Nestled in the Austrian alps lies the picturesque village of Leogang. This once farming-centered town is a hot spot for skiing in the winter, hiking in the spring, and biking in the summer. Families and couples flock to the mountains for winter sports or the tranquility of the snowy landscape. With breathtaking views, delicious Austrian cuisine, and activities for families and couples you'll want to put Leogang on your list. But the real jewel of this area is a resort hotel called Naturhotel Forsthofgut that is booked out almost every single day of the year. Here's why.
A Weekend Guide to Leogang, Austria
I suggest at least 3-4 days to enjoy the beauty of Leogang. However, if you have the time you could spend a week here to rest and relax. And you might just want to after you glance at this lovely resort. If you're looking for a charming place that offers a friendly welcome, a beautiful setting, and great activities, Austria is certainly the place.
Where to stay
Tucked right in the side of the hills is the lovely resort, Naturhotel Forsthofgut. This five star all-inclusive resort is not just luxurious, it is wholly Austrian. With classically styled rooms, fine dining, ski in ski out, an expansive spa, and even their own private game reserve you'll find plenty to keep you busy. Whether you want to relax, feast, adventure, or have a romantic getaway, this is the place. But be aware, this hotel books out 320 days a year, so you need to book now to ensure you can revel in all it's glory. And believe me, you'll want to.
We were welcomed with our name written on the board outside, a staff dressed in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndls, warm towels, and our choice of drink at their swanky bar – complete with a fireplace. Though the resort is large it feels like you're inside a traditional ski chalet.
The room was bright and clean, fitted with traditional Austrian details and a beautiful view of the mountains no matter which room you're in. We brought in the dogs, yes, it's a pet friendly hotel, and we were thrilled to see they were each given dog bowls and soft blankets to sleep on.
Now let's get to the real treat: the food. Truly, this hotel has some of the best food you can imagine. Each day you are served a breakfast buffet, snack (and when I say snack understand that this could easily be a full meal), and dinner. The breakfast buffet is decked out with limitless options: omelet and egg station, fresh squeezed juices, mimosa station, cheeses, jams, meats, breads, granola. The list goes on.
The snack consisted of breads, your choice of hot soups and toppings, cheeses, and the most delicious kiwi cheesecake.
You're escorted to your table that you'll be seated at for the entirety of your stay. We sat in a cozy nook with lush green, suede seating, and warm lighting. Often, a buffet can feel like a smorgasbord of bland food. I can assure you that the food here is nothing but refined and delicious.
But the top culinary experience had to be dinner. Each night you'll have live music from a band to a harpist depending on the day. The menu changes daily based on the season and you're presented with multiple options for your five course dinner. You have options for vegan, gluten free, and exceptional delicacies from the chef. All of the food is organic and natural and prepared fresh daily with many local ingredients.
Of course if you would like even more fine dining the restaurant Echt is just around the corner with a more intimate setting. This is a special place for foodies who'd like to delight their palette.
The amenities don't just stop with you. Your pets stay get a special treat as they are special guests too. Your stay includes access to walking trails, dog treat station, and a dinner menu for your dog!
After we had our fill we went back in our room to our private balcony and gazed at the beautiful Austrian mountains.
Fun fact: Forsthofgut used to be a farm started in 1617! Then, it transformed to a small, family run hotel with 20 rooms. Now it offers 96 spacious Alpine rooms with soft beds and rustic decor.
What to do
Of course, there's loads to do in Leogang. But the hotel itself is an upscale oasis of activities. Whether you're interested in skiing, spa, live music, family fun, animals, or just want to relax, there's something for you. All of these amenities are included with your stay!
There are daily workout classes such as yoga sessions, aerobics courses, and a full gym. Just make sure to pay attention to your instructor as the panoramic view outside might distract your from your workout. The gym also offers hillside views and large TVs.
The powdery white slopes of Leogang are some of the best skiing in Austria. The benefit of staying at Hotel Forsthogut is you can easily hop on a gondola and even rent your skis from the hotel. Just make sure to play it safe on the slopes, unlike I did! What I love about this area is the number of different lifts and areas for different levels of skiers.
If you've had your fill of adventure you can recline in the relaxation room overlooking the mountains. This is one of the most comfortable spots to reflect on all the fun you've had so far.
Walk just a few minutes up the hill and you'll start to see Forsthogut's many animals. We pet the adorable short and furry ponies, but the highlight had to be the deer. Surprisingly friendly, the two males (and one goat) came straight up to the fence and let us pet them! The massive and elegant creatures aren't a bit shy and are used to people coming up. They have plenty of space to frolic up and and down the hillside, but will often come out when people are nearby.
If you're interested in wellness there's a 2,000 square meter spa that will do the trick. There are pools, and then there are infinity pools overlooking the mountains. Oh, and a hot tub with a view just as beautiful. Tucked right by the Steinberge ski slopes are Forsthogut's sauna and pool. The pool is heated and feels refreshing after a day of adventure. There are two spa areas – one for adults and one for children.
Of course there are many routes in the area for hiking. We found them to be very easy to access, dog friendly (very important for us!), and not overcrowded. Our snow covered hike was quiet and absolutely breathtaking views. There are options for beginners to advanced and paths for biking and walking during the warmer months as well.
Nearly everyone is walking around in their heavy ski boots and hanging around the lively bars or snipping on schnapps to re-energize after ski. The après ski scene is the height of fun in Leogang and you'll often have live bands and DJs to spice up the atmosphere. Though if you'd rather have a more soothing afternoon I suggest heading back to the pool at Forsthogut.
I've truly never seen a hotel so detail oriented. They ensure each and every guest has a wonderful time. Truly, there's a reason it books up this far in advance! Check out more from Naturhotel Forsthofgut right here.
*Please note that the Naturhotel Forsthofgut is being renovated at the time I'm writing this article and you'll have brand new gourmet market area, two renovated restaurant rooms, and a new à la carte restaurant with local specialties. They are also introducing a culinary concept that focuses on three areas: local, alpine, and vegan. Local refers to the local sourced food and products, located no more than 50 kilometers from the hotel. With many of the food coming from their own farm. Alpine refers to the regions of Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and of course, Austria. Not only can you expect delicacies from Austria but from the countries nearby. Vegan focuses on the green, healthy, and variety of food. I can't wait to see all the new renovations on this already exception hotel!