'Tis the season

The best festive stays in 2023

It feels like the summer heatwaves only dissipated last month, and we still haven’t completely acclimatised to the autumn chill – but dare we say it: it’s time to start planning Christmas. 

Luckily, we’re absolutely spoiled for choice in Scotland. Whether it’s tucking into warm, sugary treats at one of the bustling Edinburgh street markets or cosying up by a roaring fire as the snow falls outside, there are plenty of picture-perfect moments to be enjoyed. 

Luxury Scotland members are offering a range of wonderful breaks over the festive season, so if you haven’t already made your plans, check out some of these enticing options. 

Deck the halls at Cromlix

Freshly renovated and fabulous, Cromlix House in Dunblane is an elegant setting for festive gatherings. 

Make your own nature-inspired decorations at their festive wreath-making workshop in early December (running on the 1st and 4th of the month). Led by Cromlix Head Gardener Sarah Corser, these events are the perfect way to ease into the festive mood. 

Or, go all out and book a three-night stay over New Year's, with champagne on arrival and lashings of delicious festive food, for auld lang syne.

You can book your festive stay at the Cromlix website. 

Jingle bell shop in Edinburgh

There’s something enchanting about the capital at Christmas time, when the markets kindle around the city, an ice rink unfurls on George Street and the shop lights twinkle late into the night. 

Christmas in Edinburgh is a marathon event, taking place from 17th November until 6th January. Wow the kids with an excursion to the funfair on East Princes Street Gardens, or simply sip a hot chocolate while you browse the stalls for handmade gifts. 

When it all gets too much, make sure you have a luxurious pad to slope off to. With its 35 romantic rooms and incredible selection of craft spirits, The Roseate is a perfect place to retire for the night to, or consider The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa to stay close to the action and indulge in the spa.

Unwrap Christmas in Inverlochy

This year, why not wake up on Christmas morning surrounded by snowy mountain peaks and the dramatic silhouette of Ben Nevis?

Christmas at Inverlochy Castle near Fort William starts with a fabulous afternoon tea on Christmas Eve, followed by champagne reception and three-course dinner. 

On Christmas Day, you can sit around the traditional log fire with a good book or go for a stroll in the grounds – just don’t miss Father Christmas, who does the rounds at 11am. This is followed by a fabulous Christmas lunch and supper in the evening. 

On Boxing Day, there’s a dramatic falconry display, followed by clay pigeon shooting and a sheep dog trial. 

You can officialise this year’s festivities at the Inverlochy Castle website. 

Sing Auld Lang Syne at Glenmorangie House

Where better to see in 2024 than a magnificent Highland hotel?

The luxurious Glenmorangie House on the north-east coast hosts a legendary two-night New Year experience – perfect if you’re a fan of a dram.

On New Year’s Eve expect whisky tasting (of course), a crackling fire and gourmet five-course dinner – with the festivities culminating in a rip-roaring Hogmanay celebration at the Dornoch Street Party, so you can celebrate with the locals before returning to the house at 1am.

Then on the first of January, there’s a hearty brunch and a visit to nearby Cadboll Stone – before a Pictish feast in the evening.

To find out more and book, call 01862 871671 or email relax@glenmorangie.co.uk

All information and availability correct at time of going to press.