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Issue 10 - Hogmanay Hotels

Scotland Magazine Issue 10
September 2003

 

This article is 14 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Hogmanay Hotels

EVERYONE KNOWS SCOTLAND IS THE PLACE TO BE FOR NEW YEAR. BUT IF YOU'RE PLANNING SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL THIS YEAR, WHERE SHOULD YOU GO? WE SOUGHT THE OPINION OF A BROAD RANGE OF SCOTTISH JOURNALISTS AND PR PEOPLE

Hogmanay. Just the fact that Scotland has a special word for New Year is a clear indication that no-one on the planet celebrates it with more style.

Indeed Edinburgh, always a progressive city when it comes to self-promotion, has turned the whole festive period into a major event, and its firework display has won plaudits around the globe.

You could probably stay just about anywhere in the capital and have a great time, but if you can combine the celebrations with a stay at one of the destination hotels, then as a holiday it would take some beating.

Elsewhere in Scotland, well there’s just so many hotels and so little space, so we decided to ask a wide range of people for their favourites.

Given that many of them have never stayed in a hotel for hogmanay, it wasn’t as easy as it might have seemed.

But below are the favourites. We haven’t attributed quotes to individuals, but all of them were included in their responses.

1. CRAIGELLACHIE HOTEL
Banffshire
Telephone: +44 (0)1340 881 204
Email: info@craigellachie.com
Asurprising winner, maybe, but the result might have been swayed by the number of whisky writers who took part in the vote! “A really great whisky bar and a really exclusive spot – a true country house hotel with real style.”

“A bit obvious but I’d love to spend hogmanay there – a nice bracing walk by the Spey and then a superb choice of whisky…”

“Imagine being holed up in the Quaich Bar with a full belly and an unsurpassed selection of whiskies to choose from to make the evening complete.”

2. THE SCOTSMAN
EDINBURGH
Telephone: +44 (0)131 556 5565
Email: reservations@thescotsmanhotel.co.uk
Fitting that two Edinburgh hotels should finish in the top five. The Scotsman and the Balmoral are separated by a bridge and share a sense of luxury and style – but they cater for different tastes. “Perfect. A boutique-style hotel with a quirky uniqueness and yet with all the luxuries of a top class hotel right in the centre of the world’s greatest hogmanay party. Even without the fireworks The Scotsman is a favourite. With them, it’s untouchable.”

3. THE BALMORAL
EDINBURGH
Telephone: +44 (0)131 556 2414
Email: reservations@thebalmoralhotel.com
“Five star luxury at its best – but not in the slightest bit élitist – first class service, attention to detail and choice – tradition throughout, or modernity in the newer bars. And of course, right among the action. A world class reputation that is well deserved.”

4. WESTIN TURNBERRY HOTEL
AYRSHIRE
Telephone: +44 (0)1655 331 000
Email: turnberry@westin.com
“Worth the price for the sense of exclusivity. The setting is stunning, and every moment spent there reminds you how great it is to be alive.”

“Always a favourite but not cheap. One of the best views from a dining room – overlooking Ailsa Craig and the golf courses. And the best porridge on any breakfast menu anywhere in the world.”

5. GLENEAGLES HOTEL
AUCHTERARDER
Telephone: +44 (0)1764 662 231
Email: resort.sales@gleneagles.com
“For the luxury, the setting, the spa, the Strathearn restaurant and the fact that you would never run out of things to do...”

“You don’t have to be a golfer to fall in love with this hotel. It is a leisure centre and a half, and aims to have the best of everything – which it just about does.”

ALSO CHOSEN WITH MORE THAN ONE VOTE:

THE KINNAIRD HOTEL
NEAR DUNKELD, PERTHSHIRE
Telephone: +44 (0)1796 482 440
“Relaxing, stylish and away from it all. But don’t tell everyone!”

THE OLD INN
GAIRLOCH
Telephone: +44 (0)1445 712 006
“It’s so unpretentious and welcoming. An amazing local with particularly good seafood and game. And good for those on a low budget.”

BALGONIE COUNTRY HOUSE
BALLATER, ROYAL DEESIDE
Telephone: +44 (0)1339 755 482
Email: balgoniech@aol.com
“You’ve got the attractions of classic Scottish scenery, mountains, rivers, lochs, royalty at Balmoral just a few miles along the road and a superb hotel. Excellent facilities, unfussy yet attentive service from owners John and Priscilla Finnie, who are genuinely nice people. Great use of fresh Scottish produce in cooking, John F has a very detailed knowledge of whisky and a tremendously well-stocked cocktail bar.”

BONSYDE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL
NEAR LINLITHGOW
Telephone: +44 (0)1506 842 229
Email: info@bonsydehouse.co.uk
Easy to get to by both rail and road from Edinburgh, Linlithgow is an interesting, atmospheric town. “The hotel is peaceful, in the countryside, has first-class rooms and facilities and excellent, wide-ranging menu. “The bar even has that most elusive and drinkable of English cask ales, Samuel Smith’s Bitter. Proper British beer...”

KINFAUNS CASTLE
NEAR PERTH
Telephone: +44 (0)1738 620 777
Email: email@kinfaunscastle.co.uk
“Impressive Victorian baronial castle with an authentic sense of Scottish clan history. There are just 16 luxuriously furnished bedrooms – some with four poster beds – to ensure an intimate house party atmosphere. Fine cuisine, hospitality and personal service is exemplary – Kinfauns has been named one of the top 10 hotels in Scotland by the Automobile Association. Special New Year`s packages for two or three days include afternoon tea, cocktails, banquet dinners, games, sports, spa treatments, music, dancing and fireworks.”

GLENMORANGIE HOUSE
TAIN, MORAY FIRTH
Tel: +44 (0)1862 871 671
Email: relax@glenmorangieplc.co.uk
“A charming country house hotel, owned by Glenmorangie whisky distillery nearby. A small decanter of the malt in your room will welcome you after your journey. Traditional musical entertainment and whisky tastings, golf, walks along the beach and fishing. The house can be booked for exclusive use.”

THE EDINBURGH RESIDENCE
EDINBURGH
Tel: +44 (0)131 622 5080
Email: reserve@theedinburghresidence.com
“Grand West End townhouse with all-suite accommodation featuring gracious furnishings. This does not feel like a hotel but a private house.”
“Guest drawing room with honesty bar, no restaurant but in-suite microwave, fridge, and dining facilities, together with 24 hour room service. A two minute walk to the city centre for shopping and the festive events on George Street and Princes Street.”

THE HOWARD
EDINBURGH
Tel: +44 (0)131 315 2220
Email: reserve@thehoward.com
“Could you choose anywhere better? The most discreetly luxurious hotel in the world. Well, in Edinburgh at least.”

INVERLOCHY CASTLE
FORT WILLIAM
Telephone:+44 (0)1397 702 177
Email: info@inverlochycastlehotel.com
“A superb country house hotel three miles from Fort William (which is a lively town in the winter full of walkers and climbers) set in the shadow of Ben Nevis. At Hogmanay there will be a black tie dinner followed by a traditional Ceilidh and pipe music. Already very popular with Americans. The hotel offers a toll free telephone number to call from the USA. It is set in magnificent mountain scenery and for the energetic, there are some superb walks.”

“Truly stunning.”

KINLOCH HOUSE
BLAIRGOWRIE
Telephone: +44 (0)1250 884 237
Email: reception@kinlochhouse.com
“Stunning views, beautiful property and full of beautiful panelled walls.”

OTHER HOTELS RECEIVING A VOTE:

INVERARNAN HOTEL at the top of Loch Lomond
Tel: +44 (0)1301 704 234

THE CEILIDH PLACE at Achiltibuie
Tel: +44 (0)1854 612 103

THE KINGSHOUSE HOTEL, Rannoch Moor.
Tel: +44 (0)1855 851 259
Though one correspondent notes that all three would however produce a high level of culture shock in all but the most hardened American.

CULLODEN HOUSE, Inverness
“Stunning”
Tel: +44 (0)1463 790 461

KINLOCH LODGE, Skye - “Simply wonderful.”
Tel: +44 (0)1471 833 333
 
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