Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2015

ALPEN TRAVEL TIPS & PICKS: World Class Excitement in VAIL - Feb 2015

In just a couple of days, Vail, Colorado will turn into the "Olympics" of World Ski Championships, hosting the biggest event  (next to the Olympics) in the Alpine Ski World: The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Usually hosted in Europe, this thrilling event will take place for the fourth time ever in its 104 year old history here in in the USA. The event will attract ski enthusiasts from all over the world who will be cheering on their National teams.

The Vail Valley Foundation quotes, "The World Championships represent the largest and most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world, second only to the Olympics. To host such an event is not only a great honor for our community and our state, but a great opportunity to rally the nation around the sport of skiing..."

Visit their website to find out more about the FIS Championships beginning 2 Feb 2015.

If you go...

be sure to get your good luck SWISS Cowbell to cheer on your favourite team!


With all of the excitement about to descend upon this "Alpine" looking American ski town, I thought it appropriate to share with my Alpen Schatz Travel Fans my "Alpen" Travel Picks in Vail, including my favorite hotel and places to dine and shop in this colorful "Alpine" styled Colorado ski town.


Being the ultimate Europhile and therefore extreme critic when it comes to fine places to stay in America, the SONNENALP in Vail tops the list in European fine luxury accommodation, true Alpine ambiance and the European style professionalism demonstrated by the staff.

DaVinci enjoying our rather large
suite, complete with fireplace

Pet friendly and situated in the heart of Vail, the SONNENALP is by far my top choice, not only for my pick in Vail, but one of my top picks in the world as one of the finest and most enjoyable places to stay - oozing with European gemütlichkeit and refined elegance that I so relish in European five star resorts - and the SONNENALP being situated right here on our back door step! 

Not only are their rooms tastefully decorated with Alpine Baurernhaus (Farmhouse) furnishings, inviting Alpine fireplaces and romantic balconies, but their extensive European SPA is a reason in itself to stay at the hotel.

Relaxing at the spa

The SPA is one of the most beautiful, relaxing, all encompassing spas I have ever experienced - complete with a rather large pit fireplace and snack/beverage bar for light indulgences inbetween soaking in the hot tub and swimming in their indoor-outdoor pool.

Baked Artichoke Dip in Sourdough Bowl, Seared Ahi Tuna Salad
and over-the-top Cobb Salad at Bully Ranch
For dining, the Sonnenalp has two of my favourite restaurants in Vail - which in the summer are also pet friendly when dining on their romantic patios: The Swiss Chalet Fondue Restaurant and their Alpine "rustical" Bully Ranch Bar & Restaurant. The food in both establishments is top notch and highly recommended by myself and Valentino and DaVinci who have experienced their patio dining and of course tasty samples of my meal :)

Read our full review of the Sonnenalp HERE

Coming back to the FIS Ski Championships, the Sonnenalp is one of the main host hotels for the FIS, accommodating the German Ski Association amongst other FIS Ski celebrities.

Meet the German Ski Association at the Sonnenalp
In fact,  over the next two weeks, they are hosting TWO exciting events nightly whereby you can meet the German and Swiss Ski champions over dinner - in the "German Haus" at  Bully Ranch (the German Team) and in the "House of Switzerland" at the Swiss Chalet Restaurant (the Swiss Tearm). Reservations recommended. 

Dine with the European Ski Champions at the Sonnenalp
Make your reservations now!
20 Vail Road, Vail, CO
Tel. 970-476-5656

 European Shopping Pick: GORSUCH

Established in 1964 and situated in the heart of Vail's village core, Gorsuch is a family run European emporium filled with beautiful Alpine designer clothing, home furnishings, stylish ski gear and much more.

Gorsuch carries a fine selection of Alpen Schatz imports, including our famous yodeling, dancing and singing marmots and many of our classic handcrafted Swiss cowbells and collars.

Gorsuch's baby Berner, Zeus at 4 months

They also have their own signature Bernese puppy waiting to greet you - sweet Zeus.
Valentino and DaVinci got to meet the little guy on a recent visit we made to Vail and we all fell in love with their miniature (but not for long) equivalent!
Gorsuch is indeed one of my favourite shops to visit when in Vail - full of Europe's finest temptations and true Alpine eye candy everywhere you look.

263 Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO
Tel. 970-476-2294

DaVinci meeting Zeus -
"Let's play!"

HUNTER Swiss Cross Collars

Situated just steps away from Gorsuch in the Village Core of Vail is an amazing pet's treasure chest filled with gourmet dog and cat accessories, treats and toys.

The Pet Boutique of Vail is hands down, Valentino and DaVinci's favourite shop, where they insist on spending as much time as possible on our visits to Vail.

Valentino, DaVinci and two Doodles
getting their "Treat Fix" from Deena

Deena, the owner, is extremely friendly and always seems to have yummy treats on hand for visiting pups. 

The Pet Boutique of Vail carries one of the most extensive collections of Alpen Schatz Swiss, German and Edelweiss "Herzli" Austrian pet accessories in the Nation - in addition to a wide range of our original Swiss Handcrafted Cowbells of ALL sizes.

She even carries our signature oak Swiss Alpine Kegs- for one's pup to wear proudly or to sit with honour on the bar.

So, be sure to visit The Pet Boutique of Vail on your next visit - a must for both you and  your loving four-legged faithful friend!

Vast Array of Swiss Cowbells at the Pet Boutique of Vail

182 Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO
(970) 476-0255

Ski Enthusiast Pick: 
The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum
and Hall of Fame

For those who have a passion for history, Vail houses a must visit: 

Conveniently located on the third level of the Vail Village Parking Lot, the Museum offers a nostalgic walk through the history of skiing (& boarding). With its vast array of pictures and memorabelia, one is transported back to the beginning of a sport that is now one of the biggest recreational sport industries in the world.

They have a number of exhibits, including one honoring the fames 10th Mountain Division - the ski troopers of World War II.


German Custom
After visiting the exhibits, wander through the museum's Alpine Gift Shoppe, which features many Alpen Schatz goodies, from our limited edition German Handcrafted Steins, custom labeled with VAIL, COLORADO or BEAVER CREEK, to our popular Italian Silk Edelweiss Scarves and Scarf Ornaments

They also have a nice selection of our cute and cuddly mini stuffed Bernese toys - complete with Swiss scarf! Woof!

The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum
231 South Frontage Road East
Vail, CO


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