I’m Alexa and together with my husband Markus we welcome you to Relais Almaranto. But how did we end up moving our lives to Calamandrana?
After getting married in beautiful Italy many years back, we knew we wanted to call Italy home at some stage in our lives. We both are passionate foodies and it has always been our dream to one day live out our culinary passions in Italy and we are realising this dream now, with the company of our little dog Alma too.
When we first looked for a place to realise our vision, it quickly became clear that it can only be one region for us and that was Piemonte and more specifically the beautiful Monferrato hills in the heartland of Barbera wine, the birth place of Alta Langa and soil of white truffles with an abundance of culinary delights.
When we arrived in 2017, we by chance found an existing hotel and immediately saw its potential for what we had in mind; to create a culinary centre, support the local region and to develop tourism to the area.
Of course, we could have taken our hard-earned life savings and bought a vacation home to simply enjoy the moment and plan later for retirement. That is one way to engage in a region, but we felt the urge to do something more. So, we combined our experiences and explored what else we could do in addition to the joys of living here.
I’ve continuously developed my culinary know-how over the past 25 years building a successful culinary school in Germany, working in various kitchens all over the world, gaining knowledge in a wide range of flavours, tastes, and techniques, and living my culinary dream. Whilst I specialise in Asian and Indian spices, it’s Italian cuisine - using simple, seasonal ingredients to showcase its full potential - that has always been the love of my life, other than Markus that is.
As for Markus, he has worked across the globe transforming organisations and developing teams. With his passion for wine, he was always a fan of Piemonte in a glass and quickly fell in love with the many incredible Barbera wines that our region is famous for, next to the better-known neighbouring Barolos and Barbarescos (about time that Barbera gets the same fame). Together, we love to pair food & wines and get people excited about new and traditional culinary experiences.
The vision we had for Almaranto was a boutique hotel housed in an historic place with lots of character, without compromising on modern features and finesse, combined with an exceptional cooking school. As we started to develop the project, our vision evolved even further and now you can also enjoy two outstanding dining options – our gourmet ADAGIO Ristorante Gourmet- offering the finest of Piemonte in a unique and tranquil atmosphere or if it’s a more casual experience you’re after, relax in our stylish ANIMA Ristorante Bistro - the “soul” of our venture overlooking the Monferrato hills where you can enjoy Piemonte with a twist – like my very own vitello tonnato burger 😊.
We run our new venture as a family of like-minded individuals, and our team working for our guests are the heart and soul of this family. We have been very lucky to find our new family here in Calamandrana and it’s important to us to be able develop our people, especially young talents, reinvest in the community and protect the environment by building a social sustainable enterprise.
On behalf of Markus, myself and our passionate team, I thank everyone who has helped us realise this dream and for your continued support. And, to our future guests, we very much looking forward to welcoming you and hope that you will enjoy your stay and love Almaranto as much as we do!
Alexa, Markus & Alma