Hotel with 140 years of tradition
Andrea, Giuseppe, Ermanno, Armin e Derik Detone. These are the names of the representatives of as many as five generations in Canazei. In the middle, the Hotel "Croce Bianca"(White Cross), once "Weisses Kreuz", when this territory belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
A long story beginning on September 2, 1869, when the then inn “l’Ost d’l bosch (the forest hostel) obtained the first license to sell wine, brandy and colonial groceries to the public. 1882 is the second important date, when Andrea Detone, who originally came from Alba, was authorized to give lodgings to strangers. Hard years, those at the end of the last century.
In the summertime in the hotel in Canazei, from October to May as whitewashers in Switzerland. There, the hotels with the greatest prestige were called “Weisses Kreuz” and that is the reason why Giuseppe Detone, Andreas’s son, returning from a working season decided to give his hotel the same name.
In 1905 the first annex was built together with a horse resting and changing station.
In 1929 the first real leap in quality, when Giuseppe, together with his son Ermanno, extends the structure bringing it to a capacity of 39rooms, equipped with running water, electricity and every comfort except for heating which was done by the traditional wood fired stoves, one for every room, with two women from Canazei coming to light them very early in the morning and trying to make less noise possible while the guests were still in bed. A pinch of Romanticism belonging to a time long ago!
In the forties winter tourism has its beginning thanks especially to the initiative of Francesco Dezulian “Del Garber”, one of the pioneers of the snowy seasons, the first to bring tourism customers in the wintertime. The circumstance evidently required further quality investments and this is the reason why, in 1939, the central heating plant was installed.
It was the epoch of the tourism of scientists, cartographers, botanists and alpinists - remembers Armin Detone, wealthy people who had a passion for science and the mountains. So, there was the summer and then also the winter season with the arrival of Germans and Hungarians to confirm the ancient origin of eastern tourism.
Then the war and for five years the “Croce Bianca” was transformed into a military barrack: first the Wehrmacht, then the Americans and then the Italians.
At the end an almost totally destroyed building, to the point that in the early post-war period the hotel was let to “Pro Civitate Christiana”.
At last, in 1949, goes on telling Armin Detone, the management returned to my father Ermanno and my mother Erina, an extraordinary woman who has managed the kitchen here for 50 years with simple menus, poor recipes but with an inimitable taste; she received the “stella al merito” (Italian award for special merit) as a hotel keeper.
Armin took the place of his parents in 1970 after four years of experience in a Canadian luxury hotel.
Already in the autumn of the same year two floors of rooms were restructured and then, by means of a series of important measures they brought the “Croce Bianca Leisure & Spa Hotel” to have 46 rooms, 2 suites, 1 junior suites, 16 vivenes 16 comfort 8 standard rooms, 3 single rooms and 89 beds.
And the future? The future, concludes Armin, belongs to my son Derik, who is full of enthusiasm and desire to go on. For this reason he plans further investments and is designated to honour the name of the “Detone” dynasty.