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“If you have 4-year olds, read on”
Review of Sonnenalp

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Sonnenalp
Ranked #1 of 30 Hotels in Vail
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 April 2008

Went here on a father-son (age 4) trip over easter. Mom had had enough of winter so this was a boys' trip. Imagine the chaos-potential...

The hotel was great. In addition to all the grown-up raves listed, from a family point of view, Sonnenalp is purrrfect. My son skied halfdays and spent the rest of the day tearing up the indoor/outdoor pool and hot tubs with the other kids in the hotel. Not a flinch from the staff, but rather "another strawberry smoothie, young man?". The rooms/suites are very nice even if some kids get ideas that you don't need a towel when the bathroom floor is heated. If a view or scenery in general from your room matters, you need to insist on "creekside" accomodation; otherwise you will be disappointed. The staff is great and were totally on top of our "clean it by noon and turndown at six"-schedule. The complimentary shuttle is great; deliveries and pickups took all worries out of the father-son existence. Roomservice is accomodating and the breakfast buffet is good, if not up to Alpine luxury standards.
As for babysitters, just call the front desk but know that every restaurant I went to was exceedingly welcoming to children (at least when sitting down before 7pm). And this old dad had no problems going to sleep before nine pm anyway...

I have no complaints at all, from reservation to departure. I did look at the Vail forum and got some great tips from the local Vail expert on Tripadvisor.

Vail, the village, is a bit lacking unless you're willing to drive to supermarkets etc; there is no proper grocery or similar, it's all resort. At least within walking distance. If you're used to Aspen or European ski-towns, it will feel contrived. However, in addition to the numerous t-shirt shops and "western art" galleries, there is a fab ice cream parlor (the marble slab) and a popcorn wagon to keep the sugarlevels on "buzzing". One of the nicest lunches in town can be had at "Larkspur" right at the Golden Peak base, where the kid's ski school is. There is also a nice cafe there.

Vail, the mountain(s), is without doubt one of the world's top ski areas. I've been to most of the majors, and Vail in 2008 astounded me (I had not been here since '92).

We will return to Sonnenalp next year.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mahaguru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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919 - 925 of 1,008 reviews

Reviewed 11 March 2008

After many years of ski-ing in Europe we took the plunge and headed to the USA this year, choosing Vail as it was close to Denver and also had a reputedly great ski-area. When looking at hotels we decided to go top end in case of inclement weather having already stayed at the Sietzmark in the summer (nice hotel as well). This lead us to the Sonnenalp Resort.

Firstly - Vail & the ski-ing - world class is the only words I can find. So different from Europe - polite people who don't push & shove at the lifts, fabulous range of terrain, huge ski area, nothing to complain about at all. We will never ski Europe again after this.

As for the Sonnenalp, it was excellent. The hotel is actually quite large but doesn't seem it as it seems well designed around a compact central area. The whole place is done in the Austrian style and clearly a lot of thought has gone into the design.

We stayed in a Lodge Pole suite overlooking the pool & hot tub area and it was one of the nicest hotel rooms we have stayed in in many ways. Pretty spacious, nice walk in closet, comfortable bed, fireplace and big bathroom with a heated floor, big shower and bath for two. Our only minor gripes were a lack of pressure on the shower and a less than perfect A/C - especially given the very dry mountain air.

As an example of the quality of the hotel - we had the TV go on the fritz and maintenance were there inside 5 minutes and got it fixed inside 10 - very efficient. They do a turn down service providing water, cookies and the next day's weather as well which is a nice touch.

The general hotel area is luxurious with nice lounges which have music in the evening, a good looking spa (we were too busy ski-ing to use it!), and a well equipped business center for internet access.

There are also three restaurants on site - we eat at Bully's 4 times - wholesome, good value burgers etc - and a vanilla margarita to die for, and the Swiss Chalet once which was also good. We didn't eat at Ludwigs as we don't equate upscale dining with ski trips. Breakfast was served in either a conservatory or Ludwigs and was superb, a huge selection of healthy and guilty options, all included in the room rate. One of the best hotel buffets I have eaten in.

The staff were unfailingly pleasant and efficient, and the concierge service very welcome. The hotel also has complementary lockers for skis & boots within 2 minutes walk of the main lift, so you get a pleasant 5 minute stroll after breakfast in the morning to wake up the ski muscles.

So - difficult to fault really, and we will almost certainly be back. We will be back in Vail next year for the snow and will probably stay at the Sonnenalp as it is flexible with dates - many of the other hotels seem to only book Saturday to Saturday which is a chore when you are travelling from the UK.

But then again, the Sonnenalp won't be too hard to take again!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Big_Blue_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2008

It is pretty clear that the Sonnenalp is the best reviewed hotel in Vail. The rooms are beautiful, the service is amazing, and the prices reflect that quality, so I'll focus on some of the more practical aspects of staying here.

First, the hotel is about as far from the Vail Village lifts as you can get, and still be in Vail Village. Being at the far edge of the village can be a challenge on really cold nights.

The last review mentioned that Sonnenalp has a deal with one of the ski shops to provide free locker space to Sonnenalp guests. The shop is right below the Vista Bahn lift. We weren't told about the availability of of the lockers until we asked the concierge about ski rentals. Make sure you do this right away because the number of lockers is limited.

Even with the discount offered to Sonnenalp guests, ski rentals at the place where they have the lockers is (based on my shopping) the most expensive. Try American Ski Exchange Their rates are great, they'll let you check your skis for free at the end of the day, and they're right across the street from the place with the free lockers. Their demo equipment is good quality and well cared for. Keep a watch for the pink 20% off coupons for All American ski rentals.

Bottom line: everything about the Sonnenalp is absolutely five-star, and well worth the slight inconvenience of not being in the center of things. With a little planning you can minimize the inconvenience of being somewhat removed from the lifts.

  • Stayed: February 2008
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2  Thank goodby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2008

I wanted to review a winter stay at the Sonnenalp because so many of the reviews were for off-season stays.

The Sonnenalp is located in Vail Village and is about a five minute walk to the slopes, including a chairlift and the ticket booth. Although there may be a few properties that are slightly closer, this is a great location for skiers. In addition, the hotel provided us with a locker at a retail winter sports store directly across from the lifts (including a discount coupon for rentals). The bellman moved our skis to the locker and picked them up when we checked out. The bottom line is that the location is very convenient for skiers.

The hotel is styled as an Alpen lodge and exude what German-speakers call Gemutlichkeit (sorry, no umlaut key on my keyboard). It has a very cozy feel with Swiss-themed decorations and various touches. Everything feels genuine, however, and not kitchy. The staff is largely foreign, and most of our interactions were either with Germans and Austrians, or South Americans. Sort of an Alps or Andes mix of relatively young staffers. All were extremely friendly and helpful.

We stayed in one of the larger suites. There was a minor mix-up with the reservation and they moved us into the larger suite to make-up for the problem (it was not, however, necessary). The room was nice, with a foyer, very large bathroom, and bedroom area. In addition, there was a sitting area with a fireplace.

As a general comment, the service at the Sonnenalp was superb. The maid service, for example, was five star with full-turndown, including slippers, fresh cookies, water, and the like. The German female bartender in the lobby bar remembered our drink orders from the previous night. The Concierge was extremely helpful with reservations, ski arrangements, and other requests. Again, this is a five-star hotel with the accompanying service.

Some other points - I don't know whether it was our rate plan or all plans, but a full American breakfast was included in the rate. The spa is excellent and is not an afterthought or "add-on." This is a proper spa with facilities designed into the hotel. I have regular massages and am very discerning in this area - the Sonnenalp masseuse was extremely talented.

The only constructive criticism I would offer is that the staff, while well meaning, sometimes don't seem to be well-directed. The first morning at breakfast we were seated in an area where it appeared that a single waiter was assigned to many tables. There were, however, many other staff who didn't appear to be doing anything - it seemed that they just didn't realize that could/should be helping out. Some additional adult supervision could improve this area (especially in dining). The other problems we had were with the bellmen, who just didn't seem to have it together. Skis were lost and rentals were returned to the rental store (before they had even been used), and the car keys were lost. They were well meaning, but were just not as organized as some other hotel departments.

Lastly, while the winter rates are high, I felt like there was a lot of good value for the money. I did not feel, like I do at many other expensive hotels, that I was being "nickel'd and dime'd" to death. The computers in the basement, for example, were available for use without any additional charge. I have also stayed at some other Vail Village locations, including The Lodge, and I thought the Sonnenalp was superior.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Trover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2008

It was my first time in Colorado and the sonnenalp place is awesome. Our room was 1 bed suite with a beautiful fireplace/soaking tub. Most of the rooms have balconies with flower boxes. The suite view was to the mountains.
Walking distance to shops and restaurants. Concierge and staff were very friendly and polite. I even got the chance to meet the Owner of this nice place and take pictures with him. This is a place I would definatelly come back. Me and my honey would never forget this weekend! ILU baby!

Stayed: February 2008
Thank millerb989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

We've just returned from a wonderful week's skiing, staying at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail for the second time. The overall ambience and charm of the hotel is second to none, and the service and courtesy of the staff could not be faulted. We stayed in a Blue Spruce suite, which was very pleasantly decorated with gentle rustic charm, but with all the facilties you would expect of a top hotel (except perhaps the shower, which was more of a trickle than a power shower). The breakfasts (included in the rate) were amongst the best I've ever had, and the restaurant choices for dinner (Ludwigs, Bully Ranch and Swiss Chalet) were all very good. But the icing on the cake has to be the spa and pool. There is nothing nicer than returning from a hard day's skiing into the heated indoor/outdoor pool or sitting in the indoor or outdoor jacuzzi with a home made smoothie in your hand! Bliss! We're already saving up to go back next year.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank HelandTone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2008

We decided to go to this hotel after stay some years ago in the other Sonnenalp hotel in Germany.

The place is marvellous and we enjoyed all the facilities of the hotel.

We have a lovely dinners everynight and the breakfast buffet is huge but excellent, you have so many things to try!!

The staff is friendly and very profesional.

All perfect

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank davostraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sonnenalp

Address: 20 Vail Road, Vail, CO 81657-5010
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Colorado > Vail
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Vail
#1 Spa Hotel in Vail
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Vail
#3 Business Hotel in Vail
#6 Romantic Hotel in Vail
#7 Family Hotel in Vail
Price Range: £183 - £720 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sonnenalp 5*
Number of rooms: 127
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sonnenalp is a unique hotel in Vail, Colorado renowned for personal service and genuine, family-run hospitality. Enjoy world-class amenities and conveniences in the heart of Vail Village. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sonnenalp Resort Of Vail Hotel Vail
Sonnenalp Hotel Vail
Sonnenalp Resort Vail

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