Specially built platforms surrounded by nature provide a unique Yoga experience, says Travel Editor, Frank Baldwin.
Leogang in Austria is probably better known in the UK for ski holidays, but now yoga devotees can get something a bit different at the Naturhotel Forsthofgut.
The 5* family-run, family-friendly luxury hotel, located beneath the Asitz mountain in SalzburgerLand, has created six new yoga shalas – wooden platforms – deep in a forest, and offers special yoga breaks at different times throughout the year.
The new platforms are made of local spruce wood and positioned to give inspiring mountain views and absolute tranquillity, with birdsong and the scent of pine in the air. It’s an idyllic setting in which to recalibrate mind, body and soul in harmony with nature.
One forest shala is large enough for a teacher with four students, another is reserved for individual sessions. The others vary in size to accommodate between two and four people.
They can also be used for waldSPA treatments or privately booked for a romantic breakfast or picnic.
Prices for the 3- to 5- night Yoga Special packages start from €825 (£700) per person, based on two sharing, and include: board, yoga sessions, equipment (mats, cushions, blocks), a yoga-themed gift, and a Saalfelden-Leogang card for complimentary use of local transport and free or discounted entry to local attractions.
Throughout the year, guests are invited to take part in the hotel’s complimentary daily activities programme which includes four yoga sessions per week for all abilities. Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and Power Vinyassa Flow offer breathing exercises, meditation and movement.
Popular on the weekly schedule is ‘woodcamp’ when trainers teach guests to embrace the energy of the forest by swapping treadmills for forest trails, dumbells for tree trunks and gym rings for branches. Inspired by the Japanese Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) Naturhotel Forsthofgut introduces guests to their own waldSPÜREN (feel the forest) ethos.
Extensive 5-star facilities throughout the hotel’s forestSPA include steam baths, saunas, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas and a natural swimming lake and infinity pool with sublime mountain views.
In less favourable weather, the hotel’s beautiful yoga studio has space for up to 18 people as well as panoramic mountain views.
At the heart of nature in Austria’s spectacular SalzburgerLand region, Forsthofgut is a perfect Alpine retreat, offering an unrivalled choice of healthy activities and 100% organic cuisine.
The recently added Japanese Restaurant, Mizūmi, has a large terrace overlooking the swimming lake and offers a traditional Japanese menu and Austro-Japanese fusion dishes.
The hotel also provides free childcare seven days a week from 9am to 9pm.
Naturhotel Forsthofgut has been developed by generations of the Schmuck family from a forestry station dating back to 1617. In the restaurants, menus are made up from sustainable, organic (produce from the hotel’s farm), vegan and Japanese food. There is a speciality cocktail bar and wine tastings twice weekly.
The hotel claims to offer the world’s first forest Spa, the Lakehouse Spa for adults and waldSPA Family & Kids for families. Guests have the choice of extensive water features, multiple pools, saunas, treatment rooms, Onsen bath and washhouse, infinity pool, natural chemical-free swimming lake, floating Finnish sauna and natural plunge pool. There is a kids playground with petting zoo, with animal feeding visits every week.
• From the UK, you fly to Salzburg Airport and transfer by road (one hour) or by rail to Saalfelden and by road (five minutes). For more information and reservations go to forsthofgut.at/en or call: +43 6583 8561.