The Armed Forces Recreation Center’s Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in the Bavarian Alps has begun taking reservations from troops who will be returning from downrange or are on rest and recuperation leave.

“Rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis,” said Richard LeBrun, Edelweiss’ general manager, in a press release. “However, [we] will make sure to accommodate any servicemember and family wishing to participate in the Operation R&R Program, a program only for those on R&R or block leave with their unit.”

The new resort is in Garmisch at the foot of the Zugspitze, the tallest peak in Germany, and is about a five-hour drive from Frankfurt.

Edelweiss’ grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 15. Ski season opens the last weekend in November.

The two-night packages for troops and civilians on R&R cost $90 for single occupancy and $120 for two people in a room, including breakfast and dinner. Additional nights cost $45 and $60, respectively, per night.

Children 12 and younger can stay and eat for free, and the charge is $18 for youths ages 13 to 17.

Additional nights can be booked at the same rate.

The resort is also open to Department of Defense civilian employees and retirees.

The 330-room hotel will include three restaurants, game rooms, parking garage and indoor pool. The visitors also can use the nine-hole golf course and campground.

Edelweiss, which was named for a flower native to the region, was built using a $58 million loan taken out by the U.S. military. It consolidates former hotel operations in Garmisch and Chiemsee that were run by AFRC Europe.

As things are set now, all the soldiers of the Würzburg-based 1st Infantry Division who were deployed to Iraq will be eligible for two weeks of rest and recuperation in the coming months, according to Lt. Col. Chris Kolenda, the division’s rear detachment commander.

“Some of the people will want to travel, some will want to stay home and some will want to go back home to the States,” Kolenda said. “My advice to them is to just enjoy the time.”

For more information

For information and reservations on rest and recuperation packages, call civilian (+49) (0)8821-72981 or DSN 440-2575.

E-mails can be sent to: Title e-mails “R&R package. The resort’s Web site is

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