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Top 5 Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

Posted on Jan 26, 2018 by Rupert Shanks

A great day out in the hills needn’t end with a night of roughing it. Why not reward your efforts with some decadence? Check out the Top 5 Luxury Hotels for Outdoor Lovers in Scotland.

A warm shower and cosy bed can feel incredible after a day in the wild. So imagine what a real luxurious experience can offer. These hotels are located within some of the Highlands most beautiful wild places. They provide world class luxury, service and mouthwatering gastronomy for the weary adventurer.

We visit some of these accommodations on our guided activity trips and many of our trips pass nearby, meaning you could combine an adventure trip with a luxury break. We also often send our tailor-made clients to stay here as part of a customised adventure itinerary.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fort William

Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

Inverlochy Castle Hotel with Ben Nevis behind.

 

This 19th Century castle overlooks the banks of River Lochy by the entrance to the Great Glen in the West Highlands. Queen Victoria, having spent a week there, once remarked “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot”. Winner of the Luxury Hotel of the Year 2017, Inverlochy not only offers luxury accommodation in a beautiful setting, the food here is hard to beat. World-famous father and son chefs Albert and Michel Roux Jr are in charge of the kitchen using the best in local highland produce.

Outdoor adventures:

  • Mountain Biking: Inverlochy is located a short drive from Fort William, within the renowned ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK‘. Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest peak looms over the valley offering lift-accessed mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter. We offer a guided mountain bike adventure across Scotland, which starts in Fort William and rides along Loch Ness to the Highland capital of Inverness.
  • Hiking: One of the country’s most iconic long-distance walks, The Great Glen Way, is typically finished in the centre of Fort William having begun further north in Inverness.
  • Open Canoeing: For those seeking a paddling adventure, why not paddle the Great Glen Canoe Trail from Loch Lochy near Fort William back up to Inverness?

Inverlochy Castle Hotel website

 

Kinloch Lodge, Skye

Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

Kinloch Lodge overlooking Loch na Dal, Skye.

 

Beautifully located at the foot of Kinloch Hill and overlooking Loch na Dal, Kinloch Lodge offers classical luxury amidst the rugged beauty of the Isle of Skye. Kinloch has been run by the local Macdonald family for generations. This feeling of familial hospitality runs through the Kinloch experience. The fine dining here is world-renowned thanks mainly to Michelin-starred chef, Marcelo Tully. He hails Skye as a “chef’s paradise” and a real taste of the island shines through each meal, with an emphasis on local seafood. Kinloch Lodge was named as one of the top twenty five small hotels in the world and one of the Top 7 restaurants in Scotland by Conde Nast magazine.

Outdoor adventures:

  • Road cycling – Skye is one of our favourite stops on our road cycling adventure across the Inner Hebrides. Roll along winding coastlines as jagged peaks soar overhead.
  • Mountain Biking – Skye’s varied landscapes and impressive hills make for some epic mountain biking. Check out our guided Skye mountain bike adventure which also visits biking meccas of Harris and Torridon.
  • Hiking – One of Scotland’s most popular walking destinations, Skye offers a range of hiking, scrambling and climbing adventures. Our guided walking adventure in Skye visits the less well-known glens and hills.
  • Sailing – Skye’s intricate coastline makes it a fantastic sailing destination. We visit the south end of the island on our Sailing and Walking adventure  which gives us access to some lesser-known hikes into the Black Cuillin mountain range.

Kinloch Lodge website

 

Airds Hotel, Argyll

Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

Airds Hotel.

 

This cosy boutique hotel in the heart of Argyll is a shining example of Scottish hospitality at its best. Country-house charm gives a relaxed, homely feel to Airds, but the food and service is world class. The views from the hotel are mesmeric. Loch Linnhe stretching out ahead with the craggy mountains of Ardnamurchan and Skye towering beyond. A range of comfy lounges, log fires and expansive windows make the most of this idyllic location.  The best in local shellfish are often the highlight of a varied wonderfully Scottish menu. The Airds restaurant is now a firm feature in the Michelin Guide.

Outdoor adventures:

  • Sea Kayaking: Why not combine some time on the water exploring the Oban coast with some decadent luxury at Airds? The famous Scottish Sea Kayak Trail travels past Oban on the West coast and would make a fantastic wild accompaniment to some top-notch West coast hospitality.
  • Hiking: Oban makes an excellent launchpad to the Western Isles. Why not join us on a guided walking adventure of Argyll and the Isles and bookend your adventure with a few days of luxury?
  • Road Cycling: Our Skye and the Inner Hebrides Road Cycling adventure also departs from Oban. This biking odyssey is a perfect way to soak up the diverse landscapes and communities of the Inner Hebrides.

Airds Hotel website

 

Fonab Castle, Pitlochry

Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

Fonab Castle with the Perthshire hills beyond.

 

Recently restored Fonab Castle is nestled in the heart of Highland Perhshire. Built in the 19th Century in Scots Baronial style, the castle was completely refurbished in 2013. Overlooking the picturesque small Loch Faskally, Fonab is within walking distance of the quaint highland village of Pitlochry. Accommodation options vary from the sprawling Penthouse suite to more cosy rooms, each unique. The award winning restaurant offers fine-dining while the Brasserie and Lounge Bar are an informal oasis for light lunches, afternoon tea and lip-smacking cocktails!

Outdoor adventures:

  • Road Cycling: the quiet roads and rolling hills of Highland Perthshire make for some dreamy road-biking. Check out the highly-regarded Escape Route bike shop for bike hire, route maps and more.

Fonab Castle website

 

Isle of Eriska, Oban

Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

Isle of Eriska Hotel.

 

Located on a private island on the west coast, the Isle of Eriska hotel is a haven of luxury. The island sits between Loch Creran and Loch Linnhe. Wild and beautiful views stretch out over the Morvern hills. Otter and seals lounge along the shoreline while golden eagles can be spotted overhead. Within the hotel, huge fireplaces, ornate wooden styling and classic design make for an elegant and spoiling experience. Fresh ingredients are sourced from the gardens, greenhouse and foraged from the island. The beehives and smokehouse also complement the abundant local larder. Award-winning chef, Connor Toomey, describes the island as ‘an outstanding resource’. Local ingredients and nutrients of the sea are also incorporated in the extensive Spa, to nourish mind, body and soul.

Outdoor adventures:

  • Sea Kayaking: As with Airds above, Eriska’s location on the west coast makes it an ideal accompaniment to a paddle journey on the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail.
  • Wildlife adventures: We recommend wholeheartedly the wildlife tours from Seafari Adventures, based nearby in Oban.

Isle of Eriska website

 

Torridon Hotel

Luxury Hotels in Scotland for Outdoor Lovers

The Torridon Hotel overlooking Loch Torridon in the North West Highlands.

 

The towering craggy peaks of the North West Highland make for an invigorating place to visit for anyone who appreciates the great outdoors. The Torridon Hotel overlooks Loch Torridon itself as Beinn Alligin and Liathach (perhaps Scotland’s most admired mountain) dominate the skyline. This must be one of the most spectacular hotel locations in Scotland. Built in 1887 originally as a hunting lodge, the hotel’s castle-like turrets and fortified appearance give a regal and exclusive feel.

You can expect that feeling to carry through to the food on offer here at the Torridon. Award-winning fine dining is taken care of by chef Ross Stovold. The farm-to-fork philosophy is backed up here by their own Highland beef, fish caught almost on the doorstep and fruit, veg and herbs grown within the kitchen garden. Enjoy a glass of something before or after dinner in their well-stocked, cosy whisky and gin bar.

 

Outdoor adventures:

  • Sea Kayaking: The Torridon offer their own half-day sea kayaking activities. Or alternatively we offer a guided 5 day kayaking trip exploring nearby Loch Torridon and Loch Maree
  • Road Cycling: The mighty Bealach na Ba (one of the UK’s toughest road climbs ) is a nearby highlight to some incredible road cycling. Our Coast to Coast guided road cycling adventure finishes at nearby Applecross.
  • Hiking: Mountains in the North West Highlands and Torridon specifically must be some of Scotland’s most photographed. Steep craggy peaks jut out of the deep valleys all along a winding coastline. We offer a guided hiking trip that includes some of the area’s most iconic peaks.
  • Wildlife: We can recommend Torridon Sea Tours for a boat trip to remember. Based in nearby Shieldaig.

Torridon Hotel website

About the author

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Rupert Shanks

After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera! Rupert produces a lot of the photography and video for Wilderness Scotland and works within the Marketing team.

Read more articles by Rupert


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