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My Two Cents on Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): My Two Cents on Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Two Cents on Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch

I promised to review the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch so here I am following through on at least one promise I made recently....or actually awhile ago...sorry. I have only stayed at the resort twice and was a day visitor once. Here are my impressions:

The resort is inside a secure compound with gateguards. This is a plus if you are of a more cautious nature, although I can tell you, I've never had any fear staying anywhere in Germany on the economy. I've stayed numerous times in small hotels and bed & breakfasts and felt safe there as well.

As you drive up, it is an impressive place...and large. I believe it has around 300 rooms. The first time we visited, it was during a four day holiday weekend during the holidays. Yes, it was beautiful walking into the foyer and breathing in the high mountain lodge atmosphere. That lasted all of two seconds before the first posse of kids cut me off in the large foyer. The place was hoppin'....with no parents in sight anywhere. Packs of kids, as young as four years old, ran around "loose" all around the resort, up and down the elevators and running and yelling through the halls. We only came by to have a meal at their Marketplace buffet area and to use the pool, which I think had a $10 fee for non-guests.

The pool was packed to the was the hot everywhere. The rules say, no children in the pool area without a parent, but I'm not sure if this was followed on this visit. We did eat at the buffet, where there were overturned bowls, spilled food and a general array of messiness. It's no wonder my entire family got really sick the next day. This was the only meal that all of us partook in, so it was obviously suspect. The quality of the food was also suspect in that it was overcooked, watery and not fresh.

My second trip to Edelweiss Resort was with the boys to attend a conference. They price the rooms according to your sponsor's rank. I am thinking we paid around $125 a night, strictly for a room. We went during the week and found the atmosphere totally different than during our last visit. It was relaxed and somewhat peaceful. We must've had a handicapped room, as the floor space in the room (with two queen size beds) and the roomy bathroom was enough to conduct an Olympic gymnastic floor routine. We were also towards the back of the lodge, down one of the shorter hallways that ended in a dead end, so almost no foot traffic outside our door.

We only ate breakfast in the Marketplace, which was fine and lots of typical breakfast buffet choices. It was much more orderly than the last visit, and no, we did not get sick. We did eat dinner the night before at Zuggy's Base Camp, which was typical burgers and accoutrements fare. My 11 year old remarked that the portions could've been larger. I was never asked how my burger should come, ie well done, rare, it came about as well done as it could be.

The pool also was much quieter, and now that I was here a bit longer, I could tell the resort was starting to show some wear around the edges. Alas, I think it has taken some abuse just from the sheer volumes of visitors and will need some refurbishing soon.

Our third visit, was as a family of four. We attended a reintegration weekend of two overnights and a marriage seminar given by our unit chaplain. This was at no cost to us. Our children were also able to come and participated in some of the kids' activities and had a great time with some of their friends. This time, we had two rooms, each with two queen-size beds. The kids of course loved this...on second husband and I did too. Even though we didn't get adjoining rooms, they were right across the hall, and we did brief them on emergency situations and such and told them not to hang over the balcony and create a scene.

Since the Marketplace was included for all our meals, we decided to give it another chance. We did have a larger crowd than when I came with the kids, but it was not nearly as bad as the holiday season....still bearable. The hot tub was closed for a day and a half due to repairs, but they must've fixed it as it was open our last night there. The lodge also enforced the "no kids in the hot tub after 8:30 pm" rule, which was nice. I was amazed at how many little kids were still whoopin' and hollerin' in the pool right before closing at 10pm.

Oh, the Marketplace...they tried really hard with a Bavarian night with sauerkraut and wursts along with pork roast and some other fare, but they really shined the next night with the prime rib. It was very good. So I'm guessing it depends on which headchef is on duty that day. The second night, it seemed they were more attentive with the food being put out and the presentation of all the dishes, both hot and cold. As I said, high marks for the second night and as a highlight, and as a bonus, no one in my family got sick.

Our room location though was very was down the third leg of a very long hallway...not quite at a dead end, but it was still been on a major approach path. I am amazed at parents who allow their children to run up and down the hall after 10pm at manners or supervision yet again. It's a good thing we hadn't planned on sleeping for awhile just yet.

All in all....yes, it's a nice place to stay, but it's not all what it's cracked up to be. As I said, I've stayed in nice bed and breakfasts all throughout Garmisch and Partenkirchen at half the price. I still love the German continental breakfasts with the boiled eggs and fresh rolls, meats, cheeses and jams. We stayed in one last year, where everything was homemade and the chickens were right outside our window in the grassy field next door.

I have a friend who swears by the Familotel Leiner in Garmisch. It is part of a national chain, but each hotel isprivately owned and all focus on families with small children. My friend (with four kids) was amazed at all the high chairs, strollers, sleds and things they had for her use. Her bill, much cheaper than ours, even included breakfast and dinner. Dinner was such a nice experience for her, as they had a playroom for the kids, right off the dining room, and they didn't have to worry about fussy kids...for once, she was actually able to enjoy dinner. The rooms had adjoining bathrooms, and the kids had a separate bedroom. They took VAT forms as well. I always take one along when I travel and am never shy when I make a major purchase or pay for a hotel room. You'd be surprised at how many do take the VAT and are familiar with it.

So, that sums it up. Yes, if you can get in, go for the Edelweiss. Do realize that at many times a year, getting a reservation is almost impossible. Follow their guidelines on their site and know that for the holidays, they do use a lottery system now. Stay away on those four day holiday weekends and during the December and January holidays, especially if you don't like screaming kids. Don't discount the many bed and breakfasts, and give them a chance. We still like them, especially when we are traveling with our dog...forbidden at Edelweiss Resort. Remember, you can still enjoy the resort and amenities, even if you are not a guest.

If you have any things to add, please do so below.



Blogger tootie said...

Welcome back!

I'll keep this in mind if we get stationed overseas. (I still have my fingers crossed that it might happen eventually! :)

July 23, 2009 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

We only stayed at Edelweiss once, during the summer of 2005, and it wasn't that bad. I enjoyed the amazing views of the Alps and the Zugspitte (sp??), and the pool and hot tub were not busy. The food was good, though we weren't quite as impressed with Zuggy's (same complaint as your son).

I fell in love with the soap they provided back then (a bergamot/lemongrass blend that you can't find anywhere!). But other than that, it was just another hotel.

I do know that when they have the reintegrations with childcare/entertainment, you'll get a lot of kids running around. And I know that a lot of parents really just don't care what their kids do. They're an inconvenience (that's a sad way to put it, but it's true).

Seems like Edelweiss is getting too much use and not enough love...

July 23, 2009 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

I haven't been to Edelweiss Lodge but always wanted to go... I do think that Linda makes a point about most of these places. They are getting a lot of use and not enough attention to lead them to stay nice for the years to come. Military members need the insurance of these kinds of places, but it's hard in this economy to find the funds for upkeep.

August 1, 2009 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger K said...

HI. New reader to your blog. I am stationed in Germany currently (well my husband is...) and Garmisch is MY FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH...when its not raining. It seems to always rain there, lol. Anyways, I agree with your review. Its a great resort, if you are afraid of Germans (lol) or the German Economy. I have been to Garmisch at least 10 times. But I still love camping over at the other base better (where the PX is), its weird camping on base, but waking up in our tent, overlooking the Zuzpitze (sp) is just FANTASTIC!! Anyways, i look forward to reading more of your postings :).


August 1, 2009 at 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've stayed at the Edelweiss many times (too many to count, mostly while TDY) and many of your comments are spot on. The food in the marketplace is, to me, no better than standard cafeteria fare, and the atmosphere certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The rooms are also quite hot in the summer months, and while fans are available, it can be very hard to sleep since leaving the windows / balcony doors open is not an option given the noise level outside (all those unsupervised kids). Also, I've never gotten a room with a comfortable mattress - in my experience they've consistently been worn out and saggy. All in all, I agree that one of the local hotels or B&Bs is generally a much better choice - and usually cheaper too!

June 14, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

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