Reflected in its own loch and backed by Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, sits the magnificent Inverlochy Castle Hotel. This spectacular setting is only enhanced by the opulence of the hotel’s fine dining restaurant by Michel Roux Jr, which has won numerous awards. Queen Victoria once visited the Castle for a week in 1873, and remarked that she had “never seen a lovelier or more romantic place” and to which, we can confirm, that the statement still stands strong and true to this day.
In present day, guests are still given an equally regal welcome in the Great Hall by the extremely warm and welcoming staff of Inverlochy Castle Hotel, which is now a proud part of the Luxury Scotland Collection and run by the ICMI Group. Visiting guests can spend their time exploring the scenic area or unwinding with a drink from the fantastic collection of rare whiskies, or indulging in the outstanding cuisine. Additionally, the hotel is without a doubt one of the best starting points for adventures into the Highlands.
While staying at Inverlochy Castle, we discovered why it is universally regarded to be one of the best hotels in the world. Everything from the spectacular scenery to the magnificent suites, exceptional service and the exquisite food is all of the highest of standards and we already can’t wait to return one day soon.
Despite its proximity to the busy tourist town of Fort William, the location of Inverlochy Castle Hotel is a tranquil haven. Lying at the foot of Ben Nevis and surrounded by a ring of highland peaks, a stay at this stunning luxury hotel will leave you with the greatest of fond memories and a need to return in the future. The drive past Glencoe and up the Great Glen to Fort William is also a must and one of Scotland’s greatest pleasures.
Although it’s only three miles from Fort William’s centre, the Inverlochy Castle Hotel is tucked away in a quiet corner of the city. Built atop sloping gardens on the valley’s eastern side, overlooking the River Lochy, it provides breathtaking views of the mountains to the west, which line the Road to the Isles. Aonach Mor, Scotland’s second-tallest peak, dominates the horizon to the east, while Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest peak, stands sentinel to the south-east.
Rooms & Suites
Views of the grounds and the castle’s private loch can be enjoyed from each of the 17 bedrooms and suites, each of which is uniquely and exquisitely decorated, making you feel like you have stepped back in time or onto the set of a period drama.
The majority of the hotel’s rooms are located on the third and fourth levels of the main castle, while one is in the outbuilding gatehouse. The hotel’s website features 360-degree views of each room, so it should come as no surprise that regulars tend to have their favourite rooms or suites that they request again and again. Standard rooms to suites are available, yet even the smallest accommodation at Inverlochy Castle Hotel is more spacious than those at many other hotels.
We stayed in the spacious “King’s Suite”, which is connected to the iconic “Queen’s Suite” through a door and can be turned into two separate suites or one large suite for big family gatherings and stays. Our suite was decorated in the same style, which can be found throughout each room in the castle, with plenty of elegant, regal decorative pieces and period furniture. Both the Queen and King suites also come with separate living areas and vast marble bathrooms with standalone tubs, double rain-forest showers and incredible views of the hotel’s private grounds and loch.
Dining & Drinks
The Inverlochy Castle Hotel combines a majestic baronial castle of immense character with superb service to provide a dining experience worthy of three AA Rosettes. Gentlemen guests should pack a suit jacket for formal dinners, as this is customary attire. Dinner begins at 7pm each night when guests are asked to gather downstairs by the fire and greeted with a glass of champagne, cocktails and served canapés, which are freshly prepared as you are seated. The five-course dinner experience is then served in Seasgair, a restaurant by the much-loved and celebrated Michel Roux Jr.
There are three dining halls at Inverlochy Castle. As a southern-facing room, the Green Room provides views of the hotel’s lush gardens. Separately, the Library is accessible by a hidden entrance off the Great Hall, making it ideal for more quiet dinner parties. The Red Room is the hotel’s main dining area, and is a truly spectacular space with three large bay windows that look out into the hotel’s western grounds and the scenic mountains. Like most of the hotel, the dining room is steeped in history, with the magnificent oak sideboard and dresser that characterise this room, being gifts from the King of Norway, all adding to the grandeur of the dining experience at Inverlochy Castle.
Overall, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience, look no further than Seasgair by Michel Roux Jr, the restaurant serves only the finest dishes made with local produce, such as delicacies from farmers in the area surrounding the castle that can’t be found anywhere else. Canapés and courses will be prepared right in front of you, and you will find traditional silverware, fine bone china, and crockery made by local potters to present everything. From start to finish is extremely unique and allowed for us to enjoy the true sense of Invelochy Castle’s past, and exactly how the owners might have been served dinner each evening.
The Red Room is also where guests have breakfast each morning, where guests will quickly discover that the breakfast experience is given the same level of care and consideration as the dinner experience.
Service & Facilities
The service is impeccable and formal without being stuffy and all staff are attentive and welcoming, which is one of the main takeaways from a stay at Inverlochy Castle Hotel. Many of the staff members have been working at the hotel for over a decade, which adds to its unrivalled feeling of staying at a family home.
Skiing, white water rafting, off-road driving, stalking, and fishing are all viable options of things to do when visiting Inverlochy Castle. During the summer months, guests may also go for a row on the picturesque loch, then relax with a whisky in the billiard room or a book in front of the fireplace in the living room.
KeiKei is a London-based award-winning journalist and videographer with a degree in Broadcast Media and Journalism from the University of the West of Scotland and an extensive reporting background in news, entertainment, travel, and lifestyle.
KeiKei has travelled the globe interviewing, reporting and reviewing. Her work has been published in worldwide media outlets including, The New York Post, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, National Geographic and Conde Nast publications.