Don’t let the names mislead you. Seehotel Ambach, designed by architect Otmar Barth, lies on the Italian side of the border, in the Alpine province of South Tyrol. It’s a modernist classic from the Seventies, a decade whose style is only now being appreciated for its utopian spirit. And if this retreat on the shores of Lake Caldaro isn’t utopia, we don’t know what is — the gentle arch of the building allows for panoramic views from its terraces and sunlight-filled rooms, providing a remarkably close connection between the interiors and the landscape.
The original 1973-vintage design is still very much in evidence, but it looks brand new — not only is it well preserved, but it’s been supplemented over the years by new contemporary furniture in the same distinctive warm colors. Many of the details in the rooms are by Barth as well, alongside lamps, chairs, and bathrooms by other Italian modernist designers.
Also a new addition is the spectacular Badehaus, a low-slung modernist spa pavilion built from wood and walled entirely in glass. In this part of Italy you can expect a full-featured wellness experience — and you can also expect an extravagant dining experience, mixing Alpine abundance with Italian indulgence, all overseen by chef Albin Widmann, a South Tyrol native.