For a small nation Scotland has a thriving tourist industry and with that comes a wide range of accommodation from budget B&Bs to sleek five star establishments offering every possible luxury you can think of! With a country of such a diverse landscape and so many different things to do and see, it is no surprise that it’s tricky to select your definitive list of the best hotels north of the border. Our guide to the best hotels in Scotland will enable you to select the perfect hotel whether you want to explore the highlands, taste Michelin starred cuisine, or simply treat your other half to a spot of retail therapy via a city break to Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Best Hotels in Scotland for City Breaks
City breaks in Scotland generally mean a night or two in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, but let’s not forget Inverness, which has been thriving of late, or of course Aberdeen, Scotland’s third largest city.
Edinburgh is awash with places to stay; from city centre boutique hotels to trendy B&Bs slightly further out where comfort and service are the name of the game.
Prestonfield has long been a favourite with visitors to Edinburgh. It embodies country house grandeur and sophistication, yet is only five minutes from the Royal Mile and is perfect for those looking for a city bolthole that is glamorous and romantic.
Slightly further down the budget scale, yet ideally located in the West End, the B+B Edinburgh is actually more like a private club than B&B: public areas feature Victorian wooden panelling, painted ceilings and walls covered with portraits of previous owners. The bedrooms by contrast are cool and contemporary in design and some have simply stunning views over the capital.
94DR is one of a growing number of “boutique” guesthouses, situated slightly further from the centre, but offering a quality product with the emphasis on personal service. It offers good sized rooms with luxury trappings, plus a breakfast to die for!
Roomy B&B in Edinburgh's West End. More like a private club or a boutique hotel, awash with Victorian character. Come for the exclusive feel without the exclusive prices and the brilliant central location.
Boutique guest house on southside of Edinburgh, 10-15 mins walk to the centre but on bus route. Good size rooms with luxury trappings and fabulous breakfast. Great views of Arthur's Seat. Friendly, laid back.
In Glasgow, despite the lively nightlife, designer shops and fabulous architecture, it is harder to get enthusiastic about a great deal of the hotels. Our current favourites are Blythswood Square and ABode Glasgow.
Blythswood was converted from the Scottish institution that was the RAC club, it now offers stylish contemporary accommodation plus a luxury spa in the West End of town.
The ABode Glasgow is the northern outpost of Michael Caines’ chain of affordable city hotels and has all the features you would expect: huge comfy beds, cashmere throws, plus great food!
A luxury spa hotel in Glasgow's West End. Its landmark heritage creates an imposing facade, but its contemporary interiors and wellness spa create modern comforts suited to stylish city breaks. The glorious penthouses and many private rooms are ideal for corporate or social entertaining.
93 rooms from $316
Suites - Also penthouses with private lift, terrace, bar, dining room, rooftop views.
Edwardian Glasgow meets modern style, in the heart of the city
59 rooms from $112
Sights nearby - Situated a few minutes from Glasgow High Street, walking distance to all of Glasgow's major attractions
If a trip further north is your thing, how about a break at the Rocpool Reserve in Inverness? This chic, modern townhouse hotel overlooks the river, features the Chez Roux restaurant (overseen by Albert Roux) and is a short walk from the castle and city centre.
If Aberdeen is your destination, Marcliffe at Pitfodels is a grand hotel on the edge of town with elegant, spacious bedrooms, newly opened luxury spa and Conservatory restaurant specialising in seasonal local produce.
If luxury is not your style or simply out of your reach financially, our guide to the best hotels in Scotland can offer plenty of cheaper alternatives that don’t necessarily skimp on service or personal touch just because they’re not costing two arms and a leg.
Craigatin House in Pitlochry offers a chic, adult’s only, bed and breakfast option. All rooms are individually designed, without even a splash of tartan! It is a brilliant choice if you want to enjoy the great outdoors with superb walking and fishing on the doorstep, plus culture in the form of Pitlochry’s well-reviewed Festival Theatre.
Also in Perthshire the Victorian spa town of Crieff has the excellent Yann’s at Glenearn House – a restaurant with rooms – which is popular with locals and visitors alike. With the owners hailing from Chamonix, the theme is unashamedly French with vintage skis on the walls and a bistro style restaurant serving French classics alongside Savoyarde specialities such as pierrade and fondues.
A few miles to the south the Barley Bree is another stylish restaurant with rooms, also with a French owner! The former coaching inn is located in the pretty conservation village of Muthill and boasts 2 AA Rosettes for its cuisine, plus six individually designed bedrooms. Both are ideal if golf is your game – it’s a short drive to Gleneagles, without having to mortgage your house for the stay!
Scotland’s reputation for its produce is well known: wonderful game, shellfish, beef and much more. There are now a growing number of establishments that are putting Scotland on the map not just for the standard of the produce, but also for the quality of the chefs that are using them. There an ever expanding number of Michelin starred eateries and many of the best hotels in Scotland offer top notch restaurants with AA rosettes to back up their claims; no longer do you have to equate Scottish cuisine with the deep fried mars bar.
The Peat Inn has been a popular foodie haunt for years now and the standard seems to just get better. It is certainly off the beaten track, located in rural Fife, but is well worth the drive if delicious food and luxury suites are what you’re after. Plus St Andrews is just down the road for golfers or simply a blustery walk along the beach.
Even more remote is The Albannach, with its beautiful position and breath-taking views over Lochinver Bay. It is the UK’s most northerly Michelin starred establishment and is well worth the trek if you’re looking for a spot of romantic seclusion with dramatic scenery plus luxury accommodation and outstanding food. Book the Byre suite and you’ll even get your own private terrace with hot tub from which to admire the local landscape.
Kinloch Lodge on Skye is another foodie favourite. A short drive from the Skye Bridge, this 17th century former hunting lodge is the highland home of Lord Macdonald and his wife Claire (the food writer). It has a very relaxed home from home feel; rooms filled with family photos, warming log fires, and plates of home-made fudge if you can’t quite wait for the gourmet delights produced by head chef Marcello Tully.
Stunning scenery, dazzling food and plenty of peace and quiet a short drive from the Skye Bridge.
15 rooms from $486
Restaurant - One Michelin Star and 3 AA Rosettes
Cooking classes - 3 day residential cookery courses with Clare Macdonald.
Views - Great views from hotel
Romantic - Good for couples.
Best Hotels in Scotland for Getting Away from it all
Scotland is the ideal destination if a break away from it all is your holiday of choice. Drive an hour from the central belt and you can find yourself in the middle of nowhere with nothing but stunning scenery and wildlife for company. Journey even further and you can almost believe there’s no one else on earth but you!
Our favourite hotels in this category are certainly all remote, but some are slightly closer to the bright lights than others! Pool House is a romantic hideaway on the shores of Loch Ewe, about an hour and a half west of Inverness.
Family owned and managed it oozes charm and character and is bedecked with antiques and objets that have been collected from travels around the world. Pool House will suit anyone looking for a retreat with glorious views on Scotland’s unbeatable west coast.
Also in Wester Ross and not a million miles from the Pool House, you’ll find The Torridon, a country house hotel located on the shores of Loch Torridon. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and reached via 10 miles of single track roads, it will not disappoint.
You’ll be welcomed into the lap of luxury with sumptuously decorated bedrooms, award winning food and a whisky bar that’ll leave you speechless – not just through over-indulgence – it features over 350 different malts!
The Colonsay is an unpretentious retreat on the island of the same name. Built in 1750 as an inn for the locals, it remains very popular with both islanders and visitors. Colonsay is a tiny haven off the west coast and only accessible by ferry from either Oban or Islay.
The hotel enjoys a lovely position located on a hill above the harbour and has superb views over to neighbouring Jura. The feel is very laid back with comfy sofas, books and games, roaring log fires. There is certainly something for everyone here be it playing on the sandy beaches, spotting seals, fishing or simply a round of golf or game of tennis.
Country escape on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon. 53 acres of park and woodland provide many outdoor activities. Scottish country house opulence twinned with contemporary designs. Seriously good restaurant and whisky bar.
Unpretentious nine bedroomed hotel on the beautiful island of Colonsay. Great for families and those seeking a break in a laid back Hebridean hideaway. Old house charm, roaring log fires, restaurant and bar.
Looking for sheer indulgence, then Scotland can certainly deliver. There are an increasing number of luxury hotels where one’s every whim is taken care of! Some of the best hotels in Scotland offer pampering and delights more usually expected from properties in the capital or certainly those closer to other forms of civilisation.
The Balmoral flies the flag for luxury in Edinburgh. Part of the Rocco Forte stable, it is stylish and sophisticated with understated design by Olga Polizzi. Marry that with unbeatable service and Michelin starred dining and you end up with “THE” place to stay in the capital.
Journey over to the west coast and you discover the Isle of Eriska, situated on its own island. It boasts golf course, luxury spa, award winning food and lavishly decorated rooms. For that something extra special, book one of the cottages or spa suites for their gardens with private hot tubs.
Inverlochy Castle has been synonymous with super luxury for many years now and has a guest book full of famous names which bear this out. It is impressively grand and truly luxurious with service standards to match, plus Michelin starred food in dining rooms with furniture gifted by the King of Norway.
Quietly confident, stylish, sophisticated and efficient...THE place to stay in Edinburgh, right above Waverley station. Part of Rocco Forte Collection and boasting Michelin starred restaurant, comprehensive spa and over 150 bedrooms. The old railway hotel transformed into a grande dame.
So whether a boutique Edinburgh B&B floats your boat or you’re looking for a remote retreat on the West Coast swathed in tartans, our selection of the best hotels in Scotland offers a comprehensive list of all that is good about this country of myriad landscapes, buzzing cities and rich cultural heritage.