When you were young, you may have fantasized about being a king or queen and living in a fairytale castle. As you grow up, however, those dreams most likely fade in the face reality. Now it’s time to revive that reverie -- if only for a few days. From loch to glen, we’ve hunted and found the six most stunning castle hotels in Scotland. Check them out.
1. Inverlochy Castle, Fort William
Guests can combine their love of golf and castles during a stay at the luxurious Inverlochy Castle. Built in 1867 as a private residence, the hotel sits across the road from the site of the original 13th-century Inverlochy Castle and adjacent to the Fort William Golf Club. Individually decorated rooms and grand common spaces, including several drawing and living rooms with chandeliers and cozy fireplaces, offer serene views of the manicured grounds. Aside from golf, visitors can indulge in clay pigeon shooting, tomahawk throwing, archery, tennis, and rowing. Plus, high rollers arriving by helicopter can land on the hotel’s own helipad.
2. Glengarry Castle Hotel, Invergarry
Guests will take a private drive that weaves through lush, wooded grounds to arrive at the 19th-century building that houses the Glengarry Castle Hotel. While those expecting a castle soaring turrets might be disappointed, the site is also the historical home of the Invergarry Castle ruin, which was once a genuine ancient fortress. The hotel, which is not far from the famous Loch Ness, also offers plenty of cozy spots, including a library with a log fire and lovely views over the loch as well as a lounge with comfy seating. While parts of the hotel can feel a little old-fashioned, it’s hard to beat the picturesque location, with many of the rooms offering loch views.
3. Culcreuch Castle Hotel, Fintry
One of Scotland’s oldest hotels, the 13th-century Culcreuch Castle Hotel is situated near Stirling, in the ancestral home of the Galbraith Clan, and overlooks its own private loch. At the property, you’ll find a former dungeon that now serves as a charming bar and dining room, plus grand staircases, two separate wings, and a large tower. (Much of the original castle elements remain.) But while the hotel is undoubtedly a building of history, the sumptuous decor has brought the interiors up to date. Rooms feature four-poster beds and luxe fittings, while the rest of the hotel boasts the types of trappings you would expect from a rural Scottish estate (think antler chandeliers and open fires).
4. Fonab Castle Hotel, Pitlochry
Combining two of Scotland’s most evocative sights -- lochs and castles -- the Fonab Castle Hotel provides a picturesque retreat in Pitlochry. Set on the scenic shores of Loch Faskally, the property blends modern luxury with historic tradition, so that visitors can enjoy the castle of their dreams coupled with contemporary amenities. While the loch and surrounding landscape are a big attraction, the hotel has plenty of other on-site features to pamper guests. There’s a modern spa with a sauna, steam room, pool, and fitness center. The hotel also boasts a gourmet fine-dining restaurant and an informal brasserie with stunning views over the water.
5. Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, Glasgow
Rising from a verdant mound, and surrounded by green hedges, the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel dazzles with its fairytale turrets and towers. However, despite the fact that it looks like a castle and sounds like a castle, the hotel is not a true castle (it was only built in 1896 to resemble a Scottish castle). Bonus: the hotel is a short drive to downtown Glasgow, making it a solid choice for those who are looking for a grand period property that’s not too far from the action of the city.
6. Melville Castle, Dalkeith
Dating back to the 12th century, Melville Castle was frequently visited by Mary, Queen of Scots. A short drive from Edinburgh, the hotel has also hosted Queen Victoria, who was charmed by the “beautiful and tranquil character of the estate.” The 50-acre property opened as a hotel in 2003, and houses charming guest rooms (some with four-poster beds), cozy open fires, and a a traditional bar with tartan decor. Although a contemporary renovation has brought the building’s interior up to modern standards, step outside and the exterior will have you reminiscing about the history in no time.
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