Scottish Breakaways to Book Now
From perfect foodie pubs to cosy coastal boltholes and city retreats, these are our top picks for your next Scottish breakaway
In brief: A truly unique hotel imbued with Scottish history.
Our highlight: The museum-worthy collection of art on the walls.
Insider guide: There are 46 individual rooms and suites at The Fife Arms, all of which tell their own part of the tale of Braemar. The five-star Royal Suites are inspired by previous noble guests, the Victorian suites reflect the hotel’s history as a 19th century coaching inn, and there are Culture, Nature and Poetry rooms too. The Clunie dining room takes its name from the river which runs past the hotel, the Flying Stag is the hotel’s characterful public bar, Bertie’s Whisky Bar was inspired by King Edward VII’s love of the stuff and Elsa’s is a beautiful Art Deco cocktail bar named after Elsa Schiaparelli, who was a regular visitor to Braemar. All this and with fishing, hiking, wild swimming and golf all on the doorstep, it’s one for the bucket list.
Mar Road, Braemar AB35 5YN
In brief: A luxury floating hotel on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront.
Our highlight: With the style and glamour of a superyacht combined with an old-world elegance, this unique floating hotel is unlike any you have stayed in before.
Insider guide: This former Northern Lighthouse Board tender has been totally transformed into a highly polished, totally luxurious, 22 cabin boutique hotel, including the penthouse suite with its own private deck. She’s berthed in Leith, just a few minutes walk from the Michelin-starred dining hotspots on Commercial Quay, but don’t miss the onboard Lighthouse Bar with its bow windows offering expansive views of other ships, just perfect for a sundowner, and the well thought of 2 AA Rosette restaurant, with its tempting menu which includes special Fingal’s salmon smoked on board.
Alexandra Dock, Leith EH6 7DX
0131 357 5000
No26 By The Sea
In brief: A boldly stylish dog-friendly seaside hotel with views towards the Island of Kerrera.
Our highlight: The incredible coastal views and the idyllic seaside garden terrace.
Insider guide: With just nine beautiful bedrooms, this outpost in Oban is the perfect retreat. Each room has a garden or sea view to make the most of the hotel’s unique setting, and guests can book a seat at the chef’s table where chef David Anderson will guide you through an eight-course tasting menu prepared right in front of you. Oban is a great base for exploring Scotland’s west coast, whether you decide to walk along the seashore, tour the town centre, hike up the local hills or go on an island hopping adventure to see the isles, wildlife and nature that abound here.
Corran Esplanade, Oban PA34 5AQ
In brief: A transformed Victorian country house hotel with a famous owner.
Our highlight: The restyled tennis court in Wimbledon purple.
Insider guide: Sir Andy Murray bought Cromlix House near his home town of Dunblane with the aim of transforming it into a luxury hotel. The fact it had its own tennis court was, of course, just a bonus. The now transformed Victorian mansion in 34 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland has 15 luxurious bedrooms and suites, including two in the fairytale turret. Contemporary artwork from Sir Andy’s collection adorns the many walls and diners can book front row seats in front of the open kitchen in The Glasshouse restaurant.
Kinbuck, Near Dunblane FK15 9JT
In brief: A Scottish masterpiece of 19th century Baronial splendour housing 17 bedrooms and suites, all with their own unique design and character.
Our highlight: The backdrop of Ben Nevis, the gardens and woodland, reflected in the hotel’s glass-like loch.
Insider guide: If you can tear yourself away from the palatial comforts of the hotel, walk around the woodland gardens and down to the tranquil loch, and test your aim with clay pigeon shooting, archery and tomahawk throwing before heading back to the comfort of your spacious room. The hotel’s fine-dining restaurant has a menu crammed with locally produced, seasonal dishes, and with Michelin-star chef Michael Roux Jr at the helm, expect British cuisine with French influences.
Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN
The Bonnie Badger
In brief: A modern gastro-pub with rooms, with Tom Kitchin in the kitchen.
Our highlight: Tom Kitchin in the kitchen (and the beach five minutes’ walk away).
Insider guide: In the heart of East Lothian’s enchanting coastal village of Gullane, Scandi-style meets Scottish hospitality at The Bonnie Badger. There are 12 individually designed rooms and one master suite situated across the main house or in the two garden cottages, and all are designed to impress with sophisticated Scottish textiles and interiors. The food, as you would imagine, is cleverly comforting, served in the Stables dining room, the Broc Bar and outside in the Garden, and the breakfast itself is worth staying over for. The Bonnie Badger is child- and dog-friendly too.
Main Street, Gullane EH31 2AB
Glen Glack Cabins
In brief: Five brand new, bespoke cabins on the edge of Cally Loch on the Atholl Estate.
Our highlight: The lochside views and wood-burning stoves, and Juniper’s outside bath.
Insider guide: Each of the tranquil lochside cabins has its own private verandah and wood-burning stove. Designed to have as little impact on the local environment as possible, the luxurious cabins provide a calm and peaceful place to get back to nature, surrounded by woodland and countless wildlife. But if you can tear yourself away, you’ll find the nearby picturesque town of Dunkeld is home to must-visit bakeries and delis perfect for stocking up your cabin’s fridge, or if you don’t want to cook, then there are plenty of good restaurants here too, and House of Bruar (the Harrods of the North) is just up the road too.
Blair Atholl, Pitlochry PH18 5TH
In brief: The Edinburgh outpost of the iconic Perthshire country house hotel.
Our highlight: The buzzy rooftop Lamplighters Bar, with its sweeping views across Edinburgh from the terrace.
Insider guide: With the same meticulous attention to detail as its famous sister hotel, this former bank building is the first brand extension for 97 years. Interiors are an elegant mix between town and country and the 33 bedrooms are spacious and stylish in a traditional sense, with velvet armchairs, tester beds, panelled walls and thick, heavy curtains, whilst the bathrooms boast marble tiling and slipper baths. A full fridge, in-room snacks, fluffy robes and hair dryers and straighteners come as standard here. The Spence is the all-day dining restaurant serving classics with a modern twist from head chef Jonny Wright, who works with local producers to create his seasonally-inspired dishes. Downstairs in the Strong Room is a state-of-the-art wellness space and gym. Walk out of the front door and you are straight into St Andrew Square in the heart of the city’s chic shopping district.
No 39 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh
0800 917 4655
Kimpton Blythswood Square
In brief: A terrace of Georgian townhouses which have been elegantly transformed into a stunning, five-star spa hotel.
Our highlight: The seamless blend of original architecture and contemporary design.
Insider guide: This chic city hotel is home to a luxury spa, cinema room, and Salon Bar overlooking Glasgow’s leafy square. The hotel’s restaurant, Iasg, serves authentic Scottish seafood with a focus on sustainability with £1 on every bill going to The Firth Forth Lobster Hatchery, who hatch, rear and release lobsters to ensure stocks remain plentiful for future generations.
Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD
0141 248 8888