Inverlochy Castle Hotel is the closest thing to heaven I’ve ever experienced. The luxury castle hotel is tucked away in its own estate just outside Fort William which makes it easily accessible from both Glasgow and Edinburgh by train. Alternatively, if your budget stretches far enough, you can arrange for Rolls-Royce or helicopter pickup pretty much anywhere in Scotland. In the words of my lovely other half: “For this, you might need to remortgage your house.”
A stay at the five star hotel complete with a Michelin restaurant doesn’t come cheap but, boy, is it worth it. From the minute you enter through the ancient wooden doors you’re attended to by a team of impeccable staff who are genuinely interested in your wellbeing and comfort throughout your stay.
If you arrive too early for check in, you’ll be ushered into the drawing room and served refreshments of the highest caliber. Meanwhile, your luggage will be taken care of.
It’s easy to lose track of time at Inverlochy Castle Hotel. There’s something to be admired wherever you look, from the pristine furnishings and decor to the stunning artwork adorning the walls. Also worth seeing is the collection of elk heads in the snooker room, shot in North America by the late owner of the estate.
I can’t comment on all the rooms but ours was incredibly spacious with a blue, yellow and floral theme, a TV, Bang & Olufsen sound system and other expensive details. The bathroom featured both a bath and a shower and boasted a full set of Penhaligon’s toiletries.
Dinner is served in a room furnished with antique tables and cabinets gifted by the King of Norway in the mid-20th century. You’d best know your cutlery before dining here. Don’t fret if you’re not a wine connoisseur, however, as there’s a sommelier on hand and you’re given thirty minutes before dinner to browse the wine book, whilst enjoying your amuse-bouches.
Everything we ate was divine and beautifully presented. Local seafood and game feature heavily on the menu. I recommend opting for the cheese board for dessert as it’s like no other I’ve ever seen. Expect a waitress to arrive at your table with a silver tray loaded with around ten cheeses, some Scottish, others French.
After dinner, it’s a pleasant surprise to walk into your room which has been prepared for the night – duvets turned down, curtains drawn, night lights on.
The bed linen of goodness-knows-what-high-thread-count guarantees a good night’s sleep, unless you suffer from post-cheese-board nightmares!
Breakfast is once again served in the dining room with a view across the loch and hills in the distance. Again, there is a menu to consider and you’ll leave very energised for the day ahead. By breakfast time I felt a little less intimidated by the grand surroundings and highly enjoyed the opportunity to people watch. As a 24-year-old and 29-year-old couple we were the youngest guests by far. Some guests seemed to be regulars while others were obviously visiting Scotland from afar. Remember to bring posh clothes to fit in! In the evenings it’s suit and tie only in the dining room.
We were sad to have to check out, so unwilling in fact, that we popped back in the afternoon for a cheeky break and beverage before departing for our bus.
Photos by Grafyte.