We spent most of our trip at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch. It is a military owned resort and is on the base in Garmisch. We were really glad we stayed there. It is a nice hotel and is convenient to a lot of the things we wanted to see in Bavaria. The views were beautiful and our room opened up to a large lawn area where the kids could play or run to the park that was right around the corner.
It has 3 restaurants, a snack bar, a pool, a small store and is in walking distance to the commissary and PX. Just as a note, the commissary is in walking distance, but it takes 5-10 minutes and you have to leave the base and cross the street and go onto the other side of the base, so if it's pouring down rain please take an umbrella, not just a raincoat or better yet drive. I speak from personal experience.
The restaurants are good. We actually only ate at each of them once. The dinner at Market station was good and was reasonably priced, especially when compared to other places we had eaten in Germany. The breakfast brunch buffet at the Pullman Place was excellent. They only have them on Sundays so be sure to make a reservation because it fills up fast. You can make reservations through the Open Table App. There is also Zuggy's on the Lower level. They have pizzas which were good, but most of the pizzas out in town are better. There is also a snack bar called The Point, which has a microwave you can use. This was such a blessing for us, because we discovered that the commissary had microwaveable rice and that's pretty much all our 1 year old wants to eat. We also bought some Korean Ramen at the commissary and just asked for hot water at the Point. It was awesome for nights when we didn't want anything fancy. The rooms have mini-fridges so we bought some cereal, milk, fruit and juice at the commissary so the kids could eat breakfast while we got ready in the morning. Plus it kept costs down.
The resort has different day tours that they offer. You can find a list on their website. I was so excited when I saw the list of activities they offered, but then I started to tally up the price per person and figured out that if we did all of the activities we wanted then the costs would really add up, especially since you have to pay for the kids as well. Most things in Germany are free for kids 5 and under. So, I looked into getting a rental car. I'm so glad we did! First, because having a rental car meant that we did not need to take trains for the 5 hour car ride from Ramstein to Garmisch. Second, it gave us a lot of flexibility to go where we wanted, whenever we wanted. Third, this reason:
Our youngest, who had just turned 1, was tired of traveling by planes and trains. If we had put him on tour buses, he would have been impossible. Instead, as soon as we got in the car we gave him his pacifier and blanket and he would fall asleep within 5 minutes. It was awesome. We could drive, in relative peace (we still have two other boys) and he was much more comfortable. Alpine Adventures in the lobby has flyers for their excursions, driving directions, and GPS addresses if you are driving. Also, toward the end of the trip we were expecting rain so we asked them for a list of rainy day destinations. Alpine Adventures also sells American - European outlet converters. I purchased one on Amazon before we left, that worked well, but it was more expensive than the ones at the resort. They have them for $1.25 at the resort. Also, they take dollars at the resort, so make sure you have some dollars available and not just Euros.
Renting a car for 2 weeks ended up being about the same as paying for all of the excursions through the hotel, but we were able to go to places not offered through the resort and we were able to leave whenever we wanted to. Some of our favorite spots were not available through the resort and we loved being able to drive to random little towns and exploring. We may have gotten more information through the tours, but let's be honest, we would have been wrangling children and no one else would have enjoyed it. Keep in mind that you do have to pay for tolls and a Vignette in Austria and gas, but again it ended up being about the same with a lot less hassle. We did get stuck in quite a bit of traffic going to and from Ramstein, but we just had to be patient. There were a few times when the GPS steered us wrong, the worst time being when it took us up a bike path, which can be hard to navigate in a Volvo SUV. Other than that, it worked out pretty well. Driving in Europe can be fun and exciting, especially in Lichtenstein where the roads are about as small as the country itself. Also, be careful in Austria, they have a LOT of speeding cameras. Trust me.
The other thing I appreciated about the resort was the laundry room. I bought some Tide Pods at the commissary and that saved me money from having to buy the little boxes of Tide in the laundry room. I was really grateful for the laundry room, because we were able to pack a little less and just wash clothes a few times. Waiting for clothes to dry can occasionally get a little boring, so you take selfies.
We were there for the 4th of July and BMW hosted a 4th of July celebration with bounce houses, different activities, face painting, food, and a really great fireworks display. It was neat to be in a foreign country, celebrating our country's independence at a resort for military servicemen and their families.
I will write about our favorite places to see around the resort in another post, but we really enjoyed our time there. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The kids loved the hot tub and pool area. We really didn't spend much time at the resort during the day, but we enjoyed our time there! So, if you're in the military or are related to anyone in the military then you should go! We would love to go back and really want to go for Christmas some time. I bet it's beautiful with the snow and different Christmas markets.