After a near two month hiatus from snowboarding through a combination of injuries and travels, come the first goldening of the leaves this autumn I had one thing on my mind: mountain adventures.
With a desire to combine an epic adventure of winter's first few turns on the snow with a nourishing and relaxing break in the wake of a pretty flat out autumn, the wellness hotel Forsthofalm , tucked in the narnia-esque, snow-capped mountains of Saalbach Hinterglemm, was the perfect fusion of wellness-meets-adventure through it's ski-in-ski-out nestled spot.
Laden with all that you need to nourish the mind, body and soul, from it's comprehensive spa facility with outdoor pool, varying saunas, spa treatments utilising locally sourced herbs and ingredients, relaxation rooms with stunning panoramas of the mountains, incredible restaurant using the best of local ingredients and freshly baking bread in front of you in the morning, Forsthofalm's laid-back approach to wellness and wellbeing immediately makes you feel at home and relax into the family-owned spot.
Checking in to a glass of bubbles by a roaring fire, my co-hort in travel Kazmira and I were guided to the kitchen, meeting head-chef Peter Weiber who talked us through the concept of the award-winning chef's approach to cuisine. A creative approach with a focus on natural ingredients cooked over wood fire and with explosions of colour on the plate, our 5 course dinners were something to look forward to every evening. A resplendent wine cellar which owner Marcus is happy to talk through, which includes a selection of red, white, organic and orange wine, allows wine pairing through the meals if so desired.
Waking up in our stunning room after a great night sleep, thanks in part perhaps to the "moon wood" that the entire hotel is built from (the wood is only cut down at certain times in the moon's cycle, at dark, as it's energy promotes deep sleep), adventure was on our minds.
A breakfast spread of dreams including a smorgasbord of oats, seeds, fruits, berries, fresh breads, eggs, and raw juices and with, as per dinner, a full vegan menu available, filled us up, energised for a full day of adventure on the mountains.
Saalbach Hinterglemm is one of the largest ski areas in Austria, with over 270 kilometres of slopes and snowpacks, with something on offer from the amateur to the expert. Kazmira and I had a full day exploring, making our way across most of the areas, taking a quick lap through the snow park and making the most of the near empty pistes to snowboard our hearts out.
The wildness of the terrain, with thick tree patches, wide piste and stunning vistas of the alps was breathtaking, and we took it all in, toasting the day with a local schnapps in Saalbach town and a few rounds of Austrian apres-ski oompah music dance-offs.
With an authentic emphasis on local sourcing and natural ingredients in the restaurant, the construction of the hotel, and the ingredients of the products used in the spa, making our way to the spa we were shown the careful procedure of foraging for herbs, berries and other ingredients sealed in jars to create natural oils and products. Bespoke treatments on offer are chosen depending on your mood, and after a full day riding, I was in need of some relaxation. After simmering in the sauna and dipping in the outdoor pool, I had a restorative massage, choosing my own oils and brush texture that is run across the body pre-massage.
Excited to see snow falling as we set off for bed, we were rewarded with fresh turns in the morning, enough of a dusting to kick up some fresh snow to toast an epic few days of adventure and soul nourishing in Saalbach.
Check out my video-recap of my stay at The Forsthofalm and of snowboarding Saalbach Hinterglemm below!
I stayed at The Forsthofalm, which offers a range of packages across yoga, romantic, winter and summer fitness and girls-weekender packages all year round.