Photo of Aberdeenshire

About Aberdeenshire

A fertile, yet wild natural beauty, Aberdeenshire is a stunning Highland destination. Dramatic views abound, whether you’re surrounded by the rugged Grampians, ruined clifftop castles, or long stretches of windblown, pale sand coastline. It’s romantic too. Our picks for the best places to stay in Aberdeenshire include a one of-of-a-kind luxury hotel, some warm and welcoming country house conversions, a Malmaison in Aberdeen, and one of the best golf hotels in the UK.

Aberdeenshire’s boundaries encompass the Buchan coastline of picturesque fishing villages to the north east; lush farmland of low, craggy hills where the Aberdeenshire Angus cattle graze; the rather savage shapes of the Cairngorms National Park; and then to the east coast (and far south of the county) and the more peaceful St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve, known for its unusual flora and fauna. Amongst all this run walking and hiking trails, with the odd stunningly located golf course. Plus, Aberdeenshire has a huge number of castles, ruined and otherwise.

Aberdeen’s glittering grey granite has garnered fans among architecture buffs, and it’s also one of the best places to spot dolphins. Banchory is a charming choice for romantic getaways, tranquilly positioned on the banks of the River Dee; and Aboyne is also home to some of the best places to stay in Aberdeenshire. Tarland is another charming centre, with its own stone circle and Iron Age dwelling, and Braemar is a beautiful village close to Balmoral and Royal Deeside.

The Best Places to Stay in Aberdeenshire

For a Special Occasion

  • The Fife Arms is a seriously luxurious choice, with all the opulence of high Victoriana, and all the mod cons technology can provide. The 46 rooms and suites are all individually themed and designed, and the art collection is really something — the hotel is owned by art dealers, so you can expect to see the odd Picasso or Freud on the walls.

For the location

  • Banchory Lodge is in a surprisingly quiet spot, surrounded by lush grounds, but in the centre of pretty Banchory, right beside the River Dee. The building is a Georgian house, now Grade II listed, which has received sympathetic investment during its transformation into a 28 room hotel. Plenty of the building’s original features have been retained — open fireplaces, elegant moulding, coving, and carved wood, but the rooms now offer all the mod cons, plus a range of stylish interiors that make you feel like you’re guests at a well-to-do house party. The hotel’s hub is the bar, which is popular with locals, as well as hotel guests, and is also beautifully decorated, and from there you can spill out onto the terrace, or into the charming restaurant. 
  • The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa is a wonderful Scottish refuge on the outskirts of Aberdeen set on 11 acres of its own woodland. It's got a great spa, a conservatory restaurant known for its local produce and menus, and 400-strong wine list. The hotel has 42 rooms and suites, perfect for romantics, golfers, fisher-folk and walkers etc, but also for exploring Aberdeen.

Best Country House Hotels

  • TorNaCoille has been carefully converted from a beautiful baronial house, and now offers accommodation in 30 rooms and suites, ranging from small, simple and charming, to large and luxurious. The decor is very much in keeping with the style of the property, and each of the rooms is uniquely decorated. The gourmet restaurant is known for its Scottish cuisine and local produce.
  • Douneside House is a totally charming country house turned hotel, surrounded by pretty manicured grounds, and views of Royal Deeside and the Grampians beyond. There are just 14 rooms and suites, all of them with serenely green views. The restaurant specialises in local ingredients — much of which is grown on site — and there’s a cosy bar, plus pool, and gym. But the best thing about staying here is the welcoming atmosphere: everyone wants you have a good time, relax, and come back again.

For Golfers

  • Meldrum House is a magically historic country house hotel, converted from a 13th century Scottish baronial mansion — complete with turrets and heraldic crests. The hosts has 51 guest rooms and suites, decorated in a range of styles, from traditional charm to surprisingly contemporary flair, plus the atmospheric Cave Bar and a 2AA Rosette restaurant called Pineapple. Expect open fireplaces and plenty of whisky. Keen golfers take note: Meldrum also has its own 18 hole course.

For an Aberdeen City Break

  • Malmaison Aberdeen has more tartan than your usual Malmaison, but it does share many traits with its siblings: the chic bar and restaurants, the sleek and unique decor, with its luxurious feel and rather masculine romance, and the fun of it. It's in a great location very close to the centre of town. And highlights include its whisky bar and whisky tasting room. It’s also got a private wine tasting room. The gym, spa and private dining rooms come as Malmaison standards. 80 rooms and suites.
  • The Chester Hotel is a great pick for city explorers, converted from a rather elegant 19th century grey granite building, just a short walk from the centre of town (next door to the Malmaison). Its 64 rooms and suites are elegant too, with decor leaning towards bold Art Deco shapes and shades of grey. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to room size and features. There's also a restaurant serving fine dining, table d'hote style dinners with ever-changing menus and a chic bar.

Best Pubs-with-Rooms

  • The Cock and Bull is a fun and rather fancy gastro pub with rooms in Balmedie, about 20 minutes north of Aberdeen. Cosy and intimate, with bespoke decor that makes the most of this buildings old charms and original wooden features, the award-winning restaurant is known far and wide for its locally sourced specialities. Guest accommodation is in converted cottages opposite: just six rooms, all of them individually decorated. Great for golf trips to Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen.
  • Aboyne’s The Boat Inn is a totally charming, traditionally looking village inn with 16 surprisingly contemporary rooms and suites, a cosy pub and restaurant serving hearty pub grub. The fanciest of the rooms have free-standing baths under pitched roofs, and a private balcony or terrace. Downstairs in the pub guests will find roading fires in traditional stoves, and a great collection of ales. Perfect for walkers, golfers, mountain bikers and fisher folk.

Beat B&Bs

  • Lys-na-greyne is a luxurious B&B in Aboyne, with wonderful views of the River Dee. There are just six rooms, all spacious and light, decorated in muted greys and whites, with antiques and contemporary bathrooms. Ideal for fisher-folk and walkers, whisky tasting and horse riding.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Cottage?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Aberdeenshire’s local airport is Aberdeen International Airport.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Aberdeenshire is cool and damp year round, and its Highland spot means it gets regular snowfall during winter. As far as the weather is concerned there’s not a bad time to visit, but Aberdeenshire is most popular during the summer months, especially around the Highland Games in August. The golf courses, walking trails, canoe centres, rocking climbing walls, and mountain biking tracks are most popular in summer too.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Aberdeenshire

Best Hotels in Aberdeenshire

  • Malmaison Aberdeen Aberdeen 80 rooms from £95

    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection

    Typical of the Malmaison brand. Castle-like hotel bedecked with tartan upholstery and dark furniture. Intimate whisky snug, brasserie, bar, and relaxing spa. See More

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  • The Cock and Bull Aberdeenshire 6 rooms from £95

    Foodies  -  An award-winning restaurant serving locally sourced food.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    Stylish gastropub with rooms in Balmedie offering boutique accommodation in a cottage opposite the restaurant. Winner of Scotland's Gastropub of the Year in 2012 and 2013, it is a cosy and intimate setting serving locally-sourced produce. Great for golf trips to Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen. See More

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  • The Chester Hotel Aberdeen 72 rooms from £99

    City Style  -  The Chester Hotel is a great base from which to get to know Aberdeen
    Local exploring  -  See all that the city has to offer
    Great walks  -  Wander through Duthie Park Winter Gardens
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    SpaRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A short walk from the city centre, The Chester Hotel is set in a lovely 19th-century listed building. Combines original architecture with elegant contemporary features. Offers stylish rooms and meals at the fabulous restaurant are a must! Beauty treatments available. A top-notch chic city stay! See More

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  • TorNaCoille Banchory 30 rooms from £105

    Local exploring  -  A great base from which to explore the beautiful landscape and sights of Deeside.
    Sights nearby  -  Deeside is full of lovely castles such as Crathes Castle and Drum Castle.
    Fishing  -  Go fishing on the nearby Dee, one of the UK's best salmon rivers.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding countryside is full of lovely walking routes.

    Set in a lovely baronial house, TorNaCoille is an excellent hotel in Banchory on Deeside. Elegant rooms are adorned with luxurious beds and tasteful furniture. The hotel's excellent restaurant has a Scottish focus and utilises the best of local produce. See More

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  • Banchory Lodge Banchory 28 rooms from £109

    Romantic Break  -  With its beautifully stylish accommodation, superb food and stunning location, it's perfect for a romantic getaway
    Fishing  -  Fishing on the Dee is some of the finest in Scotland, and there is a beat at the bottom of the garden!
    Local exploring  -  A great base from which to explore Banchory and the surrounding Royal Deeside area.
    Great walks  -  There is superb walking for all abilities and the Deeside Way can be accessed from the hotel's grounds
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    Overlooking the banks of the river Dee, Banchory Lodge is a true Scottish retreat. Elegant rooms, an atmospheric bar and an excellent restaurant all come together to form a superb hotel. A great spot for keen fisherfolk who can cast a fly from the bottom of the hotel's garden. See More

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  • The Boat Inn Aboyne 16 rooms from £125

    Families  -  The laid back atmosphere, unfussy restaurant, and endless outdoor activitie makes this a great option for a family getaway
    Active Holiday  -  Whether you want to mountain bike, hike, horse ride, or even ski — there is a huge array of outdoor pursuits
    Great walks  -  With the 'right to roam' in Scotland there is a vast expanse of countryside to explore either guided or self-guided
    Restaurant  -  Traditional pub food is served in the restaurant
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

    A traditional village inn with hearty cuisine and nicely renovated accommodation. Rooms keep the building's original charm but now feel fresh and contemporary. The best have in-room freestanding bathtubs. With good ales, roaring fires, and pub grub — this is the perfect base for an outdoorsy break. See More

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  • Lys-na-greyne Aboyne 6 rooms from £140

    Great walks  -  The surrounding area is full of beautiful walking routes.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the nearby Craigievar Castle and Kildrummy Castle.
    Fishing  -  Superb salmon fishing on the nearby Dee.
    Restrictions on children  -  Over 10s only
    GardenViewsParkingNo pets

    In a picturesque position overlooking the River Dee, Lys-na-greyne is a luxurious B&B. Boasting plush rooms with modern interiors and spacious bathrooms, Lys-na-greyne is perfect for a relaxing break. With excellent fishing on the doorstep, it's a great base for a fishing trip to the Dee. See More

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  • The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa Aberdeen (Pitfodels) 42 rooms from £170

    Spa  -  Beauty care and therapeutic treatments for both men and women
    Restaurant  -  Fine dining which showcases the best of Scottish produce
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    SpaRestaurantGardenPet friendly
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Small Luxury Hotels

    Delightful Scottish refuge in 11 acres of woodland on the edge of the historic city of Aberdeen. Elegant and spacious bedrooms, Conservatory restaurant with extensive wine list, luxury spa. See More

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  • Meldrum House Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire 51 rooms from £175

    Golf  -  Meldrum House has its own superb 18 hole parkland golf course, and there are others nearby
    Local exploring  -  The ideal base for exploring Aberdeen's Whisky country
    Restaurant  -  Pineapple boasts 2 AA Rosettes and offers the freshest local seafood and meat.
    Great walks  -  There are fabulous walks for all abilities in the surrounding countryside.
    Air conditioningRestaurantGarden

    A stunning historic country house hotel in the heart of Aberdeenshire's whisky country. Smart rooms and suites: some traditional, others in the new wing totally contemporary. Atmospheric cave bar and 2AA Rosette Pineapple restaurant. Plus a highly recommended golf course. Simply superb! See More

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  • Douneside House Tarland, Aberdeenshire 14 rooms from £200

    Fishing  -  On the River Dee nearby
    Views  -  Over the Dee valley
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    Situated in the heart of Royal Deeside, Douneside House is a perfect country retreat. Come for delicious food, comfy beds and total relaxation See More

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  • The Fife Arms Braemar, Aberdeenshire 46 rooms from £320

    Other Activities  -  Stalking and shooting all available by arrangement
    Artworks  -  Picasso, Freud, Bruegel to name just a few
    Opulent  -  Check out the Royal Suites
    Fishing  -  Fishing on the Dee
    RestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    High Victoriana meets modern luxury at the miraculously reinvented Fife Arms in Braemar. A destination as much as a place to stay, come here to celebrate and relax, or to walk, stalk or fish. Hotel of the Year, The Sunday Times. See More

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