Edelweiss Lodge and Resort | A Mixed Review

While skiing/snowboarding at Garmisch-Partenkirchen we chose to stay at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort solely for the fact that we had friends staying there. Edelweiss Lodge and Resort is a US Military owned resort and is primarily for military members whether active duty, retired or reserve. Which makes this a tough review. And I'll get to that soon.


You may or may not know that Van is a prior military member. He served in the Air Force for 6 years and I still feel so much pride when I think of his service and I feel very blessed that I was able to call myself a military spouse. It was a great opportunity for Van and the military treated us very well. It's not for everybody and it definitely wasn't an easy 6 years, but it started Van's career on an amazing path.



Anyway, getting off track there a bit (nothing new right?). While Van is not in the military anymore, we still have some benefits because of his job. So, we were able to book a room at Edelweiss. However, being that Van is a civilian, we were made to pay the highest rate. You see, Edelweiss charges room rates based on military rank. And since Van is a civilian, they group him in with the highest ranking military members, i.e, we pay the highest rate. This put me off immediately and I do feel guilty about it. Only because I think it's wonderful that lower ranking military members, who don't get paid a lot of money, are able to enjoy the same vacation that the higher paid officers are enjoying. Amazing right? Except when rooms are cheaper in town. Boo. But, like I said we stayed at Edelweiss to make it easier to connect with the loads of friends that all went for the weekend as well.

So instead of blah blahing about everything I disliked, here are the pros and cons of staying at Edelweiss....Cons first!

Cons

Too Secluded
My most bleh part about the whole situation. A resort with a bunch of Americans NOT enjoying the local surroundings. Come on people...you're in Germany. Experience it!! The resort is about a mile from the town center and I never saw many people leaving. When I visit a new place, especially in a foreign country, I want to get out and see what its all about! And yes, sometimes that experience takes you out of your comfort zone....but that's just part of it right? Also, to get a cab is about 8 Euro and in order to get that price you must walk all the way to the entrance because the cabbies have to get their cars inspected, like for bombs, in order to come onto the resort (and the meter is running). Which brings me to...

ID Checks
We had to have our passports or military IDs in order to get on the resort each and every time. Well after the first day of skiing, I had to be kicked off the shuttle because I forgot my ID. Van had to walk about 15 minutes to go and get my ID while I waited at the gate, in the cold. Not something that makes a vacation super enjoyable. I learned my lesson, but as the days went on, the threat level was raised (for military) and our IDs were checked everywhere we went on the resort. I get it, safety. But still....BOO.

No Ski Bus
I mean are you serious? Its a resort with no bus to the main attraction. Each time we went into town, boom 10Euro taxi. However, they did have an afternoon shuttle back to the resort at certain times which we did catch on occasion. But yeah, serious pain in the butt. Every Alps ski town that you visit has a very efficient bus system. The town itself does have a bus system, it just doesn't come to the resort for the ID reasons above.

Terrible Ski Equipment
The ski equipment was just plain pathetic. AND more expensive than the actual ski shops in town!!! I can't even talk about this. Yes, I'm pouting. I did end up switching and was much happier because of it. But I just feel bad for people who didn't take the time to research this and just figured that they were getting the best deal on the military resort....

American Foods/Restaurants/Shops
Van and I went to the "Sports Bar" restaurant the first night we were there. At first we were super excited about the chips and salsa, the wings and other American foods. Until our little British tastebuds tasted it. Way too salty!! But, they are catering to Americans and we just had to go with it. And the portion sizes were massive. It made us realize we are going to be in shock if and when we move back home.

Also, there was only the commissary and BX to shop at if you needed drinks or snacks, and it closed at 6pm every night. I never even found the dang place because by the time we got back from skiing and changed our clothes, it was already to late to go find it. Not cool.

Pricing
Like I said, we got grouped into the higher ranking scale....some of our friends paid $75 a night, while we paid $150.

Pros

Nice Sized Rooms| Views
With it being "American" the rooms were very decently sized. And we had a wonderful view. I'm hoping they give the $150 a nighters the good views :) There was a nice size warddrobe area to hang our ski things...no ski locker, but it did the trick.



Decent Prices in the Restaurants
It was soooo nice to pay in $$ and to be paying normal prices for dinners and drinks. Though the dollar is strong anyway right now, it still was very nice.

American TV
It was great to be able to watch American news and TV shows. If you have ever been in the military, you know about AFN. The Armed Forces Network. For overseas members, this is available to you so that you can still have American TV in your foreign home. It's basically a receiver box. But yeah, it was nice! I feel like I have easily fallen into a British bubble here and so I don't really follow along with most news in the States. So I caught up on some things in between naps :)

Tours
The resort offered many excursions which was nice and takes the guesswork out of figuring out what to do. So if you like that sort of thing, they have it. Tours included night sledding in Austria, a Bavarian brewery tour, Neuschwanstein Castle (which we did) and many more!

Resort Amenities
At the resort, there were 3 restaurants and a Starbucks coffee shop. There was a gift shop, a laundromat, an outdoor hot tub, indoor swimming pools and a spa with services. So there were plenty of extras that we don't ever see when travelling around Europe.

So in my opinion....if you are a lower ranking military member, or if you love staying at resort type lodging absolutely STAY HERE! You cannot beat the value. But if you are a higher ranking member, I suggest staying somewhere in town. You will be kicking yourself every time you have to pay for a cab into town.

Mixed review...I know. But had we visited 5 years ago as a military couple, I would have definitely had a different opinion!!

On another travel note,

We decided to scrap our second Alps ski trip to Zermatt. Sad I know, but we are exhausted! Just the thought of a 9 day trip to Switzerland makes me tired. Since November we have been to Prague, Rome, Paris, several places in Germany, the US, back to Germany and then hosted my mom. See what I mean? But never fear because we decided to take a shorter trip instead. It will be a splurgey, romantic and amazing getaway to our favorite place. And actually this will be a first 'return' visit while living here in the UK. And where are we heading? Prague. Of course! Oh I can't wait to be back to my most favorite European city. Yay!

But back to the review....What's your take on resort travel? Are you a more independent traveller like myself? Have you ever needed to take a break from travelling?



18 comments

  1. I have never actually tried resort travel, but I don't think it's right for me. I have a feeling I'd get bored. Like you, I'd be pretty upset paying double what everyone else was paying, too! Yikes!


    I'm not at all surprised that you guys are exhausted! I know I would be! I'm glad you're making the most of the time you've got left, though. That's important! We haven't yet made a return visit anywhere, but I'm itching to get back to Amsterdam and Ireland. I loved both of those so much! (Prague is actually on our list for the end of October - I'll take any tips!!)

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  2. The only other real resorty type places I have been are in Cancun (which I hated) and in New Mexico (which was ok) But I just find them too restricting!


    And yes we, and our bank account, are tired!! And the long Zermatt trip just started to sound more and more impractical. So Prague it is! And I would love to return to Amsterdam as well, but I really actually loved Prague more than AMS. Prague is super affordable and easy to navigate. After this trip, I probably will have a more comprehensive list of what to do and see in Prague :)

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  3. That's a bummer that you didn't love the lodge. At least you had a decent view :) but...YAY you're coming back to Prague! Good choice (from a totally unbiased source haha). Let me know if you want to meet up while you're here, I'd love it!!!! eee!

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  4. Frequent travelers bank accounts are always tired!! :) Maybe after we visit Prague in the fall, we will feel the same way! I'm hoping, anyway. I've been hearing so many good things about it! And affordable is ALWAYS nice!

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  5. We are soooo stoked about coming back to Prague!! I will be finalizing our plans next week and would love to meet up for a drink! Do yall have a favorite spot? We are getting into town early Friday and staying until Monday morning :)

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  6. As the financial planner, I can't even allow myself to think about how much money we have spent on travel haha!! When you visit, we will have moved by then so I will be looking forward to reliving it through your blog :)

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  7. Hey, I think that was a very fair and balanced review. And thanks for your service, Van!
    I'm in Prague in June, so be sure to report back on if you have any new favorite spots!

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  8. Interesting. Like you said, it's nice that lower ranking officers can enjoy a nice vacay with their families, but I'd probably be a bit miffed at spending more money, too. I'd also want to check out the country rather than limit myself to American everything -- though I'm sure it's nice to enjoy the familiarity after being abroad for awhile :) The amenities and tours sound amazing! Night sledding in Austria? Yes, please.

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  9. That view is amazing... but I feel ya about it not being worth it when you're paying double what other people are paying! When Jim was in the Navy years ago, we totally hit up military "hotels" when we went to cities with bases cause it was cheap! But if we had to pay "normal" prices to stay there, no thank you! Have a great time in Prague! As usual, I'm living vicariously through you :)

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  10. I am sooo excited about going back to Prague!! Hopefully I can put together a comprehensive list when we get back, you know, now that I'm an expert with 2 visits haha!!

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  11. It was really a surreal experience to be eating American foods in Germany haha!! But eh, like I said, mixed feelings on this one. And I wish we could have done the night sledding....it was actually adults only. How cool is that? But is was booked up the entire time we were there!!

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  12. I know, we always took advantage of staying on base! So, I was happy that the lower ranking members are getting to enjoy the lodge but to me, it was just way too expensive, especially for a 'military' place. But oh well, you win some, you lose some! And I am sure we will have a good time in Prague so thanks! I can't wait!

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  13. Really, amazing views! I had heard a bit about Edelweiss since I had researched it extensively and also because I mentioned a friend of mine worked there for a year. But I kind of agree with you when you said something like, "You're in Germany.... get immersed in all things German!" As an expat I totally see the appeal of a Starbucks (!!!), American channels, and a sports bar. In fact, all of those things sound brilliant to me right now. But for a holiday? Hmmmm. I'm sure it was quite a novelty to stay there and experience these things in Europe though :)
    And yay for returning to Prague! I totally feel ya on travel burnout. After I returned from Poland in late August, I was perfectly happy with not taking more than a one night trip until Christmas.

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  14. Yeah, having the American amenities in Germany was a pretty surreal experience.....but nice!! You know what the strangest part was? Having chatty waiters haha!! I am so not used to attentive waiters anymore and it sort of shocked me a lottle bit! Overall, we had a great trip but it definitely was different.


    And I can't wait to get back to Prague....yay!!!

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  15. Yes we'd love to meet up, too! There are tons of good spots...let me know your plans and where you are staying and hopefully we can find a good one in your area :) I think Friday works best for us but...I'll email ya :)

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  16. I've been here!! OMG it's been years :) Thank you so much for sharing!!

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