Six Scottish Stays You Need to Book Now
So much to see and do in bonnie Scotland
Kimpton Blythswood Square
In brief: A city centre spa hotel.
Our highlight: The seamless blend of original architecture and contemporary design.
Insider guide: This chic five-star hotel is home to a luxury spa, a restaurant in a ballroom and Salon Bar, where you can lounge in Harris tweed chairs overlooking Glasgow’s leafy square. For a breakaway with a difference, try their top floor suite – Glasgow’s most luxurious penthouse.
11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD
0141 248 8888
In brief: A romantic B&B in the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland.
Our highlight: The living history. Mary Queen of Scots slept here.
Insider guide: In a fold of hills beside the river Tweed, the 900-year-old house is wearing well. Stuarts have lived here since 1491 and it is still an extraordinary home. Grand, but homely, the three bedrooms all have half-tester canopied beds, ensuite bathrooms and lots of luxurious touches including proper china and an in-room kettle (sadly becoming rarer and rarer). The lower Drawing Room with its large fire, handflocked wallpaper and honesty bar is yours when the house closes for the day. There’s a tennis court and fishing by arrangement. The Scottish breakfast includes unmissable homemade muffins.
Innerleithen, Peebleshire EH44 6PW
Killiehuntly Farmhouse & Cottages
In brief: A 17th century farmhouse transformed by Danish owners into a Scandi-sleek destination.
Our highlight: Killiehuntly is just south of the winter sports centre Aviemore, on its own 4,000 acre estate.
Insider guide: Referring to their interiors as Scandi-Scot, this lodge is all about stripped-back style, a muted palette and sheepskin. More chalet than shooting lodge, there are just four rooms, but there is a housekeeper and gillie, mountain bikes to borrow and jumpers by the door if you didn’t pack enough of your own. The house is on a working farm and has its own kitchen garden supplying much of the menu served at the communal dining table. Breakfast is another heart-warming affair, served in the farmhouse kitchen beside the AGA. There are also two self-catering cottages, perfect for a family getaway, all with the same cool vibe.
Kingussie PH21 1NZ
Rusacks St Andrews
In brief: The ‘old lady’ of St Andrews is steeped in golfing history. Occupying an iconic 1800s building it has recently undergone a welcome refurb.
Our highlight: Ask any golfer and they will say the hotel’s location.
Insider guide: Just a stone’s throw from Old Tom Morris’ famous links, Rusacks is a monument to golf and a luxurious base for anyone exploring this historic town. Highlands-inspired rooms feature views across the course and coastline. Try and bag the Swilcan King with floor-to-ceiling windows, glass-panelled balcony and views over the Swilcan Bridge. The Bridge is a family-friendly restaurant, a more casual dining option, but head to 18, a destination rooftop bar and restaurant with incredible views across the Old Course and West Sands Beach and a menu which features lots of open-flame dishes prepared on 18’s Robata grill.
Pilmour Links, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9QJ
Cheval Old Town Chambers
In brief: A luxury retreat in the heart of Edinburgh, just off the Royal Mile, these five-star apartments were once the homes of wealthy merchants.
Our highlight: The location is great, but so are the apartments. Hotel-style living but with the freedom of your own self-contained space.
Insider guide: These characterful plush apartments are in renovated 15th century buildings with lots of quirky nooks and crannies to add character. All mod-cons are included, as are lots of luxurious touches and you do have a kitchenette, but it’s likely you’ll want to make the most of the fantastic range of restaurants which are literally on your doorstep.
Roxburgh’s Court, 323 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LW
0131 510 5499
In brief: A sublime country house hotel with an unbeatable setting between a sea loch and the mountains, and with a characterful inn on site too.
Our highlight: Has to be the setting, but the fact that the hotel has its own farm and kitchen garden supplying the kitchen is a winner too.
Insider guide: Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, yet fronted by a beautiful loch, this is one impressive, baronial-style boutique hotel. Once a Victorian hunting lodge, it has been bought bang up to date, and whilst there are plenty of outdoor activities available, from archery and kayaking to more sedate loch-side strolling, you’ll want to spend time indoors here, where the friendly, informal atmosphere makes you feel at home immediately. Be sure to book a loch-view room so you can enjoy the picture perfect view from your bed. (Couples be aware you can book the Boathouse – a self-contained bolthole down on the loch). The 1887 restaurant under the guidance of chef Paul Green (formerly of the Three Chimneys and L’Enclume) has an ever-changing menu making the most of local fish and game, whilst the more relaxed Bo & Muc offers good, seasonally led pub grub.
By Achnasheen, Wester Ross IV22 2EY