Firmly rooted on the Scottish tourist trail, Inverness is within the Highlands and the closest city to Urquart Castle and Loch Ness, famed as home to a mystical monster. Within its Old Town, you can see many 18th and 19th-century buildings, including the pretty indoor Victorian Market. Situated where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth, its coastal location ensures many sightseeing cruises and boat trips depart close by. Bring your hiking boots and mountain bike too – there are many wooded, river and waterside trails to be discovered. And after dark, you can catch a show, some live music, comedy or dine in one of Inverness’ many eateries.
Stroll a mere ten minutes from the centre of Inverness to discover this uber-trendy hotel – the city’s only to have five stars. The sleek, modern Rocpool Reserve, is contained in a Georgian mansion house and overlooks the River Ness. It has its own moody cocktail ‘r bar’ and Chez Roux (part of the wider Roux group) serving everything from amuse-bouche to hearty high-end fare and even special meals for your pooch. Four categories of bedrooms (11 in total) offer delights such as hot tubs, cabin-style saunas, balconies, oversized beds and Tassimo coffee machines, along with dark and dramatic decor. Valet services and beauty treatments are available on request.
Culloden House Hotel
Found close to Culloden Moor, this was the place used by Bonnie Prince Charlie as lodging and battle HQ in Jacobean times. Now its 40 acres are given over to leisure and pleasure, with guests able to explore the expansive woodland and walled garden, fine dining on the best local produce at its Highland restaurant, sip rare whiskies in the traditional library and sleep in four-poster beds within the grand ivy-clad mansion house. You’ll be surrounded by an air of history in its 28 bedrooms, with large fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, tartan drapes, baronial architecture and antique furnishings from bygone eras.
AC Hotel Inverness
Opt for modern accommodation in the city centre, right on the banks of the River Ness (some rooms have views directly over the fast-flowing water). Handy for the railway station, shops and nightlife, this serves as a great base for those wishing to tour the Highlands, but with plenty of places to go and things to do by day and after dark. There are 191 bedrooms spread over four floors, a kitchen for all-day dining and a lounge area, to relax with a beverage. AC Hotel caters equally well for families (including four-legged friends) and business travellers.