Photo courtesy Fonab Castle Hotel
Looking for a memorable Scottish vacation? World traveler Caleb Dearsley shares this list of the best luxury castle hotels in Scotland for 2023
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Scotland boasts a rich history, stunning scenery, and a deep connection to the past. One of the most iconic symbols of this fascinating country are its many beautiful castles. Dotting the landscape from the Lowlands to the Highlands, these iconic old structures provide a unique glimpse into the country’s long, fascinating history.
Fortunately for those of us who can’t get enough of these grand old buildings, many of these historic old fortresses and country estates have today been granted new lives as castle hotels. With their tall turrets, sturdy battlements, and thick stone walls, these magnificent century’s old buildings stand as testament to Scotland’s proud past, offering visitors a chance to experience the country’s rich heritage in a truly unique and unforgettable way.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a fun family vacation, or simply a chance to immerse yourself in Scotland’s fascinating history and culture, a stay in one of the country’s castle hotels is the perfect way to do it. From remote and secluded island castles to grand and imposing properties in the heart of the city, there’s a castle hotel in Scotland waiting for you.
the best luxury castle hotels in Scotland
Fonab Castle Hotel, Pitlochry
Set in a picturesque location in Pitlochry in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the elegant 5-star Fonab Castle Hotelgives guests a unique experience in one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings. Built in 1892 on the shoreline of Loch Faskally, this historic manor house castle has been lovingly restored to its former glory and now offers up a luxurious stay in an historic setting.
Each of its 34 individually styled rooms feature a mix of traditional and modern features, all of them boasting breathtaking views over the loch and the stunning Scottish landscape beyond.
Time to dine? Be sure to sample the delights of the castle’s award-winning restaurant which uses fresh, locally sourced produce. Afterwards, enjoy a nightcap in the castle’s bar, the perfect place to relax with a dram of whisky in front of a roaring fire.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Fonab Castle Hotel
Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fort William
The 5-star Inverlochy Castle Hotel is set in a magnificent 19th century castle located just a short drive from the Fort William Golf Club. Built in 1863, this stunning castle was once the residence of the British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. Today, the castle has been transformed into a luxurious hotel offering guests a chance to experience the grandeur and history of Scotland’s past.
The hotel boasts 17 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, each decorated with traditional Scottish flourishes and luxurious furnishings. You can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside, as well as modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and comfortable beds and bedding.
A highlight of a stay at what’s definitely one of the best luxury castle hotels in Scotland is to enjoy a meal in the property’s award-winning restaurant. Popular with locals as well as guests, it serves up delicious Scottish cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. Afterwards, beat a retreat to the castle’s bar for a dram or two of local whisky.
The hotel also offers a variety of fun activities for you to enjoy including hiking, fishing, and golf.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Cornhill Castle Hotel, Biggar
Cornhill Castle Hotel is a magnificent castle hotel located an hour’s drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Built in the 19th century, this stunning 4-star property has been beautifully restored and renovated to provide guests with a truly luxurious experience. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the River Clyde, this elegant castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
With just 12 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, each of which is individually designed and decorated to the highest standard, you’re guaranteed a classy, comfortable stay. The rooms feature antique furnishings, luxury bedding, and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. You can also enjoy the castle’s on-site restaurant, which serves delicious Scottish cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Cornhill Castle Hotel
Dalhousie Castle Hotel And Aqueous Spa, Bonnyrigg
Located just outside of Edinburgh, the 4-star Dalhousie Castle Hotel And Aqueous Spa is a historic 13th century fortress that has been transformed into a luxurious 4-star hotel. Once the seat of the Ramsay family, today this picturesque castle hotel offers guests a unique blend of history and luxury in its 29 beautifully appointed rooms and suites.
The rooms at Dalhousie Castle are furnished with antiques and feature luxurious bedding, high-end amenities, and stunning views of the surrounding grounds and countryside. The hotel’s world-class amenities include full-service spa which features a range of treatments and therapies designed to help you relax and unwind.
The castle’s on-site restaurant serves a variety of delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Other activities on offer include a range of activities such as archery, falconry, and fishing.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Dalhousie Castle Hotel And Aqueous Spa
Barcaldine Castle, Oban
Located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands near Oban, 16th century Barcaldine Castle is undoubtedly one of the most stunning castle hotels in Scotland. The castle was once the home of the Clan Campbell and is now a luxurious retreat for travelers looking to experience Scotland’s rich history and stunning scenery.
With just six beautifully appointed rooms and suites, each decorated in a traditional Scottish style, you’ll enjoy a level of peace and tranquility that’s rare in most modern-day hotels. Along with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, all rooms feature modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and luxurious beds and bedding.
This 4-star hotel also features an on-site restaurant that serves delicious cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Barcaldine Castle
Crossbasket Castle, East Kilbride
Rated one of the top castles to stay in Scotland, Crossbasket Castle is a luxurious 17th-century 4-star hotel located in East Kilbride near Glasgow. This 4-star hotel has a total of nine opulent rooms, all of them decorated with a blend of modern and traditional Scottish décor. Each room is equipped with modern amenities such as a flat-screen TV, a minibar, and free Wi-Fi, and boast excellent views.
The hotel has several amenities of note, including first-rate fine-dining experiences at the Michel Roux Jr Restaurant. Serving a variety of traditional Scottish and French dishes, it’s a popular spot to dine for locals and hotel guests alike. This plush hotel also has a bar and lounge, a tennis court, a fitness center, and a spa.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Crossbasket Castle
Glengarry Castle Hotel, Invergarry
Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Glengarry Castle is a magnificent 19th-century 4-star hotel which offers up a unique opportunity for you to stay in one of Scotland’s most attractive historic buildings. The castle, situated on the banks of Loch Oich, boasts spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
Highlights of your stay include relaxing in your choice of one of the hotel’s 26 beautifully appointed rooms, each decorated in a traditional Scottish style with luxurious furnishings.
The castle’s restaurant is a must-try and offers an extensive menu of Scottish cuisine, while the cozy bar is the perfect place to relax with a drink in front of the roaring fire. Guests can also explore the surrounding countryside by hiking, biking or fishing, and can take a tour of the local whisky distillery.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Glengarry Castle Hotel
Glengorm Castle, Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Set on the beautiful Isle of Mull, Glengorm Castle is an historic 19th century castle hotel which offers guests a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience Scotland’s rugged and wild natural beauty. Set in 5,000 acres of stunning countryside, this luxe 4-star hotel offers a range of outdoor activities for guests to enjoy.
The castle hotel features just seven luxurious rooms, so never seems too busy. Each room is decorated in a traditional Scottish style with luxurious furnishings and sumptuous décor.
Feeling peckish? The castle’s restaurant offers a range of dishes using locally sourced produce, while the cozy bar is the perfect place to relax with a drink after a day exploring the local area. Guests can also enjoy hiking, fishing, and mountain biking in the surrounding area, or take a boat trip to the nearby islands.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Glengorm Castle
Dornoch Castle Hotel, Dornoch
Located in the charming small town after which it’s named, Dornoch Castle Hotel is set in a 15th century Scottish castle that’s been transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel.
The castle retains much of its original charm with period features including thick stone walls, ornate fireplaces, and a spectacular spiral staircase, but has been tastefully updated with modern amenities. The 24 rooms are individually designed and decorated with luxurious furnishings, while some rooms offer original features such as vaulted ceilings or a four-poster bed.
Be sure to sample the castle’s restaurant which serves fresh, locally sourced produce with stunning views over Dornoch Firth. The hotel’s Whisky Bar features an impressive collection of over 100 whiskies, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring attractions and fun things to do in the local area.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Dornoch Castle Hotel
Barony Castle Hotel, Peebles
Batting far above its humble 3-star rating, Barony Castle Hotel is a magnificent 16th century castle hotel located in Peebles the Scottish Borders. The castle was once the home of the Murrays of Blackbarony and has been lovingly restored and transformed into a luxurious hotel.
The hotel features 78 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, each of which is decorated in a traditional Scottish style. In addition to mod-cons such as flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi, most rooms come with great views over the surrounding countryside.
The castle also features a good selection of guest amenities including an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, and a steam room. There’s also an on-site restaurant.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and reservations, visit Barony Castle Hotel
Travel Writer Caleb Dearsley lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, and loves to travel.
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