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Updated: 16th August 2022
Produced in Partnership with #RealAustria
If I close my eyes, it’s just me and the birds. The tap water tastes like an iced glacier. Occasionally, a little lick of a light breeze crosses my face, a refreshing relief to the warm mountain air that, just a few weeks before, would have sent the snow cascading down from the rugged peaks before me.
When I open my eyes, the jagged yet verdantly carpeted mountains spread out before me like a blockbuster movie scene. Mesmerised, I spend an hour just staring forward – the Austrian equivalent of ‘Are you still watching’ on Netflix – the cedars and blue skies even more appealing in this modern world of screens and blue light.
I alternate between the two balconies, impossibly trying to decide which view is more impeccable before I give up and accept both are winners. It’s only been 90 minutes since I checked into Stockinggut, a wooden-clad retreat in the shadow of Mount Asitz, but I already don’t want to leave.
I decide to do something I rarely do and unpack fully. I want this little slice of paradise in the Austrian Alps to feel like a true home, even if it’s temporary. This almost all-inclusive style escape to the Alps is the perfect base to rejuvenate, explore the surrounding villages and mountains, and leave – I hoped – recharged.
Why the Stockinggut by AvenidA in Leogang?
In winter, the hotel and surroundings become a wonderland of powder white snow; thus, it is a popular destination for ski-in and ski-out holidays.
However, in Austria’s summer, when I stayed, the landscape changed entirely. Lush and brightly coloured vistas of full-leafed pines line the valley. Fuschia and white flowers tumble from wooden homes creeping out from the villages. Silent gondolas climb up from the valley to impeccable mountains full of trails. And here, in a prime spot moments from the lift station, Stockinggut provides a room with a view in the outskirts of laid-back Leogang. This isn’t exclusive to this corner of the world, with summer in Innsbruck and other cities meaning an equal change of environment, but perhaps here, with mountains in all directions, it seems a little more pronounced.
There is a range of things to do in Saalfelden Leogang, the two towns that form this region. Hikes to hermitages, delicious organic dishes, schnapps distilleries, historic castles and museums, and of course, the star of the show, The Asitz Mountain.
This remarkable peak, known as ‘the mountain of senses’, combines Austria’s love of all things cultural with mother nature’s finest work. Art trails wind through the forest, orchestral concerts play lakeside in summer, and small wooden huts recreate the music with a view for those who want a moment of meditation. This mountain alone is a reason to visit, and the Stockinggut is a great base to explore.
The Stockinggut can be suitable for couples, friends, families or groups due to a range of room options. From standard double rooms to larger apartments, you can make your choice. My one-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen (ideal for cooking up the local organic produce), two balconies, and a spacious bathroom was more than perfect. The lounge area, with plenty of space, including an expansive dining table, was particularly appreciated.
The views from the bedroom across the valley and peaks made me fall in love with this hotel. Sinking into the bed was like being enveloped by a large fluffy marshmallow. Unsurprisingly, the TV to my left got no attention, the live-action mountain movie views in front better than any channel it could offer.
Stockinggut offers a half-board option, and while this isn’t something I would usually opt for, by evening, if you don’t wish to drive, it provides a better idea than walking into the nearest restaurants in Leogang.
Luckily, it turned out to be a fantastic idea. While an à la carte menu is available for those who don’t want the inclusive option, the five-course evening meals I was served were all fantastic.
With a choice of eating on the terrace (watching a bee dancing around a lavender plant on your table is about the best reminder of a natural setting you can get) or in the modern and futuristic-looking dining room, both locations make the most of the mountain rooms.
Dishes ranged from roasted wild garlic cream soup to river fish and polenta like I have never tasted before. They don’t make a song and dance about sustainability here because it’s simply a given. Every dish was fantastic, and the breakfast offering was equally extensive.
The Spa & Facilities
The hotel is spacious and peaceful, and while the outside spaces and rooms are more than inviting, the quaint and compact wooden spa provides a welcome place to relax after a hike.
Lounge chairs on the balcony and inside provide the perfect place to relax after stepping into the sauna (naked, of course, this is Austria) or washing away your muscle tension under the rain-shower programmes.
A pool or jacuzzi would have been a welcome addition, as my room didn’t have a bath, but other than that, I have zero complaints about my stay in Stockinggut.
Thoughtful, friendly, relaxed and yet professional is how I would summarise the service at Stockinggut. From the efficient check-in and supply of my Saalfelden Leogang card to the rapport with the restaurant staff, who remembered my prefered drinks, the stay was seamless.
Saalfelden Leogang Card
At participating hotels in the region, a complimentary Saalfelden Leogang card is supplied to guests, and the Stockinggut is one of those hotels.
This card allows for free transport on the regional transport – including buses, trains and daily gondola rides up the mountain in summer – another reason I refer to my stay as an almost all-inclusive style hotel.
Beyond the transport, the card also offers discounts on local attractions, restaurants and shops and free entry to some museums.
My stay in Saalfelden Leogang at the Stockinggut by AvenidA certainly made me leave recharged, especially after some days atop the magical Asitz Mountain.
My visit to Saalfelden Leogang was supported by Austria Tourism as part of their #RealAustria summer series. As always, all writing and thoughts are my own.