Located in Leogang, in the SalzburgerLand region of Austria, lies Forsthofgut: a true gem for families and couples in search of an all-encompassing nature retreat that makes holidaying an act of togetherness.
At Forsthofgut nature takes centre stage; surrounded by the Leogang Rocky mountains, the landscapes are rich and bountiful. This luxury nature hideaway is owned and operated by the Schmuck family who have been running the hotel — which was once a bed and breakfast – for over five generations. Though the family has expanded and adapted Forsthofgut from its humble beginnings, one true thing remains the same: it continues to honour and respect the natural surroundings.
Upon entering Forsthofgut, there is an instant feeling of cosiness coupled with the sheer excitement of exploring somewhere new. For my family in particular, visiting in mid-October, entering the warm embrace of our family suite felt like Christmas. We were in the ‘Bergbalance’. This uber cosy suite is made out of wood from Forsthofgut’s forests, overlooking the gorgeous peaks and breathtaking lake pool. The warm tones in addition to the capacious suite (more than comfortable for a family of four) made this holiday feel like a true home-away-from-home.
Boasting a king-sized bed, cosy seating area, a separate children’s bedroom complete with a bunk bed and a single bed, as well as a large bathroom with underfloor heating, it's a wonderful suite to retreat to after a full day of activities — which Forsthofgut have plenty of.
Besides family suites, Forsthofgut offers exceptional accommodations for couples, as the hotel caters to both types of travellers. The Luxury Suites can sleep between two and six guests whilst the standard Suites and Double Rooms, are perfectly-sized for couples.
We embraced the opportunity to experience waldSPA, the hotel’s slick wellness facilities. Catering to both children and adults alike, we relaxed in the Lake Pool, heated to 33°C with views over the mountains, whilst our children were in a world of their own at the children’s pool. Making the most of our valuable time spent away from the kids, our favourite part of the resort was the Onsen Pool. Borrowed from the bathhouses in Japan, this 42 degree heated pool overlooks the Leogang Rocky Mountains and is adults-only.
Our children couldn’t get enough of the waldSPA family and children's area. This water wonderland offers two pools, each surrounded by lush plants, resembling a jungle. The best bit? A 70-metre rollercoaster of a slide for thrill-seeking 8 year olds and older. There’s also a 21-metre indoor family pool for both parents and children. Whichever pool you’re in, you’ll find plenty of plush seating around, so that you can recharge between lengths.
Forsthofgut offers a wealth of complimentary fitness and wellness activities from Yoga and Pilates, to guided hikes in the mountains to personal training. For those after a slow pace, guests can pass the time hopping between the whirlpool, steam baths and a variety of saunas. The hotel also offers a roster of ultra-indulgent spa treatments from facials to brow tinting and manicures. I opted for the waldSPA meTIME: an entirely bespoke 50 minute ritual incorporating classic and holistic massage techniques with a delightfully multisensory massage oil. My intuitive masseuse noticing that I was lethargic and exhausted, suggested that I do some cupping therapy, which proved transformative.
As a guest at Forsthofgut, a half-board meal plan is usually included in your booking. Local produce and high quality ingredients are key pillars of the gourmet offering. Guests can pick from three culinary options: alpine-mediterranean, vegan, or consistently regional, which consists of ingredients sourced within a 50 kilometres radius. In addition to the daily changing menu, the buffet is a staple replete with salads and breads as well as a dedicated children’s buffet. Disclaimer: they’ll love the ice cream selection.
We feasted on hearty, warming dishes such as beef consomme, gazpacho soup and a richly-flavoured trout on a bed of cooked white cabbage. The dishes so far did not disappoint and where we were sat made it all the more cozy and truly enjoyable as a family. We also loved the fact that we had our own dedicated seating area during meal times which meant by the second day, we could go straight to our table without having to wait to be seated. Needless to say, we all slept like babies on our first night at this magical wonderland
We took the opportunity to visit the Asitz mountain, an activity we highly recommend. The hotel provides each of its guests complimentary tickets to the cable car, located only a two-minute walk from the property. This scenic journey takes approximately ten minutes to reach the peak and offers extraordinary views and hiking paths. We highly recommend ordering a hot chocolate in one of the many restaurants and cafes located nearby: the views are worth indulging in.
After spending a good amount of time up in the mountains, it was soothing to be able to get back to our hotel and get warmed up in the Onsen pool. This was also the first day that we left both our children (ages 2 and 6) at the kids club where they had plenty of fun. Our son took up one of the many activities that day including an art studio workshop where they got to make wooden swords by sanding them down before decorating them. As parents, we made use of our time exploring the adults-only area and enjoyed the infrared sauna, the uber comfortable quiet area as well as the sports pool located at the top floor of the property. We also got to enjoy dinner in peace!
The Kids Club and the varied amount of activities is without a doubt one of the key selling points for parents that choose Forsthofgut. Beyond that, it's the concept of combining nature and wellness for a relaxed and easygoing holiday that leaves both adults and children satisfied. With nature being a big part of what Forsthofgut stands for, the children’s activities incorporate many nature-bound experiences. There’s the daily morning walk at 10 am, where you can drop your kids off at the kids club for their stroll along the property. There’s pony and horse-riding as well as an alpaca walking activity- highly popular and must be booked in advance. Given the hotel has its own stables and riding hall means that children can spend their days here taking up horse riding lessons. The kids can start their day enjoying the facilities before making their way to the Kids Club for an adventure-filled experience, where they’ll also be taken outdoors to play before lunch is served. Parents will usually collect their children after a few hours only to return them to the club for dinner (should they wish to enjoy an evening meal alone) and depending on the evening, a movie night.
Forsthofgut is truly magical. It takes one away from their daily routine and stresses of life, grounding them in nature surrounded by towering mountains and forests. The resort’s owners are not just proud of what the generations before them have achieved, but they take great pride in being able to offer this unique haven that they’ve worked so hard to curate for couples and families alike.
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