Vail is enjoying one of its best winter seasons in years. We have so many exciting things happening at the Sonnenalp Hotel and throughout Vail, you won’t want to miss out on your chance to visit us while Vail is in peak condition.


The Sonnenalp Winter 2014 Newsletter

Join Us for a Ski Safari                                The 2015 World Alpine Champiohships are Coming!

Winter events at the Sonnenalp          Culinary News – Meet the Chef

What’s New at Vail?                                     New Direct Flights into the Vail/Eagle Airport

Gold Club                                                          Vail Living Well: Nutrition on the Cutting Edge


A Once in a Lifetime Adventure

Olymipan Sarah Schleper, along with Johannes Faessler, will guide you on your Ski Safari

Sonnenalp Ski Safari is your opportunity to ski and ride four of Colorado’s top ski resorts in four days, guided by one of the world’s best skiers – Olympian Sarah Schleper – and Sonnenalp Hotel owner Johannes Faessler! Ski  Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge or any combination of those – it all depends on where the best snow is to be found that day. The adventure includes 5 nights lodging at the luxurious Sonnenalp Hotel, lift tickets for 4 days, guide fees and more. It’s a not to be missed adventure! Sarah Schleper is four-time Olympian and FIS Alpine Ski World Cup winner.  Now retired from professional skiing, Sarah has called the Vail area home her entire life, and knows the surrounding mountains like the back of her hand.

Ski Safari is available through the Sonnenalp Hotel February 9-14, 2014 and March 30 – April 4, 2014. Click here or call Patricia McNamara at 970-479-5434 for additional details and reservations. We look forward to seeing you!

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February 2-15, 2015

The preparations are underway and the countdown is on for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek! Lasting for two weeks in February 2015, the

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The 2015 World Championships promise fun and excitement for the whole family! Don’t miss your chance to stay with us for this wonderful event.

2015 Championships will bring excitment and people from across the globe to watch the very best in Men’s and Women’s alpine ski racing charge to the finish and world cup titles. This is the first time the championships have returned to our Valley since 1999!

In addition to the ski racing, there will also be a full slate of festival activities throughout Vail and Beaver Creek, including free and ticketed concerts, great artistic performances, films, art exhibits and culinary events representing the best of the best this country has to offer the world. The 2015 celebration will be designed to contain something for everyone in the family, no matter what corner of the globe you come from. Vail and Beaver Creek will be positively buzzing with energy during this special event, and we hope that you’ll join us for the festivities. We’re already taking reservations for this histroic event, and encourage you to make you plans early if you intend to join us.

Please call Reservations at 1-800-654-8312 or visit to make your reservations. For additional information on this historic event, visit

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We have a great lineup of winter events, including live entertainment and wine dinners, happening throughout the rest of the winter at the hotel. We hope you’ll plan to join us. Feel free call the Sonnenalp Concierge for further details and reservations at 970-479-5429.

Wine Dinners

You are invited to join the Sonnenalp Hotel for a unique and memorable series of wine dinners during the 2014 winter season. Each winery was carefully selected by Sommelier Jarrett Quint, and menus will be hand crafted by Chef Florian Schwarz. From Dom Perignon to the Wines of Chile, this series promises to be interesting and educational. Click here to read more about the 2014 Wine Dinner Series at the Sonnenalp.

Additional Events

Fabulous Femmes at King’s Club • Friday, January 24, 2014 • 8-10pm

Gold Club Getaway • January 27-30, 2014 • Click here for details

Valentine and Tango • Friday, February 14, 2014 • 6-10pm

Vail Living Well Experience  • March 13-15, 2014 • Click here for details

Jazz Night with Kathy Morrow at King’s Club • Friday, March 14, 2014 • 8-10pm

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Meet the Chef – Florian Schwarz

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Executive Chef Florian Schwarz rejoined the Sonnealp family in July.

In July of 2013, Sonnenalp was pleased to welcome Chef Florian Schwarz back to the Sonnenalp Hotel as our new Executive Chef. Schwarz is no stranger to the Sonnenalp; he was the sous chef of Ludwig’s from October 1998 – February 2000. Since then, Schwarz has worked in some of the finest restaurants in the world, including the Parkhotel in Bremen, Germany; Hotel Villa Joya in Portugal; Hotel La Reserva Rotana – Mallorca; the Alpenhof Hotel Wildental – Austria and, most recently, the Restaurant Roland in Puerto Cristo, Spain. Schwarz also owned and operated his own restaurant, Restaurant Brauereigasthof Engel in Rettenberg, Germany for several years, specializing in creative Alpine cuisine. “I was so excited for the opportunity to come back to Vail and the Sonnenalp,” Schwarz said. “I know the hotel and still have people that I know working here; skiing is my favorite activity. I’m actually from Sonthofen, Bavaria, very close to where the other Sonnenalp hotel is, so I’m very familiar with the Faessler family, their family style of hotels and what that means for guests. It’s the whole package that I like.” Schwarz assures guests that Ludwig’s will continue to focus on the freshest seafood available, though there will be some changes with the style and preparation of menu items. “I’m going to focus on more of a European, classic style of cuisine,” Schwarz explains. “We’ll let the components of each menu item really shine through; great ingredients really make the whole dish.” For more details on all of Sonnenalp’s wonderful dining options, please visit

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If you haven’t visited Vail over the last five years, you may be surprised to see the changes. Some call it a renaissance, others “much needed” improvements. While many classic spots such as The Lodge at Vail and the Red Lion are still here, Lionshead has undergone a complete transformation, and the Vail Village base area has been dramatically improved. Solaris Plaza and many other hotels have been upgraded. Lift upgrades include Chairs 10, 14, 4, 5, 12, and Gondola One. So while Vail still has a familiar look and feel, both the town and mountain have undergone changes to keep pace with Vail’s international reputation for excellence. Scroll through the images to learn more!

Skiers gather at the top of the new Gondola One, opened in 2012. This new gondola is just one of the exciting new changes at Vail in last few years!

Guests gather at the top of the new Gondola One. This new gondola is one of the new improvements to Vail in the last few years.

Lifts, lifts, and more lifts Vail has replaced six chairlifts since 2007. Gondola One, which replaced the Vista Bahn Express Lift (#16) out of Vail Village, gets the most attention with its heated seats and Wi-Fi – but don’t forget the others, which offer increased uphill speed, reducing wait times and ride times.

  • Highline Express Lift (#10) – 2007, brings skiers to some of the most coveted mogul terrain at Vail
  • Sourdough Express Lift (#14) – 2007, is prime learning terrain, offering wide open grooming and fewer people (advanced and experts generally go elsewhere) on the Front Side, plus access to Two Elk Restaurant
  • High Noon Express Lift (#5) – 2010, replaced an old fixed grip triple and cut ride times in half for the Sun Up and Sun Down Bowl access lift
  • Gondola One – 2012, replaced the Vista Bahn with increased uphill capacity to Mid-Vail and inspired a redesigned Vail Village Base area and Mid-Vail Station (pictured
  • Mountain Top Express Lift (#4) – coming 2013, replaces a four-passenger chairlift with a new six-passenger chair (six-pack), reducing wait times at a vital mountain junction. It also offers features a loading gates with a right angle load and a loading conveyor system – a system that has been widely used at European resorts for years and is shown to reduce the number of lift stops and slows, thereby increasing the efficiency of the lift.
  • Gopher Hill (#12) – This year, a new lift replaces a two passenger learning area lift with a three passenger chair, allowing instructors to bring 2 children with them on the lift

Read more online at the Vail Mountain Blog!

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Enjoy direct flights to Vail/Eagle Airport from Toronto!

New this winter – enjoy direct flights from Torono to Vail!

Welcome, Canada! The Vail Valley is excited to have the first ever non-stop, international flight into Vail’s Eagle County Airport. Air Canada is offering flights this winter with direct service from Toronto (YYZ) to Vail/Eagle (EGE). The flight will be Saturdays this winter through April 5th on Air Canada’s 120-seat Airbus A319. The flight times are scheduled so that you can make the most of your vacation – the inbound flight will leave Toronto at 9:50 a.m. and arrive at Eagle Airport at 11:45 a.m. The flight back to Toronto departs Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. (plenty of time to indulge in our breakfast buffet before you leave!) and arrives back at YYZ at 5:43 p.m. Toronto still not close enough? Air Canada offers convenient connections to Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. For flight schedules visit – there are great daily, direct flights from many other locations in North America.

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Gold Club members enjoy an exclusive getaway at the Sonnenalp each winter.

How close are you to enough nights with us to join the Gold Club? Ask Judy! It’s surprisingly easy to reach Gold Club status if you are a regular guest of the Sonnenalp Hotel. If you are wondering how close you might be to our Gold Club milestone, please feel free to contact our Gold Club Manager Judy Van Bergen at or call her toll free at 866-834-9554. (Direct local line is 970-479-5432.) Sonnenalp Gold Club members enjoy exclusive benefits, getaways and credits.  Go here for a list of full benefits.

Gold Club Getaway

This year’s Gold Club Getaway will be a celebration of skiing, delicious food, and comaraderie. Join us for this special event, exclusively for Gold Club members, on January 27-30, 2014. Click here for more details!

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Dr. Jill C. Carnahan

Our next Vail Living Well Experience at the Sonnenalp is just around the corner! We hope that you’ll join us for this very special event in March.

Join the Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail Living Well, top nutritionist Megan Forbes and renowned practitioner of integrative medicine Dr. Jill C. Carnahan for a transformative Living Well Experience: Nutrition on the Cutting Edge – Foods for YOU. Come learn how to reverse the signs of aging, turn back the clock, and prevent illness. What’s at the base of our individuality and how can we change our genetic predispositions? Each person is made up of way more bacteria/microbes than any other thing. What does that mean for us? What are the by products and consequences of those microbes?


Megan Forbes

Learn about how to cook, eat, and thrive day to day in a way that takes you down the path of “Living Well”. Learn about individual gene testing and the resources available to figuring out YOU! Plus, get day to day tools, a shopping guide, pantry guide, and how to set up your day that will help you feed your optimal health. The weekend also includes skiing the pristine slopes of Vail guided by some of the country’s top skiers, relaxing yoga classes, presentations by Vail’s top chefs, receptions featuring healthy foods and plenty of comraderie with like minded people.

For more details, stay tuned to or contact Patricia McNamara at 970-479-5434 or

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By | 2017-09-08T11:12:28+00:00 January 10th, 2014|Vail News & Events|