Luxury Scotland & The Guinness Book of Records

Who would have thought that Luxury Scotland’s very own Monopoly Set would end up setting a new World Record! 

We were recently contacted by Neil Scallon who holds the Guinness Book of Records for owning the most Monopoly sets. When he found out we had created a new set, he made sure to quickly include it in his collection which happened to be his 2000th edition. It took Neil 12 years to reach this number and Luxury Scotland’s set was the one to make him achieve it.

A few weeks ago Neil went to the Monopoly Museum in Charleroi Belgium (which is open until end of this year) to display our set and celebrate the occasion among fellow Monopoly lovers. Next month he flies to Australia to receive his official certificate for his 2000th edition of different monopoly sets. The certificate will be given to him on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! The reason for that is that after purchasing a few more sets, his 2017th set in 2017 will be Sydney Opera House.  Our set has excellent company to be with.

The count last year which was 1677 editions was filmed for the One Show and Gyles Brandreth was dressed up for the occasion. Neil sent 1999 pictures of front and backs of the monopoly sets and videos being counted and letters from The Mayor of Crawley and Mayor of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Our set is a collectors dream not just because of great picture on front and content but being a rare corporate edition which collectors love to find and buy.

Neil has so many sets that they are kept securely in a warehouse.

If you would like to buy your own, our sets are available online, visit: https://goo.gl/EbHHa7 

 

Guinness Book of Records for Monopoly

Guinness Book of Records for Monopoly - Neil Scallon

Guinness Book of Records for Monopoly - Neil Scallon

 

Outstanding Culinary Experiences at Five Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Scotland

For many international visitors planning to visit Scotland for the first time, the words “Scottish cuisine” calls to mind a plate of haggis and oats. But that’s a dated stereotype, and today Scotland is a land of memorable dining experiences crafted by talented chefs who use the bounty of the local lands and waters in their creations. In fact, Scotland boasts 13 Michelin starred restaurants, five of which are located at members of the Luxury Scotland (previously Connoisseurs Scotland) family of luxury hotels.

 

Visitors wishing to take a culinary tour of Scotland will have the opportunity to cover some ground in this picturesque country, as the properties featuring Michelin star dining span the map. From the Boath House  in the charming coastal town of Nairn to Martin Wishart at Cameron House on the lush shores of Loch Lomond and Kinloch Lodge on the breathtaking Isle of Skye, many of these luxury dining experiences also come with epic views. In the capital city of Edinburgh, 21212 is a “restaurant with rooms” serving fine dining in a city-centric location, while nearby Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles—the only two Michelin star restaurant in Scotland—delights foodies and golf lovers alike.

 

The Latest News From These Outstanding Restaurants

 

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles—Scotland’s only two Michelin star rated restaurant—recently added another culinary feather to add to its cap when it became the first Scottish restaurant (and one of only seven in the UK) to be inducted into Les Grande Tables du Monde, a collection of some of the most illustrious gastronomic restaurants in the world. Les Grande Tables du Monde, which was founded by a group of legendary Parisian chefs in 1954, brings together a select group of the most distinguished and celebrated restaurants around the globe, all of which boast long-standing two or three Michelin star ratings. “It is a phenomenal honor to be listed next to such highly renowned chefs as Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse and my wonderful mentor, Michel Guerard,” said Chef Andrew Fairlie. “The founding ethos of Les Grande Tables du Monde totally chimes with our own: a deep respect for culinary traditions, a natural emphasis on the craft, and a focus on the art of hospitality.”

 

Food and nature come together at the Boath House in Nairn, where the distinguished restaurant boasts one Michelin star as well as four rosettes from AA. The menu regularly features an exciting variety of “wild foods” like foraged mushrooms and herbs, plucked fresh from nature’s larder and incorporated into the chef’s imaginative dishes. This only makes sense for a property that’s also lauded for its 22 acres of lawns, walled garden, orchard, wildflower meadow and vegetable and herb gardens. In an effort to better unite the culinary and natural elements, later this year the Boath House will open a rustic café located in the walled garden, which will offer a garden-to-plate menu with many ingredients sourced from the surrounding gardens. A wood-fired oven and a more casual dining environment will complete the rustic picture.

 

At Cameron House in Loch Lomond, the one Michelin starred Restaurant Martin Wishart has undergone a complete makeover. The elegant and stylish—but also relaxed and calming—environment was redesigned to put guests at ease and encourages them to be fully open to the fine dining experience offered at this upscale establishment. This spring, guests can opt for the six-course tasting menu featuring innovative dishes like citrus marinated royal sea bream with quinoa, avocado and ponzu and a saddle of Borders Roe deer with onion, bone marrow and long pepper sauce for £80, or go for the three-course lunch menu for just £32.

 

Feeding the “body and soul” is the mission at Kinloch Lodge, the historic, family-run inn located on the wildly beautiful Isle of Skye. The property’s remote coastal location is not only part of its charm, it’s also a source for the fresh seafood always present on the Michelin starred restaurant’s seasonal menu. Brazilian-Scottish Chef Director Marcello Tully offers creative dishes like sea bass and monkfish lime and coconut, and a house-cured salmon wrapped in seafood mousse. For guests who want a better view of how the alchemy of Chef Marcello’s food works, the Chef’s Table is a special ledge for dining up close with a sneak peek into the kitchen. Behind the privacy (and safety) of a glass wall, guests can watch the chefs prepare dinner, as well as be guided through the menu and experience by Chef Marcello himself.

 

Those wishing to have an epic culinary experience in Scotland’s capital should look no further than 21212, Edinburgh’s only Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms. The unique hotel and restaurant, which holds one Michelin star and four AA rosettes, is located in a Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace and features commanding views to the Firth of Forth and beyond. And while the atmosphere is certainly incredible, the star of the show is the restaurant’s creative, French-inspired menu, which changes weekly to reflect the freshest seasonal ingredients. This spring, several packages make the journey to 21212 even more enticing. A mid-week offer, valid Tuesday to Thursday, includes luxury overnight accommodation and three course dinner for two for £275 ($345 US). An extended weekend package invites guests to stay Saturday night and get Sunday for only £75 ($94 US).

 

 


 

Members of Luxury Scotland include five of the world’s finest golf venues, three castles, one of which was voted to be the best hotel in Europe; city-center properties; country house hotels; exclusive-use properties; a range of world-class spas; an all-suite hotel; the ultimate luxury train, Belmond Royal Scotsman; and the only cruise ship in the world with a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen, Hebridean Princess. Five members boast Michelin-starred restaurants, including Gleneagles, which has the only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Scotland. Information about Luxury Scotland, its members, partners and special offers can be found at www.luxuryscotland.co.uk.

 

 

Luxury Scotland announces Partnership with Dunnet Bay Distillery and its Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka

Any trip to Scotland invariably includes a whisky tasting or distillery visit – whether along the world-famous Malt Whisky Trail, at a hotel or restaurant or at a local whisky shop.

With 115 distilleries and centuries of practice, it would be near impossible to shake the whisky industry from the top branch. But with more than 70% of gin made in the UK now coming from 22 Gin distilleries in Scotland, it is hard to not take notice. There is even a Gin Trail.

Along those lines, Luxury Scotland, an association of 29 of Scotland’s top resorts and travel entities, has partnered with Dunnet Bay Distillers, one of Scotland’s newest distilleries. Known for its handcrafted Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka, these limited productions will be available in all of Luxury Scotland’s member’s hotels as well as purchasable at the House of Bruar, one of Scotland’s most prestigious independent stores.
The family-run Dunnet Bay Distilleries began operation in 2014 and has already won numerous accolades including Top 50 Food & Drink Products in Britain. Working with the oldest still makers in the world, the company built “Elizabeth,” a traditional copper still pot. Ingredients, such as Sea Buckthorn, Rowan Berries and Rhodiola Rosea, are all sourced in and around Caithness, set in Scotland’s most northern county with sweeping vistas and a stunning coastline. After 18 months of effort, using 80 different botanicals and undertaking 55 experiments, Rock Rose Gin was born. Since that successful launch, the company has added several other gin flavors and seasonal variations such as Navy Strength and Winter Edition.

They have also produced the award-winning Holy Grass Vodka, named for its use of Holy Grass, found on the banks of the Thurso River.

To learn more about Dunnet Bay Distilleries visit www.dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk

 

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The Ultimate Scottish Road Trip – North Coast 500

 

ultimate scottish road trip

Luxury Scotland are working in conjunction
with the Lang Atholl Experience to bring you the
Ultimate Scottish Road Trip.

roadtrip info

Suggested Route Map around the North Coast 500

map

Luxury Scotland: www.luxuryscotland.co.uk
Lang Atholl Experience: www.langathollexperience.com

For full details contact LANG ATHOLL EXPERIENCE
on +44 (0) 3333 444 231 or email on: enquiry@langatholl.com

terms

These are the terms and conditions of Lang Atholl LTD. Throughout this document Lang Atholl LTD are described by the collectives “us” or “we”. Please take the time to read these carefully to ensure that all terms are adhered to by yourself and Lang Atholl LTD to make the most of your time with us.

PRICING: Listed price is a “from” price based on 2 people sharing (room and car). Upgrades are available and will be offered.

PAYMENT: Payment can be made in full or can be made in instalments of one third of the full cost up front and the next two instalments of the same fee (one third of full cost) made over equal intervals leading up to four weeks before the tour where full payment must be received.
Payment can be made via bank or sent by cheque as per details that will be received on the Lang Atholl Limited Invoice which will be raised when an enquiry is raised by the client

SUPPLIERS: Lang Atholl Limited acts only as agents for the owners of accommodation and services provided and for road transport proprietors, and all bookings must be accepted subject to the ticket or transport conditions and regulations of the carriers and accommodation providers or transport proprietors, and also subject to the laws of the country (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) in which such carriage or other facility is required.

PASSPORTS, VISAS & HEALTH: All clients are personally responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport, relevant visa/s and conform to the health regulations required by the country/s that will be visited during the trip. Lang Atholl Limited can only provide information on how to obtain/renew passports and visas. Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from your Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers or your Department of Health.

CANCELLATION: You or any member of your party may cancel your trip at any time providing that the cancellation is made by the person who signed the booking form and is communicated in writing. As this incurs administration costs we will retain the deposit and in addition will apply cancellation charges as shown below:
The periods before departure within which written cancellation is received and the cancellation charges, shown as a percentage of the total holiday price, which will be applied are:More than 60 days full deposit retainedMore than 22 days 25% of booking total chargedMore than 15 days 50% of booking total charged14 days or less 75% of booking total charged
If you are obliged to cancel, you may, with reasonable notice, transfer your booking to a third party who satisfies the conditions required taking that trip, but we will retain your deposit to cover the administration cost for the transfer.

ALTERATIONS BY LANG ATHOLL LIMITED: We will do our utmost to provide the trip arrangements that have been confirmed, but we must retain the right to modify or cancel any trip, accommodation or arrangement, if unforeseen circumstances amounting to ‘force majeure’ arise. In such circumstance, we will inform you as soon as possible, and, should the change be such that it alters the nature of the trip, we shall give you the choice of an alternative trip or a full refund of all money paid. In recognition we will absorb all financial loss consequent upon cancellation due to ‘force majeure’. We shall not cancel any trip for reason of political tension or natural disaster unless specifically recommended to do so by the Foreign Office.
Lang Atholl Limited also retain the right to make any changes to any transport method and car hire. In these unlikely circumstances an alternative method or car will be sourced which will be of a similar standard to those mentioned in your original booking.

ALTERATIONS BY YOU: We will do our best to make any alterations you may require after confirmation has been issued, subject to availability and to the payment for any increased costs relevant to the change. Any requests for alteration to an itinerary should be made in writing and signed by the signatory of the original Booking Form. If alterations are made less than 8 weeks prior to departure, an additional £50 per booking charge will be levied together with any communications costs incurred.
Due to the nature of this tour it is imperative to mention that any changes made by you to our tour offering may also affect point of origin and final destination of the tour.

TOUR CANCELLATION: The prices of tours are based on a varying minimum number of passengers travelling. If this minimum number is not reached, at least 8 weeks prior to the scheduled departure date we will either, cancel the tour and offer a refund in full, or we may propose a supplementary charge to enable said tour to operate, subject to the passenger’s agreement.
Prices may rise or fall due to numbers of clients attending the tour which in the case of a cancellation or change to the tour will be met by the client.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: It is imperative that you take out adequate travel insurance to our reasonable satisfaction. We take no responsibility for any injuries or loss to you incurred whilst you are taking part in any optional activities that are outside our packages. We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive insurance cover for cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, personal baggage, money and public liability before you travel. We will require you to let us have evidence of your insurance at least 8 weeks prior to departure or at the time of booking if later. We reserve the right to terminate your booking if you fail to obtain travel insurance cover. Particular care should be taken to ensure that you have adequate cover, in particular for cancellation and emergency repatriation in the event of medical problems.

BAGGAGE & PERSONAL EFFECTS: These remain your responsibility and risk at all times.

LANG ATHOLL GUIDES: Where applicable, a Lang Atholl Guide, in conjunction with the appropriate medical advice if applicable, has the right to disqualify any client at any time during the course of the tour, if considered necessary for the medical well being or safety of the individual or in the tour leader’s opinion, the client’s actions materially are affecting the enjoyment of the tour for the remainder of the group. Any decision with regard to any reimbursement for any part of the tour not completed will be decided between the Managing Director of Lang Atholl Ltd and the Guide.

ALCOHOL: Due to the self-drive nature of the tour it is imperative that clients adhere to the drink driving laws of the country where the tour will be taking place (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, specifically Scotland). For larger groups there will be a tour guide present who will breathalyse any member of the tour who is suspected of being over the drink drive limit before entering any of the cars, it is the client’s responsibility to ensure he/she adheres to the drink driving laws of the country and not that of Lang Atholl Limited, even if a guide is present. If this is the case the member in question will not be allowed to drive for that day and will spend the day in the lead vehicle. For smaller groups and if a guide is not present it is the clients responsibility to ensure that they have adhered to all drink driving laws and not the responsibility of Lang Atholl Limited. Due to this fact all meals are included in the price however no alcohol will be included. Guests are welcome to drink when away from the cars as long as they do so responsibly and still meet the limits the following day.

CAR HIRE TERMS: All Terms & Conditions are subject to the terms & conditions of the Lessor’s Vehicle Rental Agreement which will be provided to the Hirer prior to the hire period.
1) Insurance. Fully Comprehensive Insurance included for the Hirer/Insured Driver ONLY. All drivers are subject to approval by the Insurance Company. Other drivers are not allowed to drive the car under any circumstances. Additional driver insurance is available on request. Vehicles must remain within British mainland or the insurance is void. Overseas insurance may be available on request.The Hirer may use the vehicle for the purpose of their business and for social domestic and pleasure purposes. The vehicle may not be used for any purposes for which they are not expressly designed. Further, the Hirer will not use or permit the vehicle to be used for hire, driving tuition, towing, racing or pace-making, or for competing in any rally, or any other form of motor sport, track days, use on an airstrip etc., or for any illegal purpose whatsoever. Breakdown cover is included.
2) Driver Information/Identification. Aged between 30 – 70 years. (Others on application). Driver must have held a driving license for min 5 years. If the drivers licence is one issued out with the UK then a modest surcharge will be added to the total package costs to allow for rigorous checks to be carried out by the insurance company on the licence and its holder. No persons engaged in professional entertainment or professional sports without the specific approval of the insurance company. Driving Offences – maximum of 6 points. No convictions for drink/drug driving, dangerous/careless driving within past 5 years.Passport; 2 utility bills (last 3 months); & current driving license required for verification of identity prior to vehicle hire. Car handover may be filmed for added security of both parties.
3) Hire Times/Mileage Allowance. Each 24hr hire includes 150 miles. Each additional mile will be charged at £2 per mile if arranged previously or £4 per hour if not arranged beforehand.4) Payment/Deposit/Excess. A non-refundable booking fee of £100 is payable to reserve each car. The balance of the hire costs must be paid two months prior to hire date or in full if booking is made within two months of proposed hire date. A returnable security deposit of between £4,000 and £5,000 is required per vehicle hire. This is processed as a debit or credit card “pre-authorisation” on the day before the hire, and then cancelled on safe return of the Supercar. We reserve the right to increase the security deposit prior to hire of vehicle, subject to notification.The security deposit is used as:(1) A security bond.(2) For payments towards any mechanical damage which is not covered by the Insurance. e.g.: Tyres, wheels, clutch, gearbox, etc. which was sustained during the hire period due to misuse and abuse, excluding normal wear and tear.(3) Insurance Excess against any accidental damage, loss or theft caused to the vehicle by the hirer or a third party.(4) Any additional charges incurred during the hire period. e.g.: excess mileage, petrol reimbursement costs, parking charges, speeding fines, etc.
5) Cancellation/charges
The Booking is not valid until confirmed by the Lessor Company. The following charges apply for cancellation by the Hirer:Less than 14 days: 100% of hire charges & booking fee.15 – 28 days: 75% of hire charges & booking fee.29 days – 2 months: 50% of hire charges & booking fee.The £100 booking fee is non-refundable.
6) General
All cars are subject to availability. Actual vehicle specifications may vary subject to availability. Whilst every endeavour will be made to supply the make and type of vehicle, the Lessor cannot bind itself to do so, as circumstances beyond its control may prevent this. Driving may be postponed in extreme weather conditions (e.g. strong winds, snow or flooding) which could make driving the cars potentially dangerous. Please call us to confirm if relevant. Liability is limited to a refund of the hire charge. No consequential loss liability will be covered. Smoking is not permitted inside the cars.
7) Money Back Guarantee. Money Back Guarantee applies to the quality of the Supercar and the customer service given by Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd and does not apply to cancellations made by the hirer (normal cancellation conditions apply, please see point 5 above). Customers wishing a full refund must request the money back guarantee (and state reasons for such request) on delivery of the Supercar (before hire commences). Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd will simply take the car away and issue a full refund of the hire price (refund does not include booking fee and delivery costs where applicable). Supercars eligible for the money back guarantee are those owned by Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd and based in Chester. Money back guarantee cannot be requested after the hire has started, or anytime thereafter. Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd reserves the right to refuse any unreasonable requests for the money back guarantee. When you initially contact us to enquire about a Supercar hire we’ll make it clear to you whether your chosen Supercar is available from Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd. If it is not available, we will give you some advice on other options or even a quote based on your chosen Supercar being sourced from a trusted partner of ours. For sourced cars not owned by Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd, we cannot offer the money back guarantee. When booking with Northern Ferrari Hire Ltd, it will be made clear to you whether or not the Supercar is eligible for the money back guarantee.Guarantee does not affect your statutory rights.

TERMS & CONDITIONS OF ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS: Lang Atholl Limited acts as an agent during each tour linking up clients with accommodation providers and hire companies. While you are guests of Lang Atholl Limited you must adhere to the Terms and Conditions of each accommodation provider and hire company. When in each accommodation we have no liability of any incidents which may occur within the accommodation. When in the Supercars we are not liable for any incidents which occur within these cars all incidents will be passed directly to Northern Ferrari Hire Limited who will take necessary proceedings from there. Please seek further terms and conditions at the following links. By agreeing to Lang Atholl Limited terms and conditions you also agree to the terms and conditions located at the following links.

Details of the Accommodation Providers:
Kinloch Lodge – http://www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk
The Torridon – https://www.thetorridon.com
Inver Lodge – http://www.inverlodge.com
Dornoch Castle Hotel – http://www.dornochcastlehotel.com
Boath House – http://www.boath-house.com

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Renovations on Tap for Several Luxury Scotland Hotels

A number of Luxury Scotland Hotels are undergoing exciting developments with the recent debut of the US$132 million refurbishment of Trump Turnberry’s hotel and golf course, and the newly announced renovations on tap in 2017 for the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa and the 19th-century Victorian mansion Glencoe House.

The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St. Andrews has unveiled refurbishment plans that will see the undisputed “Home of Golf” get an upgrade in early 2017. The property, which is connected to the world-famous golf course, will undergo a total bedroom renovation. In addition to big picture renovation plans for guest rooms like all new interiors, windows, lighting and air conditioning, the resort also has plans to attend to the smaller details that help make their guests feel as though the experience has been tailored just to them: additional ergonomic electrical outlets for flexible workspace, closet lighting, full-sized mirrors and USB charging ports in every room. The refurbishment is due to start in early January, 2017 with a scheduled completion by mid-April. The hotel will be closed during the renovation period; however, the Jigger Inn and Ham’s Hame restaurants and The Duke’s Golf Course and Clubhouse will remain open throughout.

Glencoe House, situated in a historic mansion in Scotland’s charming Western Highlands, and the former home of Lord Strathcona, will nearly double the number of guest suites in 2017, from seven to 13. In fact, all the accommodations at Glencoe House are suites, ranging from an approximately 810 cozy square-feet suite for two to a roomy 1,600 square-feet suite for four that boasts uninterrupted views of Loch Leven and the Glencoe Mountains. Next year, the property will be adding six additional one-bedroom suites at The Stables, a historic building on the mansion’s private grounds dating back to 1896 that has previously served as an event venue for the hotel. Set near the shores of a 10-acre lake, the suites at the Stables will each feature a fully functional kitchen with AGA oven, wood burning stove and a private outside terrace with hot tub, BBQ and dining area. Dining at the Stables is extremely flexible: guests can dine on a seasonal five course menu served in the Great Hall in Glencoe House, or enjoy the spoils of their fully stocked kitchen and choose from the wide range of pre-prepared gourmet meals and accompanying wine or drinks from the popular maxi bar.  The new suites will range from 810 to 1,075 square-feet and will be available for rental starting April 1, 2017.

The refurbishment to famed Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort has been completed and was unveiled to rave reviews on June 1, 2016. Each of the hotel’s 103 bedrooms were redecorated with hand-carved, rich walnut mahogany and gold-gilded bedframes, and opulent Italian marble bathrooms. All of the resort’s meeting and dining spaces have been renovated and feature sparkling chandeliers throughout, and the Trump Turnberry clubhouse will now be home to an extended professional shop, upgraded meeting spaces and a new restaurant, The Duel in the Sun. The renovation of the iconic Ailsa course, home to four Open Championships, including the 1977 Duel in the Sun, was led by renowned golf architect Martin Ebert. All 18-holes have seen changes that allow for better play and a more integrated relationship between the course and it’s stunning coastal setting. In addition, the iconic Turnberry lighthouse has been transformed from one of the game’s most photographed backdrops to one of the most unique halfway houses (and an exclusive two-bedroom suite) following an impressive renovation.

Stay up-to-date with the hotel’s latest news and developments connecting via social media.

Historic Architecture: The Lighthouses Throughout Scotland

Located on the rugged coastline of Ayrshire, Scotland, the iconic Turnberry Point lighthouse – originally intended as a beacon for sailors – today beckons to golfers playing at one of the sport’s most legendary resorts, Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort and a member of the Luxury Scotland collection of luxury hotels.

The iconic Turnberry lighthouse has been the backdrop of countless photos taken by guests who come from all over the world to play here, but those golfers may not realize that this famed structure, which has stood here since 1873, has a significant history of its own. The lighthouse was designed by Thomas and David Stevenson, the father and uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, author of such literary classics as Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The lighthouse was built on the ruins of Turnberry Castle, which is reputed to be the birthplace of Robert the Bruce in 1274. It’s now part of a resort-wide renovation that will be complete in June; the lighthouse itself has been transformed into a halfway house for golfers who want a break at the turn of the world-famous Ailsa course, and it will also feature a two-bedroom luxury suite. VisitScotland, the country’s official tourism bureau, has declared 2016 the “Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design,” making it a perfect time for visitors to check out the handiwork of the rest of the Stevensons – the ones who used their pencils to craft blueprints rather than novels.

Thomas Stevenson was both a meteorologist and lighthouse engineer whose designs are considered legendary in the field. The youngest son of engineer Robert Stevenson, he designed lighthouses first with his older brother David and later with David’s son David Alan Stevenson. Thomas was said to be very disappointed that his own son, Robert Louis, chose a different path and didn’t pursue an engineering career like most of the other men in the family. From the span of 1854 to 1886, Thomas designed more than 30 lighthouses throughout Scotland – and it happens that other members of the Luxury Scotland collection of luxury hotels are located near some of his architectural masterpieces, providing an interesting themed itinerary for a journey along the coasts of Scotland.

Turnberry Point (1873) has a sister lighthouse, Ailsa Craig (1886), also located near Trump Turnberry, a resort whose Ailsa course has hosted four Open Championships. Located within 800 acres along the Scottish coast, the resort is noted for its golf academy, spa and a variety of outdoor pursuits. Currently benefitting from a £200 million (about $292 million U.S) investment, the hotel, lighthouse and Ailsa course are undergoing renovation and will reopen on June 1.

Davaar (1854) and Fladda (1860) lighthouses are located near Crinan Hotel, a family-owned property that was one of the founding members of Luxury Scotland. Each of its rooms has a spectacular view of the sea, and the hotel has become a haven for artists … perhaps aided by the fact that owner Frances Macdonald Ryan and her son Ross Ryan are both accomplished artists.

Kyleakin (1857) and Ornsay (1857) are both located near Kinloch Lodge on the Isle of Skye. The lodge is owned by Lord Godfrey and Lady Claire Macdonald, who is Scotland’s best known cookbook author. As would be expected, a visit to Kinloch Lodge always includes a memorable dining experience.

Corran Point (1860) is in the Scottish Highlands, near such legendary properties as Airds Hotel & Restaurant, Glencoe House and Inverlochy Castle Hotel:

  • Airds is located near the waterfront village of Oban, meaning that its chef has access to some of the freshest seafood available in the country. There’s an interesting Stevenson twist to the hotel … this time tied to that “other” Stevenson, the novelist. Events in Robert Louis Stevenson book Kidnapped took place right near Airds.
  • Glencoe House, named for this spectacular region of Scotland, was built by Lord Strathcona in 1896 before he moved to Canada and founded the Canadian Pacific Railway. It’s composed of a unique collection of suites that offer incredible privacy, including in-room dining service.
  • Inverlochy boasts 17 palatial bedrooms, each with its own design. It attracted Queen Victoria herself back in 1873, when she spent a week sketching and painting here.
    Fidra (1885) and Oxcar (1886) lighthouses are in the Firth of Forth in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, which is home to four Luxury Scotland member properties:
  • 21212 Restaurant with Rooms is a Michelin-starred restaurant that offers four sleeping rooms upstairs – with Bedrooms 1 and 21 providing views of the Firth of Forth.
  • The G+V Royal Mile is named for “George & Victoria,” a nod to the area’s royal heritage and the hotel’s prime location in the heart of Edinburgh, on the corner of the George IV Bridge, Victoria Street and the famed Royal Mile.
  • The Glasshouse is a boutique hotel located in the city center; highlights here include a two-acre rooftop garden and amazing views of Calton Hill, the neighboring World Heritage site.
  • The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa provides views of Edinburgh Castle and has recently introduced a “book room service” program – including, of course, some selections by Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

lighthouses

A pod of kayakers exploring the clear waters around Kyleakin Lighthouse. Highlands, Scotland.

A pod of kayakers exploring the clear waters around Kyleakin Lighthouse. Highlands, Scotland.

Scotland “Hooks” Anglers With Bountiful Fishing Opportunities

An island nation dotted with lochs and traversed by rivers, Scotland is easily one of the world’s top fishing destinations. The waters here provide a tremendous variety of fish for the eager angler: salmon populate the rivers; brown and rainbow trout swim in the country’s many still-water lochs; and skate, cod and pollock among others can be found all along the coast. Trout season typically runs from mid-March through the end of September, and salmon season lasts even longer, from February through October, providing a large window for anglers who are itching to cast a line in Scottish waters.

 

Fishing in Scotland comes with its own traditions and language. Anglers here typically work with a “ghillie,” the Gaelic work for man-servant, which is in essence what the role entails a ghillie is like a personal fishing assistant. An experienced ghillie will have expert knowledge of fishing on the local lochs and rivers, and will be able to advise on casting techniques and general fishing skills. He can also steer anglers to the best spots on the beat (a term that refers to a stretch of river where the fishing rights are held by a landowner).

For travelers looking to try their hand at fishing the bounty of Scotland, many of the 29 Luxury Scotland member properties have fishing programs that cater to anglers of all levels with a ghillie or without. And for those who like to reap the rewards of their hard work, several of these properties can also prepare the catch of the day and serve it up as a special celebration dinner.
       

Luxury Scotland properties offering fishing programs include:

·         Guests at the Airds Hotel and Restaurant can take advantage of bountiful fishing opportunities from this ideal Highlands location. Those wishing to fish for salmon or trout can cast a line at a nearby country park, where angling classes cater to both newbies and the more experienced. Sea fishing, mainly for skate, can be arranged through boats in the seaside town of Oban, located just a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Lucky guests who are successful in their fishing endeavors can arrange to have Airds’ head chef prepare their catch for dinner.

·         There’s a fishing experience for everyone at Cromlix, from simply borrowing a rod and lazily casting a line at the estate’s House Loch, to heading out with an experienced ghillie for a full or half day of fly fishing for wild brown or rainbow trout on one of the estate’s larger lochs. Fly fishing packages include instructions, gear, refreshments, and in the case of the full day experience, a packed lunch from the hotel’s restaurant, Chez Roux.

·         Six exclusive lochs located on Gleneagles’ 850-acre estate in Perthshire provide an ideal spot to fish for trout alongside the hotels skilled ghillies. Catches can be prepared by the chef for a celebratory meal, or chilled and vacuum packed to take home. Those angling for salmon can opt to be chauffeured to one of Scotland’s most famous rivers, the Tay, where a ghillie can help teach art of speycasting with a double-handed salmon fly rod.

·         On board the Hebridean Princess, guests can arrange for a sea fishing trip with experienced crewmembers aboard one of the ship’s tenders, or small boats. The most commonly caught fish here is mackerel, but guests can also angle for cod, codling, ling and Pollock. The galley is happy to prepare any fish caught for dinner that evening, and in the case of larger catches, the whole ship can enjoy canapés from the day’s haul.

·         With more than 200 trout lochs in close proximity to Inver Lodge’s Western Highlands location, trout fishing is a popular activity. Guests can rent rods and even have access to row boats to fish some of the larger surrounding lochs. Salmon fishing on the Inver and Kirkaig rivers can also be arranged, with ghillies available for hire for both experiences. A long-standing tradition at Inver Lodge encourages guess to have their fish prepared on site for dinner or breakfast!<

·         Inverlochy Castle offers a wide range of opportunities for anglers, including the private Loch Na Marag on the castle grounds and nearby access to larger lochs and river.  Fly, spinning and bait fishing for brown trout, pike and rainbow trout is available on the lochs accompanied by the ghillie. Seasonal salmon fishing is also available on the upper & lower River Garry.  The chef is happy to prepare the catch brought in by guests.

·         Salmon are plentiful in the heart of Perthshire, where Kinloch House Hotel is located. Beats are available on a daily or weekly basis, and anglers can fish from the bank, boat or by wading. Ghillies are on hand to give advice, or a private guide can be hired for the day. A one-day course introduces the art of salmon fly fishing to guests looking to take on this interesting pursuit, and teaches everything from casting to fly choices to lines and knots.

·         Salmon fishing is king at the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course, with several beats on the Tweed River in close proximity. Sunlaws, for instance, is an attractive beat that runs alongside the property’s 18-hole championship golf course; it boasts 1.2 miles of double-banked fishing with seven pools ranging from 4 to10 feet. Ghillies are available for hire for all salmon fishing trips, and the hotel’s restaurant, Chez Roux, can provide a packed lunch. A trout pond on the grounds is stocked with rainbow trout.

·         At the Torridon Hotel in the Northwestern Highlands, guests can try their hand at both fly and sea fishing. On Lochs Clair or Coulin, anglers can fish from either the banks or in a boat with an experienced and friendly ghillie on hand. The hotel also stocks a few fishing rods for those who want to explore the property and are looking for the adventure of walking to remote lochs and fishing for arctic char or brown trout.

Take the time to go through our website and learn more about Luxury Scotland properties, all of them offer exciting opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors throughout the year!

Food for Thought – Mid March News from Luxury Scotland

Luxury Scotland
Luxury Scotland Newsletter
Welcome to Luxury Scotland’s
Mid-March Newsletter

At Luxury Scotland we are rightly proud of Scotland’s growing reputation as a “foodie” destination. At this time of year, Chefs across Scotland, including those at Luxury Scotland’s luxury properties, are showcasing the finest and freshest Scottish produce, seafood and meats on their menus and elevating the concept of Scottish cuisine.

Amongst the many new food experiences you can enjoy in Scotland is a novel concept, ‘Dining in the Dark‘. The internationally renowned ‘Dans Le Noir’ dining experience comes to Scotland this Easter and is being hosted by The Old Course, Golf Resort & Spa in St Andrews from Thursday 24th March until Wednesday 6th April.

Dine in the Dark

Lunch, Dinner, Whisky Tasting & Overnight Experiences are available from £35.00 per person. I will let you guess what this enlightening evening has in store for the lucky diners. For more information go to www.dininginthedark.co.uk


At the Torridon, Chef David Barnett uses as many local, and in many instances, home-grown products as possible. The kitchen garden provides him with the majority of the salad that he uses, as well as fruit for the crumble which always goes down a treat with anyone dining at the Inn. The Torridon has its very own herd of highland coos and a sty full of Tamworth pigs which all feature on the menu.

The Torridon

Why don’t you pop in for lunch or an evening meal and try out some of the best the West has to offer? If you can’t do that but you are likely to be in the vicinity of Inverness on 19 May, then it’s worth knowing about a charity event being held that evening. Birchwood Highland dedicates its resources to people with mental health issues, supporting their recovery and helping them gain self-confidence.

The Torridon

The 19 May gala dinner will be held in the atrium of the new Inverness College and The Torridon’s own super chef David Barnett is in charge of the first course. The mains will come courtesy of Jamie Scott, winner of Masterchef: The Professionals, with desserts in the capable hands of Mark Dickson from Bunchrew House Hotel. Vegetarians will be looked after by Phil Stewart from cafe Nourish.

Tickets for the gala dinner cost £70 each and you can reserve your place today by emailing pauline.burnett@birchwoodhighland.org.uk

Wherever you travel in Scotland this year we hope have an opportunity to savour some of Scotland’s finest cuisine in one of our Luxury Scotland hotels.

Jeremy Hawkings

Jeremy Hawkings, Chief Executive, Luxury Scotland.
E: jeremy@luxscot.co.uk

Luxury Scotland Hotels and Their Literary Ties

Vacation is the perfect time to relax with a good book, and in support of that concept, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh has introduced a new form of room service called “Books in Bedrooms,” aimed at giving its guests the chance to buy signed editions from some of the city’s most celebrated contemporary authors. The hotel’s “Book Menu” includes selections from Kate Atkinson, Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin, but also a range of classic Scottish books, children’s books by local authors and guide books to the city. The hotel worked with a local independent bookshop owner, Gillian Robertson, to ensure that guests in any of the Sheraton Grand’s 269 bedrooms can order a book that will be delivered within minutes. But the Sheraton Grand isn’t the only member of the Luxury Scotland collection of luxury properties to tempt guests with a literary experience. Among the group’s 31 members are properties that have been the settings for books, some that pay tribute to great Scottish authors, and those that have offered a home away from home when writers needed a source of inspiration.

Knockinaam Lodge in Dumfries and Galloway, for example, is featured in the John Buchan novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, a classic murder mystery that was made into an Alfred Hitchcock movie in 1935. One of the hotel’s suites is named in honor of the story’s hero, Richard Hannay, who has a special knack for getting himself out of sticky situations. Modern guests won’t want to escape from Knockinaam, however … particularly if they opt for the second-floor Hannay Suite, which boasts a panoramic view of the bay that overlooks the Irish Sea and the Mountains of Mourne. The king-bedded room has a separate lounge area that extends nearly the entire length of the hotel, and its bathroom – which, among other features, has special underfloor heating – is home to a Victorian roll-top bath with a window right above it. In an area known for its stargazing (in fact, this region is home to the United Kingdom’s first-ever “Dark Sky Park”) this is a truly significant feature.

Buchan’s approach to the mystery novel has been said to have inspired Ian Fleming, another Scottish writer who certainly knew his way around a spy story. Cromlix, owned by tennis star Andy Murray near his hometown of Dunblane, has paid tribute to Fleming and other great Scots by naming each of the hotel’s 10 bedrooms, five suites and gate lodge in their honor. Literary luminaries who are celebrated here include Fleming, Robert Burns, Arthur Conan Doyle and J.M. Barrie. The rooms at Cromlix are subtly decorated in individual styles and feature 400-thread count Egyptian cotton bed linens, 32-inch televisions disguised as mirrors, and iPod docking stations. Each suite boasts a freestanding gold-, silver- or copper-finished bath … which, come to think of it, is the perfect place to dive into a great Scottish novel.

On that list of great works in Scottish literature, one is sure to find the Robert Louis Stevenson classic Kidnapped, which was inspired by true events that took place near Appin in the Scottish Highlands. Tensions were high in this part of the country after the famed Jacobite Rising of 1745, and a great mystery still surrounds the murder of Colin Roy Campbell, the local tax collector who was shot in the back while walking in the woods here. Though the chief suspect in the “Appin Murder” of 1752 was a man named Alan Stewart, whose clan had recently been evicted at the hands of the Campbells, Alan fled the area … leaving another member of the Stewart clan, James, to be arrested instead. Though there was much evidence to the contrary and James had what many considered an airtight alibi, he was nonetheless found guilty by a hastily assembled jury that included many Campbell sympathizers eager to retaliate against the Stewart clan. The incident went down in Scottish history as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice and today, more than 250 years later, the murder has never truly been solved. Airds Hotel & Restaurant is located in Port Appin, and its guests can hike through Lettermore Woods just off the coast road between Appin and Ballachullish to see a small memorial that marks the site of the murder that Stevenson made so famous in his 1880s historical adventure novel.

Creativity requires inspiration, and the Crinan Hotel on the west coast of Scotland – a property that happens to be owned by an artist – has hosted several writers over the years. It started in the 1940s with George Orwell, author of 1984; it’s said that when he was a guest at a farmhouse that can be seen from the hotel, Orwell would occasionally visit the hotel as he struggled to finish his novel. As the story goes, he narrowly escaped death in this area, as he took a small row boat through the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, which today can be visited (safely!) on a daily boat trip that the hotel offers on its own classic boat. More recently, esteemed physicist Steven Hawking vacationed here with his wife and daughter in the 1980s as he worked on A Brief History of Time; the long-time hotel staff says he tried to explain to “big bangs and black holes” on those trips. Other authors who have found time to relax here include journalist and broadcaster Andrew Marr, historical fiction writer Dorothy Dunnett, and international best-selling author Frank Delaney.

Renovations, New Builds and On-Site Classes on Tap for 2016

Luxury Scotland kicked off the new year with several new developments at member properties. Offerings range from new construction projects to renovations to the debut of on-site classes that will help make a stay extra-indulgent.

Set to debut in March at Knockinaam Lodge, located on the Dumfries & Galloway coastline which spans 200 miles, Shingle Lodge is a luxury cottage located just steps from the Irish Sea on the hotel’s beautiful grounds. With waves meeting the shoreline just a few meters from the living room of the lodge, the enticing seascapes witnessed through floor-to-ceiling windows invite guests to relax, re-energize and take in the peacefulness of their surroundings. Ideal for families or a romantic getaway, Shingle Lodge features two rooms with king-sized beds (which can be converted to twins), en-suite baths, a log-burning stove, fully equipped kitchen and private terrace. Guests are encouraged to make the short walk to the luxury, small hotel, to experience the award-winning Scottish-based cuisine for which Knockinaam is famous. Shingle Lodge is already proving popular with early bookings already being taken for this coveted, Scottish seaside spot.

Also located along the beautiful Ayrshire coast, Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, is currently undergoing a multimillion-pound refurbishment to the hotel and its Championship Ailsa golf course. Both are set to reopen on June 1. Each of the hotel’s 103 bedrooms is being lavishly redecorated with hand-carved, rich walnut mahogany and gold-gilded bedframes and canopies inspired by Turnberry’s own tartan, and opulent Italian marble bathrooms. All of the resort’s meeting and dining spaces have been renovated and feature sparkling chandeliers throughout, and the Trump Turnberry clubhouse will now be home to an extended professional shop, upgraded meeting spaces and a new restaurant, The Duel in the Sun. Opening in August 2016, the Donald J. Trump Ballroom, which features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Irish Sea, will have capacity for up to 500 guests. The renovation of the iconic Ailsa course, home to four Open Championships, including the 1977 Duel in the Sun, is being led by renowned golf architect Martin Ebert.

For travelers interested in learning the distinctly British pursuit of clay pigeon shooting, the newly refurbished Roxburghe Shooting School of Excellence is the ideal teaching ground for anyone from absolute beginners to accomplished shots. The Shooting School, located on the more than 500-acre grounds of the Roxburghe Hotel in Heiton by Kelso, offers a variety of professional coaching sessions for adults and children, as well as game shooting warm-up lessons and gun-fitting services. An hour-long lesson for adults starts at £80; junior lessons start at £55.

Foodies will want to hear more about two upcoming cookery demonstration events at Luxury Scotland member properties, both lead by Chef Albert Roux. For those not familiar, Roux opened London’s La Gavroche, which became the first restaurant in Britain to win a Michelin star. On February 23, Roxburghe Hotel will welcome Chef Roux, along with the Roxburghe’s own head chef Lee Pattie, as they teach some of their favorite cooking techniques while preparing a three-course lunch. Demonstration and lunch, which includes a glass of wine, is £49.50 per person. Greywalls Hotel in Muirfield is offering an overnight package complete with two cooking demonstrations hosted by Chef Roux and his granddaughter (an accomplished chef in her own right), Emily Roux. The festivities start on February 25 with a demonstration by Emily Roux followed by a four-course dinner served with matching wines. On February 26, after breakfast, Emily will lead a pastry demonstration alongside Greywalls’ pastry chef, William Grubb. A three-course lunch with wine will follow. The package, which includes accommodations, meals and demonstrations, starts at £395 per room for a cottage room.

Great Ideas for Short Breaks and Vacations in Scotland

To enjoy Scotland at its best, you need a range of hotels and destinations which reflect warm Scottish hospitality and the last word in Luxury.

In our 2016 brochure you will find 30 of the finest luxury hotels in Scotland, world class golf and spa resorts, city hotels, country house hotels and castles. Take time to explore our Luxury Scotland web site and you will find great ideas for your vacation or short break in Scotland. Our archive of articles will give you inspiration for activities, itineraries and those special places.

In our News & Offers section you will find a host of promotions including super savings at Lochgreen House Hotel in Prestwick and Airds Hotel in Argyll, complimentary half-term kids activities at Gleneagles and ‘out of this world’ star gazing breaks at Knockinaam Lodge Hotel.

Whatever you are looking for in a vacation we are sure you will find it in Luxury Scotland.

Wishing you a very enjoyable 2016.

Jeremy Hawkings

airdLochgreen House Hotel – 25% off DB&B rates in January

glen Complimentary Kids activities this February Half-Term at Gleneagles

knock Knockinaam Lodge Hotel: Sparkling break in Dark Sky Scotland

other January Sale at Airds Hotel – 30% off

 

Scotland’s newest luxury spa offerings for 2016

Scotland’s First “Spa on Rails” Debuts on the Belmond Royal Scotsman

With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to change old habits and start new routines…like reducing stress and taking better care of the body and soul with more frequent spa visits. A relaxing spa treatment adds to the restful ambience of a vacation and improves the ability to focus on ‘getting away from it all.’ Those lucky enough to head to Scotland in the new year will find several of Luxury Scotland’s luxury hotel members with new spa offerings, helping to ensure a stress-free visit.

Scotland’s biggest spa news for 2016 is the introduction of country’s first “spa on rails”—a brand new dedicated spa car aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman set to debut in April, 2016. The Haybarn Spa will offer two treatment rooms with an extensive menu of signature treatments including bespoke facials, massages, manicures and pedicures. For this exciting addition to the UK’s only luxury sleeper train, Belmond partnered with British artisanal brand Bamford to create the relaxing sanctuary complete with stunning views of the glens, peaks and lochs that dot the Scottish Highlands.  The spa was designed by Bamford architect, Spencer Fung, using Scottish sustainable wood from Bamford’s Daylesford Estate in the Cotswolds. The cabin-like feel of the treatment rooms will complement the luxurious surroundings of the train and offer the ideal retreat for guests.

Not to be outdone, Lochgreen House Hotel, located in Ayrshire, also plans to open a luxury spa on the scenic country house’s property in 2016. Plans call for a “relax lounge” featuring a wall of windows that overlook the Royal Troon Golf Club and the spectacular Ayrshire coast. Spa treatment rooms will be complete in early 2016, with the pool area in place by late summer.

East meets west with the new Serenity treatment at the award winning Spa by ESPA at Gleneagles. This fusion treatment includes a back massage, craniosacral treatment to the head area, facial cleanse and massage, shoulder and neck massage, Thai foot treatment, and culminates with the gentle, hypnotic experience that is Shirodhara. Shirodhara is a form of Ayurvedic therapy that involves gently pouring liquids—in this case, aromatic sesame oil—over the forehead to create a deep sense of relaxation. A 90-minute Serenity treatment is available for £150 (US $228), and a 2-hour treatment is £200 (US $304).

Therapists at the famous Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews ask guests to choose how good (or bad) they want to be in the new year with their Detox or Retox spa/accommodations packages. The Detox Package includes a revitalizing 25-minute treatment (either “Burst of Radiance” or a Custom Massage) and full use of the spa facilities including the fitness suite and the sauna and steam room to help melt away the pounds. A healthy breakfast at the Road Hole Restaurant and a Kohler Waters Spa pack complete the deal. For those looking to continue the season of indulgence, the Retox Package includes a two-course lunch at the Jigger Inn or Hams Hame Pub & Grill and full use of the spa facilities for chilling by the pool or relaxing in the rooftop hot tub. A chocolate turndown service at night and a full Scottish breakfast in the morning round out the package. Both packages are available from January 2 to March 31 (excluding Jan 10-15 and February 12-14) for £195 (US $296) per room, double.

To learn about some of Scotland’s best spa hotels visit this link.

Crossbasket Castle joins Luxury Scotland

We are delighted to welcome the magnificent Historic property Crossbasket Castle to Luxury Scotland. Crossbasket is a 14th Century castle in High Blantyre on the outskirts of Glasgow, it has been rescued from ruin and is set to open in spring next year as a luxury hotel, restaurant and event venue managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI).

Businessman Steve Timoney and his wife Alison Reid-Timoney bought Crossbasket Castle in 2011, a year after it was listed on Scotland’s Buildings At Risk Register. Over the last five years the couple have invested over £9 million restoring the building to its former glory as one of the area’s most beautiful historic homes.

They have also added a Grand Ballroom to the castle, which overlooks the stunning waterfalls on the River Calder and accommodating up to 250 event guests.

Anticipating huge interest from local people, corporate clients and prospective brides and grooms, ICMI and the Timoneys will open the doors for a one-off ‘sneak peek’ on Monday 21 December from 10am until 6pm. Albert Roux OBE, KFO, is crafting a menu for guests to sample some of the dishes they can expect when the restaurant opens next year.

Alison Reid-Timoney has personally designed the interiors, scouring Scotland to ensure each of the nine unique bedrooms, drawing room, dining room and library are furnished with antique 14th, 15th and 16th century pieces.

She said: “My husband and I have a passion for restoring old buildings and first spotted Crossbasket Castle over a decade ago. When we purchased it vandals had damaged the roof and interiors, it was leaking water and the walls were starting to deteriorate. Since then we have painstakingly restored it with a focus on using craftsmen to reinstate original features. Our aim is to create a sustainable business for our family that also supports the community we live in.

“We are honoured to have partnered with ICMI to reopen Crossbasket Castle as a luxury hotel. ICMI’s group of experts are the best in the luxury hotel sector and have a track record of success, most recently with Andy Murray’s multi award-winning Cromlix Hotel, the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course near Kelso and Fasque Castle near Aberdeen. We look forward to working closely with the team as they prepare to open Crossbasket Castle.”

ICMI already manage 12 other renowned independent properties around Scotland, including Inverlochy Castle, near Fort William, Greywalls Hotel in Gullane and Rocpool Reserve in Inverness. ICMI’s group of industry experts includes Albert Roux OBE, KFO, owner of Le Gavroche in London, the first UK restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars.

Norbert Lieder, ICMI’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Timoneys on this very exciting project to run Crossbasket Castle, and to be offering our guests a wonderful hotel near Glasgow.

“Alison has done a fantastic job with the restoration – I can honestly say her attention to detail and sympathetic restoration are first class.

“Our team of experts has experience in every aspect of the hospitality industry and specialise in working with independent properties and transforming them into luxurious destinations.

“I am confident that, in partnership with the Timoneys, we can create a very special hotel that is unique in the Glasgow area. While we aim to create a destination that attracts visitors from around the world we are also determined to ensure it remains a venue of choice for local people and becomes one of the premier wedding and event locations in Scotland.”

On the 21st of December there will be an Open Day at the property from 11am to 6pm.

 

For more information on this truly stunning property visit: www.luxuryscotland.co.uk/crossbasket-castle

Luxury Scotland Properties Offer the Royal Treatment

All Luxury Scotland Hotels have fascinating rich history, many have hosted an array of visiting celebrities and dignitaries including royalty, prime ministers and even a U.S. president or two. Some tales of these important guests appear below:

 

Fasque Castle
Located near Aberdeen in the Scottish Highlands, Fasque Castle was created and developed by two of Britain’s most prestigious families: The Ramsays of Balmain owned the Fasque Estate starting in the mid-16th century, and then the Gladstones of Fasque and Balfour bought it in the mid-19th century. John Gladstone was a Liverpool merchant who made his fortune trading with the United States; he ultimately became a member of Parliament before buying the estate in 1829. One of his sons was four-time British Prime Minister William Gladstone. Though Gladstone’s brother ultimately inherited the estate, it’s said that the Prime Minister loved Fasque and visited it as frequently as possible.

 

Greywalls
This country house in Gullane was designed at the turn of the 20th century for the Honorable Alfred Lyttelton by an architect named Sir Edwin Lutyens, who also designed buildings in New Delhi and the British Embassy in Washington. King Edward VII was reported to have stayed at Greywalls several times. During World War II, the home became a place for rest and relaxation for fighter pilots based at nearby Drem Airfield. Later in the war, the house was given over to Polish forces, who converted it into a hospital. In more recent years, the hotel has hosted some of the world’s leading golfers, who appreciate the proximity to neighboring Muirfield golf course.

 

Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Situated in the foothills of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s tallest mountain, Inverlochy Castle Hotel was built in 1863 as a private residence. The hotel is located about two miles away from the 13th-century castle for which it was named, and it became a hotel in 1969. Exactly 100 years prior to that, while the baronial mansion was still a private home, it hosted Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederate States of America. In a letter to his wife he wrote, ”The scenery about here is the grandest of all the sublime spectacles I have met in Scotland. You would find a wide field for your imagination in the mists and changing lights and shades which characterize the Scottish mountains.” Four years later the house welcomed Queen Victoria, who spent a week in residence. She is reported to have written, “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.” As a tribute to the monarch, the room she occupied is now called the Queen’s Suite.

 

Knockinaam Lodge
Knockinaam, located on the southern tip of Scotland, was the site of a secret meeting between U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (who later became that country’s president) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II. The meeting was said to be one of the best-kept secrets of the war era, despite the fact that residents of the nearby towns saw Churchill while he was in the area. It’s also reported that John Buchan, author of The 39 Steps, was referring to Knockinaam when he talked about a grey stone Victorian hunting lodge in his 1915 thriller that became an Alfred Hitchcock film 20 years later.

 

MV Hebridean Princess
The MV Hebridean Princess is the only ship to be granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen. The ship, originally commissioned in 1962, was built as one of the first three dedicated drive-on/drive-off car ferries to operate in Scotland’s Western Isles. Starting in 1983 – a time when the ship was known as the MV Columba – the Hebridean Princess became a royal yacht of sorts. First she hosted His Royal Highness Prince Charles (known in Scotland as the Duke of Rothesay), then she welcomed Princess Anne as a guest at a friend’s birthday party, and ultimately she was chartered by the Queen of England in 2006 to celebrate her 80th birthday with her family. The Queen returned for a private vacation with her family in 2010.

 

The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course
Formerly called Sunlaws House Hotel, this property has witnessed its share of drama. In June 1544, a period called the “Rough Wooing,” a roving band of Englishmen came to Scotland and burned down Sunlaws. During the first Jacobite uprising, the property was once again set to flames. In 1770, the property burned down a third time – on that occasion because a servant had left a candle unattended. Amidst all the smoke, however, this property also hosted some influential guests. Bonnie Prince Charlie spent the night here on November 5, 1745, and planted a white rose bush on the grounds.

 

 

Scotland’s Best “Over-the-Top” Rooms

These suites, are some of the most spectacular luxury hotel rooms available at Luxury Scotland Hotels.

Boath House – Room 3
This Georgian mansion is nestled on 20 acres of manicured gardens, lawns and woodlands in Nairn. Though Room 4 boasts some incredible views, Room 3 is more in demand for those seeking a romantic retreat. The biggest room in the house, Room 3 was the original master suite when the house was built in 1825. It offers a super-king-sized bed and a stunning view of the lake, but perhaps the most talked-about feature is the gigantic bathroom – as large as the bedroom – and its twin bathtubs.

Cameron House – Glenlossie Suite
Located on the shores of Loch Lomond, just a short drive from Glasgow, Cameron House has seven “Whisky Suites,” the most luxurious room category at the property. Each is named for a different brand of Scotland’s favorite drink. The Glenlossie Suite, which is decorated in deep reds and plentiful tartan, includes a king-size four-poster bed, a bathroom with dual sinks and whirlpool bath, and a separate sitting area with bay windows that overlook the lawns and offer stunning views of the loch.

Fasque Castle – Room 12
One of several ‘castle’ members of Luxury Scotland, Fasque Castle is indeed a castle – and a perfect place to celebrate a wedding or other exclusive event. Located near Aberdeen in the Scottish Highlands, Fasque Castle is situated on an exquisite country estate. Room 12 gives guests the feeling of being the laird and lady of the manor, with a spacious bedroom that includes a fireplace and a bathroom that features a copper claw-foot tub, an original Victorian model that has been restored.

Glencoe House – Suite 3
At this unique property in the Glencoe region of the Scottish Highlands, each of the seven suites is individual and over-the-top. The property doesn’t operate a restaurant, but it boasts an accomplished chef who customizes meals for the occupants of each suite, all of which include a private dining room. Meals are served to guests course by course, as they would be in a restaurant, yet in the privacy of these individual dining rooms. Suite 3 is a two-bedroom unit (one room has a king-sized bed and the other has two twins), study, powder room, full bathroom with twin soaking tubs, lounge and dining area.

Gleneagles Hotel – Blue Tower Suite
This legendary hotel is set in the idyllic Perthshire countryside; its name is synonymous with Scotland’s golf culture, but there’s so much more than that at this 850-acre resort. The room with the most spectacular view is the Blue Tower Suite, which overlooks the hotel’s main entrance. It’s split over two levels and includes two bedrooms, a huge bathroom, an upstairs living room, and an outdoor terrace from which guests can sit at the top of the hotel and survey their surroundings.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel – Queen’s Suite
Another of Luxury Scotland’s castles, Inverlochy is a country house hotel located in Fort William. Its most spectacular room is the Queen’s Suite, home to a king-size four-poster bed and large sitting area that offers an unbeatable view of the castle’s grounds, including its loch and the hills and mountains beyond. The split-level bathroom provides equally stunning views of the loch and mountains. The suite is aptly named, as Queen Victoria once stayed in this room.

Inver Lodge Hotel – Iolaire Suite
Located within a patch of unspoiled wilderness overlooking the bay of Lochinver, Inver Lodge is a haven for nature lovers. Its Iolaire Suite is the former upstairs lounge of this luxurious property, where guests could once enjoy a cup of afternoon tea as they surveyed their surroundings. Today it’s a guest room with an enormous sitting area, fireplace, king-sized bed, and spacious bathroom featuring both a tub (with a sea view!) and walk-in shower. The room is an ideal place from which to watch the sun set.

Knockinaam Lodge – Knockinaam Cottage
The most majestic room at this property isn’t yet available, but plans call for it to welcome its first guests on March 1, 2016. Currently under construction is Knockinaam Cottage, a separate unit that will be located just 20 yards from the beach and offer unparalleled views over the sea to the mountains of Ireland. The cottage will be a two-bedroom unit with a lounge and its own dining room.

MV Hebridean Princess – Isle of Arran Suite
One of Luxury Scotland’s “mobile members,” MV Hebridean Princess is the only ship to be granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen. Its largest cabin, the Isle of Arran Suite on the port side of the Princess Deck, has a private sitting room and beautifully designed bath and shower room. The view from the suite’s large picture windows is ever-changing as the ship sails through the “Highlands & Islands” of Scotland.

Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa – Royal & Ancient Suite
In St. Andrews, the home of golf, the Royal & Ancient Suite boasts the coveted position above the iconic par 4 Road Hole on the Old Course. The suite measures 1,257 square feet, combining a spacious bedroom, Kohler bathroom with tub and shower, and guest bathroom. There’s also a parlor room, mini kitchen and dining area for up to six guests. The unrivalled views – enjoyed through floor-to-ceiling windows and from a private balcony – are often shared by guests on a variety of social media channels.

One Devonshire Gardens at Hotel du Vin – Chateau de la Roulerie
This hotel in Glasgow’s west end is actually a collection of five Victorian townhouses, and each room is singularly sensational. The cream of the crop is the Chateau de la Roulerie room, which is a grand duplex suite. Situated on two floors, the suite has high ceilings, fireplaces and two bathrooms (one with a double monsoon-style shower, the other with a roll-top bath), so it becomes not just a place to sleep but a complete retreat.

Rocpool Reserve – Room 5
At this boutique hotel, bar and restaurant in the city center of Inverness, it’s all about quality, not quantity. The small property is home to just 11 expertly decorated rooms, categorized as “Hip,” “Chic,” “Decadent” or “Extra Decadent.” Falling into the last category is Room 5, which boasts large sleeping quarters, an over-sized bathroom and a hot tub on a private balcony that overlooks the River Ness.

Ring in the New Year With Hogmanay Celebrations Across Scotland

Luxury Scotland Member Properties Offer Packages and Parties for Everyone.

      For most of the world, December 31 is New Year’s Eve, but in Scotland the last day of the calendar year kicks off a national celebration known as “Hogmanay.” Though the origins of this holiday are murky (it likely dates way back to Viking times, referring to Norse celebrations of winter solstice) there’s no denying this holiday is the biggest on the Scottish calendar. Visitors come from near and far to experience the magic of this holiday each year. Guests seeking to ring in 2016 at a quiet Scottish country inn or join the “biggest party of the year” in Edinburgh can look to Luxury Scotland member properties, which offer a range of accommodation packages and activities to fit every style.

While New Year’s Eve lasts just one night, Hogmanay begins on December 31 and continues until January 2. In addition to general merriment and celebration, Scots observe a number of traditions associated with this holiday, the most popular of which is “first-footing.” Starting immediately after midnight, the “first-footer” is the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbor’s home, usually bearing symbolic gifts (shortbread, fruit cake, or sometimes whisky) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. A dark-haired man is said to bring the very best luck. Some celebrate Hogmanay with a ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), a traditional Gaelic gathering involving folk music and dancing. Other Hogmanay traditions include massive fireworks displays, bonfire ceremonies, torchlight processions, bagpipes, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” which was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns.

The following Luxury Scotland properties offer a range of Hogmanay packages and celebrations:

•    At the lovely Airds Hotel in the Highlands near Oban, the Hogmanay House Party is a festive four-day affair.  Traditions include a freshly laid fire (to bring good luck) built with sprigs of juniper (to ward off evil spirits), music by a local bagpiper and ceilidh for dancing (with a caller to guide those unfamiliar with Scottish reeling). A celebratory, gourmet dinner on New Year’s Eve and a variety of entertaining activities round out the stay.  A three-night package starts at £684 ($1,061) per person, double occupancy.

•    Set in the beautiful Highlands town of Nairn, the intimate Boath House is offering one- to four-night packages starting at £350 ($543) per night, per room, depending on length of stay. Packages include Champagne on arrival, dinner, full breakfast, and mulled wine and mince pies in the afternoon. Hogmanay eve activities include a gourmet dinner and fireworks display on the lake.

•    A traditional Scottish Hogmanay is on tap at Cromlix, located in Dunblane. Three-night packages, which start at £1,900 ($2,947), include a Champagne cocktail on arrival, “night afore” dinner at Chez Roux and a falconry display on the estate. New Years Eve festivities begin with a gala dinner followed by a fireworks display at midnight, ceilidh dancing into the wee small hours, and finished with hot bacon rolls at 1 a.m. Brunch and clay pigeon shooting on the grounds follow on New Years Day.

•    Gleneagles Hotel describes their Hogmanay Heroics package as an “unashamedly grand affair,” complete with a black-tie (or touch of tartan) dinner, live music, pipes and drums. It’s also a very family-friendly celebration, with activities for kids that include cooking classes, ice skating lessons, falconry school, talent academy and junior golf program.  Adults will enjoy air rifle shooting, chocolate demos and champagne tastings and food pairings. Dance lessons on Hogmanay eve help guests limber up for the ceilidh later that evening. Three-night packages are available starting at £4,340 ($6,732), and guests booking the Hogmanay Heroics package can enjoy an extra night with compliments of the hotel on either December 29 or January 2.

•    The sophisticated, Edwardian designed Greywalls Hotel, located just outside Edinburgh, is offering two- and three-night accommodations packages that include a festive black-tie New Year gala dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Chez Roux, followed by music, dancing and fireworks. New Year’s Day offers the opportunity to relax and explore the stunning surrounds before enjoying a three-course meal. Two-night packages start at £1,000 ($1,538); three nights start at £1,400 ($2,153).

•    Located in the West Highlands, Inverlochy Castle Hotel is planning an elegant Hogmanay celebration complete with clay pigeon shoot, black-tie gala, sheep dog trial and falconry display. On Hogmanay eve, the Picts Ceilidh Band will play late into the evening, and on January 1, a Highland piper will pipe in the New Year. Inclusive three-night packages start at £2,970 ($4,608) based on double occupancy.

•    The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St. Andrews is offering two two-night programs for Hogmanay: a gourmet package and a family package. The gourmet, priced at £920 ($1,415) per room, double occupancy, includes fireworks at midnight with a glass of bubbly, a Hogmanay tasting menu in the 3 AA rosette-awarded Road Hole Restaurant, and full access to the world-class Kohler Waters Spa. For families, the package at £810 ($1,245) per room, plus £240 ($396) per child sharing, includes a Hogmanay dinner in the AA rosette-awarded SANDS Grill, fireworks with bubbly, and access to the spa with children’s splash time. Full Scottish breakfasts overlooking the Old Course are included in both packages.

•    At the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course set on the beautiful Scottish borders, a three-night Hogmanay package starting at £1,375 ($2,113) double occupancy includes afternoon tea, a falconry display on the estate, a four-course gala New Years dinner, dancing to a live ceilidh band and a fireworks display at midnight. New Year’s Day brings the opportunity for brunch followed by clay pigeon shooting and home baked sweet treats beside a roaring fire.

•    The castle-facing rooms in downtown Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa are highly coveted for Hogmanay, thanks to the spectacular views of the world-famous fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle at midnight. Hogmanay rates start at £488 ($757) per room per night based on double occupancy, complete with a hearty Scottish breakfast.  The hotel’s One Square restaurant will be serving expertly crafted gin cocktails, a fabulous four-course Hogmanay menu and a chef’s appetizer on arrival.

Introducing Scotland’s Only Cycling Butler

The concept of the cycling buter was conceived by Luxury Scotland and The Carter Company to create the ultimate in Scottish luxury cycle tours.  Cycling guests on these Scottish Cycling Tours will have the opportunity to stay at some of the finest five star hotels in Scotland whilst enjoying the exclusive services of their very own cycling butler.

The services of the cycling butler will include:

– Set up pit stops along the route, with healthy snacks, hot drinks, energy bars, and drinks.

–  Mark the route for ease of navigating.

– Transport wet weather gear and have dry towels on hand.

– Give advice on the best spots to take pictures.

– Pick up any weary cyclists and transfer them to the destination hotel.

– Inform on the latest weather forecasts.

– Arrange services such as a massage at the end of the day.

 

Luxury bicycles such as Cervelos and De Rosa can be arranged for those who prefer the very best in cycling technology. There is also the option of hiring e-bikes for those who want to enjoy the scenery without too much huffing and puffing!These stunning self-guided cycling tours take place in some of the most scenic regions in Scotland; they range from a 50 mile per day road cycling trip with some strenuous climbs, to a more genteel 4 night trip in the Highlands on undulating roads. For both trips, cyclists will be met on arrival by The Carter Company who will look after every stage of the process including luggage transfers.

 

A Highland Fling is a leisurely 4 night cycling trip circular from Inverness. The tour offers a wonderful variety of scenery, from cultural cities to tiny fishing villages, and gorgeous stretches of countryside in between. Pedal through the magical setting of Loch Ness, where you might spot the legendary monster; pretty villages like Forres, Nairn with its stunning sandy beach and harbour, and the famous eco-community at Findhorn; the historic battlefield of Culloden; and the most romantic castle in the Highlands – Cawdor Castle, which Shakespeare chose for the setting of Macbeth. You will stay in the hip Rocpool Reserve & Chez Roux, and Boath House with its Michelin starred restaurant.You will be provided with a holiday Adventure Handbook, route directions, OS maps, host meet and brief, luggage transfer and a return transfer from Nairn to Inverness. Electric bikes are available.Price is £1,350 per person based on 2 people sharing a room. The services of the cycling butler is an additional £3,660.

 

The Grand Tour is an epic 5 night road cycling trip with 3,000 – 3,500 feet of climbing on each of the four days. The route traverses the full range of iconic Scottish landscapes, from epic mountains and lochs to forests and sweeping sand dunes. Setting off from Gleneagles, ride through the majestic landscape of the Ochil Hills (where you are likely to see more sheep than humans), pausing along the way to visit Falkland Palace, favoured by Mary Queen of Scots. Take in St Andrews, the home of golf; admire the birdlife along the Eden estuary; pass through the Fair City of Perth, so nicknamed by Sir Walter Scott; and step into history at Scone Palace, where many kings have been crowned. Enjoy panoramic views as the route continues amidst the spectacular scenery of Duke’s Pass, the Trossachs National Park and Loch Lowes reserve, before concluding your journey on the shores of Loch Lomond. Overnight stays are in some of the finest hotels in Scotland: The Gleneagles Hotel, Cameron House, Kinloch House in Blairgowrie, Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, and Cromlix, the hotel owned by Andy Murray. Included are 5 nights of accommodation and one dinner, GPS unit and route directions, OS maps, your Carter Company Adventure Handbook, host meet and brief and luggage transfers.With so much to see and do along the way, the option of staying two nights in each hotel comes highly recommended. Play on world-famous golf courses, sample award-winning whisky at a local distillery, take a flight in a sea plane over the Trossachs’ glens, visit historic castles and unspoilt medieval villages, or spend the day in tranquillity with a spot of fishing on the lochs. Nothing could be grander!Price for the 5 night tour is £1,795 per person based on 2 people sharing a room, excluding the services of the butler. The cycling butler is an additional £2,900.(NB route will not be marked on this tour as cyclists receive GPS with route loaded onto it). Hire of a carbon fibre Cervelo bike is an additional £280 per person, including delivery and collection, based on 2 people.

 

IMPORTANT: All prices correct at time of publication – 21/09/2015

For further information please contact:
The Carter Company – Scottish Cycling Tours:
T: +44 (0)1296 631671
E: hello@the-carter-company.com

Iona Carter, Head of Marketing, The Carter Company
E: iona@the-carter-company.com

Michelin-starred Restaurants in Scotland 2015/2016

Congratulations to all the restaurants in Scotland who have held their Michelin Stars for 2016, five of them our members and partners

 

We wish you all continued success!

 

 

Luxury Scotland Welcomes Three New Members

G&V Royal Mile Hotel, Lochgreen House Hotel and Fasque Castle Join Luxury Hotel Collection
Luxury Scotland is pleased to announce three new members, the G&V Royal Mile Hotel in Edinburgh, Lochgreen House Hotel in Troon, and Fasque Castle in Aberdeenshire. The addition of these three hotels brings Luxury Scotland’s total membership to 30 properties.

 

The G&V Royal Mile Hotel’s name is an abbreviation for “George & Victoria,” a nod to both the area’s royal heritage and the hotel’s prime location in the heart of Edinburgh, on the corner of the George IV Bridge, Victoria Street and the famed Royal Mile. The hotel is part of the Quorvus Collection, a luxury hotel division of Carlson Rezidor. Formerly Edinburgh’s award-winning Missoni hotel, the G&V has been completely rebranded and its Italian-influenced décor replaced by a much more Scottish vibe. The G&V boasts 136 guest rooms, some of which offer the most commanding views of the city; selections include four suites, two of which are named, appropriately enough, George and Victoria. The hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Cucina, will continue to serve the Italian fare for which it is justly famous, and its bright and lively bar still attracts visitors and locals alike. The G&V also has its own spa, providing a relaxing oasis just steps away from the bustling Royal Mile.

 

In a completely different setting – one that overlooks Royal Troon Championship Golf Course on the country’s west coast – visitors will find Lochgreen House Hotel. And like the golf course, the hotel offers views over the Ayrshire coast and the island of Arran. This spacious country house hotel is set on 30 acres of woodlands and gardens, making it the ideal place for a romantic retreat. But Lochgreen House is also a stunning setting for business meetings and conferences; golf getaways; or weddings, balls and other private functions. The hotel’s 32 guest rooms are decorated with traditional furnishings and fabrics, a design decision that captures the special character of this historic house. The hotel is also home to an award-winning dining scene in which Lochgreen’s owners, master chef Bill Costley and his youngest son, Andrew, make clever use of Ayrshire’s produce. The chefs’ company motto, depicted on the entrance gates to Lochgreen House, is “Ad Virtutem Nitens,” which translates to “the pursuit of excellence” – something they strive for in their kitchens and throughout the entire property.

 

Lochgreen House Hotel

No visit to Scotland is complete without a stop at a castle, and Luxury Scotland has just added another to its family. Fasque Castle is an exclusive-use venue, making it the ideal location for everything from weddings to corporate retreats. Fasque Castle is an early 19th-century building located on a 400-acre country estate. It features 19 bedrooms, a great hall, a spacious drawing room, intimate dining room and even a cozy library. The venue can accommodate up to 150 guests for special events. The grounds are home to a variety of Scottish wildlife, including deer, otters, eagles and red squirrels; guests are encouraged to stroll the property, exploring its woods, riverbanks, fields and walled garden. The estate even features its own house of worship, a 150-year-old Episcopalian church located at the end of the beech-lined “Wedding Walk”; though it has an active congregation, the 100-seat church can be reserved for weddings.

 

Luxury Scotland Welcomes Lochgreen House Hotel

We are delighted to announce that Lochgreen House Hotel is the newest member of Luxury Scotland’s portfolio of luxury properties.

Lochgreen House Hotel is a successful and well-known five-star hotel situated in Ayrshire, within thirty acres of woodlands and beautifully landscaped gardens. It boasts a busy and exceptional Four Red Star AA, Three Red Rosettes restaurant, 32 elegant and very spacious bedrooms with luxurious bathrooms, conferences and meetings facilities as well as beautifully decorated public rooms filled with art, antiques and character.

The bedrooms offer delightful views of either the Royal Troon Championship Golf Course or the Island of Arran and the stunning Ayrshire coast. Fresh, innovative and delicious dishes can be enjoyed in 5 different stylish rooms, each one of them offering a different dining atmosphere and settings.

The hotel regularly hosts art and cookery demonstrations as well as Whisky tasting evenings. Close by, guests can take the opportunity to visit Culzean Castle & Country Park, Robert Burn’s Birthplace Museum, Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, Trump Turnberry Golf and a number of other local attractions suitable to both children and adults.

Lochgreen House Hotel is now our 30th property, we look forward to promoting this exceptional property within the UK and overseas.

To learn more about Lochgreen visit: http://www.lochgreenhouse.com

G+V Hotel Edinburgh has joined Luxury Scotland

We are very pleased to announce that the G+V Hotel, Edinburgh has joined Luxury Scotland.

Known in the past as Hotel Missoni,  G+V Hotel, Edinburgh is a member of Quorvus Collection, a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels in Carlson Rezidor’s growing global portfolio. As well as the only five-star hotel on the historic Royal Mile, the hotel is a contemporary landmark boasting iconic design, 136 rooms, an award-winning destination restaurant, an urban spa retreat and a vibrant gym.

The name G&V is an abbreviation of George & Victoria and relates to the address in the heart of Edinburgh on the corner of George IV Bridge and Victoria Street, one of the most celebrated areas in Edinburgh, walking distance to many of Edinburgh’s renowned attractions.

The hotel’s brand new website will be live soon, showcasing its new exciting interior décor. We are very much looking forward to working with this exceptional property and sharing all their news, offers and events with you.

Luxury Scotland Golf Resorts offer Offbeat Adventures beyond their Famed Courses

Those visiting Scotland for the first time are pleasantly surprised by what an active and outdoorsy place the country can be. For those seeking a more active vacation that enables them to experience Scotland’s natural beauty, hotels that belong to the Luxury Scotland collection of luxury properties offer the ideal getaway. Three member properties are best known as meccas for golfers, they provide a surprising array of opportunities that go far beyond clubs and tees. Gleneagles; The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa; and Trump Turnberry all provide unique and offbeat outdoor activities that may set their guests’ hearts racing.

Gleneagles has garnered much recognition in the golf community for more than 90 years, most recently as the host of the 2014 Ryder Cup competition. But the resort, located near Perth, is also noted for its other recreational opportunities, which span the spectrum from falconry to gundog training and from archery to indoor tennis. The resort also offers a full spectrum off-road driving experiences – a particularly interesting challenge for North American guests, since these jaunts involve driving on the opposite side of the road (or forest or stream, as the case may be). An especially enjoyable off-roading adventure involves taking an Argo Cat, an all-weather, semi-amphibious, all-terrain vehicle, out for a spin on Gleneagles’ property. Argo Cats have long been used throughout the Highlands of Scotland, as they enable landowners to reach very steep, rocky or swampy areas that would otherwise remain inaccessible. These vehicles are eight-wheel drive, and guests age 10 and older – and measuring at least 4.5 feet tall – can get behind the wheel and navigate Gleneagles’ special course that involves both land and water in a very memorable off-road experience. Fees start at £125/$192* for a 45-minute lesson.

On the east coast of Scotland, in the historic town of St. Andrews in the Kingdom of Fife, rests the The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa. The Old Course is where golf began, and this year St. Andrews welcomes golfers from around the world as the 144th Open Championship returns this month. The hotel overlooks the famed West Sands beach, which movie buffs will recognize as the backdrop for the 1981 Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire. Visitors and guests enjoy walking, horseback riding, kite flying, volleyball, windsurfing and sand castle building on West Sands, but the resort’s own “Chariots for Hire” program offers a whole new beach experience. Guests can rent “sand bikes,” which boast chunky tires that make them ideal for travel through both sand and snow. Thanks to the bikes’ low tire pressure, riders feel as if they’re floating over the miles of white sand along the beach. Bikes can be rented for £10/$15* per hour, £15/$23* for a half day or £25/$38* for a full day’s adventure.

In the town of Ayrshire, guests are flocking to a third famed Scottish golf resort, Trump Turnberry, for a “Wildgoose Treasure Hunt.” Such hunts, which arm guests with a GPS and turn them loose to explore the hotel’s property, have become the rage across the United Kingdom. Participants receive a Samsung Galaxy tablet that’s loaded with Turnberry’s GPS app, allowing them to embark on a treasure hunt that provides a grand tour of the resort’s vast estate. Along the way, guests trigger hot spots and can work together – or against each other – to tackle a variety of challenges. The activity is ideal for corporate groups and also for families; groups of four to 12 guests can participate, as long as they’re age 8 or older. The cost of this activity is £20/$31* per participant, and these hunts take one to two hours. In case that’s not adventurous – or Scottish – enough, guests can also participate in a mini version of the Highland games. A kilted instructor organizes teams and coaches them in a variety of fun events, including a traditional caber toss and the not-so-traditional “haggis hurl.”

Scotland’s growing reputation as a “foodie” destination

Scotland is rightly proud of its growing reputation as a “foodie” destination. The country’s strong culinary traditions and bountiful larder combined with a fresh take on “eating local” and an emphasis on small-batch spirits makes for an interesting mix of old and new. VisitScotland, the national tourism office for the country, has dubbed 2015 the “Year of Food and Drink,” and many of Luxury Scotland’s member properties are picking up the torch – and the fork – by providing brand new food and beverage offerings that will have visitors from North America flocking to try these exciting offerings.

Whisky may be the national drink of Scotland, but gin is also immensely popular, particularly in Edinburgh where consumption of the juniper-flavored liquor is higher per capita than in any other British city. In honor of this distinction, One Square at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa has launched its own brand of small-batch premium gin in collaboration with Pickering’s Gin at Summerhall Distillery, Edinburgh’s first gin distillery to open in more than150 years. One Square Gin is based on a unique recipe created by One Square’s team of gin experts—known as the Gin Concierge—in cooperation with the team at Pickering’s. The small-batch creation features 15 botanicals including juniper, bog myrtle, pink grapefruit and Scottish heather. To celebrate the launch of this new spirit, the Sheraton Grand has created an exclusive Gin Package, which showcases the hotspots in Scotland’s gin capital. The package includes accommodations at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa with full Scottish breakfast, a gin amenity in guests’ room on arrival, a tour of Summerhall Distillery where One Square Gin is distilled, and the chance to gain insider knowledge with a member of the Gin Concierge over a cocktail at the bar.

In other exciting food news out of Edinburgh, the Observatory Restaurant, a brand new dining experience, is now open to the public at the Glasshouse Hotel. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the Scottish-themed restaurant earns its name for its incredible views of the World Heritage Site, Calton Hill. The menu focuses on locally sourced foods—so local, in fact, that many ingredients come from within just a few miles of the restaurant. Head Chef Dan Mellor, inspired by his aim to provide the freshest ingredients possible for each meal, regularly heads outdoors to forage for produce like mushrooms, nettles, wild herbs, elderflower and blackberries. Chef Mellor says his motto is “what grows together, goes together,” a theme that can be seen in dishes like venison served with herbs and vegetables found growing in the animal’s natural habitat. The Observatory, which is now open five days a week from 6 p.m., will feature an upscale dinner menu as well as a pre-theater menu for those looking to dine before heading to a show at the neighboring Edinburgh Playhouse.

For those interested in tasting the culinary offerings of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Hebridean Princess’s “Flavours of Scotland” cruise is an ideal way to sample the bounty of the region. This seven-night sailing departing out of Oban will visit no less than three Michelin-starred restaurants—including the world-renowned Kinloch Lodge—in addition to a variety of local food and drink producers. In Islay, a visit to one of the island’s most famous distilleries, Laphroaig, introduces guests to the peaty whiskies for which the region is known. The ship’s local oyster supplier, based on the Isle of Colonsay, will be on hand to talk about fishing for local seafood as well as his other passion, honey and the black-tailed bees he keeps. A cooking lesson paired with lunch at Kinloch Lodge and a tour of Isle of Mull Cheese, a small, family dairy farm, offer guests the chance to sample more local fare. The sailing concludes with a Champagne reception in Mull at Duarte Castle. The “Flavours of Scotland” cruise will depart April 5 and October 4, 2016.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Luxury Scotland has been featured in this lovely article posted on San Francisco Examiner

 In March, the 15th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition unfurled at the Hotel Nikko, in which 41 spirits industry professionals blind sipped and evaluated more than 1,500 entries — the largest number to date — from 41 states and 66 countries. I’ve never been, and I’d like to go next year. It’s considered the most esteemed spirits competition in the world.

Flash forward one month and I was in a room that looked like a laboratory (if Pottery Barn designed it) at the petit and picturesque Glengoyne Distillery, 45 minutes from Glasgow, Scotland, where single malt Scotch whisky has been produced for 200 years. I felt a bit like a mad scientist, too, at a table with droppers, a glass beaker and five carafes of varying shades of Glengoyne before me.

It was all part of the distillery’s “Malt Master Tour” ($83 per person), a one-of-a-kind experience in Scotland that includes a guided browse of the facilities followed by a blending session, which results in the ultimate Scottish souvenir: a 200-milliliter bottle of your own creation. When in Scotland.

 Before I continue, let’s answer that pesky “e” question. Some write it “whisky,” others “whiskey,” and both are correct depending on where you are. In Canada, Scotland and Japan, it’s whisky. The Irish like their whiskey, and whether it’s bourbon, rye or Tennessee, whiskey also comes with an “e” in America.

But who wants to spell it? Let’s drink it!

David was my guide at Glengoyne, and I liked him instantly for two reasons: He wore tartan (plaid) pants and he greeted me with a wee dram (Scottish word for nip, sip, splash, taste) of their 12-year-old single malt.

He advised me never to add ice to a single malt whisky, and suggested, reluctantly, that if I had to add anything it should be just a drop or two of water (but this is really a taste preference).

“Do you know what my favorite thing to add to single malt whisky is?” he asked.

“What?”

“More single malt whisky,” he laughed.

Whiskey is produced all over the world, but a lot of people agree, especially the Scots, that the Scots do it best. It is their national drink, after all. When it comes to Scotch whisky, the words “single malt” and “blended” get tossed around a lot. The difference is pretty simple. A single malt Scotch whisky is made entirely at a single distillery (Glengoyne for example) using exclusively malted barley. A blended whisky might use, in part, grains such as corn, wheat or rye, and mix whiskies from multiple distilleries. Johnny Walker is an example of a blended whisky. A common misconception is that single malt Scotch whisky is made from a single barrel or batch, but that’s not the case. Single malt whiskies are most often a well-crafted blend of various ages of whiskies from the same distillery.

At the end of the tour and blending session, David aimed me toward the distillery’s shop. Bottles of Glengoyne lined the back wall: 10-year-old, then 12, 15, 18 and so on, like obedient schoolchildren. But one stood apart from the rest: a backlit mature beauty of 25-year-old amber elixir with a gold medal seal displayed nearby. Curious, I moved in for a closer look.

Turns out Glengoyne’s 25-year-old single malt had just won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition weeks earlier. It was one of those “Casablanca” moments: Of all the whisky joints (distilleries) in all the towns in all the world, she had to walk into this one. Yes, a lot of other Scotch whiskies won medals too, but I hadn’t wandered into their joints.

That evening, back at the dreamy Cameron House hotel on the famous Loch Lomond where I was staying (unfortunately not in the Glengoyne Suite), I sidled up to a stool at the impressive Great Scots Bar and drooled over the 270-plus whisky menu, though I already knew what I was going to order.

“A Glengoyne 12-year-old, please.”

“Where you from,” the bartender asked, pouring it in front of me.

“San Francisco.”

“Do you know that Glengoyne just won a gold medal at a competition there?”

I smiled. The Scots sure love to brag about their Scotch. And rightfully so. I like to brag about my city, and was happy for the connection so far from home.

I raised my glass and said, “You’re dram right I do!”

Kimberley Lovato has been writing about travel, food and drink for the last 20 years and has never met a happy hour she didn’t like. She writes at www.kimberleylovato.com.

Luxury Scotland Member Properties Offer Stunning Views of Scotland’s Landscape

From the rugged terrain of the Highlands to the manicured lawns of the world’s oldest golf courses, Scotland is a country that never wants for a beautiful view. These scenes are easy enough to come by during a day of touring, but visitors craving an iconic Scottish view from their very own hotel room—whether it be of a spectacular Edinburgh cityscape or a castle-topped country hillside—can find their ideal match at one of Luxury Scotland’s 27 member hotels and resorts. In a country that offers so much to see, choosing just one view may prove difficult.

A stay in Edinburgh—a beautiful, historic city that stretches majestically across seven hills—demands a room that takes advantage of the potential for epic views. At 21212, a small, four-room hotel billed as a “five-star restaurant with rooms,” guests can relax in an intimate setting while taking in some the city’s most famed landmarks. The two front rooms look out over the city center all the way to the Firth of Forth, while the back rooms overlook famed Calton Hill and its iconic landmarks (as well as offering a killer view of the fireworks show on Hogmanay, Scotland’s New Year’s Eve celebration). Luckily for guests, the views from the Michelin-starred dining room are also commanding, and can be enjoyed while dining on Chef Paul Kitching’s award-winning contemporary French cuisine.

For golfers and fans of the game alike, waking up to a view of the place where the game was born is a dream come true. Where better to get this perspective than the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, which borders the world’s most famous golf course. The resort offers unbroken views of The Links courses from each of its luxury suites and many of its 144 rooms. For the most all-encompassing view of the course (and the players starting and ending their Old Course challenge), visitors will want to book one of the 35 suites that feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies. It’s okay to leave the room: the West Deck—the hotel’s al fresco venue on the Fourth Floor—offers a stunning bird’s eye view of the renowned Road Hole tee as well as long views of the Old, New and Jubilee courses.

Scottish gardens are famed for their profuse flowers and beautiful manicuring…the makings of an idyllic view. The Boath House Hotel in Nairn, which is situated in the middle of 20 acres of gardens, lawns, woodlands and an ornamental trout lake, offers just that. Perhaps the most special views from this 200-year old Georgian mansion can be glimpsed from rooms 3 and 4, which face the beautifully groomed, Victorian walled garden and wildflower meadows, designed and tended to by owner and resident garden designer Wendy Matheson. The gardens, an attraction in their own right, have gained national recognition as a contemporary space sympathetic to its historic origins. The kitchen gardens also provide much of the organic fruit, herbs and vegetables the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant.

When it comes to the long view, Knockinaam Lodge, located at the southwest tip of Scotland, has it—many of the rooms in the main house offer sea views that stretch clear across to Northern Ireland.  The rooms named South and Bay are favorites with guests for their large windows and window seats that allow guests to maximize the vistas. The property’s boathouse, located right next to the private beach, is an ideal place to take shelter from sun or wind and offers the same views from a closer vantage. Guests can take their afternoon tea in the cozy boathouse while watching the wild birds (and occasional seal) play in the bay and listening to the lapping waves. Bonus for history lovers: Sir Winston Churchill met General Dwight Eisenhower at Knockinaam Lodge during World War II.

For guests who can’t make up their minds which of Scotland’s iconic views intrigue them most, the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury sleeper train may be the perfect solution. A “country house on wheels,” the Belmond Royal Scotsman accommodates just 36 guests in Edwardian-style carriages through an ever-changing landscape, giving the ultimate insight into the beauty of Scotland’s landscape. Each cabin has its own large window, but the observation car, with its open veranda and comfortable interior seating, is arguably the best spot to take in the passing landmarks such as the Kyle of Lochalsh and Cairngorms National Park. Itineraries range from a two-night Highland Journey to a seven-night Grand Tour of Great Britain.