Today I am thrilled to spotlight on Ardanaiseig, a romantic and luxurious old country house hotel on the banks of Loch Awe in the Scottish Highlands.
This amazing find in Argyll has actually stolen a little bit of my heart.
I was invited there to see how truly beautiful it was and went with my husband for a romantic weekend/Birthday/Anniversary celebration.
Ardanaiseig is a grand Country House built in 1834 in a Scottish Baronial style, and its a little gem.
Whilst breathtaking on its exterior you see just how special it is when you step inside…
You are greeted by beautiful wall-hung art, eccentric ornaments, antique furniture, a lovely air of history as well as a warm Scottish welcome from your hosts.
The influence of the owner, London Art Dealer Bennie Gray is all around with an eclectic mix of older and modern art.
It has a real sense of Wow, and not quite like anywhere you have been before.
My expectations were high for the hotel given its reputation and it did not disappoint.
Driving through the wilds of Argyll and a single track road to the hotel did feel a little daunting to me at first but it was SO worth it when you arrive.
The hotel has 120 acres of landscaped grounds, forest and hidden gardens and that is a lot of exploring to do.
A small touch that I found that went above and beyond is that the hotel provide free wellies and umbrellas.
It’s the little things that make a place stand out and that impressed me a lot.
Mud wasn’t a challenge and the woodland surrounding the hotel is so pretty that rain can’t stop you taking in the marvelous fresh air and the views.
The secret garden is a lovely secluded little space just a few minutes walk away from the entrance to the Hotel and a quiet oasis of calm.
Ardanaiseig has sixteen en-suite double bedrooms in a range of styles and sizes.
They also have a cottage within their grounds that is perfect for a small family or two couples.
Each of the bedrooms is individually designed and adorned with lavish antiques and intricately detailed furniture.
We stayed in Kilchurn, a Master Loch View room with king four-poster bed, which has a huge sense of space.
As with the other rooms, the suite is equipped with a flat screen TV with freeview channels and DVD player, complimentary wifi, two comfortable robes, a hairdryer, iron and ironing-board, plus a range of luxury Arran Aromatics toiletries.
There is also a well equipped tea caddy, including infusion teas, hot chocolate, coffee and artisan biscuits, as well as Scottish still and sparkling waters.
As a person who loves her tea this was amazing, so much choice and a fantastic room to relax and enjoy the brew.
It also had a large bathroom and the shower was awesome like a cleansing waterfall.
The view of Loch Awe from our window was nothing short of completely magnificent.
To wake up too to the sound of the birds and the owls and to take in natures splendour with nothing short of a stunning view was incredible.
The Loch is just one of those things that on a rainy, stormy day or one with blazing sunshine is something very special.
Now lets talk food.
To start the day there is continental or full Scottish breakfast available.
The porridge is particularly nice, and the full Scottish is just lovely.
I also really enjoyed my poached eggs and soldiers, but then again I am a big kid.
For lunch there is sandwiches, soups and other bar snacks available from 12 – 2. We didn’t do this as we like to sightsee and go out for the day.
There is also the option of afternoon tea if you like a bit of luxurious indulgence or if all the exploring has given you a hearty appetite.
Then there is dinner and what a delight this is.
To start there was lovely nibbles and a drink in the bar before being shown to our seat overlooking the Loch in the hotel restaurant.
I had cream of sweetcorn soup with crispy chicken followed by pan roasted halibut with sweet potato & a scotch egg, resting on a bed of savoy.
For dessert there was apple fritters with vanilla ice cream and berries… Totally Delish.
I’m not generally a foodie but it was absolutely top notch cuisine and beautifully presented.
To finish there was tea and coffee which we took in the Drawing room for a relaxing end to our meal.
The hotel also has some wonderful Wedding facilities too.
While we were there there was a small Wedding and it had a warm family feel to it with singing and drinks in the drawing room in the evening after the Wedding Breakfast.
The staff were very attentive but in the background should the guests require anything.
Back to their facilities the large, light and ornately furnished Drawing Room is perfect for a Wedding ceremony.
Walk down the aisle towards the enormous bay windows, offering wonderful views across Loch Awe.
If having a spring or summer wedding they have just the thing to make it extra special.
A carefully built amphitheatre-style area for ceremonies on the shores of Loch Awe, where guest seating is cut into the natural landscape.
It’s quirky, unique and completely beautiful.
Of course, you do not have to get married at Ardanaiseig.
Kilchrenan Parish Church is a quaint and beautiful building, just four miles away.
The Library/Bar is then a wonderful choice for a Drinks reception should the weather not be good enough for champagne on the lawn.
It is stocked with a worldly selection of fine wines and a connoisseur’s choice of whiskies and is a lovely warm space with a homely feel and a roaring fire.
For a smaller Wedding Reception of 20 – 25 people there is a pretty function space downstairs giving an intimate and cosy feel.
Over this number exclusive use need to be taken to ensure the privacy of your special day.
For a larger group the spacious dining room comfortably fits up to 50 people and is blessed with a backdrop which is as superb as the food.
Large windows look directly across the peaceful waters of Loch Awe, framed by the peaks of the Highlands beyond.
For any more than 50 guests a Marquee has to be erected on the lawn.
The first night together as a married couple is a magical time, and the hotels Boatshed lets you mark the occasion in style.
This chic one bedroom suite, a two-minute walk from the main hotel, is surrounded by stunning scenery and gives you all the secrecy and intimacy you could wish for.
The contemporary lounge area features a floor-to-ceiling glass front that opens onto a pretty terrace, right on the edge of Loch Awe and that is one spectacular sight to wake up to.
The bedroom really steals the show though, standing on a mezzanine level looking directly across the loch waters.
You can also make full use of the great outdoors through a range of activities, each of which will add to the unique charm to your stay.
These include clay pigeon shooting, boating and fishing as well as miles of walking through the amazing grounds, forest and lochside.
You will come upon an abundance of wildlife and birds too
We were lucky to see some Ospreys on our stay which was a thrill and deer are known to visit especially in the evenings.
Whether Wedding, Minimoon, Honeymoon or just a romantic stay it an outlook that will stay in your memory for years to come.
The secret to visiting Ardanaiseig though is not to feel guilty about just slowing down your pace.
Its about indulging yourself in relaxation, its about savouring what surrounds you, its about taking in the hotels huge personality and just enjoying a really wonderful and magical place.
To view the Wedding Package > Wedding Brochure
To view Promotions for the Hotel > Special Offers
To Contact Ardanaiseig Hotel
Phone: 01866 833 333