Queen Victoria in 1873 said she ‘never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’ than Inverlochy Castle and it is still stunning today. A personal favourite, where I got engaged, the castle embodies old school comfort with lovely large bedrooms with great views, rich upholstery and equally sumptuous dining.
Lying at the foot of Ben Nevis, this is a hotel to rest up in and enjoy the scenery before heading further north. Fort William, the local town, is to be avoided. Duchray Castle is hidden deep in a Scottish wood among the hills and lochs of the Trossachs. A fairytale Victorian castle, which has been gently remolded in Gothic style but with every modern comfort and a clever mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. Located outside Aberfoyle, this is an area made famous by Rob Roy, who visited the castle and there is stunning scenery in every direction and a river at the bottom of the garden. A grand, fortified mansion with a 16th-century tower and Georgian and Victorian extensions, Crossbasket Castle was rescued by a local businessman and given a massive restoration. Nine bedrooms ranging from cosy doubles to grand suites offer very grand accommodation and the whole house has been beautifully done up. The Roux brothers have taken over the kitchen and offer excellent cuisine. This is a fun new offering for our guests close to Glasgow.
A great LTR favourite is the 3 Chimneys on Skye, which is a wonderful mix of pub & inn with just a few rooms in one building and then the most wonderful restaurant in the old pub. The seafood is amazing and the langoustines amongst the best I have ever eaten. The inn overlooks the sea and across to Dunvegan castle. After dinner we crawled to the edge of the rocks and watched the seals playing in the water. It was magical. Further down the island is the Macdonald’s famous Kinloch Lodge which was the great star, then slightly faded, but after a recent upgrade and the next generation taking over, is now back on form. Across on the mainland, the Isle of Eriska is much loved and again family owned and run. Comfortable rooms, good country house cooking and lovely staff, plus a super spa and lots to do. Glenmorangie House is another fun, rural hotel to try up by Tain and owned by the distillery. The Boath House near Nairn is very popular too with excellent food and really good service. The rooms are quite contemporary but comfortable and it’s a great spot for visiting Speyside. There are other hidden away seaside gems like Knockinaam Lodge, the scene of wartime secret meetings and located in its own little cove.
Scotland being the home of golf, we must of course mention hotels which offer easy access to some great courses. There is nowhere better in this regard than Greywalls, which sits overlooking Muirfield and is a very famous 14 bedroom hotel where most of the greats have stayed. A very cosy house with a lovely feel to it and some wonderful family portraits, make this a wonderful base whilst playing some of the 11 great golf courses along the East Lothian golf course. The Roxburghe Hotel is a comfortable Victorian house in the Scottish Borders which the Duke turned into a hotel 30 years ago allowing great access to the River Tweed and his golf course at the hotel. Many of the larger hotels like the Trump Turnberry Hotel, the old course hotel at St Andrews and the Gleneagles Hotel are not hugely charming but they again allow great access to championship courses and they all offer a reliable level of service and cuisine. Andy Murray bought the old Cromlix Hotel and has done a great job of restoring this property and providing a lot of much needed employment in the area. Probably our best country house hotel in the far north is the Torridon where we send a lot of guests and receive nothing but praise. Excellent food in either the formal restaurant or the inn, very comfortable rooms and a fun array of activities. This is great for guests who want to explore the great outdoors as they do guided walks across the hills, kayaking and lots of other hearty stuff.
Whatever your requirements or wishes, we would be delighted to help you find the best Scottish boutique hotels for your vacation. We also have delightful English boutique hotels and Irish boutique hotels. Please contact Jonathan or Andrew who would be very happy to help.