SCOTLAND has an abundance of natural beauty to its name, particularly in the scenic Highlands, and nestled amongst the rolling hills and glistening lochs are some spectacular hotels. Here are 10 of the Good Hotel Guide’s top recommended hotels in the Scottish Highlands…
Glenfinnan House Hotel, Glenfinnan
On the idyllic shores of Loch Shiel, Glenfinnan House Hotel is beautifully presented and wonderfully welcoming. In true country style, the house is like visiting a friend’s home, so no room keys, televisions, telephones (although you can ask for a key if you wish). Fresh flowers and Jacobite-themed paintings bring the place to life, while dinner is a hearty concoction of local fare.
Toravaig House, Isle of Skye
A small hotel with spectacular views, the hotel owners even invite guests to take to the high seas with them aboard their yacht to the islands of Rhum and Eigg if the weather is fair. On land, the lounge at Toravaig House is the ideal opportunity to settle in with a glass in hand, looking out onto the surrounding hills before an evening feast of local delicacies.
Duisdale House, Isle of Skye
Under the same ownership as Toravaig House, Duisdale House was once a Victorian hunting lodge, and today it’s still about Highland heritage with a stylish touch. It’s characterised by bold colours and sumptuous fabrics and of course its spectacular surroundings. In the restaurant, sample chef Brian Ross’s daily-changing modern Scottish menus, which use seasonal produce from the island and Highlands, and from April to September you can take to the sea on the hotel’s luxury yacht.
Culdearn House, Grantown-on-Spey
Next to woodland, Culdearn House is a Victorian country hotel that’s perfectly run and a delight to arrive at. Warm and welcoming, it’s traditional and relaxing with an abundance of books to borrow, open fires and original features. They offer a highly acclaimed daily-changing four-course dinner, and as the hotel is on the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail, whisky aficionados have an impressive list of fine malts and single-barrel casks to choose from.
Pool House, Poolewe
On the shores of Loch Ewe, Pool House is a quirky family guesthouse filled with character. A whimsical sense of humour is palpable as the 300-year-old house brims with antiques and curiosities. It is the epitome of a boutique hotel. Watch otters from the window, potter around the gardens and dine in the nautical-themed dining room with its seven-foot gilded compass and hand-painted stars on the ceiling.
Kylesku Hotel, Kylesku
Wonderful food and awe-inspiring views are what you will remember from Kylesku Hotel. In one of the wildest locations in Scotland, it’s an opportunity for peace and quiet amongst the roaring fires and watching the boats bob by. The daily catch, brought from boats on the slipway in front of the hotel informs dinner that evening, and while it’s not glamorous, it really is seafood heaven.
The Cross at Kingussie, Kingussie
In a former tweed mill on the banks of the River Gynack, The Cross at Kingussie is in a rustic building with wooden beams and stone walls, looking out onto the surrounding hills. Board games and log fires entertain on rainy days, while a high quality menu greets you at dinner time.
The Three Chimneys, Dunvegan
A passion for Scottish produce and tradition defines The Three Chimneys, where Shirley and Eddie Spear run a charming restaurant-with-rooms overlooking Loch Dunvegan. Head chef Scott Davies sources everything possible locally to create dishes with a Nordic accent, and when you’re not eating or exploring the surrounding countryside, relax in your loch facing bedroom complete with a balcony leading out onto the gardens.
Viewfield House, Portree
A family country pile in the Scottish Highlands, Viewfield House gives the feeling of being at a private house party. With a welcoming, informal and attentive air to it, rooms are traditional and large baths are made for long soaks. When it comes to entertainment you’re invited to nurse a malt whisky while browsing the collection of books, play croquet on the lawn, walk up the hill for views of the Sound, and generally enjoy this beautiful part of the world in aristocratic style.
Forss House, Thurso
In wooded grounds above the River Forss, Forss House was once home to Major CRE Radclyffe – author, game hunter, falconer. Arrive to a warm greeting and fresh fruit, and fresh milk for tea in your room. Style is a little old fashioned, but it merely adds to the charm, food is warming and whisky lovers, settle in – there’s a choice of 300 bottles in the bar.
From a selection of hotels in Scotland in the Good Hotel Guide