Are you looking for a nature retreat in Austria’s alps? The “Naturhotel Forsthofgut” might be the right place for you. Located in the pristine valley of Leogang the former farm is family-owned since 400 years. Nowadays it arrived in the 21st century with a lot of taste and thought. We love the combination of old alpine farm style and super-modern architecture and the incredible Spa.
A new generation is taking over
We actually visited the Forsthofgut for the first time in the summer of 2010 and now again in the summer of 2019. These 9 years did mark a lot of change for the hotel, that is still family-run, but now in the third generation. While grandpa Schmuck first rented out two rooms in the farm in the 1960s, the new generation is now taking over with new visions and ideas.
Set amidst the impressive mountain scenery the Forsthofgut is evolving to be one of Austria’s top hotels.
The forest Spa
One of those ideas includes the forest-themed Spa, that offers treatments with regionally sourced essential products like stone-pine aroma oil. And even massages outdoors in the woods. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to test one of the forest massages, but would definitely opt for this experience during our next visit. We saw guests entering the wildlife preserve through the wooden guests to then elope to the woods in their bathing robes. It sounds like heaven to enjoy a treatment surrounded only by trees and the sounds and smells of the alps.
We tested a classic “Aroma full body massage with forest herb essences” and a manicure and pedicure. All these treatments were done very professionally and with a lot of care in the “waldSpa”. After those hours of pampering we enjoyed the adults-only area of the Spa, that comes with a spectacular infinity pool, a sauna with mountain views and an oversized whirlpool.
There is also a generously sized family spa for guests with children, but we really appreciated that the hotel offers this adults-only Spa area. Now in the main holiday season in Austria (July and August), many families stayed in the hotel. Therefore it was quite relaxing to have a completely secluded area for quiet afternoon hours napping away in the sun.
Although the Forsthofgut is conveniently located for outdoor enthusiasts and mountain explorers, there’s also a lot of incentive to stay at the hotel… 🙂 One of those very good reasons is the excellent alpine cuisine. The room rate includes an extended half board deluxe package with breakfast, afternoon snacks (and that’s not just cake, but pasta dishes, salads, freshly baked bread and more) plus a 5-course dinner.
From breakfast to afternoon snacks…
The Forsthofgut cuisine really convinced us with local products and creative vegan and vegetarian dishes.
The kitchen at the Forsthofgut follows a principle of regionality and sustainability. We appreciated that they also offer a really creative and varied vegan menu every day. While our stay we enjoyed everything from chanterelles with humus to a hearty potato soup with caraway or vegan millefeuille with locally harvested berries.
Our favourite dish of the whole stay was a vegetarian version of “Eggs Florentine”! The chef brought the eggs to the next level by adding sun-dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and guacamole to the sourdough bread, spinach and poached egg classic. We will definitely steal that dish 😉
Our room “Swallow’s nest”
Although we only travelled as a couple we were treated to an upgrade and stayed in a family suite with two rooms and two bathrooms. This room type also offers a spacious wooden balcony. The Forsthofgut has 4 different buildings and our room was located in the original farm building, that dates back over 400 years. Of course the rooms were updated many times in that period, but still kept some of the original charm! They kept the wooden ceilings and carvings – and also the new elements are done in local alpine materials like Loden and leather.
Our room faced to the hillside, which adds extra privacy, but deprives you of the mountain view. If you prefer a view of the alps make sure to book a room from the right category. Whatever room type you choose you will be able to enjoy amenities, that come with every room. From your personal Spa bag with cozy robes and slippers to a yoga mat and even a hiking backpack to use during the stay.
The perfect traveller type for the Forsthofgut
Since the hotel has grown a lot in the last decades it also tries to cater to very different needs – from families to couples, wellness seekers to alpine discoverers. The town of Leogang actually has many hotels and also many different target groups. It attracts downhill bikers, who want to camp as well as luxury travellers. And the Forsthofgut definitely falls into the latter category.
The “Forsthofgut” offers a great combination of alpine flair and luxury services for well-travelled guests.
The Forsthofgut offers a natural retreat on the highest level with all the services you could wish for. You can go from renting a bike to drinking one of the very creative cocktails at the “Botanist” bar, from dipping into the huge organic swimming pond to enjoying a yoga class with a mountain view. Or you can have your car washed in the very own facilities at the parking garage…!
This might be one of the only issues that the hotel has now – since it has grown so much in the last years a bit of the intimacy has been lost along the way. Although the transformation has been done really thoughtfully it’s still tangible, that there are more guests now than 9 years ago.
But we have to say that the hotel manages to distribute the guests quite well among four different houses with rooms and the restaurant with five separate “living rooms”. So they are dispersing the guests in a very clever way. The only place where we felt some of the “action” was at the main reception area during the afternoon snack. We believe it would be a good idea to one day offer a separate family restaurant.
In the adults-only spa, at the swimming pond or in our rooms we always felt completely relaxed and enjoyed what the Forsthofgut is renown for, the quiet and solitude of the alps combined with the service-level of a world-class hotel.
Final thoughts about the Forsthofgut
We definitely want to return to the Forsthofgut in winter one day and ski directly to the hotel’s doorstep and enjoy the heated pool when there are piles of snow right in front of the wooden terrace of the Spa. And maybe again next summer to finally get to enjoy a massage treatment amidst the woods surrounded only by swaying pine needles and the smell of the alpine meadows…! For us a stay at the Forsthofgut is a wonderful way to enjoy the natural beauty of our beloved Austria.
We were invited to stay at the Naturhotel Forsthofgut, but our views of the hotel stay independent from that invitation.