Valentine's Day: Scotland's luxury hotels share the most romantic proposals they've hosted
Scotland’s luxury hotels are proposal hot-spots.
Some of them, like five-star Cameron House, even offer proposal packages, which proves that these are not always impromptu moments. Usually, there’s a whole team beavering away in the background to help arrange the romantic setting before the question is popped.
“Guillaume and his now fiancée Michelle are both big fans of Harry Potter books and the movies are always the Belgium-based couple’s chosen films to watch at Christmas. His proposal took a year and a half to plan and it was crucial that it took place at The Balmoral, as, in 2007, J.K. Rowling wrote the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in a suite, which is now called the J.K. Rowling Suite.
The proposal planning started with a Christmas gift, which was a flight ticket to Edinburgh for a long weekend. Once a date was confirmed, Guillaume started the main planning which included booking a private Harry Potter tour. He’d flown to Edinburgh two weeks prior to the proposal, in order brief the guide about the important quest. The tour guide was a magician who guided the couple through the landmarks that inspired the famous books. There were quizzes, which determined the house they were each part of: Michelle was Gryffindor and Guillaume was Ravenclaw. The tour ended at Greyfriars Kirkyard, where Michelle was handed an envelope by the tour guide. Inside was a miniature wand attached to a chain. The letter included a list of instructions and the last was to find the building where the Harry Potter books were concluded, The Balmoral. Once they both arrived at the hotel, the letter instructed them to ask for the Room of Requirement (The J.K. Rowling Suite at The Balmoral), where there was a chest, which contained a Golden Snitch - a replica from the film. With the miniature wand located in her envelope she opened the snitch to find an engagement ring”.
“At Cromlix we often get people proposing by the loch or in the beautiful grounds and woodland around the hotel. On one occasion, we had a couple staying at the hotel and they had brought their black Labrador, Hudson, with them. We knew the man had planned to propose but we didn’t realise that their pet would be playing a central role. The man asked us to tie the engagement ring onto the dog’s collar – it was a beautiful ring so we were all quite nervous about it getting lost somewhere in the bracken, particularly as the dog was quite bouncy. Anyway, when it came to the moment for the proposal, which took place on the lawn in front of the hotel, the man called to Hudson, who couldn’t have been better behaved. Right on cue, he brought the ring over for his owner to go down on one knee and propose. They all got a round of applause from all the other guests!”
Jill Chalmers, managing director at Glenapp Castle, www.glenappcastle.com
“An English couple had a beautiful proposal in our dining room. We set up a silver cloche with the engagement ring hidden underneath. The serving team delivered the cloche and the groom got down on one knee. There was Champagne for everyone in dining room and all other guests cheered and clapped.
Another couple had a stunning proposal in the library, which the team filled with 99 gorgeous roses (an amount that symbolises ‘I will love you forever’, or ‘I want to grow old with you’). We blocked the library out-of-use for the evening so no-one could see it, and, after dinner, we invited them for a post dinner drink there. They walked in, and the groom got down on one knee and proposed. His girlfriend was absolutely thrilled and, after she said yes, our team delivered Champagne and their congratulations”.
Phil Scott, managing director of Links House, Dornoch, www.linkshousedornoch.com
“In March 2023, television star Lotte Verbeek (The Fault in Our Stars, Outlander) stayed at Links House directly after getting engaged in the Highlands. She enjoyed a luxe getaway in the hotel's signature Mallart Penthouse Suite, which has its own open fireplace and balcony with views across the Dornoch Firth. It was Lotte's second stay at the property and her fiance said he'd been inspired by the beauty of the Highlands after visiting the hotel back in November 2022. Links House marked the occasion with bottles of Joseph Perrier Champagne and our famous macarons. The couple toasted to their future at MARA - the UK's most northerly fine dining restaurant, where they enjoyed dishes including locally-landed langoustines.
Also, late last year, in collaboration with Private Concierge Scotland, Links House played host to a magical Dornoch Beach proposal. Inspired by the legend of Dornoch being 'the thin place', where heaven and earth are said to touch, the team at Links House created a picnic, complete with drams to beat any cold or wind. The couple returned to Links House, where they too stayed in the Mallart Suite, welcomed with chilled bottles of Champagne, and dined on sustainably sourced oysters that evening”.
“Cameron House was recently the backdrop for a romantic proposal, which started with a consultation phase between the groom-to-be and our guest experience team. We reserved a specially chosen table-for-two at the Great Scots' Bar, and collaborated with a private photographer and musician. A text that alerted the imminent arrival of the couple prompted an immediate response - ‘positions, everyone, positions!’ The Cameron House team leapt into action as the proposal unfolded on the hotel's steps. After the congratulations, the happy couple were seated in the Great Scots’ Bar, where their favourite Champagne was waiting, and the musician arrived. He played the guitar and sang a number of the bride-to-be’s favourite songs such as Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs and Randy Newman’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me. Emotions ran high as the performance unfolded, leaving not a dry eye in the house”.
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