Explore an iconic loch, discover a famous Jacobite family, and enjoy modern Scottish hospitality at The Lovat Loch Ness.
There aren’t many places in Scotland more iconic than Loch Ness. At the southern tip of the loch sits the pretty village of Fort Augustus and the characterful Lovat Loch Ness Hotel, a perfect spot for exploring the Great Glen. We checked in for a weekend of exploring.
Loch Ness Hotels – Stay at The Lovat Loch Ness
The Lovat Loch Ness takes its name from the ‘Dominus de Loveth’, the land was once home to the Fraser clan, made famous by the Jacobite rebellions, and more recently by the Outlander novels. Today, the Lovat Hotel is a romantic bolthole which bears no resemblance to the direct translation of Lovat – that being a muted green, or even more literal, a swampy plain!
Once a large station hotel serving a long-gone rail line from Spean Bridge, The Lovat Loch Ness is now a family-run gem of a hotel with four-star facilities and a restaurant that puts out delicious food with a twist – milk jam anyone?
Dining at the Lovat Loch Ness
Downstairs, the hotel’s guest lounges are extensive, with huge Victorian fireplaces and plenty of overstuffed sofas for lounging with a local walking map and a couple of glasses of wine.
We dined on a well balanced and modern menu in the hotel’s light and airy brasserie which elicited plenty of mmms and oohs for dishes such as crispy shoulder of hare with carrot ketchup and a juicy venison burger in a squid ink black bun. I thoroughly enjoyed my belly and fillet of Tamworth pork – the belly pork layered with black pudding was the star of the dish. For dessert, a milk jam served with a warm financier cake totally stole the show – and I had to fend off my share as Barry tried to steal the lot.
Nestled behind the brasserie is a modern, well-stocked whisky bar for pre or post-dinner drinks. Friendly bar staff are more than happy to share their whisky recommendations. Breakfast the next morning was especially good – despite us slightly overindulging on local whisky the night before!
Chef-owner, Sean Kelly describes himself as an obsessed foodie and it really shows in the hotel’s menus. Check out the Station Road Instagram for Sean’s incredible looking creations from the – we were so delighted by the brasserie we’d love to come back for a private dining experience.
Rooms at the Lovat Loch Ness
With 28 rooms ranging from loch front suites to pet-friendly lodges, our super deluxe room was located on the second floor at the back of the hotel, which while slightly small on space (mostly taken up by the huge raised bed) was big on facilities and beautifully decorated in modern muted and tweedy tones.
Little touches such as excellent room service BLT sandwiches, waffle dressing gowns, temple spa toiletries, a palatial bathroom and a comprehensive tea tray, complete with Nespresso machine, made for a very comfortable two-night stay.
The Lovat Loch Ness is a sibling to the fabulous Torridon Hotel on the West Coast – and you’ll find the same quality, style and the warmth in welcome from all the staff. You will easily fall in love with the Lovat at Loch Ness.
3 Things to do on Loch Ness
If you can drag yourself away from your room or cosy sofa then Loch Ness is just outside your door. Here are 3 must-dos on Loch Ness.
- Take a walk around Fort Augustus on the Explorer Path – discover the Fort Augustus Abbey, the tiny Cill Chuimein cemetery and grab a glass of wine while watching the boats travel down the Fort Augustus locks to Loch Ness. The whole ‘unlocking’ takes over an hour and is fascinating to watch.
- For a leisurely stroll walk out along the Caledonian Canal south to the remote Kytra Lock, a 3-mile round trip south from Fort Augustus. Kytra Lock is the prettiest of all the lochs on the canal, and is a perfect spot for a picnic.
- Take a 50-minute cruise out on Loch Ness on a luxury boat with Cruise Loch Ness – spot wild goats and look for Nessie! If you are a little more adventurous ride a RIB up the loch at 35mph to Urquhart Castle.
Read more: not Nessie – behind the scenes of Loch Ness
Love, from Scotland x
Thanks to The Lovat Loch Ness for hosting us.