You don’t have to be a stressed-out celeb to need a bit of R&R every now and then. Just like Victoria Beckham on her recent luxe break to a spa hotel in the German alps, we could all do with inhaling some crisp air and recharging the batteries while we soak our eyes in some of the most spectacular scenery the planet has to offer. And thankfully you don’t need to have the Beckhams’ bank balance either. We’ve discovered an absolute gem nestled in the Austrian alps that’ll leave you so relaxed and pampered you’ll be floating home. In fact, the only thing they don’t do is gently stroke your hair (although we’re pretty sure they’d happily oblige if you asked them). What’s even better is their eco credentials are off the scale so you’ll leave with a big fat smug smile on your face. And that’s one thing to Instabrag about!
Austria's Folsthafalm Spa Hotel
Driving up the winding roads to Forsthofalm hotel you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped straight onto the set of The Sound of Music. The chocolate box houses, epic mountains and distant jangle of goat bells immediately whisk you away from your bulging email inbox.
The hotel itself is 6km out of Leogang - a popular ski resort in the winter, but in summer and autumn comes alive with hikers and mountain bikers looking to soak up the jaw-dropping scenery. We’re welcomed into this alpine retreat with a glass of fizz and led to the bar which looks straight onto the alps. In winter you can ski right up and grab an Aperol while a saxophonist gets his groove on, but the warmer weather makes this spot a brilliant sun trap.
Owner Markus Widauer took over the family business in 2008 and has strived to make this biohotel as eco-friendly as possible. The building is constructed using moon timber (wood cut according to lunar phases) which is felled between November and January and is believed to aid sleep and restfulness. The wooden rooms are cosy and calm and range from doubles to luxury suites, but all have a terrace where you can take in the stunning views.
Whilst the hotel is a great place to relax and unwind, there is a daily fitness programme which is completely free of charge to take part in. You can start your day with sunrise yoga or meditation, mix things up with trampoline Tabata or TRX classes or feel the burn with boxing and body pump style classes.
Jennifer and Colin who run the fitness programme are happy to take the classes in both German and English and are friendly and welcoming whatever your fitness level. The fitness suites have huge windows so you can gaze out over the pine forests whilst you’re getting your sweat on.
The roof terrace also boasts a heated swimming pool, sun terrace, steam room and sauna plus a well-equipped gym. If you fancy venturing out of the hotel there are a host of stunning hikes literally on your doorstep, and guests have a free pass to the local cable car which is a total must-do.
Thrill seekers should also check out the nearby Flying Fox XXL Zipwire experience which can be booked via the hotel from 79 EUROS and will take you across 16000 metres of adrenaline fueled alpine madness.
The in-house KUKK restaurant is award winning and if you opt for full board you’ll be treated to a breakfast which includes a smorgasboard of choices, including freshly cooked eggs and bread, plus afternoon tea which is a selection of salads, soup, sandwiches and a lip-smacking choice of cakes and desserts.
Then, dinner is more intimate but the nightly four course feast is top restaurant quality and always rounded off with a trip to the impressive cheese board. The hotel boasts an impressive vegan offering and a selection of (hangover free!) organic wines.
Given the steep mountains surrounding this beautiful spot it’s hard not to leave the hotel for anything during your stay and with such a great restaurant on site you won’t feel the need to either.
Folsthofalm has proudly developed its own spa ethos and creates its own ‘Nature’s Kiss’ oils from fresh herbs and flowers picked from the local area. You can choose from a range of massive options from energy, brain, love, muscle, and soul. Treatment rooms enjoy the same stunning views that the rest of the hotel do and we opted for a muscle massage which was one of the best treatments we’ve ever had!
Folsthafalm is 52km from Salzberg Airport and rooms cost from 140 EUROS a night. Book via forsthofalm.com
Celeb Eco Chic Retreats You Need To Try
Kylie, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow have all checked into this Spanish clinic where a selection of medical and holistic treatments are offered alongside a macrobiotic menu, meditation and yoga classes and aqua therapies, as well as more intense one-to-one sessions.
You can immerse yourself in a programme of talks, cooking classes and massage and leave feeling ready to take on the world. A seven-day health stay costs from £2393 including all meals, treatments and consultations.
With outposts in Italy, Turkey and Thailand, Kate Moss’ go-to for post-party detox offers a package of cleansing and nutrition programmes which includes yoga, daily walks, and juice fasts. The ethos of the hotel revolves around removing toxins from your life and they use the fruits of their surroundings to make sure you leave brimming with zen.
Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright checked into this Yorkshire spa in a converted textile mill. It has been built using the latest solar panel technology to be energy efficient and uses water from its own under ground spring.
The food is locally sourced and organic wherever possible and they aim to become fully carbon neutral in the future. You can check in for a day spa for as little as £39 per person at titanicspa.com.