As one of the last places in Europe to find genuine isolation and solitude, the unspoilt wildernesses of the Scottish highlands and islands make for an idyllic getaway. Renowned for the majestic scenery and untamed beauty the highlands are one of the biggest draws of tourists to Scotland. Every turn offers another magnificent landscape from gentle hills and lochs of Perthshire and the Trossachs, to the barren and desolate peaks of Sutherland in the North. The highlands are a huge outdoor playground waiting to be explored too. For those who love a challenge there are rewarding adventures to be had here whether that means ascending Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in the UK, or navigating the turbulent waters around the Outer Hebrides, retiring wall-flowers need not apply. If you aren’t an adrenalin junkie however, this beautiful place still has lots to offer from captivating history, legends and traditions, to delicious local cuisine fresh from the most impressive natural larder, right at your doorstep. Book your highland escape with our favourite luxury hotels in the area.
The Gleneagles Hotel is an institution when it comes to luxury getaways. Its conception came about in 1910 when the General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Company had the vision to build a large country house hotel built in the style of a palace in the picturesque valley through which his railway line ran. It opened in 1924 and was quickly coined ‘the Riviera in the Highlands” Set in an 850-acre estate with three championship golf courses and an unbeatable array of sporting activities to try. From equestrian and shooting to fishing and off-road driving, there is plenty to keep you entertained or for a more relaxing experience enjoy some time at the ESPA Spa. Whilst there are 232 rooms, the design of each is constructed to feel like a far more intimate, boutique hotel with a mix of traditional and modern interiors. Guests can enjoy dinner is in the incredible Andrew Fairlie Michelin-starred restaurant, the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars or for something more casual The Dormy Bar & Grill serves a selection of delicious dishes.
Cromlix Hotel, Cromlix
This stunning 17th century castle is steeped in history and since its sensitive and thoughtfully executed renovation, Crossbasket Castle has become one of Scotland’s most luxurious hotels. Still boasting many of its unique period features all of which have been restored to their original beauty using traditional craftsmen and materials this hotel is bursting with a romantic aura and grandeur typical of the era in which it was constructed. With nine breath-taking en-suite bedrooms each of which is decorated in a classical style that strikes the perfect balance between traditional character and modern finishing. The crowning glory of this hotel is the four-story bridal tower which dates back to the 16th century. The fairy-tale turret room, built on a hill overlooking the Calder river, is served by a sweeping spiral stone staircase. A short walk from the castle, there is a self-catering lodge available for guests who would like a longer stay or a more home-from-home experience. The fine dining restaurant showcases a range of contemporary dishes, created by the Roux culinary dynasty, using ingredients from Scotland’s renowned natural larder with an added touch of creative flair from the iconic Roux team. The woodland in which the castle sits is ideal for exploring nature, with majestic waterfalls, wildlife and outdoor pursuits.
Crossbasket, Glasgow, West Coast
Renovation has transformed this stunning 17th century castle while retaining the essential charm and character of the era. One of Scotland’s premier hotel and event venues, the Crossbasket Castle is steeped in the history of Scotland. Observe the immaculately presented beauty and grandeur of traditional architecture, restored using traditional crafters and materials. Crossbasket offers both peace and tranquillity, striking a careful balance between tradition and modernity. Sumptuous fine-dining is offered from the Roux culinary dynasty, showcasing the best of Scotland’s renowned larder.
Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Fife
Recognised as one of Europe’s leading hotel resorts, this five-star hotel overlooks the famous links courses and offers classical elegance with suites designed by French designer Jacques Garcia. Bordering the stunning Scottish coastline and a mere stone’s throw from the historical town of St Andrews, this prestigious hotel is the perfect vacation resort for golfers and non-golfers alike. Offerings include world-class luxury spas and fine dining experiences, as well as Scotland’s finest malt whiskies served at the award-winning Road Hole Bar.
The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, East Coast
If you want to impress with the finest Edinburgh address on your luggage tag then then this is the hotel for you. The Balmoral Hotel is an iconic landmark hotel and has been standing proud on Edinburgh’s famous Princes Street for over a century. Now owned by the Rocco Forte Hotel Group the hotel maintains its timeless elegance through tasteful and thoughtful design – with 168 rooms and 20 suites, each of which have been individually designed by Forte family member Olga Polizzi. The warm hospitality, exceptional concierge service and exciting exclusive guest experiences are reason enough to make this your hotel of choice. Couple this with the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant and award winning spa and you have a match made in city break heaven.
Prestonfield House, Edinburgh, East Coast
For true five-star atmosphere you need look no further than the facilities of Prestonfield House, where opulence and luxury collide within one of Edinburgh’s luxurious historic buildings. Featuring antique furniture and fine linens, you can be sure of supreme relaxation and comfort within the classical suites. One of Scotland’s most exclusive hotel suites, Prestonfield House offers the seclusion and privacy of a countryside resort, situated within 20 acres of stunning tended gardens yet only a short walk from the heart of Edinburgh’s night life.
Glenapp Castle,Ballantrae, Girvan, West Coast
The luxury resort of Glenapp Castle is a hidden gem, a retreat of inspired relaxation where you can truly recharge and reflect in the beauties of Scotland’s woodland and the hotel’s contemplative gardens. An intimate experience with rooms decorated to the period style and character, a relaxing ambience pervades in this classical Baronial-style castle. Whether you wish to experience fine dining or quest for adventure on the hiking trails, you are sure to discover the true spirit of Scotland at Glenapp Castle.
Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, West Coast
This stunning resort is surrounded by the sparkling waters of the nearby private loch. Impeccable attention to detail will ensure that you experience the vacation of a lifetime. Inverlochy is described favourably by Queen Victoria after her stay in 1873, and it is no wonder as the hotel is situated among the finest scenery in Scotland. A mile from Ben Nevis distillery, Inverlochy Castle Hotel offers stunning mountain views and rooms decorated in the period style, including elaborate furnishings presented as gifts by the King of Norway. Fine dining is available at Albert and Michel Roux Jr, where the finest dishes created from local produce are presented with care and finesse.
The Isle of Eriska Hotel and Spa, Isle of Eriska, West Coast
There is something extremely romantic and magical about escaping to a private island for a holiday and the 300 acres of stunning land that is the Isle of Eriska certainly does not disappoint. This is the setting and the perfect backdrop for those guests choosing to stay at the Isle of Eriska Hotel and Spa. For over four decades the Buchanan-Smith Family worked hard on developing and nurturing this hotel which has flourished into a luxury destination offering guests peace, tranquillity, outdoor pursuits and much more – all with a touch of luxury. The hotel comprises of 34 bedrooms with 16 bedrooms in the main house, 5 spa suites located in the gardens with private hot tub, 2 garden cottages and 6 hilltop reserves along with a self-catering house option which is a short drive from the main hotel. Fine dining in the Hotel Restaurant or something more casual on The Deck can be enjoyed by residents and non-residents.
Boath House Hotel, Nairn, North East Scotland
This beautiful Georgian mansion was built circa 1825 by one of Scotland’s most prominent architects of the time Archibald Simpson, however, sadly was on Historic Scotland’s ‘endangered list’ until the early 90s when husband and wife team carefully and meticulously restored the building back to its former glory. Set in 20 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and woodland the elegant house comprises of nine rooms and spacious suites and two stand-alone cottages for guests who wish to stay for longer periods or want a more home-from-home experience. Service is relaxed and friendly and there are several exquisite dining options for both residents and non-residents to enjoy.