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Issue 29 - Christmas & Hogmanay Hotels

Scotland Magazine Issue 29
October 2006


This article is 12 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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Christmas & Hogmanay Hotels

New Lanark Mill Hotel Clyde Valley, Lanarkshire Tel: +44 (0)1555 66 7200

There’s something more than a little magical about the hidden-in-avalley UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s New Lanark village.

There’s a palpable sense of how life was in the past, especially in the early days of industry... and yet this setting is naturally beautiful and nowadays includes a wildlife reserve in addition to a visitor centre.

Annie McLeod’s Story will take you back in time while the Millennium Experience with its futuristic ride is a must.

While you are discovering the unique village and all its time-capsule qualities, you’ll need somewhere to stay. And at Christmas, Hogmanay or really any time of the year, the New Lanark Mill Hotel is the ideal base.

It’s a very independent hotel, friendly, with just 38 bedrooms created out of a tall old cotton mill on the very banks of the rushing and sometimes roaring upper River Clyde. Impressive falls are nearby.

Christmas two-night packages from £195pp and Twixmas (the period between December 27-30) four-night packages from just £229pp are on offer. Hogmanay books out far in advance, so plan ahead.

In 2007 the hotel is opening a leisure club with pool and a roof garden, further adding to its appeal. And if you fancy self-catering (although the hotel’s good food isn’t far away) there are newly renovated Waterhouses built over the river. What child (of any age) wouldn’t feel this to be a special place for a special time?

Hotel du Vin Glasgow 1 Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow Tel: +44 (0)141 339 2001

We were the first guide though the doors of the re-launched Glasgow Hotel of the Year 2006, now to be known as Hotel du Vin & Bistro at One Devonshire Gardens. And you can take our word for it that the place is looking very merry.

The Hotel du Vin group, related to the Malmaison chain of style hotels, has several upmarket boutique hotels in interesting architectural conversions in England but this is its first hotel in Scotland.

The new-look One Devonshire’s fabulously sexy bistro is set to become one of the most inviting lunch or dinner destinations in the city. Deeply glamorous with matt black walls, wood panelling, red orchids, big oils, sparkling chandeliers, big candles and staff attired in chic French style... it’s the perfect destination at Christmas time. Toast the Whisky Snug Bar adjacent with its no less than 330 whiskies on offer and – in an exciting development – there’s an extensive, atmospheric Cave du Vin under the restaurant in to which diners can be taken to choose their vintage.

The hotel offers special festive season rates, or a Hogmanay package, and when you glimpse the immaculate Victorian terrace (the whole of it now being the hotel) with a dozen twinkling Christmas trees sparkling a welcome... you’ll soon be in the seasonal mood. Indoors the public rooms and bedrooms are five-star standard; each room or suite is now named after a wine. The clue is in the name, after all.

The Cross at Kingussie Kingussie, Inverness-shire Tel: +44 (0)1540 661 166

Journeying northwards, the landscape changes. It gets wilder, fresher and interesting. By the time you see the first signs for Kingussie, haunt of the memorably-named character the Wolf of Badenoch, you’re in the Cairngorms National Park.

There’s much to do here in this beautiful landscape where the worldwide hit television series Monarch of the Glen was filmed, and there are many options when it comes to places in which to make base, but this is one of our preferred options.

The main ingredients are here and they’re all quality: location; hospitality; accommodation; food and wine.

Surrounded by grand mountain scenery, with a river rushing by the terrace, red squirrels in the trees overlooked by the best Riverside Rooms, this is a great place for a festive escape.

The small hotel offers eight comfortable and fresh bedrooms. In recent years it has won The Scottish Restaurant with Rooms of the Year Award, three AArosettes and a Wine Award for Scotland 2006.

The Hogmanay package is always hugely popular. At the heart is the superbly flavoursome cuisine – all the more enjoyable as there’s a lack of the stuffiness sometimes associated with fine dining.

Champagne and fireworks at the ‘bells’ of the new year; a ceilidh dance in the village hall, perhaps; and a visit to see a traditional shinty match on January 1. From £150pp a night for a full programme.

3 More ideas for you

Kilcamb Lodge Strontian, Argyll Tel: +44 (0)1967 402 257

In a spectacular position by Loch Sunart, this deeply welcoming country house hotel offers all the Christmas cheer and atmosphere we dream of. Log fires, cosy rooms, great food, candlelight, winter walks, and mighty fine hosts. Three night package includes seven-course dinner by their GourmetPlatewinning

Channings New Town, Edinburgh Tel: +44 (0)131 315 2226

This delightful town house hotel in elegant terrace makes a great Christmas base in the capital! £225pp for a two-night Christmas break includes room, Scottish breakfast, three-course dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunch. Upgrade to one of the new Sir Ernest Shackleton Suites with bathroom (as pictured).

Loch Tummel Inn near Pitlochry, Perthshire Tel: +44 (0)131 315 2226

A cheery inn with a great view to Schiehallion, the ‘faery mountain’. Escape to a three-night Christmas celebration. Afternoon tea and scones on arrival, three nights room and Scottish breakfasts, ‘Taste of Scotland’ dinner on the 24th, lunchtime drinks reception on Christmas Day then the festive lunch and meals other days. From £265pp.

On a budget | This month’s top three tips

Grants at Craigellachie Wester Ross

Tel: +44 (0)1599 511 331
Brilliant tiny restaurant with rooms. Three nights Dinner, B&B over Christmas, including a bottle of chilled Champagne on arrival, just £295pp all-in

Hillcrest House Wigtown – The Book Town
Tel: +44 (0)1988 402 018
Hogmanay away in bonnie Galloway? Two nights Dinner, B&B, including a four-course gourmet dinner and wine on New Year’s Eve £140pp, based on two sharing

The Wheatsheaf Berwickshire
Tel: +44 (0)1890 860 257
Cosy, excellent village inn facing green. Dinner, B&B in December & January from £65pp based on two sharing. Free bottle of sparkling wine on arrival

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