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“Almost perfect....”
Review of Sonnenalp

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Sonnenalp
Ranked #1 of 30 Hotels in Vail
Certificate of Excellence
New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Almost perfect....”
Reviewed January 30, 2011

We recently stayed at the Sonnenalp for a few days of skiing, and overall had a good experience. When we arrived we were greeted warmly by the bellman who took care of our car, luggage, and showed us to the room (it was nice having one person do all of this). We stayed in a Blue Spruce Suite, which was very spacious and homey with a fireplace and large bathroom (loved the heated floors!). The breakfast buffet was nice, with lots of good quality fresh fruit and other selections, though pretty much the same hot buffet options were offered everyday - I think a little variety in this area would help. The hostess and one of our waiters were very professional and pleasant, though on 2 mornings we had a waiter/waitress who was almost completely absent. We also ate at Bully Ranch one night which was nice and casual with friendly service and relatively tasty food.

One of us went to the spa two days in a row - all treatments received were terrific and very high quality. The atmosphere in the spa/pool area is very relaxing and pleasant. The only issue was that I had booked the appointments in advance, and on both days there were problems - the first day, I arrived and checked in for my massage and was greeted warmly by the attendant who confirmed the time. After waiting for about 15 minutes past the appointment time, I went back up to the desk to see if they were running late - another attendant acted surprised and said my appointment was actually 30 minutes later. I might have thought this was an oversight on my part if I didn't then have a similar experience the next day when I went for a facial - I had booked the longer 80 minute facial, which the attendant confirmed at check-in. However, when I was finished with the treatment (which was great!) I was surprised to learn that it had only taken 50 minutes (the shorter facial), so apparently there was another miscommunication between the booking, spa desk, and those providing the treatments. On a related note, we had requested that housekeeping come clean the room during the 2 or so hours in the middle of day when I was receiving the spa treatments. On both days, I arrived back to a dirty room and had to call them to then come clean. They then responded quickly and got it done, but it seemed a little odd since the hotel was not full and they pleasantly took the request on both mornings.

The ski concierge was nice, and definitely more convenient than carrying your gear from the hotel. You do still have to carry your skis about 100 feet and go up and down stairs in your boots (the Four Seasons has a attendant waiting at the lift to collect your skis).

Finally, the main issue and reason we would not go back to this hotel (unless improved), was the mattress in our room. It was the worst hotel mattress we have slept on in a long time. We were tossing and turning all night, and it was especially uncomfortable after a long day of skiing. With so many upscale hotels offering luxurious mattresses these days, this seems like a major oversight.

Overall the Sonnenalp was a very pleasant ski hotel, and despite some of the small service issues (which I think could easily be addressed), if they had better mattresses we would definitely stay there every year.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank andromeda23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, February 7, 2011
Thank you for your review and sharing with me your positive aspects of your vacation and the areas we need to improve on. I very much appreciate the feedback and assure you that I will make sure your next visit with us will meet all your expectations. Please ask for me when you are ready to rebook.
Best regards,
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Columbus
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2011

The Sonnenalp isn't just good. It's Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton, and Four Seasons good. It's right in the heart of Vail, close to everything and when they tell you it's a 5 to 7 minute walk to the Vista Bahn lift, it's not an exaggeration. Normally I prefer ski-in, ski-out properties, but Sonnenalp solves that with a ski valet right next to the lift. All your stuff is waiting there and they give you a bin for any extra equipment you might want to have nearby. The people there were great! And if you're renting any equipment, Sonnenalp has a great deal on truly exceptional stuff. Book it in advance and they give you 25% off. My son tried out some K2s and then switched over to Rossignols with more rocker after a huge storm. Plus they have hot chocolate, coffee, cookies - a great way to end the day. We heard many people passing the Sonnenalp valet - lugging equipment - commenting on how much they wish they could just leave their stuff there. Our room - a Lodgepole suite with fireplace - was beautifully appointed, immaculate and had great storage for ski gear. Loved the heated marble floor in the bathroom! You absolutely want to get breakfast included with your room. The selection and quality are amazing and the staff works like crazy to keep everything fresh and perfect. Two suggestions - if they're making omeletes "outside," sit inside - the smoke from the cooking fills the room. And order one quickly because they can take awhile, but it's worth the wait. I'm not sure I skied enough to work off those breakfasts, but I don't care. We had one dinner at the hotel at Bully Ranch. It's a busy, noisy place with a family-friendly menu. I went for the bison meatloaf but didn't care for it much and the staff couldn't have been nicer about it. I hate sending anything back! Went for the nachos instead ... delicious. Get them. I'd also recommend the hotel bar, which is really a large space for a relaxing dinner. We didn't eat there but everything I saw looked delicious. Didn't get a chance to try the spa but did spend some quality time in the outdoor hot tub and hanging around the big indoor fireplace by the pool. People literally fall asleep there. My overall take on the Sonnenalp is this: you can tell it's owned by people who take it all personally. No hotel does so many things so well without that. We will definitely return and I would recommend it without question to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NCW14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, February 5, 2011
Thank you so much for your review and recommendation! As a family owned and operated resort, we take great pride in providing personal service and genuine hospitality or as we say at Sonnenalp “Gemütlichkeit.“ I’m glad you enjoyed the ski valet, and took full advantage of hot chocolate and cookies. The 25% discount on pre-ordered rental gear is a great deal. I’ll look into the omelet station at breakfast and make sure the room is properly vented. The big snowfall continues with another 12” or more today, so we hope to see you back soon!
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dartmouth69
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2011

My husband skis but I don’t, so we have different requirements from a Vail hotel.

He likes not having to carry his skis on the short walk thru the village in the early morning to the ski locker at the base of the mountain. He likes the excellent apres ski massages at the spa.

I like the indoor - outdoor pool. I had the pool to myself and blissed out. You enter the pool inside the spa and swim thru plastic flaps to the other half of the pool that is outside in a lovely landscaped area. There is nothing so delightfully surreal as floating in a pool while snow is falling. My husband joined me late one afternoon after skiing and a staffer offered to use my camera to take our photo in the pool. That photo was our Christmas card this year.

We both like: The generous breakfast buffet...made even more special by being greeted by Corky, an older woman with a warm smile, and cheerful “Good Morning!” who knows your name when she sees you the next day. The heavenly bed - so welcome to both my husband’s ski muscles and my arthritis.

We travel quite a bit and find that many luxury hotels seem to have no problem looking for ways to add on charges. The Sonnenalp sets the tone right away with free wi-fi and free local and long distance (within the US) phone calls, and follows through with little luxury details that we continued to discover throughout our stay.

We’ve stayed in some wonderful hotels around the world, some of them regularly listed as top hotels in the world, and we find that they have one thing in common; pride in their hotel and pride in the quality of the experience they provide. The Sonnenalp is a family run hotel and this shows in the thoughtful attention to details.

We were lucky last year when we were upgraded at check in to room #308. It’s large-with desk, fireplace, a spacious marble bathroom (heated floors-yea!), a comfortable chair with a great reading lamp (important if you don’t ski and spend time in the room. There was a tiny balcony overlooking a lovely pine tree lined brook. - Charming!

We booked the hotel last year (for the first time) because it was the host hotel for Dartmouth’s annual “CarniVail”, but we’ll be back this year because it’s the perfect hotel for BOTH our needs.

Tip: Pack your own bath soap -You’ll want to take the lovely snowflake shaped soap home with you!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dartmouth69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, January 25, 2011
Thank you very much for your review. I’m delighted that you and your husband had a great time. Floating in the pool with falling snow is certainly a wonderful and memorable image! I’m happy that you noticed all the details that are included at no extra charge. In an era of intense rate comparison, it’s sometimes difficult to communicate the true value of a luxury experience. You have done a fine job of doing just that! Thanks again for taking time to write. We really do value your feedback. We hope to see you back in the pool very soon!
With warmest regards,
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager,
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2011

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at this incredible hotel over 6 months ago. Looking back, we wish we could recreate every minute of our stay at the Sonnenalp. Where do I begin? Where do I stop? The entertainment in the intimate lounges, the sumptuous breakfasts, the couples massage in the spa, the indoor-outdoor pool, warm cookies and bottled water in our suite ever night, etc. It was early June; the days were warm, the evenings crisp. Our room faced the river, and we kept our windows and balcony door open, listening to the incredible soothing sound of the melting mountain snow that had transformed into a rapidly rushing river, the most natural ambient sound one could ever imagine. Yet, at the same time in Vail Village the Teva Mountain games were occurring. Relaxation and excitement, interchangeable in a matter of minutes.

I could go on, but I want to close with the personal touch we were afforded at the very beginning of our stay. The bellman, upon realizing our camera was not working upon entering our room, used his own camera to take pictures of us, and then that evening he went home and emailed them to us, It might not sound like much, but he went above and beyond and his kindness definitely represented the Sonnenalp staff. In a phrase - they cared.

Our dream is to return someday.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JenniiFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, January 18, 2011
Thank so much for sharing your wonderful story! You have called out some of the details that really set the Sonnenalp apart. Reading reviews like this one warms our hearts and reminds us why we love providing genuine hospitality. I will pass your thoughts on to the bell staff. Thanks again for taking time to write. We very much look forward to your next stay!
With warmest regards,
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager,
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 10, 2011

The service was very good for most of the time we were there over the holidays. My only complaint would be the loud noise in our room on the first floor, which kept me and my family up a couple of nights. We complained after the first night and thought they figured out what the problem was but the noise came back a couple of nights later. The room was ok, not very plush or spacious, barely any closet space. Ludwigs was excellent, breakfast was very good and Bully's food was good but service was terrible.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 60795Lovetotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, January 18, 2011
Thank you for providing your feedback. The winter holiday is very festive at the Sonnenalp. I am sorry the noise disturbed you and your family. During almost any other time of year, we could arrange a room move. For future reference, you can request a room on a higher floor when you make your reservation, or upgrade to one of our junior suites, which offer more spacious accommodations.
Best regards,
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager,
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Bern, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed January 8, 2011

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful experience staying at the Sonnenalp this past week. Every morning we enjoyed a complimentary cup of coffee from the King's lounge on our way to the ski concierge, which is located within a few steps of the Vista Bahn lift. The staff at the ski concierge couldn't have been more helpful and accomodating. They truly made getting out to the slopes seemless and enjoyable. After skiing we were able to drop off all of our gear and enjoy some hot chocoate at the concierge.

We also took advantage of the spa and pool area. After a long day of skiing it was so nice to relax next to a warm fire and kick back. The hotel provides complementary tea in the spa and has an assortment of magazines to read while lounging around. My only complaint here is the lack of magazines geared towards men. My girlfriend was in heaven reading "US Weekly", "Cosmo", etc. but after I got through "Ski" there was really nothing else that sparked my interest.

Another great thing about the Sonnenalp is the restaurants that are located within the building. The first night we enjoyed burgers at the Bully Ranch, and we found them to be just as good as advertised. The last night we had fondu at the Swiss Chalet and it was really good as well. We also spent a few nights enjoying live music in the King's Lounge, which was very entertaining. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get over to Ludwigs for its breakfast, but we hear it is outstanding.

All in all I would say that this was one of the best hotel experiences I've ever had. From the cookies left in our room every night to the endless supply of fresh towels, this hotel really bends over backwards to please its guest. I give it an A++

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Skier1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, January 10, 2011
Thank you very much for writing! The new and improved ski concierge has been a huge hit with guests this winter. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your suggestion to provide more magazines in the spa for men. I will address that immediately. For you next visit, you definitely have to make time for breakfast at Ludwig’s. We hope to see you back very soon!
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager,
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, CA
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2011

Pros - Ski concierge is closer to slopes than even the new Four Seasons in Vail. Very clean hotel, spacious rooms, friendly staff - mostly from Europe, excellent food, and overall very comfortable hotel.
Cons - Room temp was hard to regulate - a bit warm.
General Comments - Get rid of the bedspreads, a nice hotel like this should just ditch them.

Overall a very nice visit at this hotel. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the 2 restaurants which was very good to outstanding. I had a massage in the hotel and it was also very nice. Nice weight room and indoor/outdoor pool and spa. Bar area was festive in the evening - which included entertainment that was not too loud.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CAKarenOrangeCounty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jfaessler, Owner at Sonnenalp, responded to this review, January 10, 2011
Thank you for your review! I’m very happy you enjoyed our new ski concierge service at Ski Haus. It certainly makes ski mornings and après ski much more pleasurable! We’ve spent a great deal of time fine tuning our restaurants, and I’m pleased you enjoyed them! I will look into the heating issue you mentioned. Thank you again for taking time to provide your feedback. I hope to welcome you back very soon!
Johannes Faessler,
Owner / General Manager,
Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sonnenalp

Property: Sonnenalp
Address: 20 Vail Road, Vail, CO 81657-5010
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Vail
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 Spa Hotel in Vail
#1 Luxury 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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