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Best Hotels in the Highlands and Islands

GlencoeFlickr user Welsh Photographs

The Highlands and Islands is a loose term for the most enormous swathe of Scottish countryside as varied as it is vast! It covers all ground from Inverness to the North and then west from Fort William out towards the rugged but spectacular coastline, then beyond to Skye and Harris. The land is covered with beautiful mountain ranges, magnificent beaches and glorious river valleys. Catch it in the right weather, then you'll be hard pushed to find a more magical place in the world. Many of the best places to stay in the Highlands and Islands have spectacular mountain or sea views, some have both!

~Eilean Donan CastleFlickr user Juan Diego Godoy R

Things not to miss:

  • The islands in the region are spectacular and packed with variety. From the mountainous glories of Skye to the rugged beauty of Lewis, it's hard not be blown away by Hebrides.
  • Beaches abound all along the west coast of Scotland with some of the finest being on islands such as Barra, Tiree and Mull. For something truly unique, fly to Barra and land on the white sands of the world's only commercial beach runway (checking tide tables is advised).
  • For those keen on hiking, it's hard to look beyond Ben Nevis, the UK's tallest mountain.
  • Found at the Kyle of Lochalsh, Eilean Donan is one of the regions most significant landmarks with the castle playing a crucial role in Scottish history since the 13th century.
  • Inverness's fame has been mostly due to the nearby Loch Ness, which is full of charm whether you are looking for legend or landscape.
  • It's hard not to associate Scotland with it's most famous export: whisky. The Highlands and Islands are home to the world's finest distilleries, so don't miss out on the chance to do a whisky tour when in the region.

TobermoryFlickr user Ray in Manila

Our selection of the best places to stay in the Highlands and Islands echoes this variety with choices as diverse as Greshornish House, a remote but luxurious property situated on its very own peninsula on the northern shores of Skye or the Rocpool Reserve a chi-chi offering in the centre of Inverness.

The best places to stay in the Highlands and Islands

For foodies

Kinloch Lodge

  • The Albannach, a Michelin starred establishment perched above Lochinver Bay. Offering homely accomodation and sumptuous food, it's a great stopping point for gourmet travellers.
  • Kinloch Lodge on Skye, owned by food writer Clare MacDonald and her Clan Chief husband Godfrey, which boasts Michelin starred dining plus residential cookery courses, roaring fires and a very homely feel.

For luxury

The Torridon

  • The Torridon, a country escape on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon where opulence is twinned with contemporary design and 3 AA Rosette standard cuisine in the fine restaurant.
  • Glencoe House offers luxurious accomodation in a handsome baronial setting. Featuring lovely rooms, beautiful surrounding gardens and an excellent in-house restaurant, Glencoe House does things in style.

For Outdoor Pursuits

The Grange

  • Fort William is the 'outdoor capital of the UK', so if your launching off for an adventure, The Lime Treeis a great accomodation option. Stylish rooms, an in-house art gallery and an excellent restaurant all combine to create a stellar guesthouse.
  • If your looking for a luxurious place to retreat to after a hard days hiking, The Grange is a good choice. Set in a Victorian townhouse, it has lovely rooms and offers beautiful views out over Loch Linnhe.

For a house party

Arisaig House

  • Arisaig House on the Road to the Isles. This fine Victorian mansion is now run as a relaxed B&B, but also offers a great solution for larger groups. Book in advance and they can provide picnics to take to the beach plus set three course dinners.
  • Loch Ness Lodge is a brilliant party property too. It has seven sumptuous rooms plus a highly skilled chef who provides creative and contemporary "Franco-Scottish" cuisine. On top of all this it has a top notch spa and great views over Loch Ness.

For a great B&B

Glenview

  • A delightful B&B out on the wilds of Skye, Glenview is a great option. Offering charming rooms, stunning views and an excellent restaurant focusing on local produce, it's the perfect base for a trip to Skye.

For Golfers

Links House

  • Royal Dornach is one of Scotland's finest golf courses and Links House provides the perfect base for playing this classic course. With spacious, comfortable rooms and a great dining option, it's a good place to relax after a day on the links.

For a holiday cottage

  • Sometimes the best option is a self catering property, especially if you are travelling with a group or friends or family. We recommend the selection with our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • The best options for flying to the Highlands and Island are either to go to one of Scotland's major hubs such as Edinburgh and hire a car or fly to smaller regional airports such as Inverness in the north or Stornoway for the Outer Hebrides.
  • Having a car is almost a necessity for accessing this area so we recommend visiting our online partner Holiday Autos.
  • Weather is difficult to predict in the Highlands but the summer is the best option for travellers looking to explore the area.

Still not sure?

  • Kinloch Lodge, Skye Isle of Skye 15 rooms from £280

    Foodies  -  Foodies won't be able to resist the stunning Michelin Star restaurant- check out the taster menu with excellent wine pairings.
    Romantic Break  -  A picturesque south Skype romantic retreat offering excellent food, roaring fires, chic suites and long country walks.
    Great walks  -  Venture on a Wild Walk with resident naturalist Mitchell Partridge, packed lunches are provided on request.
    Fishing  -  The area won't dissapoint, keen anglers can fish for salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    Stunning scenery, dazzling food and plenty of peace and quiet just a short drive from the Skye Bridge. The elegant and traditional rooms are filled with natural light. A cosy sitting room with an open fireplace is the ideal spot to unwind with a whisky and the restaurant serves exceptional food. See More

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  • The Albannach Hotel Sutherland 5 rooms from £385

    Foodies  -  Enjoy a 5 course dinner in the Michelin-Starred restaurant overlooking the surrounding mountains.
    Great walks  -  Testing hill climbs or less strenuous exploring around the coastal paths.
    Sailing  -  Boat trips to surrounding islands can be locally arranged.
    Views  -  Over the sea loch to the mountains beyond.
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    A charming country property in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands. Five rooms have been simply yet stylishly renovated with soft hues and modern bathrooms. Plays host to a fabulous Michelin-Starred restaurant (Scotland's most northern). Stunning rugged countryside to be explored. Magical. See More

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  • The Torridon Ross-shire 18 rooms from £220

    Bar  -  Over 300 Malt Whiskies available in the Whisky Bar not forgetting their very own Arcturus Gin and Cushie Doos Tonic.
    Restaurant  -  3 AA Rosettes
    Sailing  -  Sailing tours on S/Y a 13 m sailing yacht both within the loch and to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides.
    Sights nearby  -  Boat cruises available off the west coast for dolphins and if you're lucky whale watching.
    RestaurantGardenDisabled accessViews
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    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. See More

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  • Glencoe House Glencoe 7 rooms from £340

    Suites  -  The elegant suites with high celings and stunning views have separate sitting rooms and free standing baths
    Private dining room  -  Exquisite meals are served in the comfort of the guests suites, including afternoon tea
    Views  -  Wonderful views over the stunning countryside and lochs
    Back to Nature
    GardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    Once the home of Lord Strathcona, this handsome country house is set in ravishing Highlands scenery overlooking Loch Linnhe. Family and dog friendly, comfortable, spacious suites, some with open fires and superb in-suite dining. There is plenty to entertain the hearty from fly fishing to walking. See More

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  • The Lime Tree Fort William 9 rooms from £70

    Kayaking  -  The coast offers a number of paddling areas to get up close to nature
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Boutique
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendly

    This stylish hotel is situated in the heart of the North West Highlands. Being the 'outdoor capital of the UK' there are a plethora of activities on offer. The in-house gallery has contemporary art on show and the award winning restaurant serves seasonal, locally sourced food. A great country escape See More

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  • The Grange, Fort William Fort William 3 rooms from £130

    Views  -  Stunning views over Loch Linnhe to the Ardgour Hills
    Great walks  -  Plenty of Munros around or even attempt Ben Nevis
    Sights nearby  -  Just outside Fort William in the heart of Glencoe
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only establishment
    GardenViews
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Victorian townhouse turned luxury guesthouse on the western edge of Fort William. Stunning views over Loch Linnhe to the Ardgour Mountains and more activities in the area than you can possibly imagine. Traditional yet stylish bedrooms with sumptuous bathrooms and views to die for. See More

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  • Arisaig House nr Mallaig, Inverness-shire 10 rooms from £120

    Exclusive offer  -  Up to 15% off for group bookings
    Great walks  -  Walks to suit all from gentle strolls to strenuous hill climbs
    Views  -  Great views over to the Small Isles.
    House party feel  -  Great for parties!
    Tennis
    TennisRestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    Victorian country house turned luxury b+b set amid 19 acres on the Road to the Isles See More

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  • Loch Ness Lodge Inverness (Loch Ness-side) 7 rooms from £175

    Active Holiday  -  Active guests can try their hand at deer stalking, archery, quad biking, shooting, 4x4 off-road driving and husky sledding.
    Country Escape  -  A spectacular part of rural Scotland with dramatic views over across the water to a string of craggy mountains beyond.
    Kayaking  -  Book a two hour kayak trip to explore the lake from the hotel's private stretch of Loch Ness shoreline.
    Fishing  -  Anglers can book a fishing trip through the lodge, to catch trout and salmon further along the shores.
    SpaRestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Good Hotel Guide

    An elegant and intimate hotel in the heart of the Scottish Highlands overlooking the beautiful Loch Ness. Wonderfully warm service. Elegant rooms with antique furniture. Hearty breakfasts designed for a day outdoors. The perfect rural abode. See More

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  • Glenview Portree, Skye 3 rooms from £90

    Back to Nature  -  Escape to the picturesque, wild Scottish island of Skye with it's dramatic landscapes and stunning wildlife.
    Local exploring  -  The perfect base for exploring the amazing island of Skye, with cosy beds and hearty meals.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the iconic natural landmarks such as the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Trotternish Ridge.
    Great walks  -  There is superb walking around the nearby Trotternish Peninsula.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

    A charming and homely B&B run by helpful owners, on the picturesque island of Skye. The rooms are cosy and comfortable with stunning views of the Trotternish peninsula. The superb restaurant focuses on local produce such as oysters and venison. Perfect for a remote getaway. See More

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  • Links House Dornoch 8 rooms from £105

    Active Holiday  -  With golf on the doorstep, walking, shooting and fishing close by, it's the perfect spot for a weekend of country sports.
    Country Escape  -  After a long day outdoors, head in to the roaring fires and cosy sofas of the library and sitting room.
    Fishing  -  Great salmon fishing in the surrounding areas such as on the river Carron and Helmsdale.
    Great walks  -  Beautiful walking in the surrounding Highland countryside.
    RestaurantGardenParking

    Delightful highland hotel set on one of Scotland's most picturesque links golf courses. Its rooms have a distinctly Scottish feel with tweed headboards and tartan patterned quilts. The fine dining restaurant serves an ever changing menu of locally sourced delights and an extensive range of wines. See More

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Written by Sarah Empson

posted Tuesday, 5th January 2021