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Last updated: 03 December, 2023
Expert travel writer: Lucy Gillmore

When this tired Victorian hotel in Braemar was given a revolutionary redesign by Swiss gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth, it was the most exciting hotel news to hit the Highlands this century.

Just down the road from Balmoral, the Queen’s Highland holiday home, this grand granite pad has put the eastern corner of the Cairngorms National Park back on the map for style-seekers.

The 46 rooms and suites, each inspired by local characters or famous figures who once schlepped up here – and the hotel itself, are maximalist in design, wreathed in rich fabrics, vibrant wallpaper and striking modern artworks. The cooking is equally theatrical; the restaurant’s centrepiece is a wood-fired barbecue.

It’s the ideal bolthole for extrovert art lovers and Highland history buffs with deep pockets.

Surrounding area

The pretty Highland village of Braemar, famous for its Highland Games, is in Royal Deeside on the eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Glenshee ski resort is on the doorstep, as are a host of Highland outdoor activities from wildlife watching to munro-bagging.

The picturesque Royal Lochnagar distillery is just a short drive away on the edge of the Balmoral estate, offering tours and tastings.


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General amenities

Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Kids club
Parking: On-site (free)
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room amenities

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Hot tub (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom (UK)

Ruins of Kilchurn Castle on the edge of Loch Awe with brown hills behind

Magnificent mountain scenery slashed by silvery lochs and peppered with brooding castles: all laden with rich Scottish heritage, history and tradition. Drive the NC500 road trip, or ride on the spectacular West Highland Line.