The pack of Pinarello Dogma F10 road bikes outside Hotel La Perla is the first sign that you have arrived at one of Europe’s premier cycling destinations. But, only if you pull into the hotel’s cobbled driveway before the guided (and fully supported) road ride begins. If you miss the gleaming Pinarellos, there is beautiful ‘Linda’, the Czech-made penny-farthing fronting the family-run hotel entrance. Linda belongs to Michil Costa, a La Perla owner, and cycling enthusiast.
Linda’s engraved nameplate reads, “les Dolomites nosta tera nosta vita”. Roughly translated, this means, the Dolomites our land our life. Passion runs deep in the Costa family. And it extends beyond their beloved Dolomite region in northern Italy – it’s evident in their world-class hotel La Perla, the in-house road cycling program, and how they care for their guests.
My husband and I have cycled in France and Spain, but never on the legendary mountain roads in Italy’s Dolomites. It didn’t take long for us to realize that Hotel La Perla in Corvara, is in a league of its own when it comes to cycling in Europe. Here are six reasons why Hotel La Perla is the best place for road cycling in the Dolomites (and possibly in Europe).
Six Reasons Why Hotel La Perla Is the Best Place for Road Cycling in the Dolomites
1. Top Quality Road Bikes
Guests at La Perla ride reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome’s bike of choice, the Pinarello Dogma F10. This Italian thoroughbred and multiple cycling grand tour winner is the perfect machine for carving through the mountain passes. And the Pinarello Dogma F10 ensures you are well-equipped in the best place for road cycling in the Dolomites.
2. InGamba Cycling
InGamba, a bike tour company, founded by former professional cyclist João Correia, operate the cycling program at Hotel La Perla.
Born from the professional peloton, InGamba offers guests a taste of what it’s like to be a pro cyclist. It starts with a professional bike fit, expert tuning by a World Tour mechanic, on-ride nutrition thoughtfully prepared by the InGamba soigneur, plus pre-filled water bottles. And this is just the beginning. There is a daily pre-ride briefing, as well as a team car and fully-stocked van providing on-ride support.
The InGamba team aren’t just cycling experts; they are local experts. They know the climbs, the traffic, and the best places to stop along the way. If you want to explore the legendary Dolomites on your own, InGamba’s customized route maps are designed to slide into a jersey pocket.
3. Ideal Location
Situated in a quiet corner in the village of Corvara, La Perla’s unique location is ideal for road cycling in the Dolomites. For example, from the cobbled driveway, you can join the region’s famous Sella Ronda cycle route over storied passes like Gardena, Sella, Pordoi, and Campolongo. This epic ride covers 58 km (37 miles) and 1,800 metres (5900 feet) of elevation. The Sella Ronda is one of many cycling routes accessible from La Perla, either with InGamba or on your own.
4. Abundant Food and Wine
After an active day in the Dolomites, you can satisfy your cravings at one of the hotel’s five restaurants. Choose from the Michelin-starred La Stüa de Michil adorned with Mrs. Costa’s artistic flower arrangements. Or the half-board restaurant Les Stües, offering a simple, South Tyrolean menu. If you feel like a taste of the Mediterranean, choose Bistrot La Perla.
Steps outside of the main hotel building, L’Murin Tavern offers soul-filling meals like pasta with ribs, and Restaurant Ladinia specializes in sophisticated mountain cuisine.
After an unforgettable day in the best place for road cycling in the Dolomites, you might feel like a glass (or two) of wine. Fortunately, the Mahatma Cellar houses 30,000 bottles of wine – you won’t be thirsty on or off the bike.
5. Luxury Hotel Living
Professional staff, local design details, and flower-filled spaces combine to create a welcoming and luxurious retreat at Hotel La Perla.
Uniquely decorated guest rooms feature German-style duvets, Alpine pine accents, fluffy pillows, hand painted ceramics, and handmade rugs. Whether you spend your day hiking, biking or wandering through Corvara, the La Perla guest rooms are a cozy and well-appointed mountain retreat.
After an active day (and before you indulge at one of the five restaurants), you can book a spa treatment, or relax in the indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and hot tub at Hotel La Perla.
6. The Dogma Pinarello Lounge
Dedicated to Pinarello and the history of cycling, the Dogma Pinarello Lounge is the heart of cycling at La Perla. Here you can meet fellow cyclists and swap stories alongside bikes ridden by cycling legends like Miguel Indurain and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
The Dogma Pinarello Lounge is inspiring and humbling, like the nearby mountain passes. And I can’t imagine a better place to ride in the Dolomites.
The Best Place for Road Cycling in the Dolomites – Travel Tips
- The La Perla Leading Bike package offers cyclists luxurious accommodation, a performance-driven Pinarello Dogma road bike, and pro-level support from InGamba. Be sure to check the hotel’s website and subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to hear about the Leading Bike offering for 2018.
- Road cycling isn’t the only reason to visit Hotel La Perla. An adjacent gondola offers access to world-class mountain biking, hiking, and skiing (during the winter months).
- For families, the Alta Badia region (Corvara & five other villages) offers all levels of hiking trails, alpine playgrounds, and a children’s program.
- Contact La Perla at [email protected] or call +39 0471 83 10 00 for more information or to make a reservation. La Perla is located at Col Alt 105 str., Corvara (BZ) Corvara (BZ) Alta Badia Italy 39033.
Part of our stay at La Perla was hosted. As always, if I don’t love an experience, I won’t recommend it.