Category Archives: Hotels in Scotland

Five Bespoke hotels to visit this Easter for five different experiences

Easter is a lovely time of the year to get away to one of the UK Bespoke hotels. It’s the first holiday when it really starts to feel like spring, and with any luck the sun will come out, the daffodils will be in full bloom, the days begin to get significantly longer, and the clocks will be changing.

All in all, there’s a positive feeling in the air and long, lazy summer evenings to look forward to. Just because we’re enjoying the same time of year however, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we’re all looking for the same things in our Easter break. So here are five hotels to visit for very different experiences over the bank holiday weekend.

Bespoke Hotels Cotswold House Hotel
Cotswold House Hotel

Spring gardens: hopefully the Easter weekend will bring blue skies and warmer weather, and if you’re anything like us then one of the great joys of this time of the year is getting out into the fresh air. After all those winter months of cuddling by log fires (because of course that’s what we spend all our time doing from November to March), now is the time for walking in the garden, smiling at the daffodils, and watching the blossom as it scatters from the trees.

With that in mind, Cotswold House Hotel and Spa in Gloucestershire, with its tranquil gardens that lead to the spa at the end of a cobbled path, is an idyllic place to spend the weekend. It probably goes without saying given that the Cotswolds as a rule are chocolate box perfect, but peace, quiet, tranquility, and exceptional food coupled with gardens that are just manicured enough without being pretentious makes for an escape that encapsulates the best of British.

Bespoke hotels  - The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury
Bespoke – The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury

Sunday roast: food is one of the great priorities at Easter, and whatever you find yourself doing on the Saturday, there can surely be no debate that Sunday is about the perfect roast lunch before tucking into that chocolate egg… With a spectacular view of both Lake Ullswater and the Helvellyn mountain range, the aptly titled Inn on the Lake in Cumbria from Bespoke Hotels has won Cumbria Tourism Awards for Large Hotel of the Year as well as Outstanding Customer Service. It has 15 acres of grounds sweeping to the shores, and five star standards in addition to the awe-inspiring location.

Food is every inch as important as all the other details at this hotel, and as such the Lake View Restaurant has two AA Rosettes and emphasises local produce. Of particular note on this occasion, you guessed it, is their Sunday lunch, which features a traditional roast with a luxurious touch complete with all the expected trimmings for a perfect Easter weekend.

Bespoke Hotels Tulloch Castle
Tulloch Castle

Romantic mini-break: as it is a school holiday it’s always a little bit of a juggling act between finding hotels that are suitable for families and those who want to get away for a long romantic weekend together, but few things spell romance quite like a castle befitting a role in the best loved fairytales. Tulloch Castle in Scotland fits just that bill. Dating back to the 12th century it has a lively history of changing fortunes and scandalous intrigue.

These days it’s all a little calmer without the Chief of the Clan ruling the roost, but with painstakingly restored original features, a 250-year old paneled great hall and 20 well-appointed bedrooms filled with character and charm, not to mention fantastic food, it’s an escape to the country that’s ideal for couples who want some peace and quiet over the weekend.

Bespoke Hotels The Spa at Night

Spa break: despite the abundance of chocolate eggs at this time of year, spring is a brilliant time to clear away any remaining cobwebs from the winter months and make yourself feel fresh as a daisy for all those summer holidays that you’re doubtless looking forward to. For that reason, a spa break over the Easter weekend can prove the perfect way to simply start feeling better, especially with a few more days to play with than your average weekend allows.

The Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in Essex is surrounded by 12 acres of English Heritage gardens, and combines a historic background (including visits from the likes of JM Barrie and Winston Churchill), with a contemporary glass building. It’s light, airy and the spa itself is overseen by naturopath Sue Davis who curates spa breaks with her expert eye to make sure you achieve what you want to, whether that’s simple time out and feel good factor, a full-on detox, or tackling a particular health concern. The knowledge on hand is extensive without being domineering, making it ideal for everyone from seasoned spa goers to those who are quite literally dipping their toe in the water.

Family friendly: of course, nothing beats happy smiling faces on Easter morning, and with school holidays in full swing it’s about quality time for families where everyone can relax and unwind – not always an easy thing to achieve, but let’s give it a go. Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire combines a fantastic location on the edge of Sherwood Forest with contemporary design and a welcoming atmosphere, family friendly restaurant, and their New Leaf Spa as well.

Crucially there are plenty of activities available on site for guests of all ages, as well as others nearby such as pony trekking, cycling, walking, and the Clumber Jungle, which offers everything from archery to laser tag and Segway trails. Suffice to say, there really is something to make sure everyone has a happy Easter!

So what are you waiting for, book your favourite of our Bespoke hotels by following this link >>>>>

Reasons to head over the sea to Isle of Skye in March

The Isle of Skye is an area of spectacular beauty and incredible wildlife.  For those looking for a rugged paradise, it’s pretty hard to beat the mystical island off the West coast of Scotland that’s connected to the mainland by a spectacular bridge.

No surprise then that in the summer, when the wildlife is at its most abundant (think whales, porpoises, dolphins and basking sharks), this quiet bolt-hole is a most popular destination for tourists, drawn by its historic reputation and starring role in Hollywood movies like Stardust, Flash Gordon, and of course the 1948 film of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Isle of Skye Landscapes
Skye Landscapes

Undoubtedly the summer is a very special time of the year.  However, the quieter months of March and April have their own particular brand of magic as well, without feeling as though you’re too hot on the well-beaten tourist trail.  All of this makes it an ideal last minute getaway before it becomes impossible to find anywhere to book in peak season.

It is in these spring months when the days are getting longer and attractions start to open again in the tiny villages and historic keeps that the year’s first wild flowers emerge, with violets and primroses peaking above the ground.  It’s also one of the best months to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, second to October.

The black Cuillins, Isle of Skye
The black Cuillins, Skye

In April the birdlife becomes more abundant again, with gannets, black guillemots and other seabirds returning to the cliffs, while lambing season also begins on the Isle’s numerous farms.

Everywhere you stay on Skye has its own story to tell and enhances the experience in its own unique way. The Dunollie Hotel is set by the water at Broadford Bay at the foot of the mountains that lead to the famous Cuillin Hills. As such it is peaceful and quiet, and always has a welcome Drambuie available after a day of exploration.

The Kings Arms Hotel meanwhile in the pretty village of Kyleakin dates back to the 1600s and is one of the oldest hotels on the island.  It’s all about open fires and panoramic views across the Kyle of Lochalsh to mainland Scotland when you stay here, and it’s also known for traditional cuisine from fresh, local ingredients, characterized by seafood and game.

Dunollie Hotel Isle of Skye

With an altogether different vibe however, is The Kyle Hotel on the other side of the Kyle of Lochalsh.  Perfect as a base for exploring the mountains, enjoying the local wildlife and visiting the nearby Talisker Distillery nearby, it is more contemporary than its counterparts and is just a 10-minute walk from the town’s railway station and Skye Bridge, as well as being just short distance from the shores of Loch Alsh.

The overarching beauty of the Isle of Skye is that it really embodies everything you need for the ultimate escape – spectacular beauty in its most natural form, history, culture, as well as peace and quiet.  The best part is that you don’t have to wait until the summer to enjoy it; the time is now!  But don’t tell everyone, let’s keep it our little secret.

To book your choice of accommodation on the Isle of Skye just click here >>>

Top Five Coastal Hotels in the UK to Visit in the Spring

Once you’ve fallen in love with the UK coastline it’s nigh on impossible to resist the draw of salt in the air, sand between your toes and the occasional spot of sunshine as well.  Long walks along the cliff tops, hearty meals with dramatic views, and a sense of adventure are staples of a British seaside break, as long as you know which coastal hotels to visit.  So here’s what we suggest…

The Lugger Hotel, Cornwall

Bespoke Hotels - The Lugger
Bespoke Hotels – The Lugger

In the little village of Portloe, known for its unrivalled, timeless beauty, The Lugger Hotel is the proud recipient of numerous accolades relating to its high standards of service and style.  Right on the water’s edge, coastal hotels are ideally located for pottering around by the sea, but the Lugger is also within easy reach of attractions like the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  Details including carefully attended fine linens and deluxe showers , while completing the experience is the restaurant, which proudly sports two AA Rosettes and serves locally-sourced food, and truly a joy to luxuriate over.

My Hotel Brighton, Brighton

A luxury hotel that looks more like the apartment you wish you had, My Hotel Brighton is a four star destination that hinges on sexy design and the spirituality of Feng Shui.  Yes, this is how to do Brighton if you’re not a student – ultra cool, super stylish, but with plenty of soul.  Local artisans have created opulent studios, and artwork is peppered throughout the hotel.  They also know how to stop you from feeling like just another face in the crowd, storing your personal preferences on record so that when you go back (and you will want to go back), your room will be ready and waiting just the way you like it!

The Dunollie Hotel, Isle of Skye

Bespoke Hotels - The Dunollie Hotel

In a serene waterside location on Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is all about escaping to homely comforts (and hopefully a lack of mobile phone signal as well).  At the foot of the mountains leading to the famed Cuillin Hills, the area is filled with history, not least the legend that Bonnie Prince Charlie gave the recipe for Drambuie to Clan MacKinnon at this very spot, to thank them for helping him to escape from France.  So why not drink a toast in the restaurant in the evening?  It would be rude not to!

BridgeHouse, Dorset

In a word, BridgeHouse in Dorset is simply magical.  With 700 years of history, it is quite literally a house on a bridge that once upon a time housed a dozen priests.  Today, everything from the walled garden to The Beaminster Brasserie is brimming with charm.  Food, including freshly caught fish is local and organic, and the whole atmosphere is one of unpretentious relaxation.  As good fortune would have it is also close to the Jurassic Coast, which, if you haven’t been, is a real treat for the senses and perfect for anyone who wants to get outside for a bracing spring walk.

Carnoustie Golf Hotel, Scotland

Bespoke Hotels - Carnoustie Hotel & Spa
Carnoustie Hotel & Spa

It’s up to you which view you prefer at the Carnoustie Hotel, from the local town to the golf course and the windswept, it’s all spectacular.  The golf course has hosted some of history’s greatest players in its time, and while the hotel has a wealth of health and spa facilities which really ought to be enjoyed while you’re here, we are partial to a stroll down to the water’s edge where the Angus coastline boasts some of the most magical beaches in Scotland.  If you fancy a day out, a trip to the late Queen Mum’s imposing childhood home Glamis Castle is a must, and we suggest you finish the day with Scottish fare in the hotel’s award-winning Dalhousie Restaurant.

Whichever one of the coastal hotels you choose ensure your booking dates are available at the best rates by clicking here >>>

Why Inverness Should Be Your Next Holiday Hotspot

Anyone who has been to a hotel in Scotland will have fallen in love with it. It’s inevitable; the landscape, the history, the accent, the people… it’s all the stuff that great literature is made of (no wonder J.K Rowling was inspired in her Edinburgh café), and of course, great holidays as well.

Chief amongst Scotland’s beautiful locations is the Highlands city of Inverness, a beautiful hotel in Scotland,  on the banks of the River Ness, which even by Lonely Planet’s lofty standards is recommended as the area’s chief attraction, providing an idyllic scenic stroll towards Ness Islands.

Bespoke - Columba Inverness
Columba Inverness

Linked to one another and the riverbank by Victorian footbridges, the islands are planted with mature Scots pine and fir trees, and when the weather holds it’s the perfect opportunity to tuck into a decadent picnic basket. Take a tipple in your hip flask and enjoy watching the Anglers catch salmon in the afternoon before completing a circular walk by returning on the opposite bank to your starting point on your way back to your chosen hotel in Scotland.

On that note, I recommend that you start at The Columba Hotel. The historic building dating back to 1881 has enviable views and a charming restaurant where you can refuel at the end of that day pottering about.

Bespoke - Columba Inverness Bedrooms
Columba Inverness Bedrooms

The hotel looks out not just at the river, but also at another of Inverness’s iconic attractions. The hill above the city is capped by the Baronial turrets of Inverness Castle, a pink sandstone confection of a building that dates back to 1847. It’s not open to the public but the views from the surrounding gardens are admirable – such is the theme of this particular hotel in Scotland.

If that heavy emphasis on walking tires you out at the mere thought, the water is your next stop. Loch Ness made its name thanks to legend and a little help from the movies, so a trip on the water with the likes of Jacobite Cruises seems as good an excuse as any to see what the fuss is about. They offer 90 minute cruises from Tomnahurich Bridge, pointing out the various landmarks along the way from the Caledonian Canal and onto the loch itself.

Bespoke - Columba Inverness

The day has to be completed with a little cultural jaunt, and for this there is nothing finer than the Eden Court Theatre. Drama, dance, comedy, film and music fill the calendar so it’s worth taking a peek before you head off, and plan what you want to see.

All in all, a hotel in Scotland offers a rich tapestry of things to do and places to go, but Inverness is most definitely one of the many jewels in its crown, perfect for a weekend getaway.