I’ve just got back from what I can only describe as a weekend in a real life winter wonderland. After a 1hr 45 minute flight from London Gatwick and a 1hr 30 minute transfer from Salzburg airport, I checked in to Forsthofalm Hotel on Friday and spent 3 days in the kind of place you read about in magazines. I indulged in the kind of scenes that you’d only usually pin to your ‘dream holiday’ board on Pinterest and daydream about.
But I can confirm, these places that have you beaming with happiness, peace and mountain air do exist. I’ve found one right here, 1,050m up in the Austrian Alps that I’d like to show you…
Forget the skiing for a second; that’s an added bonus with the hotel’s location being a chairlift away from the Saalbach Hinterglemm resort. Set between the Austrian Alps southwest of Salzburg, Forsthofalm is a haven for your mind, body and soul.
I could have spent the entire weekend completely satisfied by offerings of the complimentary wellness programme, chill out areas and menus carefully curated by the onsite chefs. But, in reality, that’s only the beginning of what your weekend here can look like.
Open all year round for bookings, Forsthofalm provides the perfect home for guests skiing through powder in the winter and for those exploring on bike and foot in the summer months.
See what summer looks like in Austria in my blog posts here.
Upon first glance it’s hard to ignore the stunning timber architecture that makes up the bones of this hotel.
I spoke to the owner, Markus, to discover the inspiration behind the hotel and how it came to be. Markus told me that he’d read about an Austrian company, located about 1.5 hours from Leogang, that had been building solid 100% wood homes. Completely fascinated by the concept, he asked them if they’d consider something on a larger scale.
In 2008 the original restaurant was opened. In 2013 the extension was built to turn Forsthofalm into a 110 bed eco-hotel.
Attention to detail here is undeniable. The air is perfumed with the scents of larch, birch beech and pine. The room balconies allow you to inhale the nature into the depths of your lungs. And from the fresh herbals teas on offer in the spa, right down to the natural oils used in the spa treatment rooms, this hotel is unrivalled in its holistic touches. You feel like nature is running through you. And that’s before you’ve stepped out to explore the adventure on the doorstep of this hotel.
The spa exceeded all my expectations here at Forstofhalm. Located on the top floor of the timber complex, the spa, the gym, the rooftop pool and all the chill out rooms boast an amazing view across the surrounding mountains of Salzburg and Tyrol. There’s no doubt that the expanse of nature visible beyond the naked eye, combined with diving into the rooftop pool and feeling the contrast of the cold air on your face against the warmth of your body in the water, assists in the calm state that you adopt whilst enjoying the wellness centre here.
There’s a room called ‘Mountain View’ with water beds, huge glass windows and books in abundance for you to tuck in to. Also, there are two saunas with varying temperatures, a steam room, lounge area and a gorgeous loft to lie on beds. There are yoga classes, sunrise meditations, fitness workshops, a small gym for guests to use. Then there’s the spa and the extensive holistic treatments available to enhance your experience.
There are 8-10 classes and workshops going on every day from sunrise to sunset that you are welcome to join. See an example of the wellness programme here. The quality and intimacy of the classes felt very special and like I was on a retreat. I met a mum and daughter in the yoga class that were returning customers from Germany. They come twice a year to have some quality time together and indulge in the yoga and outstanding vegan options available here.
Forstofhalm are doing it well. Very very well indeed.
You simply cannot escape the smell of the freshly baked bread here at Forsthofalm and you won’t want to either.
I don’t usually eat a lot of bread but I ate my weight in the gold dust baked here on site.
Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner is served for guests in the Kukka restaurant. It was evident in every dish I ate and saw here that the chefs take pride in their art. The flavours, the vegan creativity, the options for honeys, superfoods, cheeses, teas and spreads were all amazing. In fact, just the menu in general was outstanding.
Considering there aren’t any other restaurants within reasonable walking distance from the hotel, Forsthofalm had to do a good job, right? Well, they get a 12/10 from me.
I wouldn’t bat an eye lid at the 3/4 board inclusion in your booking (excludes drinks and lunch); you’re going to want it all.
If you choose to come for a winter adventure here at Forstofhalm, you are within direct access of some wonderful skiing.
The hotel prides itself as a ski in ski out resort which is indeed true, there’s a lift right outside the back door, but it’s worth noting that the access chairlift is at the end of the Saalbach-Hinterglemm region so the journey over to Saalbach and beyond is quite time consuming / requires some good navigation and a map. See this map…
Nevertheless, get up early and make a full day of it and there’s some serious adventure to be found in the snow.
Note: Ski’s, helmets and boots can be rented directly from the hotel hire shop. So, even as a spontaneous decision, the slopes are ready and waiting for you.
How gorgeous is this view from the chairlift looking back down at the hotel. Gives you an idea of the serenity and isolation of the hotel within nature…
Would I go back to the Forsthofalm Hotel? In a heartbeat.
Read more about the hotel and book your adventure on their website here.
What did you think of Austria in winter? I’d love to know!
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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