Wait! Don’t start yet! Put some –appropriate- music on first!
My desire to stay in a treehouse in my adult life, I think, was formed since my childhood when we were “building” little houses on the trees of the neighborhood. Maybe at some point it seemed inconceivable for me to abandon this carefree version for real dubstep and just like that the childhood dream became part of the travel experiences I would like to have and traveled to this day.
It was a matter of time to book airline tickets. So one day I took the plane and three trains to get to South Tyrol or Alto Adige, north of Italy and the San Luis retreat Hotel & Lodges. Forty-two tree houses around a lake, all surrounded by forty hectares of forest. A hotel that looked more like an alpine village, literally in the middle of nowhere, in the heart of nature, an oasis from another world.
As soon as I passed through its large gate, which immediately foreshadows its privacy, everything connected to the city began to be erased in my mind. Jobs, tasks, buzz, traffic, bills, deadlines. Even my cellphone was put in silent mode – and remained there for the rest of my stay -. The only sound I would hear from that moment would be the chirping of birds and the flowing water. And finally I would hear the silence.
At San Luis we were welcomed with an aperitivo overlooking the lake. It was already afternoon when we arrived at the retreat, after several hours on the train, but in front of this magical place view, every trace of fatigue vanished. Entering the hotel’s public areas, the smell of wood and soft scents flooded our nose. Like Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, we came out of the pages of Patrick Süskind and tried to inhale as much of this intoxicating patchwork for our smell, before our eyesight drifted through the high mountains and into the lush greenery. .
No matter how many beautiful words I use I think are very small in front of this greatness we lived at San Luis. A retreat hotel in the woods is like no other experience you might have in your mind. When we were driven to the tallest tree house of this fairytale village hotel, our excitement surpassed even the most childish reaction. We couldn’t stop observing the view of the snow-capped mountains and the tall trees around our treehouse.
In the evening in the hotel restaurant we were greeted by our names, lit candles, amazing smells and views of the lake under the moonlight. And this is the only time of the day we had to get dressed. Because you can walk around the retreat with your bathrobe, from your tree house to the lobby, the wooden platforms, the restaurant, the pool with the fireplace and the spa, the streets among the trees. Why else would it be a retreat if it didn’t make us feel relaxed at the maximum?
In the nights we listened to nature’s nightly songs while in the mornings we woke up to chants. A (almost invisible) mailman left us at the kitchen table every morning the news of the day (the excursions) and our organic breakfast to find it ready when we woke up. The rainy days and the fog created an even more intense (cinematic) atmosphere and filled us with a sense of warmth, just as we feel in our mother’s arms. In San Luis, time seemed to have stopped or rather focused on the present. And in this environment (fortunately) it was our only choice.
A huge thank you to San Luis Retreat Hotel & Lodges team for the great times we had but also for creating this paradise so that we can enjoy it.
If you want to experience it yourself, you can book at San Luis Retreat Hotel & Lodges here.
All photos by me
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Disclaimer: My stay at the San Luis Retreat Hotel & Lodges was made after an invitation to experience the hotel in collaboration with Visit South Tyrol tourism organization. For my airline tickets I collaborated with Airshop.gr. What I am writing is my personal opinion, based on my experience, as always.