The land of tartan and tweed, Scotland’s rolling green hills dotted with medieval castles and historic manor homes have long attracted a loyal coterie of Caledonian connoisseurs. But more recently demand grown louder than a piper on the loch and bevy of new and newly restored luxury hotels have opened their doors in the past year.
Upon check-in at Cameron House on the banks of Loch Lomond in the heart of Trossachs National Park, the sound of a helicopter whirring overhead is an audible reminder of the juxtaposition of old meets new.
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Set in a 17th-century Baronial-style mansion, the hotel reopened after undergoing a full restoration in 2022 following a fire. The makeover added a land-to-lock experiences via helicopter or seaplane, a modern new wing (that includes oversized balconies with loch-facing views), a luxe Leisure Club, a sprawling spa, and even a cinema.
With a collection of luxury golf hotels and resorts around the country, Dornoch Station in the Scottish Highlands also reopened in August. Sporting modern guest rooms, the fresh design that draws heavily on tradition from golf to the local hunting cabins and lodges, prevalent in the area.
Billed as one of Europe’s most prestigious hotels in the birthplace of golf, Old Course Hotel has been elegantly restored. Set along the 17th hole of the world’s oldest golf course, the hotel now includes a new rooftop restaurant, spacious suites, and award-winning Kohler Waters Spa. This fall, Old Course partnered with three-time Olympic swimmer Keri-Anne Payne and hosted its inaugural cold water wellness retreat.
Set on 850 acres of scenic countryside, Gleneagles Hotel has served as one of Scotland’s most iconic countryside sporting estates since it opened in 1924. In addition to the country’s only two Michelin-starred restaurant, Gleneagles is the first five-star hotel in Scotland to offer immersive CBD spa experiences. The Gleneagles Townhouse opened as a sister property in Edinburgh last year, and the member’s club style approach has attracted a younger clientele through a variety of social events and guest lectures.
Just 10 miles from Balmoral Castle in the cradle of Scotland’s Cairngorm mountains, the Fife Arms was restored in 2021. Set inside a Victorian coaching inn in the oh-so-charming village of Braemar, the hotel has been breathing new life into the Highlands ever since, from its contemporary art collection to wild wellness experiences, foraging walks, and striking Art Deco cocktail bar.
Meanwhile on the legendary Isle of Skye, the Bracken Hide Hotel opened this spring. The self-described wilderness retreat offers a sustainable stay in one of 27 en suite cabins, Estonian saunas, and a chance to dip into a “wild plunge pool,” all in one of the bonniest and most sought after locales on earth.
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