Escape to the very best design hotels in the Italian Dolomites

(CNN) — Think apple strudel, dumplings and potatoes, ski slopes, forest foraging, mountain views, saunas and uber-chic design hotels.

Believe it or not, this isn’t Austria or even Germany. Say “hello” to Italy’s Dolomites. Particularly South Tyrol and the surrounding area.

The beautiful region is another Italy. One that has its own language, Laden, and where in addition to Italian, German is native too.

A destination where glorious Renaissance and Baroque monuments or cathedrals are replaced by castles, Romanesque architecture with alpine wood, buongiorno with a guten morgen.

This part of the boot shares the UNESCO heritage-protected Dolomite mountains