Pros: a staff that really tries to look after your needs, the longer your stay, the more you feel like you're at your kindly aunt/uncle's house; the in-hotel dinner menu is one of the best values I experienced in Europe; no-added-cost drivers that transport you to and from the ski slope gondola; parking and the nice views from the hotel.
Cons: this isn't the coolest-looking hotel in Samnaun, nor cheapest, but in exchange you might just be adopted into an Austrian family. It's THAT homey. Sehr Kuhl.
I stayed at the "Sonneck" inn (hotel consists of two buildings) during a brief ski trip and greatly enjoyed my time there. I could tell you all about the boot warmers in the room where you'll store your skis, or describe the rustic décor that is a bit dated. I could also tell you how much I enjoyed the calm, unrushed breakfast or the yummy pizzas from the restaurant, but forget all that. The main things you need to know are that in this part of Austria a lot fewer people speak English versus Switzerland, and yet it wasn't a problem because EVERYONE I met in Samnaun was friendly and fun, especially so at this hotel.
Monika the cheerful receptionist was very helpful from the moment I arrived (late in the afternoon) and was invaluable in getting me onto the slopes for a half-day of skiing. Sabine the waitress put up admirably with my terrible Deutsche Sprake. Really, the entire staff is fantastic. I appreciated how they would do little things like arrange seating for breakfast to pair people for conversation. Another example is how I changed my dinner order after it had already been sent to the kitchen. In that situation, many restaurants say "it's too late to change your order. Sorry sir." Instead, the Sonnenhotel Sonnek staff says "no problem!" and then the kitchen sends me out a small, delicious plate of insalata caprese. Are you kidding me? You mean *I* mess up my order, and they give me extra food I didn't order? Can I move in and live here please?
The Bottom Line: perhaps there are cheaper/more stylish/better-located places to stay in Samnaun, but I don't care because I'll be back in the next 2-3 years and I'm definitely going to stay at the Sonnenhotel. They look after you like you're family, and I couldn't ask for more. Wait... I take that back. Sabine, please ask the kitchen to send me another bowl of that delicious goulash soup!
P.S. Herr Maxwell requests that he be officially be recognized as the Tea-drinking Lunatic of Sonnenhotel Sonnek.
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