Amazing Achnagairn is the last word in luxurious lodges

Perfect Manors offer the solution to a family holiday conundrum.

You know the situation you want to go away with a group of family or friends, but you don’t want to be scattered over countless hotel rooms.

You want all your home comforts but in an environment that’s a bit more . . . special. And that’s where luxury lodges come in.

High-quality lodges continue to dominate the Scottish self-catering market as the demand to find new places to visit in beautiful parts of the UK increases.

Well, here’s one to add to your wish-list. It’s called Achnagairn and is 15 minutes from lovely Inverness.

I recently went to the opening of their beautiful new lodges. All I can say is “wow”! Their company motto is “Escape The Ordinary”, and boy, do they live up to that promise.

This is the latest addition to their Perfect Manors portfolio their five-star Perfect Lodges. They also have properties in Aberdeenshire and Antigua.

Located in the heart of the stunning Inverness-shire countryside, their lodges are set in the grounds of Achnagairn Estate Manor House, a superb 1812 house with 24 sumptuous bedrooms.

It also has a wood-panelled ballroom, which has to be one of the UK’s most amazing wedding venues. Interestingly (and unusually) the lodges are available to hire as a whole lodge OR room by room for bed and breakfast. They comfortably accommodate 10-12 guests so if you want a whole lodge, not a problem, but they are equally adaptable if you just want a short stay close to Inverness.

They have three different categories, all en suite. Choose from Simple, which have smaller rooms, simply but stylishly furnished from just £60 per person for B&B. Or go Swish at £70 for a bit more glam, or Sublime at £80 per person for a spacious bedroom with stunning dcor.

Take over a whole lodge and the prices vary throughout the season but they start from an exceptionally reasonable £400 per night mid-week, rising to £700 per night for a high season weekend. Weekly prices start at £2,800, rising to £4,500 for a high season week.

All of the holiday lodges are large homes that have been renovated to the highest standard, individually themed and designed by co-owner Gillian Lacey-Solymar, who worked for 15 years as Consumer Affairs Correspondent for the BBC.

If you don’t want to self cater (and there are no local restaurants) Achnagairn work with several catering companies. We chose to order food from Red Poppy Catering based at nearby Strathpeffer.

They can bring in beautiful food with prices starting from £10 per person. It arrives piping hot and ready to serve. (Contact redpoppyrestaurant.co.uk)

So, apart from being spoiled at Achnagairn, what else can you enjoy in this area? A stunning local walk to Achnagairn is the Forestry Commission-run Reelig Glen. It’s a beautiful woodland walk with a mixture of old conifer and broadleaved trees.

Around a 40-minute drive away is Fort George an18th-Century fortress with some of the biggest artillery fortifications in Europe. Built on a barren spit of land jutting into the Moray Firth at Ardersier, the fortress has never been attacked, and has remained in continuous use as a garrison. It’s open to visitors and has exhibits and recreations showing its use at different periods.

For more info go to perfect-manors.com or call 0845 057 4212.

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