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Scotland Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Abode Glasgow
129 Bath Street
Glasgow
Scotland
Tel: 44 141 221 6789
www.abodehotels.co.uk/glasgow

If you can't get into Malmaison, this is the place to book. Constructed in 1911 and converted into a hotel in 1999, this former Department of Education office building (on the historical register) was reopened by hotelier Andrew Brownsword and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines at the end of 2005. Thanks to clever, subtle renovations, the boutique property retains its Arts and Crafts detail—tiling in the entrance, bronze lions rearing up on the walls surrounding the grand staircase, a wrought-iron elevator, and a waterfall. Its 60 rooms, decorated in shades of green and robin's-egg blue, are divided into four categories—Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable, and Fabulous. To avoid being stuck in a somewhat cramped space without much daylight (so much for "comfort"), spring for an Enviable or Fabulous room—they're bigger and have original touches such as cornicing and stained-glass windows. Throughout, bathrooms are small (the curse of older properties), but there are handcrafted beds, satellite TVs, DVD players, and free broadband. In the basement, the informal MC Café Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Vibe is a cool lounge with sheer curtains and subtle lighting, where DJs spin until 1 a.m. Eminem and Beyoncé have both tucked up in bed here. Separately.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Airds Hotel
Port Appin , Argyll
Scotland PA38 4DF
Tel: 44 1631 730 236
airds@airds-hotel.com
www.airds-hotel.com

Airds started life as a coaching inn for travelers en route to the island of Lismore in the Inner Hebrides, and the view across Loch Linnhe to Lismore still draws visitors. Eating breakfast in the dining room while watching the clouds roll across the Morvern mountains in the distance is something of a treat. The 11 cosy rooms (six with loch view) comfortably straddle traditional tastes and contemporary fashion, with muted designer fabrics and abstract art on the walls. Two of the three suites have splash-proof TVs mounted over the baths and walk-in showers, but the overall design is aimed at easygoing elegance rather than sleek modernity. With its ornate fireplace, grandfather clock, and antique writing bureau, the larger of the two lounges is rather handsome, the smaller is a cozy room that's a perfect hideaway—providing you don't mind the stag's head above the fire watching. Under head chef Robert Macpherson, the hotel's kitchen makes the most of its seaside location with tapenade-crusted halibut fillets rubbing shoulders with other locally sourced, land-based ingredients, such as such as venison from the Kingairloch Estate. Airds is developing its gardens with a view to offering lawn games from the summer house. Dinner and breakfast are included in the price.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Ardanaiseig Hotel
Kilchrenan
Taynuilt , Argyll
Scotland PA35 1HE
Tel: 44 1866 833 333
info@ardanaiseig.com
www.ardanaiseig.com

Tucked away several miles down a single-track road and perched at the head of the appropriately named Loch Awe on the west coast, this rambling 18-bedroom hotel has "romantic hideaway" carved into its Victorian foundations. It is owned by an antique dealer, which makes for some idiosyncratic fixtures and fittings. While the Kilchurn room has a gothic four-poster, the Tromlee room boasts an antique hookah, and the palatial drawing room has two golden thrones, gilt-edged mirrors, and a magnificent Bechstein grand piano. Spicing up the country-house vibe are quirky touches such as the oil painting in the dining room that depicts Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, and Mick Jagger. The food is less eccentric, with zucchini soup, cèpe risotto with summer truffles, and sea bass with potato scales and samphire typical dishes. There are seven master bedrooms with views to the loch; 11 more (including four doubles) overlook the extensive gardens. The woodland gardens are worth a stroll, and guests can hire boats to fish the loch or explore its islands.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Balmoral
1 Princes Street
Edinburgh
Scotland EH2 2EQ
Tel: 44 131 556 2414
reservations@roccofortehotels.com
www.thebalmoralhotel.com

It could not be more central or more subtly beautiful, with decor by Olga Polizzi, sister of Rocco Forte, to whose select hotel chain this belongs. On the other hand, its rates could hardly be higher. For the 188 exquisite chambers, Polizzi has selected a heather-on-the-Highland-moors palette: lavender, cream, moss, and peat in costly wools, leather, silks, and linens. The best rooms have views of Edinburgh Castle. But look out (or rather, don't…): A great many of them face inward, with no view at all; even the biggest of the ($600-odd) Deluxe rooms are marred by this problem. The Balmoral Spa has a gorgeous 15-meter pool overlooked by a juice bar, sauna, and steam rooms. There's an impressive gym, and also studio facilities and five treatment rooms using E'SPA products. The fanciest of the hotel's three restaurants (appropriately named Number One) is among the best in the city. If you're after less fancy dining, there's the informal brasserie called Hadrian's. The elegant Palm Court, the hotel's Bollinger Bar, is an open, airy space with comfy settees, a domed ceiling, and a beautiful Venetian glass chandelier—an especially genteel spot to enjoy afternoon tea listening to the soothing melodies of the resident harpist.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Boath House
Auldern
Nairn
Scotland IV12 5TE
Tel: 44 1667 454 896
info@boath-house.com
www.boath-house.com

A restored Georgian mansion 16 miles from Inverness, with manicured lawns, mature woodlands, and its own trout lake, Boath House is the sort of place where Merchant Ivory might have filmed a Jane Austen adaptation. Each of the eight bedrooms is individually decorated; they vary from the sumptuous drapes and seductively rich colors of Room One and the traditional four-poster bed of Room Four, to the darker, contemporary style of the two courtyard suites. The suites have wet rooms, while Room Three's bathroom has two side-by-side stand-alone baths that are raised so their occupants can watch the swans on the lake. The comfortable drawing room and snug lounge are hung with works by contemporary Scottish artists, including Madonna fave JOLOMO. The artistry extends to the kitchen, which specializes in leisurely five-course dinners. The chefs plunder the kitchen garden for ingredients, such as chive flowers, which are flash-cooked in a tempura-style batter and then paired with juicy Shetland lamb. The grounds make for a pleasant stroll; keep an eye out for the beehives that produce the breakfast honey.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Bonham
35 Drumsheugh Gardens
Edinburgh
Scotland EH3 7RN
Tel: 44 131 274 7400
reserve@thebonham.com
www.thebonham.com

Once a maternity hospital and then an Edinburgh University dorm, this four-story building on an elegant Victorian street was reincarnated as a hotel in 1998. Nineteenth-century ornamental cornices, wood panels, and high ceilings satisfy the historical cravings of period enthusiasts, but contemporary furniture, oversize lampshades, and huge modern canvases by area artists keep it from feeling frumpy. There are a few playful touches: Two clocks—one marked Glasgow, the other Edinburgh—sit side by side in the library, the Glasgow one running a few minutes behind. In the restaurant (spruced up from its days as the student refectory), French chef Michel Bouyer uses local, organic ingredients in modern European dishes such as pan-fried Aberdeen Angus beef with porcini sauce. The 50 bold-toned rooms are large, with big windows overlooking a large private neighborhood garden (hotel residents are given a key) at the front, or the city's rooftops and church spires at the rear. Each has a combination Internet/TV/DVD/CD unit; most baths have stand-alone showers. For those with rental cars, the hotel's parking lot is an all-important extra in this central neighborhood.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Brunswick Hotel
106–108 Brunswick Street
Merchant City
Glasgow
Scotland G1 1TF
Tel: 44 141 552 0001
enquiry@brunswickhotel.co.uk
www.brunswickhotel.co.uk

In the middle of the trendy Merchant City, the mod, curvy-copper-roofed Primavera Building sits in a row of Victorians. This 19-room boutique certainly looks pricier than it is, thanks to the dramatic lighting, modern upholstered headboards, and rooms in rich reds, browns, creams and oranges. If you don't mind the cramped conditions in the smaller rooms, the Brunswick offers one of the best deals in town (for about $60 more, your room doubles in size). The most spacious accommodation can be found in the duplex penthouse under the copper eaves with a mezzanine gallery, sauna, and kitchen—which, as top suites go, is a relative bargain. There's a well-priced café-bar that buzzes at night with a laid-back thirtysomething crowd. It's also where you can fill up on a European breakfast: a pretty basic, self-service affair, but it's hard to complain at these rates.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Culloden House
Culloden
Inverness
Scotland
Tel: 44 1463 790 461
info@cullodenhouse.co.uk
www.cullodenhouse.co.uk

Staff make you feel "like an old friend" at this vine-covered Georgian country house. "Gorgeous and polished" public areas have faux-marble pillars and high ceilings, but it's "not a stuffy place." Rooms have "the most comfortable beds" and often fireplaces. Adams Dining room turns out mash-ups of Scottish and Continental fare such as timbale of haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes). The bar dispenses 200 malt whiskies.

(28 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Glasshouse
2 Greenside Place
Edinburgh
Scotland EH1 3AA
Tel: 44 131 525 8200
resglasshouse@theetoncollection.com
www.theetoncollection.com

With glass walls dramatically studding the facade of the 150-year-old Lady Glenorchy's Church, this high-design place next to the Edinburgh Playhouse is self-consciously hip. The 65 spacious rooms have, ahem, b&w art photos of naked women on the taupe walls, polished wood floors, slatted room dividers (in the suites), terraces (mostly), and heated-floor glass-walled bathrooms—and indeed glass-walled walls: The windows are massive. It's all part of a posh mall with a multiplex movie house and pubs. Arguably, the nicest feature is the hotel's roof garden. Replete with lawns, an arch-shaped covered deck, and all-weather armchairs, it's the only one in the city (which says more about Edinburgh's climate than its architects).

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Gleneagles Hotel
Auchterarder
Scotland
Tel: 44 1764 662 231
Tel: 866 881 9525
Fax: 44 1764 662 134
www.gleneagles.com

"The approach is enticing" at this château that "reminds one of a stately private home." Helpful staff give "smiles to everyone." "Totally relaxing rooms have great closet space and a large tub and shower." "There's lots to do, not just golf. Fishing, falconry, and working with the hunting dogs were my favorite activities." "All the restaurants have excellent food," including the Scottish-inflected French dishes at Andrew Fairlie.

(232 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Glenmorangie House
Cadboll
Tain , Ross-shire
Scotland IV20 1XP
Tel: 44 1862 871 671
relax@glenmorangie.co.uk
www.theglenmorangiehouse.com

This 17th-century property, 33 miles north of Inverness, aims to be a house where guests gather rather than a hotel where customers check in. Visitors dine communally, the rooms have no keys (unless you specifically ask), and the staff use guests' first names. You may not know your fellow guests at the start of the evening, but after mixing for drinks in the Morning Room, sharing five courses in the Dining Room, and sipping a whisky in front of the fire in the Buffalo Room, you will by the end of the night. The six rooms in the main house are individually decorated with antique furniture and a restrained tartan motif. With four windows overlooking the sea, the Morayshire is the best room in the house. If you're looking for more privacy, there are three cottages on the grounds, with well-appointed bathrooms balanced by small lounge rooms. Glenmorangie House is luxurious, but the emphasis is on the easygoing, sociable atmosphere rather than a surfeit of mod cons (the cottages are the only rooms with TVs). Dinner and breakfast are included in the price.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel du Vin
11 Bristo Place
Edinburgh
Scotland EH1 1EZ
Tel: 44 131 247 4900
www.hotelduvin.com/hotels/edinburgh/edinburgh.aspx

The Du Vin chain has built its hip reputation on bold remodelings of unlikely edifices. Its latest effort may prove its most eccentric conversion yet: Set in a former lunatic asylum, this 42-room hotel has many glass walls—some looking inward to the old building's austerely handsome granite armature, some outward upon its architecturally interesting neighbors. These vistas and the high-raftered, angular rooms give the place a quirky charm, but the multi-level layout, accessed by various staircases and a small elevator, can be confusing. Befuddling, too, are the rooms, named for sundry vinous or tobacco substances, which also appear in the decor, bordering on product placement. Such problems aside, the hotel could not be better located for sightseeing, and, in true Du Vin form, guests' needs—be they for food, high-tech media, or skin products—could not be better cared for. At the heart of the hotel is an excellent bistro serving Scottish fare, and the overhanging mezzanine bar promises to become a local favorite.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire
1 Devonshire Gardens
West End
Glasgow
Scotland G12 0UX
Tel: 44 141 339 2001
Reservations.odg@hotelduvin.com
www.hotelduvin.com/hotels/glasgow/glasgow.aspx

Set in a grand 1886 terrace of five three-story town houses in the genteel West End, One Devonshire is generally reckoned to be the finest hotel in town. A recent $3.8-million makeover added an upscale bistro, while the acquisition of the final house in the terrace—once owned by the shipping magnate and art collector Sir William Burrell—has increased the number of rooms and suites to 49. The spacious rooms are individually furnished, some in airy cream and silver, others in opulent chocolate and crimson, with silks, wools, rich woods, and judicious use of Victorian-patterned wall coverings. Many of the Classic and Grand rooms have four-poster beds, open fireplaces, and huge bay windows. The hotel's elegant suites are exceptional; our favorite is the Mews Suite, a private duplex with its own entrance, sauna, and bar facilities, as well as a door to the hotel's magical garden. Downstairs, settle into one of the Whisky room's leather sofas and enjoy a dram—there are 300 to choose from, ranging from $6.50 to $148 a nip. One Devonshire does traditional in a thoroughly stylish way. Perfect example: the bell boys who manage to look wonderfully hip in straight-legged Cameron of Erracht tartan trousers.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Missoni Edinburgh
1 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh
Scotland EH1 1AD
Tel: 44 131 220 6666
info.edinburgh@hotelmissoni.com
www.hotelmissoni.com

Edinburgh is many amazing things, but fashion destination it ain't. So Italian label Missoni's decision to open its first hotel here in June 2009 came as a bit of a surprise. (We'd guess there was some appeal to being a big fish in a small pond, since it would be harder to attract attention with the same concept in Milan.) The hotel—spearheading Missoni's global charge into South Africa, Oman, Kuwait, and Brazil—has bagged a prime spot on the corner of the historic Royal Mile and George IV Bridge, a five-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. The six-floor modern sandstone building rubs shoulders—rather brazenly—with the Old Town's narrow medieval town houses. But you don't expect understatement from Missoni. Indeed, the brand's trademark vivid stripes and zigzags are spread throughout the public spaces and 136 guest rooms, in geometrically patterned artwork, jewel-toned bedspreads and upholstered chairs, black-and-white floral rugs and drapes, and even a seven-foot reel of yarn in the lobby. Judicious doses of neutral shades help prevent sensory overload, however, and a few Scottish pieces—such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Ladderback chairs—serve as a reminder that you're not in Italy. The bathrooms are a sultry study in dark Vitrex mosaic tiles and purple or red walls, with spacious glass-paneled showers (five out of the seven suites also have tubs). Missoni's own colorful toiletries complement the decor, as do the cool, patterned robes. Fourteen rooms are housed in an adjacent older building, but with the exception of the Lawnmarket suite—accessible by a spiral staircase—they're not worth booking: The charm of period features such as exposed beams is offset by small windows and a lack of soundproofing (the drone of bagpipes on a loop from outside can get aggravating). Stick to the new building with its 21st-century fittings, like AC and floor-to-ceiling windows with postcard-ready views. A hip little lobby bar and Cucina, an authentic Italian restaurant, complete the most stylish addition to Edinburgh's hotel scene. If you want to bed down somewhere cool and contemporary in this ancient city, the Missoni hotel is your place.—Nicola McCormack

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Howard
34 Great King Street
Edinburgh
Scotland EH3 6QH
Tel: 44 131 557 3500
reserve@thehoward.com
www.thehoward.com

Located in three adjoining town houses that front one of the New Town's widest cobbled streets, this genteel hotel is all about tradition and tailored service—making it the first choice for those in search of authentic Georgian luxury. Palettes range from airy creams and golds to dramatic browns and reds in the 17 rooms, which are fitted with Georgian-style curtained wardrobes, heavy drapes, and romantic canopied or four-poster beds. The rotary Bakelite telephone in each room is a nice touch, but modern phones are also available for those who prefer to speed-dial. Authenticity also—thankfully—doesn't discount an elevator. The three Terrace Suites are huge and have their own veranda and a private entrance, but even the smallest luxury double rooms (Ainslie, Cramond, and Ravelston) are decidedly uncramped. There's a pastoral mural over the marble fireplace in the bright, airy Atholl restaurant, where breakfast and Scottish dishes with a modern twist (think roast salmon with wilted spinach, potato blini, and cardamom butter sauce) are served, while the rich-toned, chandeliered drawing room is the best spot to enjoy afternoon tea or a dram of whisky. Out back, there's a terraced garden and that all-important city-center parking lot.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Torlundy
Fort William
Scotland PH33 6SN
Tel: 44 1397 702 177
info@inverlochy.co.uk
www.inverlochycastlehotel.com

A stay here is the closest most of us will get to living like a lord. Built in 1863 by the first Lord Abinger, Inverlochy has played host to all sorts of aristos, from Queen Elizabeth II to showbiz royalty such as Charlton Heston and Robert De Niro. The 17 rooms are classically decorated with antique furniture, botanical prints, and clan insignia, but also feature discreet modern touches such as the plasma screens disguised as mirrors. The three rooms of the King's suite have views of the loch, Ben Nevis, and the elegant gardens. The Great Hall has Venetian chandeliers, cherubs painted on the ceiling, and—this is the clincher—a secret door to the library. In the main dining room, one of three, it's a coin flip whether the best view is outside to the hotel's private loch or inside where magnificent carved sideboards are laden with silverware glinting in the candlelight. Head chef Philip Carnegie runs one of the more imaginative kitchens in the Highlands, where where home-smoked salmon is served with Mallaig oysters, caviar and apple foam.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa and Island
Benderloch
Oban , Argyll
Scotland PA37 1SD
Tel: 44 1631 720 371
office@eriksa-hotel.co.uk
www.eriska-hotel.co.uk

Accessible only by bridge and boat, the 300-acre Isle of Eriska, just off the west coast, (not to be confused with Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides) offers plenty of secluded privacy without sacrificing creature comforts. Built in the Scottish baronial style (think turrets and stepped gables), the main house has 16 plush bedrooms as well as two cottages and five more spa suites with their own outdoor Jacuzzis. Rooms in the Big House are ample and feature period styling, while the spacious cottages and spa suites have contemporary decor. The public rooms are charmingly lived-in (who needs to go exploring when you can take afternoon tea by the log fire?). The kitchen can do hearty and traditional as well as contemporary. Think roast rib of prime Aberdeen Angus versus locally caught crab gâteau layered with guacamole and mango salsa. Indoor amusements include a gym, 56-foot swimming pool, and a deluxe spa center. Outdoor types can play the six-hole golf course designed by Howard Swan, hit the croquet lawn, or just explore the island. If you're having an evening drink at the hotel bar, keep an eye out for the local badgers who snuffle up to the patio after dark for a snack of bread and nuts. Room price includes breakfast and afternoon tea.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Kinloch Lodge
Sleat
Isle of Skye
Scotland IV43 8QY
Tel: 44 1471 833 333
reservations@kinoloch-lodge.co.uk
www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk

Sitting pretty on the shores of the sea loch Na Dal, Kinloch Lodge is the Highland base of Godfrey, Lord Macdonald, high chief of Clan Donald, and portraits of assorted Macdonalds down the ages line the walls in this well-padded country home. The 14 spacious bedrooms are split equally between the North house and the more recently built South house. All but two of the rooms have views of the loch, and the heathery browns and peaty blacks of the countryside are reflected in the room decor. Along with the gentle smell of wood smoke, romance is in the air at Kinloch; while guests are at dinner, staff light candles in the bedrooms to add to the atmosphere. Claire Macdonald, wife of Godfrey, is a well-known food writer, and runs residential cookery courses. Back in the dining room, dishes such as sweet langoustines, local venison, and briny fresh fish are matched with a decent wine list. Family mementos, antique furniture, and log fires make the drawing rooms pleasant spots for an after-dinner drink. The price includes breakfast.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Le Monde
16 George Street
Edinburgh
Scotland EH2 2PF
Tel: 44 131 270 3900
Fax: 44 131 270 3901
www.lemondehotel.co.uk

A refurbished town house in the city center, this $22-million boutique hotel opened in March 2006. Its eccentric concept could have gone badly wrong—each of the 18 rooms reflects a different city's vibe and aesthetic—but discerning taste saves it from theme-park tackiness. Yes, you might wake up with a geographical hangover, but the levity adds a twist to the definition of luxury accommodation. The New York loft has exposed brick, brown leather sofas, Miles Davis CDs, Sex and the City DVDs, and the New York Times's front page delivered daily; Moroccan lanterns and mosaic screens are paired with burnt-ocher walls in the Marrakech suite, where the sound track is Tea in Marrakech, the movie provided is Casablanca, and the front page of Morocco's Al Jarida Al Maghribia newspaper shows up daily, whatever your language skills. Most of the rooms—divided into Club Class (standard), World Class (intermediate), and Different Class (best-appointed)—have 42-inch flat-screen TVs, and all bathrooms have pebble walls, deep baths, and rainfall showers. In the same building are an assortment of cafes, bars, and a nightclub that also follow the global theme, from Milan to Paris to Tokyo. Unlike in the rooms, the execution is an assault to the senses, but that's not keeping the crowds away—light sleepers should book rooms on the third floor to avoid the din.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Malmaison
278 West George Street
Glasgow
Scotland
Tel: 44 141 572 1000
glasgow@malmaison.com
www.malmaison-glasgow.com

Part of a gradually expanding hotel chain that makes a big deal over its boutiqueness, this hotel is housed in a handsome 19th-century deconsecrated Greek Orthodox church in the business district and near the city center. Its 72 rooms (8 of them suites) vary from fab to difficult depending on their size and location; ask for the Big Yin suite (named after Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly), which has a tartan stand-alone bath in the living area, or one of the standard rooms in the original building, which have higher ceilings than those in the extension. Generally, the decor is dark and moody, featuring gray or mahogany tattersall checks, black-stained wood paneling, and a lot of purple. In-room amenities include free Internet access, their lovely own-brand aromatherapy toiletries, and good wines in the minibar (Malmaison is affiliated with the estimable, self-explanatory Hotels du Vin chain). There's a small fitness room and a rather marvelous stone vaulted brasserie in the old church crypt next to a Champagne bar with a partial-glass ceiling.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Mar Hall
Mar Hall Drive
Bishopton
Scotland
Tel: 44 141 812 9999
www.marhall.com

Located just outside Glasgow, this handsome Gothic manor is the perfect place to play out English Patient fantasies, since it was once the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Soldiers and Sailors. Everyone else must content himself with an Aveda spa and 53 rooms done in soothing schemes of taupe, brown, white, and Wedgwood blue, with soaking tubs, power showers, and separate CD and DVD players. In The Cristal restaurant, chef Jim Kerr does excellent market-driven menus centered around Scottish beef, salmon, and shellfish, although the service could benefit from being a bit more relaxed. The stunning main hall, with its elaborate neo-Gothic ceiling and oak floors, is the setting for a first-rate tea every afternoon. An 18-hole golf course will open in 2006.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
Old Station Road
St. Andrews
Scotland KY16 9SP
Tel: 44 1334 474371
www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk

"The views across the links toward the sea are among the best in golf" at this hotel above the sport's most famous green. Rooms in earth tones have punches of the resort's signature red; bathrooms' chromatherapy fixtures are a "unique highlight" courtesy of Kohler, the property's owner. The eight-course tasting menu at Road Hole Restaurant uses local Scottish ingredients and pairs each course with champagne and wine.

(144 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Port Charlotte Hotel
Main Street
Port Charlotte
Isle of Islay , Argyll
Scotland PA48 7TU
Tel: 44 1496 850 360
info@portcharlottehotel.co.uk
www.portcharlottehotel.co.uk

This ten-bedroom hotel started life as three cottages built in 1829 along with the rest of cute Port Charlotte village on the island of Islay. The bedrooms are a bit tight, but what they lack in size they make up for in character. All but one have fantastic views on to Loch Indaal and many face east to catch the rising sun (ask for rooms one or three, which have a particularly panoramic outlook). The dining room, which also overlooks the sea loch, serves hearty seafood chowders, local fish, and generous slabs of Islay beef and lamb. The black-beamed bar—where live bands regularly play traditional music—has an excellent whisky selection, and malts from the nearby Bruichladdich Distillery take pride of place alongside the numerous distilleries featured here. The price includes breakfast.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Prestonfield
Priestfield Road
Edinburgh
Scotland EH16 5UT
Tel: 44 131 225 7800
www.prestonfield.com

As far from minimal as you can possibly imagine, this restored Jacobean mansion is extravagantly rococo—all silk brocades and ormolu, tasseled velvet cushions, hand-blocked wallpapers, Venetian mirrors, and walnut-wood beds. The dominant color is "lipstick," with "gilt" a close second—but as bordello as it sounds, it's all utterly theatrically fabulous (if you like that sort of thing) and quite tastefully authentic underneath it all, too. A complementary bottle of Champagne in your room when you check in will soften the focus anyway. Owner James Thomson, well known around town for his 25-year-old restaurant (and hotel) The Witchery, had loved the place since he waitered here during catering college. Finally he bought it in 2003, then spent about $6 million doing it up. Despite being in the city, you get to revel in the countryside, with Highland cattle and peacocks strutting improbably around the hotel's 29 acres. The grounds, which have Wi-Fi for those who like to wander around with their laptops, have huge amounts of roses and topiary bringing the opulent feel of the interior to the outside. The swanky restaurant, Rhubarb—so named because this was the first Scottish estate to grow the stuff—is beloved of the more glamorous breed of rock star and J.K. Rowling.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Radisson Blu Glasgow
301 Argyle Street
Glasgow
Scotland G2 8DL
Tel: 44 141 204 3333
Tel: 800 333 3333 (toll-free)
reservations.glasgow@radissonsas.com
www.radissonblu.co.uk/hotel-glasgow

This purpose-built glass-fronted low-rise with a concave blue-tiled facade isn't going to have you e-mailing home with excitement on your iPhone, but it does have some great little perks. Efficiency and clean Nordic modernity are the order of the day in the 250 rooms (including 12 business-class rooms, three suites, and one apartment). These have floor-to-ceiling windows covered in sheers and drapes of either taupe, beige-and-blue, or screaming orange, from which you may get a great city view—the hotel is next to Central Station (on the other hand, you may face inward, with no view at all.) As for the extras: Bathrooms have heated floors and mirrors, minibar prices have virtually no markups, there's free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and there's a basement health club with a sizable pool (which you don't get in the boutiques). Upgrade to one of a dozen business-class rooms and they throw in unlimited in-room movies. Art and design feature heavily in the hotel's three bars and two restaurants, including the Collage restaurant, which offers modern Med cooking along with art by Sir Peter Blake (the Brit Pop artist who put together the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper cover).

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Rocpool Reserve
14 Culduthel Road
Inverness
Scotland IV2 4AG
Tel: 44 1463 240089
info@rocopol.com
www.rocpool.com

Since opening in 2006, Rocpool Reserve has added some much-needed pizzazz to the Inverness hotel scene. The 11 rooms increase in size and gadgets (sorry, amenities) along with the rack rate. Rooms 5 and 10, for instance, have terraces and hot tubs. The decor is very flamboyant, with a dramatic red and white color scheme, marble floors, eye-catching sculptures, and towering flower displays. The hotel's Chez Roux restaurant serves up dishes such as Albert Roux's signature twice-baked floating souffléé made with both Gruyère and Mull Cheddar cheese.—Jonathan Trew

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Rutland Hotel
1–3 Rutland Street
Edinburgh
Scotland EH1 2AE
Tel: 44 131 229 3402
info@therutlandhotel.com
www.therutlandhotel.com

The Rutland Hotel, housed in the 19th-century home of Joseph Lister (the man we can all thank for founding antiseptic surgery), is located at the west end of Princes Street, an ideal central base in the city. The property was updated in 2008, which added glamour to the 12 individually decorated guest rooms with extravagant colors and baroque design. Wi-Fi, plasma-screen TVs, iPods, goose-down duvets, and Egyptian bed linens ensure a comfortable stay, but the real stars are the views to Edinburgh Castle from rooms 5 and 11. The first-floor restaurant is called Kyloe (an old Scots word for cattle), and Scottish Borders beef takes pride of place on the menu. Party people can choose between the ground-floor cocktail bar or a booth in the One Below lounge club in the basement.—Jonathan Trew

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Scotsman
20 North Bridge
Edinburgh
Scotland EH1 1YT
Tel: 44 131 556 5565
reservations@thescotsmanhotelgroup.co.uk
www.thescotsmanhotel.co.uk

On the North Bridge, practically on top of Princes Street and the Royal Mile, this grandiose 19th-century pile has a distinctive feel to it—maybe because of the almost palpable presence of inky-fingered chaps with green visors (it's named after the newspaper that was published here). This explains why the breakfast menu is in the form of a newspaper and there are Editors Rooms and Publishers Suites—maybe also why rooms have the marvelous amenity of computer with printer. Hopefully you're traveling with a companion so that you can also take advantage of the Edinburgh Monopoly set in the armoire. Someone has had fun stocking the minibar, where you'll find Scottish treats such as Tunnock's Tea Cakes and cans of Irn-Bru (excellent for hangovers) among the usual fine wines and macadamia nuts. Decor is masculine übercorporate in tones of spice and plum, with oak paneling and more than 50 different Scottish Estate tweeds (not tartans); there's also a "privacy hatch" so that the room-service waiter won't interrupt your Monopoly. Public spaces are quite fancy, with the excellent Vermilion restaurant serving Scottish dishes, the North Bridge Brasserie, a private screening theater, and an amazing slate and stainless steel pool. The Cowshed Spa has five treatment rooms as well as a relaxation room, and has formulated a special Highland Cow bathing elixir for the hotel.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Tigerlily
125 George Street
Edinburgh
Scotland EH2 4JN
Tel: 44 131 225 5005
reservations@tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk
www.tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk

George Street was once home to a sober collection of shops and financial institutions. Tigerlily was one of the first of many glittering hotels and nightspots to sprinkle party dust on the proceedings. Tigerlily doesn't sound very Scottish, but that's the point. It's an enclave for local thirty- and fortysomething professionals who aren't into the tartan-and-whisky charm of their forebears' haunts and want to party in a cool urban scene. So far, the hotel guests follow suit—trendy and willing to drop a bit extra for a stylish weekend break. The top three floors house 39 white and beige rooms with curtains, chairs, and cushions in contrasting colors, such as turquoise and brown, or moss-green and purple. In addition to the plasma TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPods, suites also have remote-control fireplaces and portable PlayStations. Some of the smaller suites are oak-paneled, which works well with the high Georgian ceilings, but one has dramatic black walls, a retro hanging basket chair, and even black (perfumed!) toilet paper from Portugal. The Georgian Bar is a high-glamour, feminine affair with fuchsia seating and a white quartz bar—try the organic contemporary afternoon tea. A large modern space at the back of the building has been cleverly divided into intimate spaces, including two glass-ceilinged courtyards, a sexy black bar, and a restaurant serving a contemporary menu loaded with seafood and dessert platters perfect for sharing.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Turnberry Resort
Ayrshire
Scotland
Tel: 44 (0) 1655 334 032
Fax: 44 (0) 1655 331 706
turnberry@luxurycollection.com
www.turnberry.co.uk/

Ailsa, one of this turn-of-the-century resort's three links courses, was formerly a World War II airfield and has hosted numerous British Opens. "Play it at least twice!" The property embodies "Old Scotland, with flower-filled spaces in the summer" and "wonderfully nice bellmen." Renovated rooms have "deep tubs and soft robes" and perhaps "too much marble and glass." The new lounge's tea sommeliers help pick the perfect cuppa.

(209 rooms)

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.