- Joanne Herd
Live like royalty: Scotland's 10 best historic hotels
If you're looking for a destination that's rich in history, Scotland should be on your list. With ancient castles, stunning landscapes, and a culture that's been shaped by centuries of tradition, Scotland is a country that's truly unique.
One of the best ways to experience Scotland's rich heritage is by staying at one of its many luxurious, historic hotels. These hotels offer a chance to immerse yourself in Scotland's past while still enjoying all the modern luxuries.
From grand country estates to intimate city hotels, Scotland's historic gems offer a glimpse into the country's fascinating history, and provide an unforgettable experience.
So if you're planning a trip to Scotland, be sure to add one or more of these beautiful historic hotels to your itinerary.
The Balmoral in Edinburgh is the epitome of luxury and refinement. Its grand façade has been an iconic part of the city's skyline since 1902 when it was built as a railway hotel for discerning travelers.
Today it's still the go-to destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience.
What makes The Balmoral truly special is its attention to detail. From the elegant suites to the award-winning afternoon tea in the Palm Court, every aspect of this hotel exudes luxury. It's no wonder it's been a symbol of sophistication and glamor for over a century.
And it's not just the interiors that are impressive. The Balmoral's whiskey bar, SCOTCH, has one of Edinburgh’s largest whiskey collections, with over 500 varieties. Or, for those who need a little pampering, the hotel's luxurious spa, complete with a 15-meter lap pool and a variety of spa services to choose from, will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Overall, The Balmoral is an oasis of opulence in the heart of Edinburgh. So if you're looking for a truly unforgettable stay in Scotland's capital city, book a room at this iconic hotel and immerse yourself in luxury.
Nestled amidst the idyllic Scottish countryside, Gleneagles is a luxurious haven for those seeking a taste of the high life. Originally designed as a golf resort and hotel, it has evolved into one of the most sought-after hotels in Scotland, offering an unparalleled range of experiences.
The history of the Gleneagles estate is fascinating, with the original building dating back to 1924. During WWII the hotel was closed and converted into a military hospital.
Over the years Gleneagles has played host to a bevy of celebrities, including A-listers and members of royalty, and has hosted the G8 Summit. It's not hard to see why - the hotel's grand architecture, sumptuous interiors, and impeccable service leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
Guests at Gleneagles can indulge in a wide range of luxurious amenities. From world-class spa treatments to outdoor activities such as horse riding, fishing, and shooting, there's something for everyone. Families are also well-catered to, with plenty of dedicated activities to keep little ones entertained.
With Michelin-starred restaurants, including Scotland’s only restaurant to hold two Michelin stars, and exquisite accommodations, it's no surprise that Gleneagles is the perfect retreat for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. So if you're ready to experience the very best that Scotland has to offer, look no further than Gleneagles.
The Fife Arms
Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the charming village of Braemar is home to a hidden gem: The Fife Arms. This historic hotel, just 15 minutes from the Royal Estate of Balmoral, has been a luxurious and sought-after destination since Queen Victoria purchased Balmoral.
One of the most striking features of The Fife Arms is its impressive collection of art, featuring works that span from ancient to modern times. The hotel's halls and rooms are filled with a carefully curated selection of pieces that reflect Scotland's rich cultural heritage, offering guests a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the country's art scene.
When it comes to accommodations, The Fife Arms has something for everyone. Guests can choose from cozy rooms to spacious suites, each one uniquely designed with its own character and charm. Many rooms even feature original works of art and antiques, transporting guests back in time and adding to the hotel's old-world charm.
After a long day of exploring the Scottish Highlands, there's no better place to relax than The Fife Arms. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, luxurious furnishings, and friendly staff, this historic hotel is the perfect place to unwind and indulge in a bit of pampering.
Nestled on the banks of the River Lochy, Inverlochy Castle is a breathtaking retreat that blends history, luxury, and modern amenities seamlessly. The beautiful 19th century castle sits in the midst of some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes, in an area where Queen Victoria declared “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot”.
The castle's rich history is reflected in every aspect of its architecture and decor, from the beautiful staircases to the antique furnishings.
Guests can expect a unique and enchanting experience when they visit, with cozy, elegantly furnished rooms that offer the perfect respite from a long day of exploring the Scottish Highlands.
Beyond its charming castle facade and interiors, Inverlochy Castle offers a range of amenities that cater to every whim. Whether it's dining in Seasgair, a fine dining venue overseen by two Michelin star chef Michel Roux Jr, or indulgent spa treatments that tickle your fancy, this hotel has it all.
Adventure seekers can explore the rugged terrain surrounding the castle, while those looking for relaxation can unwind with a massage or other spa treatments.
If you're looking for a luxurious getaway that blends history, natural beauty, and modern amenities, Inverlochy Castle Hotel is the perfect destination. A stay here is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired.
Glenapp Castle, located on the west coast of Scotland, is a true hidden gem. Built in the late 19th century, this stunning castle has a rich history and is now a luxurious hotel that offers a truly unforgettable experience.
From the moment you arrive at Glenapp Castle, you'll be swept away by its charm and beauty. The castle's Scottish Baronial architecture, complete with turrets and towers, is truly a sight to behold. And once you step inside, you'll be transported back in time, surrounded by antique furnishings, original artwork, and elegant decor.
But Glenapp Castle is more than just a beautiful building - it's also surrounded by 110 acres of stunning gardens and grounds, offering breathtaking views of the Firth of Clyde and the Ayrshire coast. Take a stroll through the gardens and you'll feel like you've stepped into your own private paradise.
The castle's history is just as fascinating as its architecture and grounds. Originally built as a private residence for a wealthy Scottish businessman, the castle has had many owners over the years. But now it's a luxurious hotel that's perfect for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or even a destination wedding.
At Glenapp Castle, you'll be treated like royalty from the moment you arrive. The hotel's staff is dedicated to providing exceptional service, ensuring that every detail of your stay is perfect.
With luxurious accommodations, numerous superb dining options, and a range of activities to choose from, you'll never want to leave. Whether you're exploring the castle's history, enjoying a round of golf, or simply relaxing in the spa, Glenapp Castle is a truly unforgettable destination.
The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
If you're searching for a truly luxurious getaway, look no further than The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Edinburgh. This architectural masterpiece has been wowing visitors since 1903, when it first opened its doors as a railway hotel. Since then, it has undergone extensive renovations and upgrades to become one of Scotland's most prestigious and luxurious hotels.
As you enter the grand lobby, you'll be blown away by the hotel's stunning architecture and lavish decor. And the hotel's history is just as impressive.
Built as part of a train station complex by the Caledonia Railway, the hotel originally sat in the middle of a large railway station. Although the station is no longer active, the Caledonian still boasts one of the best locations in Edinburgh.
But the Caledonian's appeal doesn't end with its rich history. With luxurious accommodations, an award-winning restaurant, a world-class spa, and spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle, this hotel is the epitome of indulgence and sophistication.
Venture outside and you'll find yourself in the heart of Edinburgh, close to all the city's finest attractions, restaurants, and shops.
Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and culture or simply relax in a luxurious setting, the Caledonian is the perfect choice. This hotel truly has it all, offering guests the ultimate in style, sophistication, and indulgence during their stay in Edinburgh.
Nestled on the tranquil banks of Loch Lomond, Cameron House is a luxurious Scottish retreat that's hard to resist. This magnificent hotel, with its grand architecture, impeccable service, and stunning location, is the perfect destination for those looking for a little bit of indulgence.
Cameron House is not just a hotel, it's an experience. With a rich history dating back to the 18th century, this hotel has played host to many Scottish luminaries, including Empress Eugenie and Sir Winston Churchill.
But don't let its historical significance fool you, Cameron House is a modern and luxurious retreat that offers the very best in contemporary comfort and style.
But what really sets Cameron House apart is its stunning location on the shores of Loch Lomond. The hotel's panoramic views of the loch and surrounding hills are simply breathtaking. Whether you're sipping a cocktail on the terrace or enjoying a sumptuous tasting menu at their fine dining restaurant, the scenery will take your breath away.
Cameron House also offers a wealth of activities and amenities to keep you entertained during your stay. Take a dip in the pool with beautiful views over the countryside, relax in the spa, or explore the loch with a leisurely boat ride. And for the golf enthusiasts, Cameron House boasts its own championship golf course that's sure to impress.
If you're looking for a luxurious and unforgettable Scottish getaway, then Cameron House is the perfect choice. With its stunning location, impeccable service, and world-class amenities, this hotel is a true gem on the banks of Loch Lomond.
If you're searching for a hotel that merges history with luxury, Cromlix is an impeccable choice. This hotel has a remarkable past that adds to the overall experience of staying here. The Cromlix Estate, which dates back to the 15th century, and had been in the Drummond family for over 4 centuries before “Cromlix Cottage” was built in 1874.
Unfortunately, the original cottage burned down only 4 years later, but was rebuilt on the same plans. After nearly 100 years as a private home, the house became a luxury country house hotel in 1981.
In 2013 Cromlix was purchased by tennis legend Andy Murray, who wanted to encourage visitors to come to the area. After an extensive renovation the hotel was reopened in 2014.
The 15 rooms and suites at Cromlix are elegantly designed and offer a unique experience to guests, making each stay one of a kind. If you're looking for a country hotel that blends history and luxury, Cromlix is the perfect getaway for a memorable Scottish holiday.
Looking for an enchanting escape to a bygone era? Crossbasket Castle is just the ticket. This stunning, 17th-century castle is one of Scotland’s most luxurious hotels. And when we say luxurious, we mean it. The castle has a rich history that is reflected in every corner of the property.
But don't let the castle's historical feel fool you – there's plenty of modern amenities to keep you feeling pampered and relaxed, including a world-class spa and an exceptional fine dining restaurant by two Michelin starred chef Michel Roux Jr.
And when it comes to accommodations, Crossbasket Castle doesn't disappoint. With nine rooms, each uniquely designed and named after a historic custodian of the castle, you'll feel like royalty during your stay.
Located on the banks of the River Calder, this castle is the perfect place for a tranquil getaway, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, if you're looking for a peaceful escape that combines Scotland's rich history with modern luxury, Crossbasket Castle is a destination that should be at the top of your list.
The bottom line
As you plan your Scottish adventure, don't miss the chance to experience the grandeur and charm of Scotland's luxurious historic hotels. Whether you're in search of breathtaking views or luxurious amenities, rich history or modern elegance, each of these hotels has something special to offer.
From the rugged countryside to the stunning castles and quaint villages, Scotland's beauty and magic is undeniable. And staying in one of these magnificent hotels is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Scotland's rich heritage and natural beauty.
So pack your bags and let these historic hotels take you on a journey through Scotland's past while still enjoying all the modern amenities you could desire. With such a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern-day luxury, you're sure to have an unforgettable adventure.