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“A Resort, Undermanned”

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Edelweiss Lodge and Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

AFRC Garmisch is exactly what it bills itself to be: a recreation center in Europe, primarily for US armed forces. The needs of those armed forces are addressed adequately: a place for those stationed in Europe to experience a bit of Bavaria, and for those deployed further east for a year to meet their families for a week or two in the middle of their deployment. Accordingly, the clientele is typically young families, sometimes with grandparents in tow, looking for winter sports opportunities in winter or the pastoral beauty of Bavaria in the summer. To meet the need, AFRC has consolidated facilities once strewn across Garmisch on a secure site (Marshall Center), provided lots of double queen rooms, added a pool, hot tub, gym, bar, chow hall, restaurant, and gift shop, built to resemble a spacious alpine lodge (lots of stone facade, and wood tones/logs throughout), sitting atop a two-level underground garage. It has a side business as a conference center, offering meeting facilities, to cover down if/when room traffic slows.

It is not, however, a "resort". But it could be, with very little effort and money. And that's what I hope it becomes. Here's a couple suggestions.

A resort needs three things: location, facilities, and service. AFRC Garmisch has location (quit whining about not being next door to city hall), and it has facilities (current hotel is nice; couple of design features could be put to better use on the space provided), and the service that is offered is good - but this is where it could take the step up to the next level. AFRC Garmisch needs more staff to bring the service offered up to "resort" status. ~~The one true restaurant is only open Thursday through Sunday nights, instead of offering their very good food every day of the week, and having kitchen and wait staff to offer room service. ~~The bar closes at midnight, and does not follow German law regarding acceptable drinking age (first time I have seen a US facility not follow host nation rules in this way), instead if being run like a German Biergarten/Weinstube.~~There are no routine daycare facilities for little kids, which would allow their parents time off that young families enduring long separations desperately need.~~The great room, with a Yule log sized fireplace (never has a Yule log burning) and lots of great seating, needs coffee and tea service for older guests who want to sit and enjoy a book or do some light work.~~The pool/hot tub closes at 10pm - to be fair, because of the proximity of guest rooms, but there are ways to fix those issues aside from closing the place down.~~~ All of these issues could be addressed adequately with more staff and the service philosophy necessary to support their efforts.

To AFRC Management: I hope you are willing and able to bring your staffing, and therefore your services offered, up to the next level. I may be back, but I will also look for other places offering higher levels of service for the money.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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2  Thank Bajadaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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479 - 485 of 736 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2013

I've stayed at the Edelweiss more times than I can count, usually paid for by the Army and occasionally for our own leisure trips. We just stayed there again, and I have to congratulate them for making two key improvements: the internet is now free, and the American-style bedding has been replaced by German-style (white, clean) bedding. Now, they just need to include breakfast.

The good? After being in Europe for a long time (or Afghanistan), you sometimes want everything to be easy and in English -- just like America. This accomplishes that. The pool facilities are nice, and the place is a little village complete with restaurants and a small store (and commissary and PX across the street). It is also nice to have an empty fridge in the rooms. Although not exactly the hotel itself, the ski lodge (you can use that with an ID card even if not a hotel guest) is super convenient, has great prices, and our daughter has loved ski school there for the last three years.

The bad? Poor value compared to what you can get in a German place. The location within Garmisch is really not that good. A long walk to town. The restaurants are too busy -- can't make a same day reservation. The carpet is starting to get dirty. Our balcony had crumbs from the prior guest still. It would be nice to have a microwave in the rooms and tea making capabilities. The toiletries provided are low quality, the sort you'd get at Motel 6. And there are always children running around, which is especially annoying at night. You also tend to get drunk, cursing Soldiers starting at around 9pm.

Bottom line, I'd come here with my family when we want an easy trip, knowing the good and the bad. I'd not come here if this were my only trip to Germany or as a couple.

Room Tip: To avoid noise, ask for a room not overlooking the hot tub. The facility is also quite big, I usual...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Unwilted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Came to the Edelweiss for a business conference. Everything was very good. The room was clean and comfortable, the staff very friendly and helpful. Food was decent - not exceptional, but that is what the rest of the town is there for!

While it is not near the center of town, there is a convenient bus stop just outside the resort. It's also only a 15 minute walk, even in the snow. Also the resort will call you a cab anytime you need it. Unfortunately, all I had time for was the conference and dinners out, so I can't comment on the other winter activities available.

I would come back here again at any time of the year for both business and pleasure.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
Thank ColoradoDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013 via mobile

Pros:
Location is great.
Rooms are nice, clean and well equipped.
Parking deck (inside parking)

Cons:
Stayed here a week and can honestly say 3 people at the most had service with a smile. 3 people at the most (workers) greeted you with a good morning, good afternoon or a good evening when passing them in the hall. 90% of the personnel on this property need RETRAINED in the hospitality/customer service field.

No microwaves in the rooms. This almost forced you to eat at one of the OVER PRICED establishments on site. The service is garbage at Zuggys as well the Buffet place in the main lobby. Zuggy's is more reasonably priced compared to the Buffet; however the food at the buffet is not worth the price of admission and the workers act like you are bothering them when you ask for more bread (because the basket had been empty for over 30min). Meat selections continuously dry and over cooked.

No breakfast included in the room rate. You will find a better value/bargain staying at a hotel on the German economy where breakfast is included.

Do not stay in a room at the end of the hall. Poor wireless connection. I, as well as others were forced to either go to the common area (near the elevator) or even down to the main or lower lobby to pick up a signal.

May be the ideal place for some depending on what bang you want for your buck...but you may be able to find a better bang somewhere else.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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3  Thank sms330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdelweissResortGAP, Manager at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2013

Thank you for your recent stay. We apologize that your stay didn't meet your expectations. A majority of our guest reviews mention our staff as being one of our greatest assets along with the location, the cleanliness and the parking. We do however appreciate your comments and accept them as an opportunity to improve our service for future guests.

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

I shorted it because of the price. I disagree with charging different prices for different ranks. Otherwise its a great place to stay for a vacation. I try to get there whenever I can. Lovely landscape and the people are so helpful. The best times to stay there are any days 365 days a year. Book a room now!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank forgivennt4saken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdelweissResortGAP, Manager at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2013

Thank you for your recent stay and review. We are happy you choose to stay with us "any chance you get" as it truly is a beautiful destination any time of year. One of our missions is retention for the military, therefore, we charge lower prices for lower ranking service members. This is the standard for all AFRCs located worldwide. Thanks again for your positive review.

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Reviewed January 18, 2013

I am very impressed by the decor and the location of the hotel. It is unique and of course you need to be in the military or invited by the military to stay here. But for what one pays to stay here, I recommend couple improvements for the hotel management to consider.

Number one... if I make a reservation at the Pullman Place and pay a premium to eat here over Zuggy's or the buffet, how about a dress code? I don't mean suits and ties, but how about no swimwear, white t-shirts, or cutoff t-shirts allowed? It is one of the strangest feelings to be sitting there with my wife wearing nice casual clothing, and see a guy at the table across from us wearing his swimming shorts and a "wife beater". Not cool. So please, no swimwear, sweatpants, pajama pants, plain white t-shirts, or sleeveless shirts in the Pullman Place!!!

Number two... I love the outdoor whirlpool, especially in the winter. It is one of the best attractions of the hotel. Please use that camera you have watching the whirlpool, and start kicking out people who are horse-playing and being loud. It is for relaxing... the indoor pool is for fun. Enforce the rules that state that kids can't be jumping in it too. And most importantly, make a rule that most pools have for hygienic and decency reasons: No gym shorts, undergarments, or wearing undergarments under swimwear. No cotton t-shirts in the pools and other trashy looking stuff. You just published a commercial on TV of a guy getting in the pool with gym shorts on with his underwear showing underneath. That's sick! Sell more swimwear at the spa for guests to purchase in case they didn't care to bring proper swimwear with.

The third suggestion isn't as important as the first two, but I believe that some rooms should be available with king-size beds for couples. It is awkward to come here with your wife/girlfriend and only be able to get a room with two beds. Not everyone comes here with a family, but I'm sure most do, so maybe assign a percentage of your rooms to have king beds the next time you start replacing mattresses.

Other than the two big problems that I can't stop thinking about every time I come here, the hotel is great. I pray that next time I come here, I will see these rules instated in order to make dining/swimming experiences more decent for the majority of people who come here to have a classy lodging experience.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with just your significant other, ask for a room with a king bed. Maybe if we...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dennis914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdelweissResortGAP, Manager at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2013

Thank you for your review. We accept every customer comment as an opportunity to improve our services. We do have king sized beds in some rooms. Please mention your preference to our vacation planning center staff to see about their availability. Once again, thank you for your stay and comments. We hope to have you return someday soon.

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Reviewed January 7, 2013

We have stayed at the Edelweiss previously and every time, it has been a wonderful experience. The hotel accommodations are very good as well as the activities. We booked the activities before we arrived to make sure to reserve a spot. The only thing that was a little off was the food in the market station buffet. It could use a little improvement. However, it was offset by the rest of the hotel. All in all it was a very good lodge.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank NYCHawaiian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdelweissResortGAP, Manager at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2013

Thank you for your positive review. We hope we can have you stay with us once again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Edelweiss Lodge and Resort

Address: St.-Martin-Str. 120, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany
Location: Germany > Bavaria > Upper Bavaria > Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Number of rooms: 330
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Long revered as one of the most desirable destinations in the Bavarian Alps, the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area is an idyllic location nestled at the foot of sweeping Alpine vistas and home to the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. Just 56 miles from Munich, 34 miles from Innsbruck, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort is located in the heart of Europe. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Edelweiss Hotel Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Edelweiss Resort Garmisch Partenkirchen

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