The Most Romantic Hotels in Scotland for Childfree Breaks – If you want to go somewhere really special then these are the best hotels I’ve experienced. They’re not necessarily the most expensive hotels but they are special – intimate, cosy and they all serve excellent food and drink. When I escape with my partner, these are my priorities. Here are some of the finest escapes Scotland has to offer.
The Peat Inn, Fife
For Michelin star dining, in a very relaxed informal setting, book a table and an apartment at the Peat Inn. When I hear Michelin Star I worry I’ll feel ignorant and/or patronised. The Peat Inn is such a chilled, quality experience, and it’s all about the food, so relax and enjoy every morsel.
Take a seat in the Lounge for a pre dinner drink and read the menu. Then dine in the restaurant on the likes of soft-poached Baldinnie quail eggs to start, wild turbot with globe artichokes as a main, followed by a hot strawberry and lime soufflé for dessert. Tasting menus or à la carte are both available.
The simple but contemporary apartments are split level. There is no breakfast room so you don’t have to get up and dressed for brekkie. Instead, order your breakfast the night before, and it’s brought directly to you – how romantic.
The Old Manse of Blair, Perthshire
This homely but smart hotel offers contemporary Scottish decor, with walls festooned in Scottish art, located in the charming village of Blair Atholl. The owner, Anne MacDonald, welcomes you personally to the ivy-clad manse, and takes you to your boutique hotel room. Dinner is served in the bright and fresh Orangery, prepared by a former Gleneagles chef.
We’re talking starters of Orkney scallop with slow cooked pig cheek, sea vegetables, lemongrass and fennel cream. Slow cooked feather blade of Scotch beef with potato gnocchi and spring greens as a main. And salted chocolate and caramel ganache with popcorn for dessert.
The art definitely deserves a mention. Each piece has been hand selected, commissioned, or even handmade, by Anne. From her mirrors created from grouse feathers, to the dining table handcrafted from a 200 year old oak that fell at Blair Castle, there’s a quirkiness and individuality here. Also look out for several paintings by Gerard Burns, whose work features in the Scottish Parliament.
All the rooms are beautiful and hugely comfortable, but to really treat yourself, book a night in the Georgian Suite.
Children are welcome here too, so read more about the family friendly side of the Old Manse here, which also shares things to do in the area as well.
Douneside House, Aberdeenshire
For a stunning tasting menu in a unique setting I can’t recommend Douneside House enough. The hotel is also part of a not-for-profit organisation, so guests are essentially giving money to charity as they indulge. The house boasts beautiful gardens and grounds (RHS Partner Gardens no less), a pool and spa, so ample opportunity to relax and rejuvenate.
For a full review and to discover more about this country house’s brave and heartbreaking history click here.
Links House, Dornoch
Another exceptional property, this time in the Highlands. Beautiful accommodation with no expense spared- antiques, artwork and classic furniture in the hotel rooms and suites. A mix of libraries and public drawing rooms create a variety of snugs for aperitifs and afternoon dinner drinks, or a quiet afternoon by the fire. Expect attentive staff, a beverage manager who delights in making imaginative and delicious cocktails, and a fresh restaurant with a new head chef and menu for 2020.
The hotel is situated minutes from Dornoch beach, and a short walk into town for shops, bars and restaurants – if you can pull yourself away.
Gleneagles is admittedly the opposite of a small, intimate hotel, but I rate it because it feels like a true escape. It’s an elegant resort, with a fantastic restaurant by the late Andrew Fairlie. The stylish American cocktail bar, only opens from 6pm, so it’s an adults-only chic childfree venue. During the day, swim, spa, or drink and dine at one of the other many restaurants and bars on site. The outdoor pool is a particular highlight. This is a big resort, but it still has an intimate vibe, and you’ll know that you’ve truly treated yourself.
[If you do wish to or have to bring children with you (like we did), then there’s a fantastic kids club. Two hours child care are provided free per day, and you can pay to book additional hours if they are available.]