From the moment you arrive, Sonnenalp’s European ancestry makes itself colorfully clear. With its diagonally striped shutters and balconies dotted with bushy flower baskets, it’s easy to feel like you are in Bavaria instead of Vail.
The Sonnenalp Hotel offers 128 rooms ranging from traditional style hotel rooms to two-bedroom suites spread across five floors. I stayed in a spacious, one-bedroom, Bald Mountain Suite.
A loveseat, cushy chair, and coffee table, look toward a gas fireplace and television in the living area. Along with a space saving full size Murphy bed, there’s a Nespresso machine and a table with seating for four. However, there’s no refrigerator. Thanks to a window and balcony, a welcome amount of natural light streams into the living area.
The bedroom features a king bed, large wooden desk, a couple cushy chairs in front of a second gas fireplace, and an additional television and balcony. The suite is located next to the elevators, and the noise is most notable in the bedroom, so light sleepers might not be comfortable here.
The bathroom is accessed by walking through a large closet. Along with two sinks, and a walk-in shower, there’s a large soaking tub. The toilet is located in a separate space with a door, allowing multiple people to use the space at one time. Gilchrist & Soames toiletries are provided in large reusable/refillable bottles. Instead of offering drinking water in single-use plastic bottles, the Sonnenalp provides filtered water in reusable glass bottles.
Along with daily housekeeping, ice buckets are filled in the afternoon, and nightly turndown service comes with cookies.
Just like in the hotel’s public spaces, Bavarian décor the likes of antlers, pine cones and artwork, can be found throughout the room.
Down time is well spent at the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs. In addition to a spacious fitness center, the spa offers a variety of treatments including massage, facials, manicures and pedicures. At check-in, guests receive a weekly calendar that lists activities including Kids Club activities and guided hikes, (fee required) along with complimentary yoga and Pilates classes.
Traveling families should take advantage of the Game Room located on the lower level of the hotel. Along with ping pong, there’s foosball and air hockey.
There are numerous onsite eateries at Sonnenalp Hotel. Ludwig’s serves a lavish breakfast buffet. Options include but are not limited to made-to-order eggs, cheese blintzes, French toast, waffles, pancakes, quiche, charcuterie, and assorted breads and pastries. Breakfast is served Monday through Saturday, 7am to 11am, and Sunday until noon. The cost is $34. The Swiss Chalet serves European favorites including Wiener Schnitzel, Spätzle, along with cheese and chocolate fondue.
Vail Village and nearby Lionshead Village are also loaded with a number of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, all within walking distance.
Denver International Airport is a two-hour drive from the hotel. Eagle County Regional Airport is just 35 minutes west of Vail.
Rates for the Bald Mountain Suite start at $599 in the summer, and $1000 in winter. Rates for Juniper Hotel rooms (the property’s standard equivalent) start at $300 and $700 respectively. Wi-Fi is complimentary. You may be able to find cheaper rates at Hotels.com, Priceline or other OTAs.
Review and photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was hosted by Vail and the Sonnenalp Hotel, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.