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.
- 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