Up in the breathtaking Austrian Alps, situated on the slopes at one of the top ski resorts in Austria, you’ll find a magical, eco hotel made of timber and glass. From the balcony of your room you’ll look out on a beautifully groomed ski slope lined with trees, blending into miles of pristine wilderness. Jagged, snow-covered mountains create a surreal backdrop for what will undoubtedly become one of your favorite destinations in the world. Close your eyes and the only sound you will hear are birds singing and the faint sound of skis gliding through fresh snow. Welcome to Holzhotel Forsthofalm.
MY EXPERIENCE AT FORSTHOFALM TIMBER HOTEL
At the beginning of April I spent three magical days and nights at Forsthofalm and the only thing I would have changed was that my stay was not long enough. My friend and I were picked up from the tiny Salzburg airport in eco style in their house car – a Tesla – and spent the 90 minute drive to Forsthofalm sipping champagne, and talking to our friendly driver, while admiring the incredible views. Colorful buildings, rolling hills and farmland soon turned into snow-capped mountains and trees as we made our way up into the Austrian Alps.
The small, winding road that leads up to Forsthofalm is a little scary (even in April without any snow on the road), but you’re well rewarded arriving at a destination that feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. The hotel is ski-in ski-out and sits halfway up a ski slope with nothing else in eye-sight but the slope, forest and mountains. The decor is alpine style with a modern twist – hip yet inviting. Forsthofalm is a family owned, and operated with love. Every aspect of the hotel shows great attention to detail along with a warmth that comes from them putting their hearts into creating a welcoming, luxury destination where guests feel like family.
Markus, the owner, can be seen at the hotel daily, working and overseeing his staff. His mother, who owned Forsthofalm with his father back when it started as just a small restaurant, can be found in their gourmet restaurant weekly, personally serving their delicious, organic cuisine with her warm, welcoming smile. And Markus’ sister makes all the organic lotions, creams, scrubs and soaps for the hotel with wild herbs that she gathers locally.
Forsthofalm is ideal for couples on their honeymoon, friends looking for a fun outdoor getaway, for skiers and snowboarders in the winter, for hikers and bikers in the summer months, or anyone seeking a fitness and health wellness oasis. It’s ideal for nature lovers, people who want to travel more sustainably, and foodies looking to enjoy top-notch organic cuisine with an array of meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
THE GREEN LIFESTYLE
Forsthofalm is an environmentally-friendly eco hotel making use of a well-planned waste, water and energy concept. The hotel is built almost entirely of timber and glass, along with other natural, recyclable materials, which adds to its uniqueness and beauty. Forsthofalm also creates some of its own energy from solar panels, and you will find energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the hotel.
HOZHOTEL FORTHOFALM ETHOS
The saying at Forsthofalm is “as you want.” If you eat meat or if you are vegetarian or vegan they have amazing organic options for each of these preferences. If you are an avid skier, or you don’t ski at all, you can do as you want. There are tons of activities to do at the hotel, or you can just relax and enjoy the peace and quite of being surrounded by wilderness. But don’t be fooled by the peaceful setting. There is also plenty of fun to be had at Forsthofalm.
Over a cocktail at their beautiful wood bar, Markus, the owner, explained to me that the his goal when creating the concept behind Forsthofalm was to show that “eco-friendly and organic can also be fun and sexy.” And the hotel exudes this on every level. The closest town, Leogang, is quite and doesn’t offer much of a nightlife but Forsthofalm makes sure if you’re not ready to go to bed early you’ll have a fun place to hang out.
There bar and lounge area has a DJ booth (for when they bring in DJs), and is open nightly well past 12am with upbeat lounge music and young, fun (good-looking!) bartenders. And the outdoor panoramic terrace is the perfect place to sit with friends in the afternoon sunshine with a cocktail in hand, listing to music and taking in the view of the slopes.
You can’t have an exceptional luxury hotel experience without exceptional food and Forsthofalm over delivers here. The hotel prides itself on having only the best fresh, organic local ingredients and offers excellent vegetarian and vegan menus. Your full board stay at Forsthofalm includes a delicious breakfast buffet daily with fresh baked breads, a dozen choices of organic granola, nuts, fresh fruit, seeds and organic yogurts as well as made to order eggs, omelets and crepes.
For dinner each night your five course meal will start with the best luxury salad buffet you’ll likely ever have. Each night I piled my plate high with an array or fresh lettuces and vegetables, seeds, and nuts topped with one of their delicious organic dressings. The appetizers and entrée options were also outstanding, with a unique selection of meat, vegetarian and vegan options. The kitchen is open so you can watch the chef grilling your meat or vegetables if you like, and make sure to leave room for their amazing dessert and huge selection of cheese (that you’ll need to enjoy with some red wine of course!).
The best part about the rooms at Forsthofalm is that they all have beautiful mountain views! The basic rooms are large by European (and American) standards, decorated in alpine decor with modern amenities and chic accents, offering a sitting area with a couch, and a separate table and bench seat. All rooms and suites are built entirely of wood, including moon wood, and no glue or metal was used, which helps guests have a more peaceful, deep sleep. The solid wooden walls of the hotel are held together by over 70,000 wooden screws!
Forsthofalm Timber Hotel is truly a destination in itself offering everything you could want or need on your active or wellness getaway. The incredible ski-in ski-out location right on the slopes allows you to roll out of bed, put on our skis and go! Lift tickets can be purchased from the front desk and skiers can rent their boots, skis and helmet from the on-property rental shop. (Snowboarders have to take a 10 minute ride into Leogang to rent from a local shop).
Forsthofalm has a state-of-the-art gym overlooking the slopes and a rooftop pool with mountain and slope views that is heated year round. The Mountain Life Program offers yoga, aerobic, aqua fitness, pilates, H.I.I.T. classes, nordic walking, and cocktail classes, so there is something for everyone!
Enjoy cocktails, BBQs and DJ music from the panoramic sun terrace or step inside the spa for some much-needed rest and relaxation, enjoying one of the saunas or one of the relaxation rooms. Forsthofalm also has an excellent spa menu offering an array of services using their mood barometer of Brain, Energy, Love, Muscle, and Soul which your body decides for you based on the smells you are most drawn to.
SKIING IN SAALBACH
The Skicircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Leogang – a magical ring of 2,000m peaks – is one of the biggest ski areas in Austria with 167 miles of slopes, accessed by 70 lifts. It also boasts one of the most sophisticated lift systems in Austria and is perfect for intermediate skiers. Beginners, families and experts can enjoy 86 miles of blue, 69 miles of red, and 11 miles of black slopes making up one of the most diverse and best ski areas in the Alps.
My friend and I spent the day skiing from Leogang to Saalbach and back (which takes a couple of hours each way), and we had an amazing time. The slopes are wide, the lifts are fast, and the snow coverage is excellent. The Skicircus Saalbach also scattered with fun après-ski restaurant/bars where you can stop for lunch or cocktails with an amazing view. During March they hold White Pearl Mountain Days with live music and DJs performing at different venues around the mountain.
One of the things that struck me most about this ski area is how good the snow coverage was still at the beginning of April, and how beautiful it is. The Austrian Alps will take your breath away the first time you experience them and being able to spend a day on the slopes here was a special experience. Leogang and Saalbach are also famous for incredible mountain biking so if skiing it not your thing I suggest visiting in the summer to see the beauty of this place for yourself.
THE ULTIMATE SKI TRIP EXPERIENCE AT FORSTHOFALM
I visited Austria looking for a place to have our We Are Travel Girls Ski Trip and I fell in love with Forsthofalm. Not only is it the perfect destination for our ski getaway, it is also a place I know I want to go back to many more times in my life. Holzhotel Forsthofalm is one of the most unique and special hotels I’ve staying at and I can’t wait for our girls getaway here. If you are interested in joining our March 2019 Girls Ski Trip to Forsthofalm please submit your trip interest on our Travel Girls Getaways site.
I hope that you are inspired to visit Forsthofalm Timber Hotel on your next ski trip or summer getaway. If you’ve been skiing in Saalbach and have any tips I would love to hear them or if you have further questions about the hotel, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below.
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Book Your Stay At Forsthofalm Timber Hotel
Forsthofalm sits halfway up a ski slope at the Skicircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Leogang and is an easy 90 minute drive from Salzburg airport. The closest town to the hotel is Leogang which is a small village 10 minutes down the mountain. Saalbach is the larger of the two villages and has a charming centre with traditional cafés, bars, boutiques and a handful of chic four-star hotels. Saalbach is about 40 minutes drive from Leogang, or you can ski to Saalbach from Forsthofalm which takes about two hours and is a lot of fun!
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