After nearly 100 days in lockdown, and countless cancelled plans, we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the channel. As of July 15th, Scottish hotels and restaurants are being allowed to welcome guests again, so the biggest question now, is where to go?
We’re a bit spoiled here, with some absolutely incredible spots to enjoy, so I thought I would share some of my top picks for enjoying a little luxury after a rather stressful few months. I’ve made sure to pick a few options dotted around the country, with options which will suit all sorts of trips, from romantic to family, with everything in between!
Starting at the top, you can find one of Scotland’s most luxurious hotels – Links House Dornoch. Overlooking the green at Royal Dornoch, this 15-room hotel is heaven for golf fans, but even if you’d rather spend the day relaxing, it’s still the place to go. The hotel are currently offering the ultimate Highland Staycation for those wanting to enjoy the very best that the country has to offer with their 48 Hours in the Highland package. Their new fine dining concept Mara looks absolutely dreamy too, with incredible seasonal produce sourced locally to the restaurant. You can book direct with the hotel here.
One of my biggest to-dos in Scotland has to be exploring the NC500 as well as experiencing the country’s stunning West Coast beaches. With crystal clear waters and white sands, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d washed up somewhere exotic. The West Highland Hotel, perched in the quaint fishing village of Mallaig is perfect to base to enjoy the best of the West. With an absolutely stunning dining room, The Terrace, which enjoys views stretching across the water to Skye, The West Highland Hotel even has the option to book family rooms – perfect for that long overdue reunion. You can book direct here.
If you’re looking for a hotel experience you’re not going to forget – The Garrison Hotel in Fort William is a must visit. Built on the site of the town’s former jail, cells have been transformed into snug rooms (some even have bunks), whilst if you’d prefer to enjoy a bit more space – guest rooms are a seriously stylish choice. Situated in the heart of town, this insta-friendly spot even has a stylish restaurant to enjoy. The Garrison Hotel is available to book direct here.
Just before the madness of Christmas descended, we were treated to a dreamy stay at the Airds Hotel in Appin. A member of the Relais et Chateaux group, the hotel is beautifully cosy, and a perfect spot to escape to this summer. Driving to Appin from Edinburgh was glorious, and we meandered through mountains and passed by castles, we felt miles away from the every day. The meal we enjoyed in their restaurant was a real highlight of the winter, and above everything, the service we enjoyed here was incredible. You can book direct here.
Fun fact: I was planning to spend my birthday weekend down in the heart of the Cotswolds, but lockdown got in the way – so you can imagine how happy I was to find out about The Taynuilt Inn – a Cotswolds inspired hotel nestled deep in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. I’m more than slightly obsessed with the quirky interiors, with antiques and art dotted around, and the in-house restaurant and bar has a menu filled with comforting classics. Rooms can be booked directly here.
If you’re heading up to Aberdeenshire this summer, you’d do well to stop in to enjoy a stay at the historic Maryculter House. With links dating back to the Knights Templar, the hotel has beautiful, newly renovated bedrooms, dreamy en-suites and a menu of once-in-a-lifetime experiences to enjoy (seriously, they’re unbelievable), so it’s worth booking an extra night or two, to make sure you don’t miss out. Rooms are available to book directly here.
I’m working on Part 2 now – so stay tuned, as there are some incredible spots, you’re not going to want to miss!