Since when has No Crowds been dishing out travel awards? A consultant friend of mine told me to do it years ago, but I wasn’t inspired or ready. Now I am.
This readiness comes from a stay at the Hotel La Perla in Corvara, Italy this September with my mother and father, aged respectively 84 and 90.
We had gone to the Dolomites to hike. That sentence is one of my favorite party tricks. “What, your parents are still hiking – in the mountains!?! ” Well, yes, in fact, they are - despite operations and arthritis and age-related ‘stuff’ large and small – yes, they are.
It was early last summer, when my father called to announce that a hiking trip to the Dolomites was on the cards.
“Great, Dad, who are you going with?”
“Your mother and I are going by ourselves. We thought we would go to the area where you and Alexa (my sister) like to ski. What do you think is the best hotel?”
“Well Dad, I would go to Hotel La Perla. It has an excellent reputation, a wonderful position in the village and a nice bar."
"OK, sounds good. If you like, why don’t you join us for a few days."
"I would love to."
By the time I arrived, my parents were La Perla cognoscenti. The Costa family who own and run the hotel perfectly understood the spirit of this American couple who loved being able to be there. The bartender made their favorite martinis perfectly. The food was lovely. Their Tyrolean-style room was comfortable and stylish with a great view. The hotel had found them an energetic and talented young man about the age of their grandchildren to serve as a mountain guide. Everyone from the front desk to the staff in the dining rooms valued the effort and importance of this trip to my parents. And as you can imagine, my parents loved being valued.
But it was when it was time to say goodbye to this alpine arcadia, that I realized how extraordinary La Perla is. As we emerged from the hotel for the last time, lining our way to the taxi was a guard of honor comprised of the staff and Costa family. And then they burst into applause. Yes, you got that right, my parents were applauded out of the hotel. They were applauded for their attitude to life, for their hats (see picture above) and for all they had achieved during their stay. Once in the car, my mother turned to me and said, “I have been to most of the grand hotels in the world (if you know her, you know that statement is true). La Perla is the nicest.”
And that is why No Crowds is proud to bestow its first award to the Hotel La Perla in Corvara – the world’s nicest hotel.