During all my years of European travel, I’ve found myself drawn to the continent’s family-owned hotels. I love their individuality, their sense of tradition and their atmosphere of continuity. The Hassler is my favorite hotel in Rome, in part because it has been owned by the Wirth family since 1921. When its great proprietor, Roberto E. Wirth, passed away in June, the sadness was tempered by the knowledge that the next generation, Roberto Jr. and Veruschka Wirth, would be stepping up to take his place. It was with mixed emotions, therefore, that I learned of the changes at the Rosa Alpina, a peerless mountain lodge in the Dolomites.
With its cozy Alpine décor, superlative three-star restaurant, irresistible Fondue Stube and justly renowned spa, it has long been one of my favorite hotels in the world. For three generations, the property has been owned by the Pizzinini family, members of which have lived on the property since 1939. At the end of 2020, however, an agreement was signed making the Rosa Alpina an Aman Partner Hotel. Under its terms, Aman took over marketing and ground operations, with a view to the hotel’s becoming a fully branded Aman property by December. Doubtless Aman will bring investment and expertise, and I bow to no one in my admiration for the company’s resorts, many of which I rate extremely highly. But, still, I can’t help but feel that something will be lost, as well as something gained. It is said that the Rosa Alpina “will remain under the guidance of the Pizzinini family.” I hope devoutly that this will indeed be the case.