A winter weekend at Forsthofalm Hotel and Spa, Austria
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, by the minute, 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 and I’ve found one right here 1,050m up in the Austrian Alps that i’d like to show you around…
The Forsthofalm Experience…
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 on my blog posts here.
Upon first glance it’s hard to ignore the stunning timber architecture that makes up the bones of this hotel.
When speaking with the owner Markus, I was intrigued to discover the inspiration behind the hotel and how it came to be. Markus told me that he’d been reading in a magazine about an Austrian company, located about an hour and a half from Leogang, that had been building these solid 100% wood homes and, completely fascinated by the biological concept, asked them if they’d consider something on a larger scale.
In 2008 the original restaurant was opened and in 2013 the extension was built to turn Forsthofalm into a 110 bed eco-hotel.
The attention to detail is undeniable. From the air, perfumed with the scents of larch, birch beech and pine to the room balconies that 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 oils derived from nature that are used in the spa treatment rooms – this hotel is unrivalled in it’s 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.
Our room at Forsthofalm…
The wellness facilities and spa at Forsthofalm…
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 the penultimate view across the surrounding mountains of Salzburg and Tyrol. There’s no doubt that the expanse of nature visible as you say, dive into the rooftop pool and feel 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. There’s two saunas with varying temperatures, a steam room, lounge area and a gorgeous loft to lie on beds. There’s 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.
I want to highlight what an absolute luxury it was to have access to the wellness programme during our stay. There are 8-10 classes / workshops going on every day from sunrise to sunset that you are welcome to join in with. 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 who 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.
The cuisine at Forsthofalm…
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 can confirm that I think I ate my weight in the gold dust they bake here on site.
It was evident in every dish I ate and set my eyes on here in the Kukka restaurant (where breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner is served for guests) that the chef take pride in their art. The flavours, the vegan creativity, the options for honeys, superfoods, cheeses, teas and spreads and just the menu in general was outstanding.
Considering there aren’t any other restaurants within reasonable walking distance from the hotel, Forsthofalm had better do a good job right? 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.
Skiing in the Saalbach Hinterglemm area…
If you choose to come for a winter adventure here at Forstofhalm, you are absolutely 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.
See my related adventures...VIEW ALL
Have you been to Austria in the winter?
What did you think? I’d love to know!
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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