This Italian alpine hotel has had a renovation and redesign that reflects its mountain location in some quirky ways
Words by: Sophie Tolhurst
For a project in the heart of the Dolomites, interior architecture practice Caberlon Caroppi has renovated and redesigned the guest room interiors for the 4-star Majestic Mountain Charme Hotel. The hotel is situated in the picturesque Adamello Brenta Nature Park, and the materials used for the project reflect its mountain setting. Caberlon Caroppi’s redesign has sought to modernise and elevate the interiors for a contemporary luxury market, while retaining the ‘charm’ of the traditional alpine hotel.
The design makes abundant use of oak for both parquet floor and wall cladding. As part of Caberlon Caroppi’s modernisation of the interiors, materials too had to meet progressive standards and practices, so the cladding is modular for speed and ease of installation, and the supplier, Fiemme 3000, is dedicated to sustainability and ‘biocompatibility’. Choosing to celebrate the natural appearance of the wood, the supplier avoids excessive treatment; the processes it does use are environmentally friendly and free from hazardous chemicals.
Complementing the oak cladding, stone surfaces are used in guest bathrooms, and soft furnishings throughout come in a colour palette of grey and beige, with contrasting metal fittings in black. More distinctive design choices include black and white plaid carpets in the hallways, and further interest comes from lighting features – including pendant lights and decorative wall lighting in irregular curved forms. Within the guest rooms, velvet headboards create a focal point; padded and recessed into the walls.
A colour palette of grey and beige and black metal fittings add a contemporary ambience to guest rooms
But there is more to the alpine aesthetic than these more generic elements, and for the designers it was important to evoke the ‘genius loci’ of the place – that is, in classical Roman religion – its protective spirit. For the Madonna di Campiglio region, that spirit is a bear. Against the simple colour palette and natural materials, a number of quirky details conjure-up the bear. It appears in a white-on-red print inside wardrobes, the cross-stitch pattern echoing the real cross-stitching detail that adorns the leather panelling on the wardrobes’ exteriors, while a bear head created from wire mesh creates an eye-catching and playful light fitting, custom-made for the project by Chary.
The renovation project spans two floors of the hotel with seven guest rooms on each. Previously there had been nine rooms on each floor, but with the originals too small and uncomfortable for today’s customers, the decision was taken to reduce the overall number but improve the layouts and sizes.
Even within these enlarged new rooms space had to be maximised to accommodate all the amenities expected of a modern 4-star hotel, with fireplaces and large televisions, and suites that come with areas for dining, working and relaxation. Attention was paid to the wardrobes, which needed to be well-sized and conveniently located for storage of skis and outdoor gear, and even the more temporary spaces such as sofa beds required adjacent shelving for additional guests’ use. A further spatial challenge was the relatively low height of ceilings in the rooms. At 2.4m, typical of buildings in these mountainous regions, it meant lighting and technical facilities had to be wall-mounted.
The area’s bear emblem can be found in wardrobes
With a limited range of room types, ‘flexible environments’ allow the hotel to accommodate groups of different sizes through interconnected spaces, with the architects having to tailor the layout and use specially designed furniture.
Smaller spaces can be transformed into additional sleeping accommodation, or combined to create a larger open expanse – offering a sense of intimacy even within larger parties. Discreet folding and sliding partitions allow the rooms to be reconfigured in an ‘ad hoc’ manner, while retractable hooks and recessed wardrobe spaces fulfil storage needs.
While ostensibly space-saving solutions, the interventions add to the air of ‘discovery’ with which the architects sought to flavour their design. To accompany the magic of the surreal and majestic alpine landscapes, the rooms offer more easily accessible surprises for its younger guests – under the bed there is a hidden illuminated snow scene – featuring the bear, of course.