While so many people rush to the beach or away to sunnier climes, Scotland offers the kind of tranquil escape usually only found in storybooks.
From lochside inns to highland retreats, island getaways to unique city hideaways, here the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of their top hotels for summer in Scotland.
A Victorian country house hotel surrounded by lawned gardens lapped by Loch Faskally, The Green Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Binoculars are always on hand to spot the wildlife as it goes about its day, and there are books and nooks galore for those who want to sit and read quietly. There are year-round activity breaks including painting, creative writing and photography, or spend your day hiking and wild swimming before tucking into delicacies like pancetta-wrapped guinea fowl in whisky cream sauce.
In a place where the only sounds you will hear are the cry of gulls in the morning, Scarista House offers a unique kind of summer adventure for those who enjoy remote islands. The remote Georgian manse sits between a three-mile sandy beach and heather-clad mountains. The main house, where some of the rooms are located, is cosy and filled with antiques, while a further three are in an annexe with picture windows to frame the spectacular sea view. There’s also a self-catering option that’s great for families. The menu changes nightly offering local fare. In short – it’s one of a kind.
An 18th-century manse turned small, friendly hotel Eddrachilles Hotel perches on a hillside looking out across Badcall Bay. Located on the North Coast 500 road, most of the rooms have views over moorland, mountain and across the water to Assynt. Evenings are spent enjoying the 60-odd malt whiskies in the lounge/bar, local artists see their work adorn the walls, and while it’s informal there’s always an air of professionalism in everything they do.
Pheasants wander around the grounds of this former Victorian home which is now a modern B&B. Outside gardens and woodland set the scene, while rooms are split between the main house and converted stables. Thoughtful details include hot drinks, bottles of water and locally made biscuits in the rooms, a homely log-burning stove warms the lounge, and breakfast is a feast of home-made compotes and Perthshire honey, omelettes, apple pancakes and more. Fill up and then spend the day hiking in the blissful surroundings.
An ultra modern, eco-friendly house by Loch Creran, Ardtorna looks out across the water and gives you a sense that you’re always immersed in nature. Natural light flows through all areas of the hotel, underfloor heating makes it feel cosy and welcoming, and little luxuries like chocolates and nice toiletries greet you in your room. Food is a treat, whether you’re sampling the fresh scones or the home-made whisky cream liqueur. The hosts are on hand to help you plan day-trips to castles and islands, making the most of your trip and exploring the unique offerings of Oban.
Set in 22 acres of carefully tended grounds complete with an ornamental lake, streams, parkland and walled gardens, Boath House is a Regency property turned luxury restaurant with rooms and award-winning gardens. The first class restaurant is a real draw, serving up a feast thanks in no small part to the herbs, organic fruit and vegetables from the kitchen gardens.
Grandtully Hotel by Ballintaggart is a newly transformed, eight-bedroom hotel. Located on Ballintaggart Farm, food is a big part of the experience, serving up Scottish fare with aplomb. Inside, contemporary design is fused with antiques and luxury details – drinks served in crystal, roll top baths and luxurious but welcoming soft furnishings. Two bedrooms are in the converted farm buildings, two are in the East End Cottage and all are complete with waffle bathrobes and Noble Isle toiletries. Naturally, there’s always plenty of home baking with tea, coffee and homemade cordial available.
For a truly unique getaway, Fingal is a luxury floating hotel that’s permanently berthed on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront. Glamorous and five-star, Fingal is a ship that was commissioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1963. Having navigated throughout the West Coast and the North of Scotland, it retired in 2000 and now has a new lease of life as a hotel. Rooms are contemporary but reference Scottish heritage with details like tartan blankets. The Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar has floor to ceiling windows and serves superb cocktails with a nautical twist, as well as excellent food. It’s perfect for a celebratory summer escape.
A four-star country house hotel, Chirnside Hall on the Scottish Border combines traditional details with modern hospitality. Dating back to 1834, it’s a relaxing retreat offering good food, roaring open fires, and views of the Cheviot Hills. Close to the Lammermuir Hills and Berwickshire coast, it’s still convenient for Edinburgh and Newcastle. Food favours seasonal Scottish produce with a European twist – think home-smoked pigeon or langoustine tortellini. Then there’s that scenery – aching to be explored.
On the shores of Loch Fyne, The Creggans Inn couldn’t ask for a better location, and with it comes wonderful hospitality and a warm welcome. Each room has its own unique features and details, while food and drink offers you flavours from the loch, glen and mountainside. It’s one of those places that visitors keep returning to, having once come as children and now returning with their own kids in tow. What could be a better recommendation than that?
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