(35 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, EH3 7RN, 0131 226 6050)
If you are looking for a stylish boutique hotel with all of the convenience of a prime city location, the Bonham is perfect for your Valentine’s Day needs. Only a short walk from some of Edinburgh’s most famous tourist spots, restaurants and pubs, the Bonham is a sleek and chic choice for a romantic holiday.
The façade of the hotel is a formal, Victorian affair, but the interiors are colourfully modern. There are 49 “individually-styled” rooms and suites, each with their own sophisticated glamour. Choose from Guest rooms, Superior rooms and Suites, depending on your own preference.
The restaurant offers modern European cuisine, as well as a scrumptious high tea. But the most famous meal at the Bonham is the Snoozy Boozy lunch, which has been on the go since 2002.
The Consulting Room is the hotel bar, which is ideal for an intimate drink with your significant other, whether it be wine, cocktails, or a night-cap.
Rooms cost between £73.80 and £109.80.
Knockderry Country House Hotel
(Shore Rd, Cove, Argyll & Bute, Helensburgh, G84 0NX, 01436 842283)
It’s difficult to imagine a more romantic location than this country pile on the shores of Loch Long. 45 minutes from Glasgow airport, Knockderry Hotel has a lot to recommend it as a couples’ destination. With a “Most Romantic Hotel” award, four stars and two AA rosettes to its name, you can be sure of character and quality.
Each room is individually designed to emulate the building’s 19th century origin. For instance, the Library suite, at the top of the house, has incredible views of the loch and surrounding hills, as well as original wood panelling, two plasma flat-screen TVs, and Egyptian cotton sheets. King rooms, master rooms and double rooms are also available, each with their own unique character.
The whole mansion is furnished with antiques and deep armchairs, with stained glass and ornate fireplaces completing the old-fashioned opulence.
To top it off, the restaurant’s cuisine is to die for. Fish from sea lochs and game from the hills form part of the menu, depending on the season. Also, a carefully chosen wine selection will help to make your meal extra special.
Dalhousie Castle Hotel
(Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, EH19 3JB, 01875 820153)
This unique hotel offers you the chance to stay in Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle, which is an offer that your significant other can’t really refuse. Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed in Dalhousie Castle for a night during her tour of Scotland, and centuries later it is still fit for royalty.
Although the exterior is rugged and weathered, the castle’s interiors are the height of luxury, complete with an indulgent spa and an excellent restaurant. The hotel is just ten miles from the capital, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including the South Esk River, a small woodland and the Border hills.
Each of the castle’s 29 rooms is different, with period furniture, tartans, tweeds and the occasional four-poster creating a cosy, intimate feel. You can even sneak up some ‘secret’ staircases to discover the hidden corners of the castle, and, perhaps, the resident ghost.
If you fancy something a bit different, why not visit the castle’s falconry, where you can fly a Russian Steppe Eagle or a Turkmanian Eagle Owl. One of the owls is even trained to transport a wedding ring.
Double rooms cost from £120 mid-week and £150 at weekends from October to May, and from £150 and £170 from June to September.
(34 Great King St, Edinburgh, EH3 6QH, 0131 557 3500)
In the heart of Edinburgh’s elegant New Town is the Howard: a row of Georgian town houses, situated only ten minutes away from Princes Street. It is in an ideal urban location, but the interiors have all the old-fashioned charm of a country house.
The main attraction of the Howard is its personal butlers, who will see to your every need. They will unpack for you, do your shopping, make your drinks at a moment’s notice, and do whatever else you require. Despite the perception of a butler as a fussy upper class relic, these obliging angels are not at all stuffy. If you want your romantic retreat to be completely stress free, this is most definitely the place to go.
The rooms vary in size and in the facilities they provide: some have a private patio while others do not, but all rooms have exquisite Penhaligon’s toiletries and flat-screen TVs. The décor is in keeping with the magnificent architecture, and may be a little worn around the edges.
However, the overall experience is completely worth it. Room service can bring generous breakfasts to your room, or you can enjoy some hearty fare in the hotel restaurant, the Atholl. Originally just for guests, the restaurant was so popular with Edinburgh’s residents that they can now book tables, too. The afternoon tea is especially recommended, as they offer six delicious kinds of cake.
Luxury double rooms cost from £165 in the low season.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel
(Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN, 01397 702177)
When Queen Victoria saw Inverlochy Castle in 1973, she said that she “never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot”. This ringing endorsement has attracted many couples to the castle, who have been consistently impressed by the stunning views, the delectable cuisine and the luxuriant comfort the hotel provides.
Nestled among Highland peaks, it appears to be in the middle of nowhere. However, Fort William is only a short drive away, meaning that you can be as busy or as isolated as you wish. If you arrive in the town by steam train, then the hotel’s own Rolls Royce will come to collect you and your belongings.
The rooms sparkle with gilt and crystal, but modern conveniences are not forgotten. Bang and Olufsen stereos and TVs are a must for Inverlochy, as are waterfall showers. All different types of classic design are combined to make grand yet cosy interiors, including Jacobite rose wallpaper, French Empire frescoes and Venetian chandeliers.
All sorts of exciting activities are on offer to guests, including skiing and white-water rafting. If the action-man stuff isn’t your scene, you can purchase a picnic put together by Albert and Michel Roux Jr., and take it to an idyllic spot of your choice. Their distinctly Scottish restaurant is also a treat, with Highland produce cooked to perfection.
Double rooms cost from £335 in low season, rising to £465 in high.