The Scottish Highlands really are as mystical, unspoilt and romantic as you imagined. An unparalleled landscape of rolling hills and low-hanging clouds. An untamed environment, vast and unpredictable. Where fog and wind rush around you and the air is crisp and cool.
And, where there are some truly amazing 5-star hotels. Hotels that welcome you with warm smiles and cool champagne, that indulge you with rejuvenating in-room spa treatments and first-class cuisine, and, most importantly, hotels that go above and beyond to make sure you’re fully looked after and free to make the most of Scotland’s natural beauty.
For an escape that will put you face-to-face with nature’s might, that will revitalise your connection with the elements, and that will leave you feeling ten years younger, pack your bags and book a luxury escape at one of these must-visit 5-star hotels Scottish Highlands.
Fonab Castle Hotel
A family-run five-star castle hotel nestled in woodland and overlooking a loch in the heart of Highland Perthshire, Fonab Castle is a wonderful concoction of baronial stylings and contemporary twists. Warm, homely rooms are perfect after a day of outdoor adventure. Some come with loch views, whilst a number of suites have balconies looking out over the leafy grounds.
The castle, which was originally built in 1892, has a tranquil spa with a heated swimming pool, sauna and treatment rooms. Before venturing out of the hotel, ask one of the tartan-clad concierges who can advise on things to do and see in the area. If you’re feeling really adventurous, whitewater rafting, canyoning, and gorge walking are some of the activities on offer at Fonab Castle. Meanwhile, any meals you eat at fine dining restaurant, Sandema, are bound to thrill.
Sitting at the foot of Ben Nevis, Inverlochy Castle once induced Queen Victoria to proclaim that she had “never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot”. That was in 1873, and today the luxury castle hotel is just as lovely and maybe even more romantic thanks to the hotel’s beautiful restaurant from legendary father and son team, Albert and Michel Roux Jr.
The castle’s 17 rooms are stylish and spacious, yet cosy and comfortable. Venture out from your traditionally decorated room and wander down to the loch where you can take the hotel’s rowboat for a romantic glide through the water. If you’re interested in photography, a wildlife photography tour is an ideal way to get up close and personal with Scotland’s most majestic landscape.
Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux
An unassuming facade on this Georgian mansion gives way to stylish interiors, a vibrant atmosphere, and an all-around classy five-star hotel. The hotel is more discreet than some others around, while it’s sleek bar and exceptional restaurant – another from the formidable Albert Roux – Rocpool Reserve Hotel offers a luxury stay in the heart of Inverness.
Service is professional without being stuffy, and there’s always a few friendly staff on hand to answer any questions or arrange anything from a shoe-shine to dinner for your dog. Rooms are fancy and well-equipped. Some offer private balconies but if you really want to treat yourself, book the extra decadent room and you’ll have your own terrace with private outdoor hot tubs and small saunas. You may find it becomes difficult to leave your room.
A Highland mansion like no other, Glencoe House dazzles all you come to stay. If you’re travelling with a loved one and are looking for some time away from it all, then Glencoe House is the answer. From your stunning, secluded suite – some of which feature open fireplaces, terraces and hot tubs – you will only have the sound of singing birds outside your window as company.
Just a two hours’ drive from Glasgow, Glencoe House is discreetly tucked away in secluded woodland, overlooking Loch Leven and the Pap of Glencoe. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with a glass of champagne in the lobby, where a huge fire crackles and radiates and you feel invulnerable to the wild landscape that surrounds you. Order an in-suite massage and the struggles of daily life will soon feel a million miles away.
Standing proudly over the rugged coastline of Sinclair Bay on the northernmost tip of Scotland, Ackergill Tower is an enchanting castle hotel steeped in history and awash with opulence. Built in the early 16th century, the hotels’ 21st-century luxuries include an impeccable, five-star service from check in to check out, a smart restaurant serving imaginative Scottish dishes, and some of the most unique accommodations found in the Highlands.
Within Ackergill Tower’s 3,000-acre private estate there is a number of different standalone cottages, small houses, and even a huge treehouse. Decked out in modern comforts and homely touches, the secluded treehouse is perched in a 150-year-old sycamore tree, offering a Highland hideaway quite like no other. Time your visit right and you may even experience the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky through the treehouse’s twilight ceiling. Beat that!
Set within an 80-acres of picturesque rural landscape, this humble, five-star bed and breakfast is perfect for a low-key escape and is just a convenient 10-minute drive from the centre of Inverness. Family-run and full of life, Daviot Lodge is charming Highland hideaway with comfortable ensuite rooms, a cosy lounge with fireplace for unwinding after a full day, and a beautiful a Breakfast made from quality, Fair Trade-sourced, and award-winning local produce.
Whether its action and adventure or rest and relaxation, Daviot has you covered. You can discover local attractions including the historic Culloden Moor, site of the last battle to be fought on British soil in 1746 when Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated, and the nearby prehistoric standing stones known as the “Clava Cairns”. And, of course, there’s Loch Ness, home to Scotland’s most famous monster, known as ‘Nessie’ to the locals.
In the heart of rural Royal Deeside, Glendavan House dates from 1886 as a shooting lodge. Today, the impressive house sits in seven acres of natural pine woodland within the newly created Cairngorms National Park. Overlooking Loch Davan, Glendavan House has been in the hands of the same family for three decades and is currently run by the ever-gracious and hospitable Moira Milne and her daughter, Rebecca.
The suites at Glendavan are traditionally decorated and simply beautiful, perfect for a couple. But it’s the hotel’s charming location and delightful grounds that really soothe the soul. Various wildlife is common sighted in the hotel’s surroundings, including red squirrels and roe deer, while Loch Davan is a protected bird sanctuary where, in the autumn months, vast numbers of graylag geese come to rest on their journey south, sharing space with whooper swans, mallard ducks, moorhens and a family of otters.
The Scottish Highlands are like no other place on the Earth. Take a break from your daily stressors and unshackle yourself in Scotland’s most spectacular setting.