If you get it right, the land of the brave is as beautiful as anywhere on earth – and there is something especially seductive about its spectacular landscapes in the winter. Here is our pick of Scotland’s finest places to stay.

Glen Glack Cabins

Atholl Estates

On the edge of a Loch in the town of Dunkeld in Perthshire sit five, perfect, newly designed cabins. One sleeps two; the other four sleep four. These are for you if you want to escape to a bothy and immerse yourself in the natural world but you also like deep comfort and tip-top environmental credentials. Book it.

Gleneagles Townhouse

A chic, design-led outpost of the 100-year-old original, Gleneagles Hotel, has opened in Edinburgh. Housed in a former bank of Scotland, Gleneagles Townhouse is New Town glamour on steroids. Though it is partly a members’ club, CN Traveller says: ‘Non-members can dine in the restaurant (spectacular), stay in the rooms (delightful), and get squiffy in the rooftop bar (terrific).’ Book it.

The Wildland Group

We include a whole group here, not just one hotel, because you cannot go wrong, whichever exquisite Wildland property you stay at. Danish billionaires Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen – who enjoyed holidays in the Highlands as children – have bought up so many acres in Scotland that they are now its largest landowners. They have a 200-year plan to rewild most of them, restoring habitats and conserving wildlife. Happily for us, they are also turning many of the cottages, farmhouses and other dwellings into exquisite hotels and self-catering accommodation. As a design principle, Scandi meets Scot is a winner. Trust us. Book it.

The Fife Arms

Fifteen minutes from Balmoral, this hotel has nothing of the stuffy Royal palace about it. Picasso and Freud line the walls of the witty former coaching inn, which is packed to the rafters with arresting art. As well it might be, given that it is the creation of the Hauser & Wirth team. CN Traveller says: ‘Scotland has some fine hotels but the Fife Arms is something else. For now, at least, it’s in a category all its own.’ Book it.

Carskiey House

Head to Carskiey, an historic estate on the west coast, for another range of pleasing accommodation options. You can take the whole, huge Carskiey House for the holiday of a lifetime. You can rent the glorious, private beach retreat, Shore Cottage, which sleeps up to four and is accessible only by private road or boat. Or, if you are travelling alone or as a couple, the Artist’s Studio is for you. This large lateral flat on the Mull of Kintyre is flooded with natural light and stands alone in its stunning surroundings – but it also has wi-fi in case you don’t fancy a total comms blackout. Book it.

By Becky Ladenburg
January 2024