The couple’s passion for this place – not to mention for art and interior design – is evident at every turn in this lavish 46-room boutique hotel. Employing their relationships with a stellar range of local and international artists, they have furnished the hotel with over 17,000 inspiring pieces, including works by Picasso and Lucian Freud. Interior design, overseen by Russell Sage, sees playful design touches marking a lively contrast to classic tweeds, tartans and polished woods. Expect whimsical elements of taxidermy – the winged stag overseeing proceedings at the Flying Stag bar, for example – and one-of-a-kind pieces such as an elaborate glass-blown antler chandelier, and a hypnotic ceiling painting by Chinese artist Zhang Enli in the Drawing Room. The creative touches also extend to the rooms and suites; all are completely individual in style and range from Scottish Culture Rooms - celebrating leading national writers, scientists and engineers - Nature and Poetry Rooms, and a clutch of opulent suites.
The great outdoors are just as much to be celebrated as the hotel’s interiors. That the Highland Games have taken place in Braemar for some 200 years hints at the rich outdoor heritage that plays out in this region. The hotel’s team of dedicated Ghillies - named in honour of the traditional Highlands attendants - will play a key role in your stay and are on hand to facilitate your every desire, whether that is embarking upon an exhilarating off-road highland drive, a photography walk with a gourmet picnic, fishing in salmon-rich waters or a round of golf on Braemar’s rugged course.
The dining experience at The Fife Arms proves almost as rewarding as the outdoor adventures on offer. The grand Drawing Room is the place for sublime afternoon teas, while The Flying Stag serves gourmet pub fare elevated to an exquisite level – sample classic haggis, neeps and tatties or sausage and Arran mustard mash followed by a sticky toffee pudding that leaves a lasting impression. For something a little more formal, The Clunie Dining Room whips up seasonal specialities such as Stonehaven lobster in a refined, art-filled setting. Art Deco Elsa’s Bar provides a sophisticated venue for cocktails, while Bertie’s whisky bar - named after King Edward VII – oozes heady charm, hinting of hedonistic tales as historic as the collection of 365 whiskies – one for every day of the year.
- Couples or groups of friends
- Families with older children
- Whisky lovers
- Royal enthusiasts
- Lovers of nature and the great outdoors
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
- Embark upon a tutored whisky tasting with the property’s ‘Whisky Ambassador’
- Learn more about the Wirth’s extensive collection on an art tour with the in-house curator
- Sample a Hot Cairngorms Stones Massage in the Alhambor Treatment Rooms
- Indulge in Champagne afternoon tea in the Drawing Room
- Stock up on high-quality gifts in the elegantly curated hotel shop
- Tap into your creative side on a photography walk, wild sketching session or tartan design workshop
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
- Visit the Scottish home of the Royal Family at Balmoral Castle (seasonal opening)
- Set out on an invigorating hill walk with an estate ranger or mountain guide
- Join a local expert for a whisky distillery tour
- Appreciate the Cairngorms from a different perspective on a helicopter flight
- Connect with the surrounding countryside on a foraging expedition, then learn how to prepare your wild foods in a dedicated workshop
- Play a round of golf in Scotland’s ‘highest and wildest’ golf course
- Discover the pristine surroundings on two wheels, with e-bikes available to assist you navigate the hills
- Go riding through the heather-clad hills of Glen Tanar