In the Green Pearls® newsletters, we write about hotels and destinations along with their green initiatives. With a great deal of personal commitment, the Green Pearls® hoteliers work tirelessly for more sustainability in tourism and continue to inspire even in the midst of a pandemic.
In the middle of the small Italian town of Cavalese in Trentino, you will find the Eco Park Hotel Azalea. True to its name, the Azalea is a natural oasis surrounded by a lush garden full of roses, gladioli, tulips, and dahlias. The story of the Azalea begins in the 1940s, when the great aunts Gisella and Fortunata, together with Bruno, the father of the current owner – he was 15 at the time – decided to convert their grandparents’ farm into the small Azalea guesthouse. Since then, the hotel has undergone numerous transformations. In 2007, Bruno, the owner at the time, decided to renovate and expand the hotel. In fact, the hotel was quite fragile structurally and renovations were therefore inevitable. The current owner, Manuela Delmattio, and her German husband Olaf, both architects, developed a design for an eco-friendly and sustainable renovation with a small extension to the building.
The vision of the two architects was a house full of innovation for guests who were open and willing to understand the concept. However, the dream was shattered when it became clear that the hotel was on the verge of bankruptcy.
In 2008, construction work could begin on an eco-friendly property under the new leadership of Bruno and Manuela, who gave up her profession as an architect. For Manuela, the family tradition and her father’s teachings were a source and inspiration.
In 2012, Bruno passed away and Manuela decided to continue to manage the hotel along with her staff in a sustainable way and to remain true to her visions.
The guiding principle of the hotel management is respect for nature and people, mindfulness, and overall well-being. A philosophy of smiles and friendliness also guides the staff’s interactions with guests.
A sustainable home of color and lightness
The result is a retreat where guests of all ages can feel at home.
During construction, great care was taken to ensure that no toxic adhesives or substances were used and that the wood was not treated and certified solvent-free. All windows are low energy windows and the hotel has a heat recovery system and a rainwater recovery system for garden irrigation and toilet flushing, biomass heating and electricity comes from 100% renewable sources. There are e-bikes and charging stations for electric vehicles.
Manuela made sure to employ only regional companies during construction.
The cleaning products are biodegradable and wherever possible, packaging materials and disposables are avoided and recyclable materials are used instead.
The unique decorations found throughout the hotel are sourced from local social cooperatives, and the fresh flowers are from the hotel’s own garden. The Azalea is part of the Common Good Economy movement and follows its ethical principles.
The cuisine is 100% vegetarian. Organic and regional products are used, such as cheese, yogurt, milk, wine, beer, drinks, eggs, vegetables, pasta, and cereals. The restaurant offers creative dishes with numerous plant-based, local and organic ingredients, ancient grains, and sourdough – with the “Vegan OK” certification.
Activities also for the little ones
All activities offered are in harmony with the nature of the Valle di Fiemme. Together with Manuela, guests explore the mountains and forests and can enjoy breakfast at sunrise in Europe’s largest highest art park, the RespirART.
There is also an exciting outdoor children’s program:
- Colorful dinners – 2 times a week on the terrace
- Baking bread or pizza
- Detective hikes
- Adventures in the forest with a picnic
- Mini Artists
For guests seeking more tranquillity, there are a number of holistic offers:
- Good morning yoga with sunbathing on the terrace
- Afternoon yoga in the Casagialla
- Tibetan singing bowls
- Morning walk with meditation at the San Valerio bell tower
Since 20 September 2020, the Azalea has been closed and, like many hotels around the world, is struggling to remain both emotionally positive and economically viable. Nevertheless, many new projects are planned such as the fourth star. Currently, the Azalea is a 3 ½ star hotel. There are plans to combine rooms, where some will have their own sauna. A new yoga studio in the garden with a massage room is also being planned. This room can also be used for meetings and courses.
Manuela and the team are looking forward to the summer with hope and have written down their ideas for this time.
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