As you drive up to Sonnenalp Vail, you might feel like you’ve been instantly transported to a grand hotel tucked away in the German Bavarian Alps, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The boutique luxury hotel is classic, elegant and now my favorite place to stay in Vail. It’s the staff that makes the difference, from the moment you pull into the porte-cochere.
Michael welcomed me as he asked for my name while I was still in my car. He then went into the lobby to let them know I had arrived and offered to help with luggage. I was staying two nights and was able to carry my stuff without help, but I appreciated the offer. He ushered me inside and yes, both of us had on a face mask, as well as the gal behind the front desk. I had my keys and was on elevator in under two minutes. Sonnenalp has the new COVID-19 health procedures already dialed in. There’s hand sanitizer by the elevators, which only one party can ride at a time.
When I opened the door to my room, I eyes immediately went to the massive tub in the bathroom. It’s one of those soaker tubs you dream about. While I was in the bathroom, I noticed the glasses and toiletries like cotton balls and cotton swabs were wrapped in plastic. I figured it was one of the less obvious pandemic changes the hotel had made.
I walked down the hall and sighed with the calming effect of my room. The style is European elegance meets mountain chic. The cream, blue and white hues used in linens and decor make it feel like a peaceful sanctuary. The custom-made Bavarian furniture is beautiful and sturdy.
I opened the door to my balcony and ended up relaxing for a good 30 minutes watching the flags and flowers sway in the breeze with the hum of voices and cars seemingly miles away even though people were just below me on the pedestrian walkway in Vail Village.
I could have easily sat there for awhile sipping champagne or wine, but I had dinner plans. Afterwards, I had to take advance of the gigantic tub and enjoyed a hot bath that sent me into dreamland in the ultra-cozy bed.
I had accidentally set the thermostat too cold and woke up chilled. I was thankful to have a fireplace in the room. I turned it on and curled back up in bed to slowly ease into the early morning before setting out on a long walk along Gore Creek and over to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, which somehow, I got to myself. Getting hungry I headed back to the Sonnenalp and joined a friend for breakfast. Normally the Sonnenalp is known for their over-the-top buffet, but for now it’s order off the menu. I was like a giddy schoolgirl when my coffee arrived. The mug is huge and gorgeous. The creamer pitcher made a perfect coffee set. My breakfast was almost was colorful as the dishes. I did eggs Benedict with no meat, hollandaise sauce on the side and added avocado. It was really good and I was really hungry. I was heading out on a 6-mile hike so I relished every bite, including the hash browns.
When I got back from hiking, I cozied up by the fire again with my balcony door open and ordered a salad and soup from room service.
As the sun was setting I had a front row seat on my balcony as the clouds turned from a golden color to cotton candy pink then to a fiery orange. The word “sonnenalp” means sun on the mountain. It is a German expression for warmth and contentment. That’s exactly what I felt in that moment.
Two nights was not nearly enough time in Vail or at the Sonnenalp. I can’t wait to hopefully return to Sonnenalp Vail for another longer stay and to visit its sister property in Ofterschwang, Germany, one day.
Author Jennifer Broome has traveled extensively in Colorado. She’s loves a luxurious stay in a mountain town. This trip to Vail reminded her how much she enjoys the area.