‘Being here makes even a committed atheist feel holy,’ wrote a reader after a visit to Iona and a stay at this hotel, occupying a row of crofters’ cottages.
On the idyllic shores of Loch Shiel, with views of Ben Nevis, this old stone mansion has a traditional, romantic air. Panelled walls are hung with paintings; there are log ﬁres, fresh ﬂowers, and Scottish meals cooked with a French twist. Whether you want a small civil ceremony, a sit-down meal for 50 or a marquee on the lawn, a coordinator will help plan the day. Book a cruise on the loch, bring the band, and make a ﬂoating ceilidh of it.
Sweet flows Rabbie Burns’s beloved River Nith, past the garden of an old manse that the poet knew well. Owned by Jane and Ian McAndrew, it is swept up from the Shortlist on a wave of reader approval.
Stone eagles mark your arrival at the gates of Nick and Charlotte Dent’s ‘impressive’ Victorian hunting lodge, down a single-track road, its lawns lapped by Loch Gairloch.
A ‘little jewel’ in a secluded setting, this small baronial mansion is enveloped by sweeping manicured lawns within acres of woodland.
One of Scotland’s first country house hotels, the turreted 1920s mansion in tranquil, ‘elegant gardens’ is owned by Mark and Christopher Forrester, grandsons of two of the original founders.
In mature woodland and gardens, Jan and Adam Moore’s relaxed and pet-friendly Scottish country house hotel is in an 18th-century former sporting lodge.
‘Scottish country house living on a grand scale.’ Near the mainland’s northern tip, this Georgian mansion is surrounded by woodland and waterfall on the Forss river, a fishing hot spot.
Heathery tones and tweedy fabrics bring a breath of fresh Orkney air to this family-run hotel in two Victorian villas just outside the city centre.
‘A real star, we enjoyed our stay,’ enthuse Guide regulars, who visited several hotels on either side of this year’s Scottish cruise. ‘It was by far our favourite.’
‘A very special place,’ say guests in 2019, of Sian and David Ibbotson’s Victorian hunting lodge overlooking the Irish Sea. ‘The accommodating hosts went out of their way, more than once, to ensure we had a terrific time.’
‘They make you feel welcome and at home’ at Sally and David Ruthven-Fox’s dog-friendly hotel ‘by the shores of Loch Sunart and surrounded by hills’.
‘A wonderful and special place from which to explore this magical island.’
‘As ever, very enjoyable, and three minutes from the ferry terminal.’ The Urquhart family’s ‘busy, buzzy' café/bar, bookshop, hotel and cultural hub hits all the right notes.
‘Excellent food’ and a ‘lovely’ welcome await visitors to Tim and Patricia Martin and Neil King’s former manse overlooking the Maldivian-blue seas and sugar-white sands of a bite-shaped cove.
Throw a party in the circular stables ballroom at this 17th-century mansion, or go for something more intimate in the Stuart Room or Italian room. Then how about a night to remember in a silver- leaf sleigh bed in a room with an antique chaise longue and trompe l’oeil drapery?
‘A comfortable and friendly base,’ writes a trusted Guide reader and first-time visitor to Susannah and Stuart Macpherson’s ‘really lovely’ Highlands hotel.
With ‘wonderful views from the terrace, and handy for the ferry terminal’, Leslie and Margaret Crane’s hotel looks out across Oban Bay to the isles of Lismore and Mull.
‘In a superb position overlooking Badcall Bay’, this 18th-century church manse-turned-hotel gains a full entry at the urging of readers and a Guide inspector.
There is whisky galore on this Inner Hebrides island; bonhomie in the bar of this friendly hotel.
‘In the most beautiful position, with sea, islands and mountains in full view,’ this former Victorian piermaster’s house stands ‘right on the shores of Loch Linnhe’.
Lang may the lums reek at this remote restaurant-with-rooms on the shores of Loch Dunvegan. After 34 years, Shirley and Eddie Spear have moved on, but all is well.
'Stunning hotel, stunning views.’ A reader this year endorses John and Sylvia Matthews’s restaurant-with-rooms in an Edwardian manor house overlooking the Tweed valley
Guide stalwarts received ‘a most genial welcome from Chris the barman’ on arrival at Graham and Rachel Bucknall’s pub-with-rooms beside a bridge over the Union Canal.
‘Top of the range in every respect.’ Much praise from a Guide stalwart after this year's visit to the MacRobert Trust’s ‘wonderful’ hotel bordering the Cairngorms national park.
Last updated: November 08, 2017