THE MAGIC OF SCOTLAND
There’s a magic about Scotland that’s difficult to describe. After just one visit, there’s a magnetic draw that pulls you back to the wild mountains and rugged beaches again and again. It will steal a piece of your heart, mesmerising you with its beauty and bewildering you with its rich history. So, it's no surprise that Scotland’s luxury hotels have seen a dramatic increase in demand since the easing of travel restrictions earlier this year. As many of us look to book a much-needed autumn staycation, we reveal Scotland’s most sought after 5-star hotels, and luckily for us, they are right on our doorstep.
SCOTTISH TOURISM SURGE
To many, luxury travel means the white sands of tropical shores, cocktails sipped under palm trees or sunbathing on the pristine deck of a superyacht. But there’s a different kind of luxury waiting to be discovered in Scotland’s lush green countryside, vast lochs and breathtaking heritage buildings. The easing of travel restrictions post lockdown saw an impressive 438% increase in online searches for luxury Scottish hotels, as more and more holidaymakers decided to travel north to take in the beautiful scenery, bag a Munro, and cycle the woodland trails. And what better way to end the day than in 5-star luxury - savouring fresh local produce and unwinding in plush surroundings, with a glass of the finest whisky, perhaps under a cosy Cashmere blanket to beat the autumnal breeze?
THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
In a comparison between September, last year and this September, luxury hotels in the Highlands saw a 60.8% jump in online interest. In particular, the stunning Inverlochy Castle Hotel has experienced an increase in demand of 220.8% year on year. The 19th-century Baronial mansion is located in Fort William, two miles from the historic Inverlochy Castle, after which the hotel was named. Guests can enjoy a luxurious stay in one of the hotel’s 17 bedrooms and suites, boasting enviable views of the grounds and private loch, or the unique Gate Lodge positioned within the grounds.
‘Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle’ offers the finest dishes using local produce, served in one of the hotel’s three dining rooms. Each dining area is decorated with period and elaborate furniture presented as gifts to Inverlochy Castle from the King of Norway.
WHAT TO DO
Outdoor activities are abundant near Inverlochy, from hunting and shooting or a Loch Ness cruise to guided walks up Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
WHAT TO WEAR
You will want to be warm for autumn days spent exploring the Highlands. Lots of layers and a winter coat will beat the chill, with a hat, cashmere scarf and gloves just in case. The dress code for dinner at ‘Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle’ requires gentlemen to wear a jacket.
GLASGOW & THE CLYDE VALLEY
Our study revealed that Glasgow & The Clyde Valley region saw an increase in searches totalling 37.3% between September 2020 and September 2021, while the luxurious Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow city centre, saw a remarkable uplift of 250%.
The iconic Hotel Du Vin is set in a tree-lined Victorian terrace in the fashionable West End of Glasgow, only 30 minutes from Loch Lomond. The luxury boutique hotel has 49 stunning bedrooms and suites with fine Egyptian linen, deep roll top baths and plasma TVs. The hotel’s bistro promises a dinner full of fresh, seasonal ingredients in a relaxed, friendly environment, with impeccable service.
WHAT TO DO
Explore the city on the hop-on, hop-off bus tour or pay a visit to the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Glasgow Cathedral is a popular choice, as is the atmospheric 1833 cemetery, the Necropolis. Of course, you can pass the time shopping or dining in the city centre too.
WHAT TO WEAR
Anything goes in Glasgow, whether your style leans towards smart or casual. You might choose to dress up for an evening out, but it isn't essential. Remember to pack warm outerwear, though, along with a scarf or stole, as the weather can be unpredictable.
The Kingdom of Fife is brimming with rustic villages and towns along with castles, museums, galleries and fantastic wildlife. It stands to reason that interest in the area increased by 20.3% following the lifting of travel restrictions in April. St Andrews’ Old Course Hotel enjoyed an uplift in searches amounting to 94.7%.
The prestigious Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa overlooks the famous Old Course and the West Sands Beach. The hotel has 175 elegant rooms, including a penthouse suite, and is recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts. French designer Jacques Garcia designed the rooms and interiors.
WHAT TO DO
The Old Course at St Andrews is the world’s oldest and most iconic golf course. Golfers of a suitable handicap (a maximum of 36) can book or enter a ballot to play here, while the area in and around St Andrews holds beautiful parks, architecture and beaches. St Andrews itself, known as the home of golf, offers breathtaking views of West Sands Beach and the North Sea. Step back in time down the storied cobbled streets to explore ancient castles, stately homes, and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world.
WHAT TO WEAR
Be sure to pack appropriate separates for both indoor and outdoor pursuits during your time in Fife. Lightweight, layering fibres will be suitable for galleries and museums and can be doubled up or worn under a coat if the temperature drops. The dress code at the Old Course Hotel is smart casual.
A HISTORICAL TREND
As a family brand whose roots run deep within the heart of Scotland, it’s wonderful to see more and more tourists enjoying our beautiful country - a place that has been drawing return visitors for longer than you might imagine. Queen Victoria loved the location, returning to the Highlands many times following her first trip in 1842. Anyone who visits Scotland will always treasure the memories of their time here. Visit us this season, and you might just find you don’t want to leave.