Scotland does luxury very very well. This is not necessarily something you would expect from the home of the deep fried mars bar but Scotland is a truly wonderful destination for the luxury traveller. Here are five wonderfully luxurious places to stay in Southern Scotland:
21212 Restaurant With Rooms
21212 is a Michelin star winning restaurant in Edinburgh. Chef Paul Kitching is deservedly well known for his amazing dining experiences. What is perhaps less well known is that this fantastic restaurant also has a stylish boutique hotel above the restaurant.
The hotel & restaurant are located on a lovely Georgian Terrace in a quiet yet central part of Edinburgh. There are four bedrooms split across the upper levels of the building. There are also lounge areas for book reading, coffee or wine drinking and general enjoyment.
Paul’s menu changes weekly, ensuring the most seasonal and tasty of ingredients. It is possible to see Paul and his team at work in the glass-fronted kitchen whilst you work your way through the different courses.
The name comes from the structure of the menu. Choices are available for starter, main and dessert but you also enjoy an amuse bouche and an allotment potage which Paul chooses. The night I visited I experienced everything from aubergine haggis risotto to a beehive dessert bursting with the flavours of honey, mango, and chocolate.
If you have time, work off your meal with a walk up Calton Hill. It is located literally behind the hotel and offers stunning views across Edinburgh.
Southwest Scotland is absolutely stunning. It does take a little bit more time in the car to get to the Dumfries & Galloway region but it is well worth it. This lesser-known part of Scotland actually experiences some of the best weather in the UK. Indeed, it rarely snows even at the height of winter.
One of the most wonderful things about Knockinaam Lodge is its location. It is literally tucked away over a hill – apparently, even some locals are unaware that it exists! Arriving at Knockinaam actually feels quite magical as you drive over a slight cliff and discover the most beautiful cove and building.
There are 10 gorgeous luxury bedrooms and 5 have sea views. As is the case with all the hotels in this post, a critical part of the luxury experience is the dining. Knockinaam features local produce and a seasonal menu. I enjoyed some delicious Galloway Lamb for dinner during my stay.
The Lodge also has historic roots. Sir Winston Churchill met General Eisenhower here during the Second World War. It was also the setting for the John Buchan novel The 39 Steps. And Michael Palin has also stayed several times!
If you have ever fantasized about staying in a proper castle then Glenapp is for you! It actually takes several minutes of driving to reach the castle once you are through the gates as it is set on 36 acres.
The castle itself is like something out of a movie. Towers and turrets and wonderful views from all the upper windows. There are 17 guest bedroom suites and each is individually decorated. My suite was extremely spacious and I felt like I was in The Crown!
Glenapp features a three AA Rosette restaurant and a six-course menu. Ingredients are locally sourced where possible. Wonderfully, quite a few ingredients come from the actual gardens of Glenapp – rhubarb was in season when I visited and it featured in several dishes.
It would be impossible to get bored at Glenapp as there are so many activities on offer. The castle is located near the sea and the hotel has its own boat for personal hire. There are many beautiful walks on offer, archery, falconry and much more.
The Ayrshire Coast is absolutely stunning. Trump Turnberry has a fantastic location on the edge of the sea with amazing views of the water. This is the home of indulgent luxury from the plush bathrobes to the Italian marble bathrooms.
The Spa at Turnberry is not to be missed. It offers any and all treatments you could imagine and uses ESPA and ishga products. The Spa area contains a pool for laps or relaxing as well as steam, sauna etc. Oh and a gym if you must!
Turnberry is famous for its golf and guests can play the Ailsa course, home of four Open golf championships. If golf isn’t your thing there is pheasant shooting, Culzean Castle, clifftop walks and of course Scottish Whisky tastings nearby.
Of course, Turnberry offers some great dining experiences. Whilst I enjoyed everything I ate during my stay I must call out the buffet breakfast. Wow! Everything you could imagine was on offer and the quality of the produce shone. I was particularly impressed with the Scottish salmon and the fruit selection. The pancakes were pretty good as well!
Cromlix & Chez Roux
Imagine if one of your favourite friends had a stunning country house. It would be decadent yet unpretentious, stunning yet comfortable and the food would be great. This is Cromlix. It genuinely felt more like visiting an amazing home rather than staying in a hotel.
The house dates from the early 15th century and was re-opened in April 2014. It is located only a few miles from Dunblane and less than an hour from Glasgow. The house has 10 bedrooms and 5 suites. The suites are very generous in size. An entire family would have been comfortable in my lovely suite!
Then there is the food. From the gorgeous plates featuring red crested roosters to courses that resembled works of art, there is incredible attention to detail. A particular highlight for me was the vividly green soup of Cromlix Wild Leek and Potato. And I mustn’t forget the scrambled eggs with caviar and smoked salmon – the perfect way to end a wonderful week exploring Luxury Scotland!
Amanda OBrien is Owner of The Boutique Adventurer. The Boutique Adventurer focusses on luxury adventures in emerging destinations that end with a high thread count on the sheets in the evening.
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