If you want to look further afield, you can search for accommodation across the whole of the Sella Ronda here>>>.