As far as beautiful locations go, few can rival that of The Airds, a luxury country house hotel set in a converted ferry inn on the West Coast of Scotland. This part of the world is without a doubt one of the most picturesque travel destinations in the UK, and The Airds provides the perfect base from which to explore it. Located in Argyll in the Scottish Highlands, about 160 km from Glasgow Airport, the dramatic scenery of the local area is second to none, although with The Airds’ cosy lounges, log fires and outstanding 3 AA rosette restaurant, you might not want to set foot outside the front door!
The Airds is a small, family friendly hotel – even dogs are welcome! – with eleven bedrooms and one self-catering cottage located in the grounds. Two tastefully-decorated lounges, complete with fireplaces and a generous supply of newspapers and magazines, invite guests to make themselves at home, while the hotel also boasts a sunny conservatory and large garden. Wi-Fi access is available, with a good, fast service throughout the hotel. One of The Airds’ biggest attractions has to be its food and drink, with an award-winning restaurant, custom-built whisky bar and superb afternoon teas all on offer.
Each of the eleven bedrooms is individually decorated, using designer fabrics and wallpaper, and range from classic double rooms through superior rooms and suites to the Loch Suite, which boasts exceptional views of Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Mountains. Styles vary from “country house” to “boutique”, but all have a homely and welcoming feel. Vi spring beds are used throughout, and luxurious bathrobes, slippers and Bulgari toiletries are provided for all guests in the marble topped ensuite bathrooms. All rooms have satellite television, DVD and CD players, and a library of DVDs is available for guests to enjoy during their stay. Complimentary “whisky macs” – a local drink of whisky mixed with ginger wine – ensure a warm welcome! Room Tip – The rooms at the front of the hotel all overlook the Loch, and are well worth paying that little bit extra for. There’s no need to worry about noise either as it’s such a peaceful location.
Restaurant and Bar
The Airds is rightly proud of its restaurant, which has won numerous awards including three AA rosettes, and is considered by many to be one of the best eateries in Scotland. The emphasis is very much on high quality, locally sourced ingredients, and the hotel could not be better located for the freshest local shellfish. Crisp white linen, fresh flowers and candlelight set the scene in the dining room, while afternoon tea in the lounge, conservatory or garden is also an experience to remember. If you visit during the cooler weather, you can always warm up by sampling the delights of the whisky bar, where every bottle has been carefully selected to ensure that all tastes are catered for. Restaurant Tip – Go for the seven course tasting menu if you can’t make your mind up. This is a really popular option with guests and you have the option to sample matching wines with each course too.
While there is no onsite spa, guests can enjoy a full range of treatments, including massages and aromatherapy, in their rooms. Croquet and a putting green can be found in the hotel grounds, but the biggest draw here as far as activities are concerned is the spectacular scenery. Walking and cycling are very popular, as are boat trips and scuba diving. Children will love the nearby Scottish Seal Sanctuary and the Jacobite steam train, which passes through scenery made famous by its use in the Harry Potter films.
If you’re travelling in a party or just want a bit more independence, the self-catering cottage might suit your needs down to the ground. This can accommodate up to five people, and dinner and/or breakfast in the hotel can always be arranged.
If you enjoy great food and want a luxurious home from home while exploring some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery, The Airds Hotel is exactly what you’re looking for!
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