There is one serious problem when staying at Naturhotel Forsthofgut. How on earth will you experience all the fantastic food options, pool choices, spa treatments, and activities in the area AND appreciate your lovely room? There’s a reason this Austrian Spa hotel earned a spot on the 2023 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best list on TripAdvisor.
Upfront I want to let you know that Naturhotel Forsthofgut covered the cost of my stay and my return flights to Salzburg. As always, my opinions are my own, but I wanted to let you know that I have already recommended Naturhotel Forsthofgut to numerous friends and family.
I loved my stay and only wished that it had been longer. Here’s why.
Naturhotel Forsthofgut: What You Need to Know
Table of Contents
You can really tell the difference when a hotel is not only privately owned but also owned by a family. In the cast of Naturhotel Forsthofgut, the Schmuk family has been running this former farm for five generations. Many hotels speak about making their guests feel at home but I truly felt like I was visiting someone’s very nice home at Naturhotel Forsthofgut.
The total area of the hotel is big – 60,000 square meters – but it always feels like a boutique hotel. I think that is because of the attention to detail at the hotel that extends from softly folded blankets to the extraordinary selection of delectable-looking items on the breakfast buffet (more on that to come) to the backpacks provided in the rooms and so much more.
Naturhotel Forsthogfut began as a farm in 1617 and when it first opened as a hotel, there were only two buildings. The family have clearly invested heavily in the hotel over time and it shows.
How to Get There
One of the many highlights of Naturhotel Forsthofgut is its stunning location. The hotel is situated in the heart of the Leogang Mountains, offering guests easy access to a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. The hotel also has its own ski lift, making it easy to hit the slopes without having to travel far. This is very much a year-round property.
The closest airport is Salzburg. From Salzburg airport, the drive takes only one hour. The journey takes about 90 minutes from historic Salzburg, depending on traffic.
Naturhotel Forsthofgut has 104 rooms, three garden loft suites and two luxury chalet suites. The balance of the rooms are suites and doubles. I stayed in a suite in one of the newer sections of the hotel (Schmuckkastl) which I would highly recommend. My beautiful terrace overlooked the hotel’s lake.
I had plenty of space in my beautiful 39 square meter room. It was light and bright with pale oak floor and wall units, pale walls and ecru and stone soft furnishings. I want the interior designer for Naturhotel Forsthofgut to come and style my home! The room felt like such a comfortable sanctuary.
The bathroom was partially open with a large concealed walk-in marble shower, two large sinks, and mirrors. The sinks and shower area are cordoned off with a sheet of glass and a curtain. On the other side of the glass in the room itself is a stylish free-standing bathtub. The toilet has its own separate little room.
You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Austria:
–Austria 7 Day Itinerary
–Austria 5 Day Itinerary
–Salzburg Itinerary 2 Days
–One day in Innsbruck
–Things to do in Graz
–Things to see in Vorarlberg
–Hotel Arosa Kitzbuehl Review
The king-size bed was large and super comfortable. I loved how my duvet was arranged in the shape of a heart each day. The suite has a sitting area with a couch and armchair. My large terrace contained two wooden deck chairs and a table, colorful flower pots and great views of the lake and the mountains.
Each room contains an iPad guests can use to book meals and spa treatments. There is a large screen tv that is perfect for in-bed viewing and a good-sized desk. There is a Nespresso machine, a kettle, and a well-stocked mini bar. The cupboard also contained hand weights and a hot water bottle – love these little touches.
The wardrobe included a lovely bathrobe and slippers plus a day pack for use – I have never seen a hotel offer a day pack before and I certainly used it on my hike the next day.
The Food at Naturhotel Forsthofgut
I was absolutely delighted with the food at Naturhotel Forsthofgut. There was so much variety on offer and the quality was excellent. Here is how it works.
The hotel has one main restaurant and three a la carte restaurants. The main restaurant runs three different menus in the evening. The menus are:
- Alpine Mediterranean
- Regional Love R50 – all ingredients in the menu come from within 50 miles of the hotel
- We love Green Vegan Menu
Each menu starts with a visit to the salad bar. Four courses follow including dessert. If you have any room left there is a cheese selection available.
The Delicacies Market provides salad and cheese options. This is a large buffet-style restaurant which is also home to the breakfast buffet. The hotel does not serve lunch as such but it provides apple strudel and lots of snacks around 3 pm in the Delicacies Market (the apple strudel is fantastic).
The hotel also has three a la carte restaurants:
- Mizumi: This Japanese restaurant is in the lakehouse. It is open for lunch every day.
- Fine Dining “Echt.gut essen’ with menus of either five or eight courses
- Restaurant 1617: Named for the year the property started and showcasing traditional Austrian meals
Do check when you arrive which restaurants are open on which evenings. I ended up eating at the main restaurant both nights and trying both the Alpine and the R50 menus. I was delighted with both of them.
But nothing delighted me more at Naturhotel Forsthofgut than the breakfast buffet at Delicacies each morning. I travel a lot and I have eaten at many breakfast buffets in my time. I am hard-pressed to come up with one that was better than that which I experienced at Naturhotel Forsthofgut.
I was almost overwhelmed with the range of foods available at breakfast as well as the quality. There is a bakery with about 20 options for bread and then another 20 odd options for sweet pastries. Cheeses from all over the world are available and there is an actual salami slicing machine.
There are all types of organic and biodynamic yogurts, muesli, loads of fruit, and delicious. They also make all these different little cute smoothies. There’s a proper espresso bar for coffee, a vast range of teas and a huge range of cereals.
The egg station offers eggs any way you would like. Next to the egg station is a station that does pancakes, waffles, or something warm and sweet each day. There is a huge range of smoothies and juices, raw honey, endless homemade jams and jellies and even sparkling wine if you are in the mood.
I liked the breakfast buffet so much I made a video about it:
The Botanist is the beautiful bar that is inside the hotel. It has an impressive cocktail list and live music. The outside area also has a bar and you can visit Wein WALD to check out the hotel’s cellars. Wine tastings are held once a week.
The Lakehouse and Adults Only Spa
The literal heart of Naturhotel Forsthofgut is the beautiful lake in its middle. It is possible to swim in the lake plus there is a smaller swimming pool within the lake.
Enjoy an authentic onsen experience by cleansing at the onsen station and then using the hotel’s exfoliating soap before entering the 42 degree onsen.
The hotel’s Finnish sauna is next to the onsen and set at 90 degrees. It has a large glass panoramic window with a great view of the Leogang Rocky Mountains. It is also possible to experience a birch ritual in this sauna. Use birch branches from the local forest to exfoliate and stimulate blood circulation.
The lake water is the perfect temperature for a dip after these warm experiences. Or head into the beautiful bergSTILLE relaxation room. Its mix of curved couches, suede poofs, fireplace, panorama windows and whispering-only policy make for a tranquil environment.
The wald spa is restricted to those 16 years of age and over. It is 3,500 square meters of child-free space over several floors. The top floor of the spa has a pool, whirlpool and sauna. The pool is 25 meters and offers spectacular mountain views with an infinity edge.
The whirlpool sits above the pool and runs at 36 degrees. It contains a steel massage bench to maximize comfort. The sauna is adults only and offers a range of infusions each afternoon. If you are keen to try an infusion, do arrive on time.
The sauna gets extremely hot and if you aren’t present from the beginning, your body will warm up too quickly (this happened to me). And you will need to be naked for the infusions.
The area also has a steam bath, infrared cabins, micro salt cabin and a rock shower. Plus there are two lovely relaxation rooms in the adult area with super comfortable seating, fireplaces, picture windows and fantastic views.
The adult spa also has a fitness center but to be honest I didn’t go!
Unsurprisingly, Naturhotel Forsthofgut has an extensive range of beauty and spa treatments. Choose from a wide variety of massage types and times, from lymph node focussed to reflexology. I had a one-hour classic massage administered by a strong Austrian man with very large hands. It was outstanding!
It is also possible to have a massage in the forest or try a Wave Balance treatment. Wave Balance treatments combine sound and massage.
Try a full facial or pedicure or visit the Nail and Face Bar for some shorter sharper treatments. The spa also has treatments for kids and tweens as well as special offers.
A weekly Programme contains activities for the next 7 days for guests. As an example here is the wide variety of activities on offer in just one day of my visit (all included in the room cost):
- 45 minute Morning walk
- Yoga Flow
- HIT circuit training
- Sugar Peeling Sauna Treatment
- Introduction to horse riding
- Outdoor Stretching
- Fascia Training
- Sauna Infusion – Fir Forest
- Sauna Infusion – Beer with Liquor
Plus every guest receives a Saalfelden Leogang card. This card gives users various free services and discounts in summer and winter. I visited in the summer and was able to use cable cars, public transport, local pool facilities and much more for free.
I combined my Saalfelden Leogang card with the hiking guide from the hotel. We took the cable car up the Leogang mountains and had a beautiful hike across several small summits. There are some great facilities on the top of the mountains like the sound cabins which contain a comfortable bench and built in speakers or a mountaintop amphitheater.
As you have probably observed by now, I absolutely loved my stay at Naturhotel Forsthofgut. I am lucky enough to stay at lots of amazing hotels around the world and this is one of my new favourites.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, Naturhotel Forsthofgut covered the cost of my stay as well as my flights to and from Salzburg. However, as always my views are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission.