We hear it all the time: Get up. Get out. Enjoy fresh mountain air. Skiing is awesome, right? So why is it so hard to get our fellow millennials off the couch, away from their screens, and into nature?
This work-from-anywhere generation has fled the Mad Men era “nine-to-five” lifestyle of our parents and grandparents, yet we still fall short of taking full advantage of this untethered freedom. With Wi-Fi and air travel options at their all-time peak, a holistic high quality of life is attainable more than ever.
Some Bavarian Germans believe in “gemütlichkeit,” which is an expression for warmth. The Faessler family-owned Sonnenalp hotel follows this philosophy and has succeeded in helping its visitors achieve better wellness, social, and spiritual growth. Their hotel is in the heart of Vail Village and a quick four-minute walk from the ski lifts.
World-class skiing and snowboarding in Vail are a given. But what really makes The Sonnenalp stand out are its after-hours offerings. Boasting innovative health and wellness features including a spa sanctuary, meditation sessions (fireside), “off-the-beaten path” dining, best pool and hot tub offerings, summer wellness retreats and so much more, Sonnenalp’s elite offerings follow suit with a host of other resorts who hope to captivate millennial generation minds, bodies and spirits – but are they doing enough?
To bring them back, resorts have to get creative. Across the U.S., eco-friendly permaculture and agrihood communities are being applauded by millennials who crave to live more sustainably, more adventurously.
A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Sonnenalp is first LECS (Luxury Eco Certification Standard) certified hotel in Colorado offering rooms at a premium, in exchange for wellness boosters, an authentic European alpine experience (at Ludwig’s breakfast you’ll find a few standout dishes that showcase the hotel’s home-made quality like pickled herring in sour cream), and an instant community.
This type of nurturing has made Sonnenalp one of the few remaining large, family-owned resorts left in the country. “While people in their 30s are certainly busy with work, I have found that the world is getting smaller and smaller. By this I mean it has never been easier to fly directly into the Vail Valley making a long weekend very doable. Also, more and more millennials tend to have the ability to work remotely making the trip even more reasonable,” says 30-year-old Sebastian Faessler. Being one of the hotel’s family owners and having had a background in leisure sales, Faessler is taking on a bigger role next month. They aim to allow him to attract younger guests who might continue the trend through future generations.
For Patricia McNamara, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Sonnenalp, it is no secret that the hotel is still very much a gathering place for a vibrant and multi-generational community. Young adults visit by way of their parents who remain loyal to the Sonnenalp culture.
Now, let’s dive into some of the perks! From couples to young professionals and larger families, Sonnenalp’s boutique appeal is attributed to the oversized apartment-styled rooms and social spaces in the lobby, a work-life balance well-suited for the millennial traveler and seasoned return guest.
The Sonnenalp features 112 luxury suites and 15 hotel rooms – all with a view of either Gore Creek or Vail Village. Each suite has a bedroom and a well-appointed comfortable living room area with wide arched doorways and wood-paneled walls throughout. Custom-made Bavarian furniture, a gas-log fireplace and large bathrooms with heated floors and soaking tubs complete each suite. From restful nights in the Rockies to meaningful experiences focused on your well-being, the hotel encompasses a laid-back lifestyle.
A seat by the fire in the spa lounge is the perfect place to relax before enjoying a workout or a spa treatment. Try the all-new hydro facial for a much-needed hydro boost or a hit of flavored oxygen at the Oxygen Bar.
The Fitness Center features state-of-the-art equipment as well as yoga and Pilates classes that are designed to provide an infusion of energy.
Hungry for an exceptional dining experience above and beyond metro-cuisine scene? Take a refreshing one-mile snowshoe hike to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and savor an elegant evening of four-course dining in an idyllic backcountry setting. The Cookhouse is “off the grid,” heated by a wood stove, candle light, and propane lanterns to simply unplug you in nature.
Sonnenalp is also the only hotel in the Vail Valley to carry a permit with the Forest Service that allows them to offer guided snowshoe adventures in the Vail Valley through the Rocky Mountains.
P.S. – be sure to check out the classic American favorite restaurant Bully Ranch, a rustic hangout serving signature burgers topped with ingredients like candied bacon, brie and a homemade Jim Beam demi glace. The setting has a cabin-like feel accented by antler chandeliers.
For room availability check out https://sonnenalp.com/