Tried & Tested:
Getting away is one of my favorite parts of life. This time we had the opportunity to stay in one of Salzburg’s best and self proclaimed “familiär” (which loosely translates to “you are treated like family”) hotels.
The Forsthofgut is about a 1 hour drive away from Salzburg and nestled in the beautiful stone mountains of Leogang. The area is best known for fantastic skiing, and in summer it is the mountain bike Mekka of Austria.
One of the most gorgeous hide away spots in the alps with incredibly friendly staff, beautiful design, endless sports possibilities and a view to die for.
My personal highlight of Naturhotel Forsthofgut:
We’re all family here.
Entering the hotel, a sudden feeling of slowliness and comfort overtakes you. The architecture is very alpine (wooden beams and flowers) from the outside, but inside it converts to alpine minimalism. Beautiful, cozy fabrics, modern materials like concrete mixed with raw wood. For a design aficionado like me, it is super easy on the eyes and mind. There is so much lovely “unused” space and beautiful interior design throughout the hotel, you could say it’s very pinterest-y, if you know what I mean.
One thing that you initially realize is how friendly all employees are. You are treated like family. Anna, the receptionist, dressed in a cute dirndl, welcomed us, sat us down for a complimentary welcome drink and later gave us the tour of the most crucial areas in the hotel. It is so nice to know your way around before you even start your holiday.
Hotel with a view.
Getting to the room, we had a nice little terrace overlooking the beautiful stone mountains. They help to get you in the mood of relaxation. The mountains also are the main view from most angles of the hotel. The breath taking scenery is always just a glimpse away, no matter where you are.
Choose your pillow.
One of my favorite services was the pillow menu on our bed. You have the possibility to choose from 9 different types of pillows – neck role, herb pillow, and my favorite: The side sleeping pillow. It’s basically a huge pillow the size of yourself, and it’s perfect to cuddle. To our surprise Forsthofgut sells the pillows directly at the reception, so I could take my new favorite pillow home with me right away.
Life is better with dogs.
Even if we haven’t had our little Maxi with us this time, Forsthofgut is a very dog friendly hotel. They even make sure housekeeping doesn’t clean your room while the dog is there by themselves, so they wouldn’t scare them. Treats are available too, and there are a lot of activities you can do with your dog.
Europe’s first waldSPA.
I’ve seen sneak peaks of the famous waldSPA on the homepage and their Instagram account already, and was so eager to experience it myself. What I’m talking about is Europe’s first waldSPA: The super futuristic new spa part of the hotel which Patrick identified as “a military bunker designed by Philippe Stark” and I recognized as my “dream house”. The architecture from the outside is already overwhelming as the waldSPA is built into hillside and evolves out of the mountain like a crystal. On the inside, the 3.800 m2 waldSPA which spreads out on four stories, feels like being in a cozy forest where every stone or boulder is a soft pillow, a satin blanket or water bed that makes you relax immediately. I rarely make comparisons but this time I might have to say it is the most beautiful spa I have ever been to in Austria. Another big plus for a bathrobe lover like me: You can wear your robe from the room to the spa the whole time, even for lunch. Robe life = best life.
On the ground floor of the waldSPA you have a state-of-the-art gym with 24-hour-access. A huge work-out room is next to the gym where the hotel offers a great amount of sports courses you can simply sign-up at the front desk . There are courses from yoga, pilates, power workouts and more – I did one course every day and if you wish to get your butt kicked, you should too. I still feel those lunges in my legs today…
On the first floor you find a bar area with an endless selection of teas, water, nuts and fresh fruit. The snack area is followed by the big resting room with the most gorgeous satin walls that I couldn’t stop touching. The room is equipped with huge comfy beds, armchairs and a gorgeous view overlooking the mountains. Also on this floor, there is one of the saunas, a with steam bath and an infrared sauna.
The second floor is where the most beautiful hotel pool awaits you, together with another relaxing room with waterbeds. The pool is perfect for professional swimmers as well as for anyone who just wants to soak up the beautiful view and float around (like me).
The third and last floor hosts a huge and super hot panorama sauna with a big outside whirlpool.
The waldSPA is where we basically spent most of our days. It’s super easy to relax and unwind, and let time just pass by.
All the extras.
However, the waldSPA is far not the only fantastic thing Naturhotel Forsthofgut has to offer. There is a 30.000 square meter garden area with cabanas, a huge natural lake and lots of space to spread out.
Furthermore, there is a whole spa area dedicated to families and especially kids: The family friendly spa on the ground floor of the hotel is equipped with four saunas, steam baths, a big indoor and outdoor pool and more. I realized there were lots of families with little kids at the hotel when we were there – for someone who does kids as much as Patrick and me, it was great to see how much the hotel has to offer for the little ones. Dedicated areas make sure kids play and run and have a good time, without compromising on areas for people who’d like some quiet time. Also cool, and probably worth knowing for all the parents out there: The hotel offers childcare 7 days a week for all kids from 2 years. It’s available from 9 am to 9 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am to 6pm on weekends.
Talking about kids, there’s another thing I have to mention: Naturhotel Forsthofgut has something called miniGUT, which basically is a miniaturized area of the hotel where kids can play outside and pet the animals in the petting zoo. There’s also a huge adventure playground, which looked really cool. Also, there is a deer park with gorgeous stags and tiny deer to watch.
For all beauty lovers: the waldSPA offers a great selection of treatments from normal massages, to special massages on a glade in the forest, to pedicures, manicures and all kinds of facials. We both treated ourselves to a massage and a facial, and totally loved it.
Did anyone say food?
One thing is certain: You can not get hungry in the Forsthofgut. Because, if you want to, food is basically served around the clock. Starting off with a beautiful breakfast buffet with everything you can ask for, served from 7:30 am until 11:00 am (and if you leave the hotel before 7:30 to go on hike, they prepare a lunch package for you). From 2 pm until 5 pm there is an afternoon snack which includes a whole buffet with fresh salads, main dishes, soups and something for the sweet tooth and a vast selection of coffee and tea. Also, dinner is fantastic: They serve a 5 course menu which you can choose from three options per course. Plus, there’s a huge salad bar and cheese buffet.
For everyone suffering form any allergy like me being lactose intolerant, the staff is super friendly and always advised me which dishes I could eat. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to have, they’ll always make sure they come up with a solution. One night, I got my very own lactose free chocolate cake: It was heaven.
Dinner is served in one of the many different dining rooms of the hotel, all themed a bit differently, but all very elegant and beautiful.
Another thing I’d like to mention about the food: The hotel follows the “Grüne Haube” philosophy. In Austria, the “haube” is comparable to a Michelin Star and the “grüne Haube” means that the hotel gets all components of the food from the surrounding area. For everyone who’d like to get an even better food experience, you can upgrade your dining experience in the “Echt. Gut essen” restaurant in the hotel, which looked absolutely fantastic. Since we were there for only two night, we didn’t try it out. But it’s definitely on the list for next time.
I like to move it, move it.
Adding to the great possibilities inside the hotel, there are almost endless options of sports you can do outdoors. From spring to fall you can hike and bike directly next to the hotel, and you even get the ticket “Löwen Alpin Card” for the cable car, which runs all year long and gets you up the mountains to explore the beautiful nature. In winter, of course you go skiing or snowboarding! You can ski-in and -out of the hotel in Austria’s biggest skiing area.
Summing up, the Naturhotel Forsthofgut is a marvelous place to go if you want to get away from everything and enjoy nature, relaxation, high class hospitality, great food and spectacular design. We loved every minute there, and I’m sure it’s not been the last time we’ve been there.
Here’s a small selection of the hundreds of photos we took to give you an idea how beautiful it is:
*advertisement: in friendly cooperation with Naturhotel Forsthofgut.
** special thanks to the whole team at Naturhotel Forsthofgut for making our stay so amazing.