From £700
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OVERVIEW

Queen Victoria said she 'Never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot' than Inverlochy and not many people would argue with her. Add a hotel that's a template for luxury that whispers rather than shouts and you're as close as it gets to highland holiday heaven.


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Rooms available from £700 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Fort William isn't the most attractive town in the Highlands, but that's forgotten when you arrive at peaceful Inverlochy, three miles away. Lying at the foot of Ben Nevis and overlooking Loch Eil and the hills beyond it's a fantastic spot for walking, climbing or just sightseeing with both Glencoe and Glenfinnan an easy drive away. Fort William is a good place to pick up outdoor clothing (or midge repellent) or lunch at the seafood restaurant on the pier before taking a scenic cruise up Loch Linnhe.

By car: around 3 hours 30 minutes from Edinburgh, 7 hours from Sheffield and 10 hours from London. There is free parking on site.

By train: Direct trains run to Spean Bridge station from Glasgow Queen Street (3 hours 30 minutes) and London Euston (12 hours 30 minutes). Spean Bridge station is a 15-minute taxi ride from the hotel. Book trains to Spean Bridge.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

Inverlochy, like the painting of Dorian Grey, does not age so much as discretely adapt. You won't find bare floorboards and walls painted fifty shades of bruise; it's all knee-deep carpets, swags, tails, fringe and chintz. Modern conveniences are present but tactfully hidden away, like an embarrassing relative seated behind a door. It's the sort of place where you change for dinner: gentlemen, bring a jacket.

THE FACILITIES

Arrive in Fort William by steam train and the hotel will send their Rolls Royce to collect you, setting the standard. Want a picnic? Boots and skis arranged? Or perhaps white-water rafting, stalking, fishing or mountain biking; or a wildlife or photograph tour. Too wet to go out? How about a game of billiards, or a quiet dram by the fire with a little instruction from the outstanding sommelier? Your wish is their command.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lounge
  • Archery
  • Tennis court
  • Billiards
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Possibly the last hotel in Scotland with quilted bedspreads, each bedroom is different, and although you may have a half-tester bed as opposed to a four-poster there will be space, comfortable armchairs or sofa (or both) and antiques galore. Walls are papered, curtains are lavish, bedsheets have a high thread count and the housekeeping is a miracle. Looking for your television? It's hidden behind the mirror.

Room types: Main hotel rooms and suites, Gate Lodge private accommodation

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with bespoke toiletries, TV, bathrobes and slippers, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

Dine in any of the three dining rooms, each as gorgeously decorated as the next, the menus designed and overseen by Michel Roux Jr. After a drink and canapés in the Great Hall, dine on wild rabbit cannelloni with girolles followed by spiced monkfish tail. Light meals are available in the lounge and there is room service, of course.

Albert and Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle: 3 AA Rosettes, formal fine dining, French-inspired, modern British cuisine. Open daily for dinner. Five-course menu from £95 per person.

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