Weekend Guide to Vail

Sonnenalp Resort Vail Review

For my 25th Birthday my mom, sister and I had a special girl’s weekend in Vail. It was a dreamy long weekend and a trip I’ll never forget. I wasn’t planning on doing a blog post on this originally, so I really didn’t take a ton of photos. However, I’ve been left daydreaming about our trip, so I wanted to write about it. Here is everything we ate and did in Vail, sans skiing.

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The Sonnenalp

Style: The Sonnenalp is absolutely gorgeous and all of the below food recommendations are within about a 5 minute walking distance. The Sonnenalp is a very old-world style hotel with a German or Swiss Alps feel. The hotel kindly upgraded us to a larger suite since we were celebrating my birthday and we had plenty of room for the three of us. My favorite part was probably the Nespresso machine, because coffee.

Spa: I really loved the spa area. There was a large fireplace where people were relaxing in robes before or after their treatments, or after a dip in the pool. There is a swim-out outdoor pool that you can access from the inside, as well as an indoor hot tub and two outdoor hot tubs. An outdoor hot tub with a glass of prosecco in the middle of a winter wonderland is basically heaven.

All three of us got a hydrafacial and really enjoyed our experience. I plan on getting 2 more in between now and my wedding in the fall. It left my skin super glowy and extremely smooth.

Atmosphere: We did the apres part, minus the ski. In the evening there was music in the lounge, but it’s definitely an older crowd. If you’re looking for a younger hotel, I don’t know that the Sonnenalp is it. However, if you’re looking for a relaxing time, then this might be a great pick.

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Mountain Standard: I’m a real dummy and didn’t take any pictures here. But we came back 3-4 times? A great overall restaurant with something on the menu for everyone. The food was amazing, great wine and cocktail list and a really fun place. I would 100% recommend for lunch or dinner. Plus, my mom will forever be known as “the cappuccino lady of 2019” here. What we ate

  • Wedge Salad w/o the dressing: An exceptionally good wedge salad
  • Fries: One day I just had fries, shrimp and wine for my meal. 0 regrets.
  • Shrimp: You gotta WORK for this shrimp and peel it yourself but wow is it delicious.
  • Apple bread pudding: Just order and thank me later.
  • Chocolate pie: You really have to love chocolate to like this one since it’s so rich. But since we do, it wasn’t an issue. 10/10 would recommend
  • Biscuits: HOLY HELL I don’t even like biscuits but these bad boys were amazing
  • Turkey sandwich: My mom and sister ordered this and loved it
  • Margarita: This is my kind of margarita. Tasty and filled with tequila. My mom couldn’t finish hers. I took one for the team and helped her out.

La Bottega: This Italian restaurant was good, not great. My mom and I had a great seafood linguine but my sister’s margarita pizza basically looked like a kids cheese pizza. We ate upstairs and it was nice and quiet. Request upstairs for a date and downstairs for a night out.

Matsuhisa: Wow wow wow wow wow. If you love sushi, you really have to go. We started off order 3-4 things and basically kept going until we got full. My 3 favorites:

  • Sake sashimi: I’ve never had salmon this tender before. Absolutely delicious.
  • Cod lettuce cup: To be honest, I really don’t know what was in this, but I’ve never tasted anything like this before. Phenomenal.
  • Mushroom salad: I love mushrooms, but I never knew they could be this good
  • Mom and sister’s favorites: Scallop tempura and chicken skewers

Up the Creek: We decided to come here one day for lunch instead of Mountain Standard. They had the best crab cake I’ve ever had. Other than that, I wouldn’t go back. But I would go back for a glass of wine and that crab cake.

Swiss Chalet Restaurant: The only problem here was my eyes. The fumes that ignite the flame can give off a gas that irritates your eyes. My mom and sister were hit and I laughed at them, feeling nothing but then BAM it hit me too. I got a salad to avoid the cheese, although I did try a bite and it was pretty tasty. I did dig in to the chocolate fondue for dessert HARD and it was so, so delicious. Chocolate dipped bananas are where it’s at. It’s definitely a little on the pricy side for fondue, but you’re going for the experience.

Things to do Without Skiing

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Take the lift to the top of the mountain for sunset: Just because you don’t ski doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the views. After 3:30 the lift to go up is free and runs until 9(ish). We took the lift up to the top to have drinks and the views were absolutely stunning. The lift ride up is worth it alone. Plus, literally being on top of a mountain really puts things into perspective.

Walk around: Just site see. I personally didn’t find that the shopping was really great, but given how much you’re spending on food, that’s probably a good thing. If you’ve ever been to Europe, you realize just how much character is lacking in the US. Vail has all of that character and more.

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That’s it! If you have any Vail recs, leave them in the comments below!


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