Europe’s original nature hotel, Naturhotel Forsthofgut in Leogang, Austria, has invested more than 12 million (£10.6m) into the hotel during lockdown to extend and enhance facilities in readiness for it's reopening in May.
The owners Christoph and Christina Schmuck will unveil a new waldSPA Lakehouse, Japanese-themed restaurant with extensive al fresco dining, three exclusive garden loft suites, and new spa features including onsen bathing facilities. The extension overlooks the hotel’s enchanting chemical-free swimming lake which has doubled in size to incorporate the onsen pool, a floating Finnish Sauna and natural plunge pool at its centre, and an infinity pool with high-tech relaxation zones and whirlpool, In addition, a signature Forsthofgut-Spa product range is under development: echoing the hotel’s philosophy - harmony with nature – it will be launched in the summer.
Here is a closer look at all the new facilities ...
The new waldSPA Lakehouse is a haven, natural light and pale woods creating a warm and calm ambience. The adults-only sanctuary, linked to the hotel and its original waldSPA via an underground passage, overlooks the expanded chemical-free natural swimming lake. Three new treatment rooms, a stylish relaxation lounge with cosy fireplace, and 50 new recliners including water-beds are perfectly positioned for optimum views.
A standout feature is the new onsen-style pool (42°C) complemented by an authentic onsen washing area where traditional cleansing rituals are observed. The garden’s swimming lake has doubled in size to accommodate the onsen pool, a new infinity pool (heated to 32°C and with high-tech whirlpool relaxation zones) and, creating the illusion of floating at the centre of the lake, a stunning 35m² Finnish lake sauna and natural plunge pool. The Leogang-Steinberg mountains provide a breath-taking backdrop. Tucked away in secluded spots around the grounds, new loungers with a comforting heat-lamps invite individuals and couples to relax.
Japanese Lakeside Restaurant
The new Japanese Lakeside Restaurant has a distinctively elegant far eastern style, featuring dark wood and a fully revealed showcase kitchen. A magnificent lakeside terrace offers spectacular views and a sublime alfresco dining experience. The menu will feature classic Japanese dishes such as sushi, tempura and yakitori, alongside a range of original fusion dishes applying a Japanese twist to local recipes and organic produce from the estate.
Garden Loft Suites
Three spacious new garden loft suites above the Japanese Restaurant have been beautifully finished in a minimalist contemporary style among mature trees and shrubs, with delightful overhanging greenery. Floor-to-ceiling picture windows draw nature into the room, which is open-plan in design with light-coloured woods, organic materials and fabrics with pleasing bright colour schemes. A feature wall behind the bed is natural clay; a spacious sauna and loggia overlook the lake.
The Forsthofgut’s original waldSPA reception area has been comprehensively renovated. Key features are new consultation booths, a test counter to sample products, nail bar and shop. Guests will also benefit from an extended range of treatments using the resort’s new Forsthofgut-Spa product line.
waldSPA Family & Kids
The waldSPA family & kids has been extended by adding 800m² to the bathing area: notable elements include a 21m indoor pool, a children’s water-world with dedicated baby and toddler pools with a slide each, a separate kids’ pool with a 70m slide and fun speed-timer facility - and a new aqua-play area with thrilling fountains, geyzers and waterfalls. The family sauna area has been renewed and separated into two: the Murmeltier (marmot) pine sauna is for everyone and a new large textile sauna is for guests over 12 years. The changing areas, showers and cosy lounges have been extended.
Leading off the waldSPA passage are a spacious new parent-child room for fun and games, and a new nature studio created for children to discover the captivating natural world through play: nature workshops will be a regular feature of the kids’ clubs’ itineraries.
From May 2021, Forsthofgut’s à la carte menu will be available through the afternoon with service to the sun-loungers in the garden on request. Also, from 3-5pm, replacing the afternoon Jause (tea) is a new strudelZEIT offering savoury and sweet bites and a cake-cart loaded with home-made Austrian specialities – all included in the room rate.
Double rooms from €190 per person per night, based on 2 sharing ½-board and including optional participation in the daily activity programme, access to the waldSPA, daily childcare from 9am to 9pm and a Saalfelden-Leogang card for complimentary use of local transport and free or discounted entry to attractions.