The creme de la creme
To be featured under the umbrella of Relais & Chateaux, a global fellowship of individually owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants, is to boast unabashed quality and comfort. These are the creme de la creme of top-drawer accommodation and gourmet dining. Seven of these unique establishments can be found in Scotland.
The mysterious waters of the lochs, surrounded by the misty mountains that rise out of the earth in this part of Scotland, never fail to make visitors dream. With its very own loch, Inverlochy Castle offers one of the most stunning Scottish panoramas. Queen Victoria said she 'never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot'. At the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the United Kingdom, this charming castle with its billiard room and stately interiors is an ideal base from which to explore Fort William, the 'Outdoor Capital of the UK', and surrounding areas in the west coast of Scotland.
Located in the heart of glorious Perthshire, famous for its stunningly beautiful countryside with lochs, rivers and trees, Kinloch House is the ideal base from which to explore the area, while staying in a family-run Scottish country house with a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Built in 1840, the charming house has a stunning entrance hall with a log fire and an oak paneled staircase. The portrait gallery will awaken your imagination, and perhaps the fabled ghost will pay a visit. The bedrooms have been decorated with fine fabrics and furnishings, while the elegant dining room serves a menu using the finest local ingredients.
Greywalls Hotel and Chez Roux
Greywalls Hotel and Chez Roux is situated on the edge of the Muirfield championship golf course with breathtaking views over East Lothian and the Firth of Forth in Scotland, just a short drive from Edinburgh city. Overlooking the world-famous greens of the ninth and 18 holes, and with ten golf courses nearby, it is a golfer's paradise. Greywalls was originally designed by Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901 as a dignified holiday home for his clients and today is renowned for retaining its original charm. Explore Greywalls' grounds and Lutyens' expert eye is immediately clear. The building still has all of its Arts and Crafts' period charm. Guests can also explore the hotel's historic walled gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll, its tennis courts, croquet lawn and putting green or simply relax with an indulgent dinner at Chez Roux.
Standing high above a dramatic coastline overlooking the Irish sea, in the south west of Scotland's historic lowlands, Glenapp is a family owned and occupied baronial castle set in an area of outstanding and unspoiled natural beauty. Underneath its fairytale turrets and towers there are oak-panelled rooms, rich fabrics and fine antiques, as well as modern award winning cuisine and impeccable service. The castle is hidden from the rugged landscape by 15 hectares of magical gardens filled with specimen trees and plants, including a fine collection of rare and unusual rhododendrons.
At the iconic Gleneagles Hotel in beautiful Perthshire, Grand Chef Andrew Fairlie operates his eponymous restaurant. Located an hour from the coast, and surrounded by many small farms, Fairlie is in a unique position to source the very best local produce, whether wild salmon from the pure waters of the river Tay, red grouse from the local moors or world famous Aberdeen Angus Beef. Restaurant staff can be found foraging on hotel grounds where they might discover morels or wild strawberries. The style of cooking combines classic French cuisine and techniques with contemporary ideas, such as the 'Ballotine of Foie Gras with Rhubarb Carpaccio'. The restaurant provides an elegant yet intimate atmosphere for an exquisite fine dining experience. Elegant dark paneled walls are adorned with the artworks of renowned Scottish artist Archie Forrest. Floor to ceiling silk drapes add a sense of theatre, and the use of rich, textured fabrics lend the room a touch of tasteful opulence.
The Airds, in the Scottish Highlands, with its breathtaking landscapes and incredible views, is the perfect spot for those who want to soak up the beauty of the west coast of Scotland. The remote and peaceful setting epitomises classic west coast scenery. This luxury hotel where no two rooms are alike, represents the very best of elegance and sophistication. A highlight of any stay is to enjoy dinner in the romantic candlelit restaurant whilst admiring the spectacular views of loch Linnhe and the mountains and if you are lucky you will see one of the famous sunsets which grace the skies. Airds is the perfect base from which to explore Oban, walk, cycle or visit Lismore, a remote island that is only a five-minute boat trip away. Day trips to Mull and Iona are also highly recommended. Make time for the pleasures in life between soothing treatments in the comfort of your room and the many activities to be found the area.
Isle of Eriska Hotel
There is a certain magic about staying on a private island and Eriska is no exception. Located on the West Coast of Scotland, it has gorgeous views overlooking Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Mountains. The island is solely dedicated to the guests of the hotel, offering a truly unique experience. With over 120 hectares of land, Eriska is a celebration of nature where Highland cattle graze, badgers visit, grey seals and otters swim in the surrounding waters and countless birds, including the Golden Eagle, can be observed. The hotel offers unique levels of personal service, with decor masterfully blending the old with the new. Distant islands form a stunning backdrop to Eriska's golf course and guests can enjoy a spot of sailing, shooting and many other activities during their stay. After an active day, visit the outstanding ESPA spa to be pampered, followed by an exceptional meal at the hotel's renowned restaurant.
From Relais & Chateaux