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History and origins of the 4-star hotel in the Dolomites

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The charming hotel Oswald started a new era of tourism in Selva in the 19th century when it was used to be the meeting point of the European upper class circles of society until it was finally renovated in 2007

Inaugurated in 1896 by Karl Pitscheider as an annex building of the main inn called “Posta al Cervo”, it was expanded ten years later with the construction of a second wing and of its distinctive feature: the tower. The growing popularity of winter sports in Val Gardena  contributed to rank Hotel Oswald in the list of the most luxurious hotels worldwide.
It was proudly named “The Hotel”. Before the outburst of World War I and during the fascist period it was busy with aristocratic and upper class guests such as the members of the Royal House of Savoy, the famous scientist Enrico Fermi and many other high-ranking personalities. Summer used to be the peak season when the hotel mainly accommodated members of the upper class who would spend 3, 4 or even more weeks there.
The Hotel is situated on the main central street of the village of Selva, which was very important in those days. Besides that, the hotel served another important purpose providing protection from the sun. In the past the aristocratic society gave maximum effort to avoid sunbathing in order to differentiate itself from the lower classes whose members such as farmers and workers had a dark skin colour instead. During the sunny summer days the hotel garden provided shadow and skin care with its sun umbrellas wide open. In 1929 the hotel opened for the winter season and 4 years later it was equipped with the first heating system. Hotel Oswald was renowned all over Europe for being the best hotel in the Alps.
During the Second World War it was used as a military hospital and when Bolzano was bombed, from 1944 to 1945, it was used as a school for the students of Merano and Bolzano. When the war was over, it was occupied by a part of the German armed forces. In the post-war period the hotel was run by Ossi Pitscheider who gave it back its former splendour and fame and put some clever marketing strategies in place attracting hundreds of students from the prestigious universities of Oxford and Cambridge to Selva.
Hotel Oswald was shut down in 1966 due to financial troubles. Several entrepreneurs used their capital to pay the debts of the hotel and they succeeded as the hotel reopened in 1970 but it closed shortly afterwards. It was not before 1978 that some local hotel managers set up a stock company with the objective of taking over and renovating the hotel. The year 1981 marked the beginning of a new successful era that is still lasting today. From those days till 2007 hotel Oswald underwent three major renovation works.

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10 good reasons for a holiday in the Hotel Oswald


  • centrally located in the heart of Selva Val Gardena
  • excellent cuisine and optimal service
  • elegant & comfortable rooms
  • only a few steps to the mountain and cable cars in Val Gardena
  • ideal starting point for hikes, climbing and mountain bike tours in summer
  • optimal starting point in the world famous Dolomiti Superski area
  • direct access to the Sellaronda panorama tour
  • quaint farmhouses, Val Gardena traditions, scenic must see & cultural attractions
  • breathtaking panorama
  • good fresh air ensures well-being and good mood

Elegant rooms & suites at the Hotel Oswald
Cosy accommodation in the dolomites

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