Sonnenalp Resort

Seamless old-world style and manners

20 Vail Road, Vail 81657


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At a Glance

This intimate property, one of Vail’s very best, has remained absolutely true to its Bavarian roots, without being stuffy or pretentious. Great spa, too.

Indagare Loves

  • Indoor-outdoor pool, heated to 85 degrees year-round
  • Authentic Bavarian style and cuisine
  • The best breakfast buffet in Vail; it’s no wonder that 80% of guests take the breakfast package (Indagare members booking through Indagare have it included free)


If there were a category of resort hotel called Upscale Contemporary Bavarian, the Sonnenalp would own the franchise. Managed and impeccably run since 1979 by Johannes Faessler, whose family still owns the original Sonnenalp in Germany, this spotless property exudes old-world style at every turn. The intimate lobby, with its stone floors and low stucco arches, conveys a feeling of warmth and welcome, in contrast to some of the grander properties like the Arrabelle.  Behind the lobby is a series of intimate lounges furnished with heavy woods and deeply comfortable seating. Beyond that is Ludwig’s restaurant, which contains both a sunny, glass-enclosed terrace and the Stuberl, a cozy nook furnished with wood salvaged from an old German farmhouse. Executive Chef Florian Schwarz incorporates ideas from all over Europe, with a special emphasis on fresh fish. Off to the side is the more casual Bully Ranch, with a popular menu of salads and sandwiches, and a sunny afternoon terrace. The 115 rooms and 12 suites are cozy and surprisingly free of Alpine kitsch. Junior suites like the Blue Spruce are especially appealing, with sleek granite bathrooms and spacious closets. The spa is airy and elegant in a Swedish Alpine kind of way, starting with the sunken firepit with white and yellow seating, and an oxygen bar where you can inhale O2 scented with lemongrass or peppermint. There’s a long list of treatments, with detox foot baths and HydraFacials being especially popular.

Who Should Stay

Grownups who revel in the pleasures of being well taken care of. Families with kids will be treated kindly, but children might not appreciate the Sonnenalp’s European understatement—no video game rooms here.

Written by Tom Passavant

What's Nearby

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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