Whether you’re into walking, golfing or simply getting away from it all, the Scottish Highlands have it all. Our selection of ten Highland boutique hotels share all the grand landscapes and traditional hospitality you’d want to experience in this breathtakingly beautiful part of the world, with all the luxury touches you’d expect from a boutique hotel.
Starting at the “gateway to the Highlands”, Monachyle Mhor is situated on a 2,000-acre estate within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. This former 18th-century farmhouse is now home to fourteen individually designed rooms. The rooms – five in the main house and nine in the courtyard buildings – have a more urban feel than their setting might suggest, a mix of antiques and contemporary style referencing the natural wood, stone and slate of the surrounding environment. Details include spa-sized steam rooms or perhaps slipper-foot baths, and stunning views that take in loch and mountain. Be sure to indulge in plenty of bracing walks to the make the most of the awarding winning food, cooked fresh from the estate.
Ardanaiseig (****) is a stunning 19th-century building is situated on the banks of Loch Awe in the midst of beautiful gardens. Its 18 bedrooms are divided into Master Loch, Master Garden, Garden View, along with the Boatshed, a self-contained honeymoon suite right by the loch, some of which come complete with antique four poster beds but all benefit from sumptuous, rich fabrics and fitting touches such as Arran Aromatic luxury Scottish toiletries. Aside from that you can enjoy a stay fitting of a laird, lingering by the open fires in the drawing room, or making the most of the billiards table on those days you don’t want to venture out. Topping off the experience is a fine dining room that looks over to the loch. It’s well situated for further explorations as well, as it’s situated about 20 miles from the Oban ferry service.
Stunning Ardanaiseig on the banks of Loch Awe
It’s hard to judge which is the most pleasing – the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the Fonab Castle Hotel (*****), from Ben Vrackie to Loch Faskally, or the experience of staying at the hotel itself. There are 34 rooms in total, split between the old building and the contemporary wing. Woodland rooms benefit from patios and balconies, while the Castle Signature rooms enjoy traditional fireplaces and sometimes magical turreted viewing points. For real luxury however, book the Penthouse Suite. The stunning vistas across the landscape are matched by the opulence of the interior with a 7-foot bed, a high vaulted wooden ceiling and panelled walls complemented with Ulf Mortiz glass studded wallpaper. There’s 3 AA Rosette awarded fine dining available at the hotel’s Sandeman’s restaurant or more laidback food served in their Brasserie. If that all sounds a little too exciting, simply head to the 15 metre swimming pool, sauna and aroma relax room for some unwind time.
Fonab Castle Hotel
Rocpool Reserve Hotel (*****) is the only five star hotel in Inverness, the city known as ‘the capital of the Highlands’. Its contemporary and elegant take on luxury would make it a stand out anywhere. There are four kinds of room, which range from hip to extra decadent and all are furnished with Emperor beds. Perks vary but include the likes of double voyeur showers and outdoor hot tubs. We recommend you embrace the decadence by slipping into your in-room velvet bathrobe and slippers… Should you want to venture out of your room, Chez Roux restaurant offers a French twist on the finest Scottish ingredients or enjoy the cocktails served at the R bar.
Rocpool is the only 5* hotel in Inverness
Situated just outside Inverness and overlooking Loch Ness you’ll find the modern Loch Ness Lodge (*****), purpose built to frame the best views of the Loch and hills beyond. The seven bedrooms have been inspired by the nature just outside their windows, decorated with soft heather colours and natural stone and the like, beautiful four poster beds and stylish chaise longues. Comfortable chairs allow you to sit back and admire the view – and the surprise decanter of sherry doesn’t hurt either! Lovingly made breakfasts and afternoon teas will delight the stomach while the spa and therapy room will soothe the spirits. Dogs are welcomed too.
Loch Ness Lodge overlooks world famous Loch Ness
Hotels mentioned in this article:
- Monachyle Mhor Hotel – Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, FK19 8PQ
- Ardanaiseig – Kilchrenan, Kilchrenan, PA35 1HE
- Fonab Castle Hotel – Foss Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5ND
- Rocpool Reserve Hotel – 14 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AG
- Loch Ness Lodge – Brachla, Loch Ness-Side, Drumnadrochit, IV3 8LA
Author: Frances Ambler