Tailor-made holidays at the Torgglerhof Apfelhotel in Saltusio
studio noa* network of architecture
After working hard all year round, imagine booking a suite where you have the chance to spend a relaxing, comfortable holiday only to find yourself in the fields with a basket in your hand picking apples or grapes or working in a vegetable garden growing lettuce! But there’s no one forcing you to do this, it’s entirely your choice. Clearly, you have fallen in love with country life! This happens all the time at the Torgglerhof Apfelhotel, where one of its slogans reads: “Is it a farm or a hotel? It’s both!” The hotel stands out for its bespoke hospitality and familiar and engaging atmosphere. The village of Saltusio is situated at the entrance to the Passeiertal Valley, where the gentle slopes of the mountains and the wide, fertile valley floor offer plenty of large flat space ideal for apple orchards and vineyards. The forebears of the family that now runs the hotel (this is now the third generation) lived here in an old farmhouse that is now the main building, and it was here that they planted their first apple orchard. With the passing of the years and alternation of generations, the business has gradually diversified and focused increasingly on hospitality, culminating in the “scattered” accommodation model adopted by the modern-day Apfelhotel. But what were the origins of this constantly expanding facility? In 2014, the Bolzano-based firm noa* won the competition for a significant extension to the structure, a project that was to be carried out in several stages over a number of years and would also involve renovating some of the existing buildings. As Barbara Jahn-Rösel explains in the account of the project written on behalf of noa*, in 2016 the old barn next to the restaurant was gutted and converted for use as a workshop for the production of apple-based delicacies on the first floor and for guest rooms on the second. At the same time, the apple bio sauna was opened amongst the greenery as the first step in a comprehensive and recently-completed project to reorganise the wellness facilities. The wellness centre itself is a fascinating space immersed in nature and accessed via a wooden door half hidden in the hillside. One of its many features is an indoor swimming pool complete with an outdoor section with an infinity edge where guests can admire the stunning views. More recently, in 2020, three independent buildings were renovated to house 18 new suites. The style is modern but with a rural feel so as not to disturb the delicate overall stylistic balance. Italian ceramic tiles played an important role in ensuring the success of the project. Stoneway Barge Antica porcelain tiles in the colour beige from Ragno were used for the interiors of the restaurant and wellness area, while the same collection in the Outdoor finish was chosen for all the exterior areas, including the swimming pool. During installation, the 30×60 cm and 60×60 cm sizes were mixed together to give the floor a striking sense of dynamism, further accentuated by the earthy colours. The skilful use of surface covering materials helps to blur the distinction between interior and exterior and to reconcile seemingly contrasting stylistic elements.