Garmisch is a fantastic place to visit any time of the year. In Winter and around Christmas it is the embodiment of the winter wonderland we are think of. The town is full of things to do, so there's no lack of pursuits both indoor and outdoor.
The Garmischer Hof is where I stayed most frequently when I was there. It was not that used to having American official travelers there since there was a sizable American military recreation center nearby, and that afforded me some freedom in getting around. The Hof was a smallish place and has been expanded several times over the years to its present size. The restaurant specialized in fresh wild game and is a real experience, assuming you're game for game
There's a wonderful US Army/ Department of Defense facility there called the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, available for active duty and retired US Military personnel at very inexpensive rates. Some retire Defense Department civilians can also stay there, depending on availability.
Go there and enjoy the Alpine air.
Eidelweiss is relatively new. When I was in Europe the Armed Force Recreation Center at Garmish consisted of three hotels, the Patton (our favorite), the Von Stuben, and another but I can't recall the name. And they had a great campground. A pop up camper that comfortably slept my wife and I rented for $2 a night. We loved iit in Bavaria.
Must be an acquired taste, and I never got into it. Like Asbach Uralt, which was a potent brandy--even have a few bottles somewhere for emergencies
Actually I think it was the General Abrahms hotel. Also remember there were AFRC facilities at Berchtesgaden and Chiemsee. Now of course they are in Germany, Hawaii, South Korea, Disneyworld, and Fort Story, VA. All very nice, and a great perk for the GI's. We've stayed at all except Dragon Hill in South Korea.
Jerrycoin was certainly spot on when he mentioned that a) Garmisch is a popular Christmas holiday destination and b) one must make reservations early. Been checking around, and many places are indeed already booked. The Edelweiss Resort and Lodge has adopted a new policy of taking reservation requests during the month of May for 12/19 - 1/3. Then they fill the reservations by using a lottery system, notifying winners by June 15th. It is apparently that popular during Christmas. So we will put in our request and hope for an outcome in our favor!
Here is the link for anyone interested and who qualifies for a stay there:
Have you tried The Riesseree Hotel?
Do not go there and try to find a hotel with NO reservation, you may wind up sleeting in the car. One other option, if you cannot find a place in Garmisch, you may want to consider the RI in Munich. You could always consider booking a room there and once you find a adequate room, cancel that room.
Here's something for you to try!
I googled, Riessersee Garmisch, and it was most interesting. While not indicating they had rooms, there was a site that did have many rooms in the area. The site was booking.com
I do not know what your needs are but you may want to check it out.
Lastly, you may want to get an international calling card and call reservations at the Riessersee. Explain your situation and see what they say. I think a lot of these places "Book up" on paper to get bigger prices at a later date. One thing as well, the prices where really high for the hotels still available. Many were over 400 EU per night. That is pretty expensive. I used dates to check rates/availability from Saturday 12/22 to Wed 12/26. That is "Peak time", I am sure.
Thanks for all of the tips. I did go to the Riessersee Hotel site. I also thought about calling them (in hopes that someone speaks English!) I also went to booking.com, expedia, travelocity and some other actual hotel websites. Expedia, travelocity and booking had nothing; everything booked (for 2 adults, 2 kids) and just for 12/27-12/29. Also, as far as the individual hotel sites, you are right; many rates are more expensive than I am willing to pay, and/or require advanced payment, no refunds (it only takes one time of getting burned on the advance payment/no refund deal to keep this traveler from steering clear). I think you may be onto something regarding making a reservation at the Ren Munich, although to be honest, while I wouldn't mind making day trips to Garmisch from Munich (out of necessity) in order to enjoy the festivities and scenery, with what was posted (by you I believe?) regarding the heavy traffic on the highway between Munich and Garmisch, that really doesn't sound like very much fun.
We will just do the lottery with the Edelweiss Lodge and hope for the best, I think. If luck isn't with us on this and driving conditions aren't too bad, we'll pick another place to visit (perhaps Salzburg or Prague), and then try for Garmisch next spring.
We will also have the local Christmas Markts (in Rothenburg and Nuremberg) to visit in the days just prior to Christmas.
Thanks so much for helping with the brainstorming, and with everything in general regarding Garmisch and Oberammergau! Your posts and information (and photos!) are terrific!! It's been really great also to have read everyone's comments as well. Really gives one a feel for what great experiences await out there in Garmish-Oberammergau-Bavarian Alps Land!
I had previously expressed interest in spending Christmas in Garmisch. Jerrycoin kindly alerted me to the fact that I needed to make reservations NOW. As of present (March!, which is still 9 months out from Christmas), I cannot find ANY reasonably priced family accomodations for the week of Christmas. Just about everything is booked!
I have since worked out a plan of action for the 2012 Christmas holidays in Germany, but I wanted to share the following email that I received from a hotel in Garmisch, thereby letting Insiders know just how far in advance they need to consider booking Christmas holiday stays in Garmisch! About 15 months!
For Christmas 2013 you should reserve a room in about October 2012.
Hotel Zugspitze GmbH • Klammstraße 19 • 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Tel.: 08821-9010 • Fax: 08821-901333
You are really off to a good start and you may be on your way toward a special time and place.
I have seen this place but did not dine (I should have) and have not stayed there. It is first class and located where all in your party can walk to all that you would expect to find over a Christmas Holiday. You have the train station, casino, and all the shops downtown very close. Likewise, if they still set the music stage up outside the casino, you will really experience a Bavarian Christmas Season.
This hotel is very clean and it's obvious the owners take a lot of pride in their property. A couple of thoughts, unless someone cancels, or you win that room lottery you probably can't get you in this year. Could you email them and request they "Hold the room/s" you want for 2013, maybe with a small deposit, until you see the rooms during your 2012 trip? Likewise, ask them to put you on the "Waiting list for 2012". This may sound complicated, but I have found this plan to work for me twice.
I would try an email first and explain your situation and room needs and if you feel it would be worth it call Donika B. directly. Just make sure you take the time change under consideration and call during the week during business hours. You may even ask her in the e-mail when is a good time to phone her directly. Like most people they appreciate being of service, when they are appreciated!