If you’ve got the cash to splurge, or if you just fancy dreaming, Scotland has a number of top luxury hotels to match its spectacular scenery. Here are ten of the best. Some of these are famous names you may well have heard of, other perhaps not so. All of them however are amongst the most opulent accommodation you’ll find in Scotland.
The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa
Situated on the outskirts of Aberdeen amongst 11 acres of woodland grounds, this privately owned hotel is a lovely blend of the traditional and contemporary. The spa boasts aromatherapy, massages, and body treatments, whilst hunting, shooting and fishing are available on the local estates via the hotel’s agents. There is a strong focus on local and regional cuisine in the Marcliffe’s Conservatory Restaurant, with lunch often being served outdoors in summer. This is a hotel strongly focused on comfort and relaxation.
This is a truly authentic Scottish country house hotel, elegant with an old world romance. Kinloch House is located a few miles outside the town of Blairgowrie in rural Perthshire amongst 25 acres of grounds. Family owned and run, it’s a popular wedding and big business meeting venue. The rooms echo it’s days in the Victorian era as a luxury sporting lodge, with intricate period details and lavish furnishings. Its restaurant is thought to be amongst the best in Perthshire, with top quality locally-sourced ingredients always on the menu.
A famous name in Scottish accommodation which, like a couple of other hotels on this list, has a strong golfing association, having hosted four Open Championships on the course which it overlooks. Turnberry, located in rural Ayrshire, has received numerous accolades, including the Scottish Hotel of the Year award and the Golf Tourism Scotland award. It has a strong Edwardian feel, with the rooms boasting spectacular views across the golf course and the Firth of Clyde. There’s also a luxury spa with 20 metre swimming pool, fitness studio, sauna and steam room.
2121 Restaurant with Rooms
Something a little different – 2121, located in Edinburgh, is a Michelin Star restaurant which also sports four lavishly appointed rooms, each with a different theme and with fine views across Scotland’s capital city. As well as said Michelin Star it’s received a plethora of accolades for its cuisine and accommodation from the likes of the AA, the National Restaurant Awards, the Scottish Tourist Board, and the Scottish Style Awards.
Old Course Hotel
Another golfing Mecca in Scotland (indeed it’s the home of the game) is St Andrews, and just like Turnberry here you’ll find a another grand hotel perched by another famous golf course. The Old Course Hotel offers a 3 AA rosette restaurant alongside several other acclaimed (but less formal) bars and restaurants. There are 144 beautifully appointed rooms, including 35 suites, featuring amongst other lavish touches, silk lined walls, whilst a number possess private balconies. The hotel’s opulent spa features a 20 metre swimming pool with cascading waterfall, hydrotherapy pool, rooftop hot tub, steam room and sauna.
The Witchery by the Castle
At the top of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town, hidden amongst a muddle of historic buildings, you’ll find this little gem. Established in 1979 in the basement of a then derelict building, such is the reputation The Witchery has built over the years that it’s been said it’s ‘almost a famous as the castle itself’. Its reputation is built on an excellent restaurant, boasting the best of Scottish cuisine, which has proven a real hit with local residents, not to mention a plethora of celebrities. Its eight captivating suites have been described as ‘one the seven wonders of the hotel world’, each totally unique, filled with antiques and historic fixtures and fittings. This is a place to stay like no other.
Loch Ness Lodge
Recently the recipient of a prestigious UK & Ireland small hotel award, this exclusive, intimate venue is located on the banks of Loch Ness a couple of miles from the village of Drumnadrochit, and is particularly geared towards romantic escapes, weddings, and small house parties. Rooms are individually named and styled, taking inspiration from the lodge’s natural surroundings. There is excellent fine dining on offer, with the hotel always striving to source local, organic and ethically prepared produce, whilst also boasting its own kitchen garden. There is easy access to many local activities, including kayaking, fishing, shooting and pony trekking, and you certainly won’t find anywhere more sumptuous to stay for a spot of Nessie hunting!
A most famous name in Scottish hotels, this world-renowned Spa & Golf Resort is located on an 850 acre Perthshire estate. It’s 232 rooms are all opulently appointed, with a choice of the traditional or the modern, whilst there’s also 26 suites available, the top one of which, the Royal Lochnagar Suite, is the absolute last word in luxury. The hotel’s spa is an incredible experience, designed to be the most tranquil space possible. Additionally there are two swimming pools, gym, saunas and Turkish bath. Outdoor activities provided include shooting, fishing, equestrian, 4 x 4 driving and of course, golf – Gleneagles has three championship courses and is set to host the Ryder Cup in 2014.
If you ever wanted to stay in a castle in Scotland, here’s how to do it in style! Located just outside the town of Fort William, Inverlochy is an incredible luxury hotel and restaurant located in the most spectacular of settings, among the glens and mountains of the West Highlands. In its former life as a 19th century private residence Queen Victoria once spent a week here, and as a hotel it very much retains that massively grand Victorian flavour. There are 17 individually styled and named rooms, all very spacious and sumptuously appointed, with facilities including laptop with internet access, and a personal safe. The restaurant is internationally recognised and boasts a Michelin Star. Sporting and Country Pursuits can be enjoyed on the local 75,000 acre Achnacarry Estate, as well as golf on Fort William’s 18 hole course, mountain biking, and winter sports at the nearby Nevis Range.
Of course if you prefer your hotel castles in the south of Scotland, the Ayrshire village of Ballantrae to be precise, this one might fit the bill. Glenapp Castle, like Inverlochy above, is a an incredibly luxurious, opulent and sumptuously appointed Scottish hotel. To give you some idea, even the smallest of its 17 individually named, themed and styled rooms is big (198 sq. feet) and features an original fireplace with real flames. It boast one Michelin Star and four AA Rosettes for its fine dining restaurant, with an emphasis on the highest quality local Ayrshire produce. 36 acres of gardens are available for the exclusive use of guests, who can also can also enjoy access to a nearby normally private members spa.