Edelweiss Lodge and Resort

Edelweiss Lodge and Resort is a U.S. Department of Defense owned recreation hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Located in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border, the facility opened in September 2004 at a cost of $80 million.

Edelweiss Lodge and Resort was built to replace a series of older Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) hotels (such as the now-demolished General Walker Hotel in Obersalzberg). The hotel and its facilities are open to U.S. military members, including US military retirees, US National Guardsmen, US military reservists, Department of Defense civilian employees stationed overseas, and foreign military members stationed at U.S. military installations and their family members. The resort also offers special discounts to troops who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their family members.


Following the conclusion of the Second World War in Europe, a number of formerly Nazi hotels and resort complexes were taken over by the United States Army and put into use as R&R centers for the benefit of the soldiers stationed there. While these older hotels served this purpose well for many years, they also became expensive to continue to maintain. In the spring of 2000, the U.S. Army and members of the United States Congress approved plans to construct a modern resort hotel in the Bavarian resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Upon completion of the new hotel, AFRC-Europe closed AFRC-Chiemsee and the General Patton Hotel in Garmisch, and consolidated the remaining AFRC facilities in Garmisch under the new Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.


The hotel features 330 rooms and suites, a conference center, three restaurants with a variety of American and German dishes, and a fitness center including sauna and pool. The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort also owns the Hausberg Lodge, a ski rental facility and ski school located next to the cable car station at the base of the Hausberg mountain.

The Edelweiss Lodge also operates the Edelweiss Vacation Village and Campground, located in the southern part of Garmisch on the nearby Artillery Kaserne. These facilities feature rustic cabins, a campground in the Loisach River Valley, and a 9-hole golf course.

On a daily basis the Edelweiss lodge organizes a multitude of excursions, ranging from the Dachau Concentration Camp outside of Munich to Sterzing, Italy.


The hotel and Hausberg Lodge employ US citizens for their hospitality staff. Jobs at the Edelweiss Resort range from housekeeping and custodial jobs to ski instructors and outdoor guides. The staff of Edelweiss Lodge is employed by AFRC (Armed Forces Recreation Center) who owns the lodge. Employees are typically American civilians who are recruited from the United States by AFRC's director of operations. Employees receive free airfare between America and Germany, provided that they fulfill the terms of their contracts, which are valid for a period of thirteen months. They live in dorm-style housing in a building formerly used by the German military as a hospital during WWII. The financial compensation for working at AFRC is minimal, but a short work-week combined with free housing makes for an enjoyable work experience for most people. After employees have worked a contract with AFRC at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, they can extend their contract or begin a new contract again.


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