There are experiences that will remained engraved in your memory, magical moments that you will love forever, places where you will feel at home, as if you have known this place for years. These were the emotions I experienced during my adventure at Glencoe House, a superb manor situated in the Highlands during my road trip in Scotland, a day in May 2014.
From the Isle of Skye on a beautiful morning, there we were on the little Scottish roads, admiring the countryside. The only sad thing : it was overcast and the fine rain was incessant and we were in true Scotland, where rain is persistent. But suddenly, at around 2.30pm, the day took another turn.
A discreet arrival
Just imagine, you arrive in the little village of Glencoe, accompanied by the rain and fog. You pass a little stone bridge, turn left and then you drive in a line bordered by trees with such green leaves which form an arch protecting you from the sky.
A little further is this beautiful house, described only by a sign indicating “Glencoe House”. It is a haven of peace that is well hidden from the world. The building is imposing and is in the ancient Highland style, its façade has grey and yellow bricks and has many windows. Nothing but inspires you to respect it and this dame dates from the 1890s and has a long history behind her.
On the outside, there is no sign so we have to knock on the heavy front door. A few seconds later, the hostess appeares with smile which cheers up this rainy day; her name is Anna and she asks us to follow her inside.
A “homely” welcome
You exchange a few pleasant banalities and she asks you to follow her to your suite while showing you the huge living rooms on the ground floor. Then, her husband appears and he shakes your hand, giving you an even warmer welcome. He then asks you for your car keys as he will go and park it and take up your luggage.
You follow Anna up the stairs by the large main staircase, take the left corridor and you find yourself in front of a closed door. Behind it is one of the 7 suites that is reserved for the night, an entire wing of the residence covering more than 80m2 which will be your resting space for memorable evening.
Discovering the suite : the dream materializes !
Once inside, your host shows you around the premises : on the left is the room with the king size bed and the dressing room. A long corridor leads to a 42 m2 huge lounge with warm and refined decor. Imposing wooden windows introduce soft light and offer a view of the park’s trees. On the left, a door opens into a large bathroom with a clawfoot bathtub which occupies the center of the room and a huge Italian shower.
There is a peaceful and enchanting atmosphere that reigns which is accentuated by the soft music playing from the hifi system. You have the option of engrossing yourself in a book comfortably in the chair opposite the fireplace, taking a relaxing bath or even walking in the 4 hectare park. This luxury establishment is an invitation for relaxation and rest.
An ultra romantic dinner
A few hours later, there is a knock at your door : a woman enters, covers the beautiful table in the lounge, lights the candles and asks you to be seated. This is the beginning of a 5 course meal, the dishes parade in front of your eyes while you sip your glass of red wine. In the fireplace, the wood crackles under the heat of the flames devouring it, barely disguised by the soft music soothing you. The moment is magical !
After the meal, you are tempted by one of Scotland’s most famous whiskys because in each suite, there are fifteen bottles of spirits that they call the “maxi bar”. In the same vein, the bottle of wine that we drank during our meal was chosen by us as if we were at home.
The enchantment continues the next morning
The next day, the fine rain has left and there is radiant sunshine. The mercury is showing 20°C at 9am and the birds are singing. After a breakfast served in the intimacy of your lounge, you are tempted to discover the grounds of the residence. About a hundred meters away, a path leads to a lake and this walk will take you about an hour before you go back on the road.
No you’re not dreaming, this place is really real, and one thing is certain it is really magical. It’s a place that is halfway between a hotel and a family home. I really fell in love with this old residence where one feels welcomed as part of the family or as a friend and you really feel at home but with service on top of it. It is undeniably one of the best hotel experiences that I’ve had in Europe !
- Perfect for a stop between the Isle of Skye and Inveraray (consult my 12 day itinerary in Scotland).
- You will have noted that this establishment is quite special for couples with its romantic atmosphere.
- The suite that we occupied was the number 6 which is actually the smallest of the 7 suites.
- From 320 £ a night with breakfast included
- 5 course dinner and is from 55 £ per person
- Many activities such as hiking are available close by
- Do not hesitate to have a look on their website and book your night on Booking.com