The Aparthotel Panorama Living sits in Northern Italy's South Tyrol region and is a short drive over the Brenner pass from Austria. The area can be considered Austrian for all intent and purpose and German is the spoken language. The Aparthotel is a new and modern development on the outskirts of the village of Meransen overlooking the valley, hence the Panorama.
A beautifully appointed building with none of the kitsch associated with alpine developments, each apartment is equipped with everything you might need for a short or long break. We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment facing the communal lawn area with two large bathrooms and a terrace with table and sun loungers. Both bathrooms were identical, shower, two basins, bidet but no bath. The mirror in the bathroom is Bluetooth enabled so can act as a speaker, which is a nice feature. The sun arrived after breakfast and stayed until after lunch during our week in late June.
Apartments include the novel feature of an Infrared Sauna which, after a few sittings, proved a useful addition. A penthouse apartment with a private terrace, a normal sauna and a whirlpool, is also available.
As is common in this part of the Alps, breakfast is included in the price and is served in a dedicated space with an impressive overhanging deck. The breakfast is a buffet with an a la carte menu for egg dishes. The buffet is very well stocked and included plenty of healthy options instead of the normal meat and bread associated with the local diet.
The apartments are privately owned and the quality of service is above the usual hotel standard. Each morning our assigned breakfast table had a printed sheet with the weather and suggestions for visits and hiking in English.
During our stay, the apartments were not fully booked and were very peaceful. Opening the doors of the apartment to the terrace gave way to nothing more than bird song and fresh alpine air. I would imagine any noise would be related to the communal lawn and the close proximity to the neighbouring terraces.
The Panorama also has a gourmet shop where an honour system is present - you take it and write a note that they bill you for later. A good selection of drinks and basics are available. A guest laundry with a washing machine, dryer & ironing is available, as is outside parking. It is possible at certain times of year to use the bus/cable car to access the apartments but I wouldn't think it practical with luggage.
You also receive the local tourist card for your tax - the Gitschberg Jochtal Almencard giving you access to the local lift, public transport and free admission to over 90 museums in South Tyrol.
Panorama Living is an unusual development for the Alps if not for this area. A modern design with panoramic views and great apartments and a peaceful location is hard to come by and makes for a refreshing change from the dreaded wood-covered aesthetic favoured everywhere else.