Come summer, and visitors from around the world flock to Inverness with the hope of a monster sighting at nearby Loch Ness. The legendary monster in the lake has been luring visitors to this part of the world for years. Not surprisingly, the best hotels in Inverness Scotland are quite full in summer. However, there are more than enough hotels to accommodate all kinds of visitors. Hotels in Inverness city centre are more popular with visitors intent on taking in all that the city offers. Whether you’re in the city ‘monster hunting’ or here to stroll along the pretty River Ness, you’ll find plenty of hotels in Inverness, Scotland, scattered throughout the region.
Another endearing sight of the area is Inverness Castle, majestically placed on the hill above the city centre. Anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s play, ‘Macbeth,’ will remember Inverness Castle as the site of Macbeth’s descent into madness. However, the castle on the hill is a more recent structure dating from 1847. It was built to replace a medieval castle that was blown up a century before. While the castle may not be one of the largest castles in the world, it’s definitely an imposing structure. Only a small area of the castle is open to the public, but the surrounding gardens offer a good photo-op if you’re looking for that Instagram-worthy picture.
Where to Stay in Inverness
Though Inverness may appear to be a small compact city in Scotland, there are plenty of things to do in the area. Being the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, you can be sure you’ll constantly be whipping out your camera to capture picturesque sights.
First-time visitors would probably want to base themselves near the city center. Some of the best hotels in Inverness Scotland are located in the area. It’s also where the happening nightlife is, with pubs, bars, and clubs in the area. You can also feast on some of the most sumptuous meals in the city’s restaurants. The city center offers picturesque views of the River Ness and puts you at a convenient distance from the castle and the other city sights. Hotels in Inverness City Center range from high-end to small B&Bs.
Moving further away from the city center, you’ll find the residential neighborhood of Dalneigh. Located on the western bank of the River Ness, it’s a good place to base yourself as it puts you at a convenient distance from the Highlands, Loch Ness, and the city center.
East of the city center you’ll find another residential area, Raigmore. Families or travelers looking for more affordable hotels in Inverness Scotland may find a few here. You won’t find many attractions in the area, but it’s conveniently located from the city center. It’s also known for the Raigmore Hospital and the Inverness Golf Club.
On the other hand, if you prefer to be closer to Loch Ness, a good idea would be to check out accommodation at Drumnadrochit. One of the most visited villages on the shores of Loch Ness, it’s a good place to take the kids. Another popular village on the other side of the lake is Foyers that offers amazing views. For travelers only here for a brief stay, you may want to check out the Best Hotels Near Inverness Airport.
If you want to be where all the action is, yet have some quiet, the Columba Hotel is the place to go. The hotel is spread along with the river steps from the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. It’s also in proximity to Inverness Castle and the cathedral. Though the hotel is within striking distance of the attractions, it occupies a quiet stretch with delightful views, pushing it up the spot in the list of the best hotels in Inverness Scotland.
Besides the hotel’s excellent location, the hotel also has an impressive setup. Classic decor permeates the spaces in the hotel, making it feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. Guest rooms come with river or castle views, each outfitted with a host of modern comforts. The crown jewel in the hotel’s rooms is undoubtedly the Ness Suite. Apart from the spaciousness of the room, you’ll be treated to views of both the River Ness and Inverness Castle.
Dining is at the Victoria Restaurant, which bears the hotel’s original name. You can enjoy traditional English and Scottish cuisine here. Alternatively, you can head to MacNabs Bar and Bistro, located at the front of the hotel. In the summer, guests sit out on the terrace to take in the spectacular view while sipping on the country’s renowned scotch. Apart from these spaces, there’s also the airy lounge where you can sip on a cup of tea or order drinks from the bar.
Offering you the ambiance of a country house in a relaxed atmosphere, Craigmonie Hotel is one of the many independently run hotels in Inverness city centre. However, it’s one of the few hotels with a heated swimming pool, sauna, and mini-gym. Guests can also pamper themselves at the beauty salon or indulge in a relaxing massage. Besides, it’s also pet friendly, so if you’re looking for a hotel that will allow your furry friend, this is one of the best hotels in Inverness Scotland that allows pets.
The hotel occupies a historic building that traces its roots to 1880. While the exterior reflects its rich past, the interior has moved with the times. It adeptly balances the traditional and the modern. You can choose from 40 well-appointed ensuite bedrooms that range from single rooms to spacious family rooms. All rooms come with a good range of comforts such as flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, and free WiFi, to name a few.
The Craigmonie Hotel prides itself on its cuisine that is served at the onsite Conservatory Restaurant. Seasonal, modern and traditional dishes make up the menu. However, for someone who prefers a more personal setting, the hotel also offers a selection of private dining rooms.
Macdonald Drumossie Hotel
Just ten minutes from the other hotels in Inverness city centre, you’ll find the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel. Set in nine acres of parkland, the hotel provides spectacular views over the Moray Firth. It’s one of the best hotels in Inverness Scotland that offers you the best of both worlds – the choice of solitude or city fun. The hotel is well placed for exploring the city or the nearby attractions such as Culloden, Loch Ness, and the Cairngorms. Given its location and beautiful setting, it’s an ideal choice for a destination wedding.
Soak in the beauty of the Scottish Highlands from the comfort of the comfortable guest rooms at the hotel. Tastefully decorated rooms feature dark wood furniture and comfortable beds. They are bright and spacious with a good range of modern amenities. They range from executive rooms to more spacious suites. Even if you aren’t in Inverness for your honeymoon, it’s still worth checking out the Honeymoon Suite at the hotel. Guests can also choose from a range of special offers to get the best out of their experience here.
Like many of the hotels in Inverness Scotland, you can look forward to a lip-smacking meal at the in-house restaurant. The Grill Room has a stunning a la carte menu that showcases modern Scottish cuisine. It’s a popular place for non-residents too. Another good place to catch a bite at the hotel is at the Lounge. Whether you’re here for pre-dinner drinks or to unwind at the end of the day, you’ll enjoy the experience. If high tea is your thing, don’t miss the Afternoon Tea at the hotel with its selection of dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, or irresistible homemade cakes.
When you’re done with your explorations of the Highlands, why not get pampered by a local beauty therapist and enjoy Sarah Campbell Therapies at the hotel. From ELEMIS facials to a deep tissue massage and manicures, allow yourself a bit of indulgence on your trip.
Bunchrew House Hotel
Imagine a place in the Highlands that looks out on a beautiful lake surrounded by the verdant green. That’s what you’ll get if you book a room at the Bunchrew House Hotel, one of the most romantic hotels in Inverness Scotland. Sitting on 20 acres of gorgeous landscaped gardens on the shores of the Beauly Firth, this historic hotel is your little slice of heaven. It’s a little far from the city center and the other attractions, but if you’re here to explore the Highlands, there’s no better place to base yourself.
The hotel was once a 17th-century Scottish mansion that has been converted into a luxurious country house hotel. Guest rooms are individually decorated with their own unique character. Rooms are named after local places and Scottish clans associated with the house. History and luxury spill over into all corners of the room. However, if you’re concerned about the other amenities, you won’t need to worry about that as all rooms are outfitted with modern amenities. Two Premium Rooms occupy the oldest part of the house that dates back to the 17th century.
If you choose to dine at the hotel, you’ll undoubtedly savor the experience. Meals here are served with style and panache with tables set with crystal glasses and silver cutlery. The wood-paneled restaurant looks out over the water to the Black Isle and mountains. Apart from the setting of the restaurant, you’ll also be wowed by the food here. The restaurant has been awarded 2 Rosettes by the AA and also has a commendation from Michelin.
Ballifeary Guest House
Many of the best hotels in Inverness Scotland are housed in historic structures that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The Ballifeary Guest House is one such space set in an impressive Victorian Villa on a quiet residential street. It’s a short walk from here to the town center, so if you’re looking for affordable hotels in Inverness city centre this is a good option. Eden Court Theatre is also convenient from here, as are restaurants and the River Ness.
Guest rooms are located on the first floor of the villa. You won’t find many extras in the rooms, but you can be sure of a comfortable sleep. The rooms are cozy and tastefully decorated with ensuite bathrooms. Breakfast is served in the dining area and consists of a good spread of fresh fruits, yogurts, juices, cereals, and a full-cooked breakfast. If you decide to sleep in, you can request a packed lunch as breakfast is only served for an hour.
Dating back to 1793, Blackfriars, located on Academy Street, is another hotel that puts you close to all the action. It’s a cozy, welcoming space with nine boutique bedrooms, a refurbished bar, and a restaurant. Within five minutes from the hotel, you’ll be able to reach Inverness Castle, The Victorian Market, and a host of other attractions.
Each guest room is named after an icon or famous place that has its own story. The rooms are well furnished with tastefully selected decor and linen. Though they’re a little compact, they’re bright and welcoming. You’ll find basic amenities in all the ensuite rooms.
The hotel has a good onsite restaurant and bar that is opened for all meals, starting with breakfast. You won’t find a very extensive menu, but the food served is delicious, nonetheless. If you’re interested in other activities like fishing or skiing, the hotel can arrange it for an extra fee.
An independently run hotel that stands out among hotels in Inverness city centre is the Heathmounth Hotel. You won’t find many rooms at this boutique hotel, but it has two bars and a popular restaurant with locals. Since the hotel is located in the city’s heart, you’ll find attractions and restaurants in proximity to the hotel.
Built in 1868, the rooms are spread across two private houses. Given the old design of the property, you won’t find an elevator in the hotel. That being said, the building and the rooms are quite beautiful. The eight individually designed rooms come with a range of conveniences to enhance your comfort. They feature a warm cozy design with tasteful furnishings. You can choose from a standard, club, four-poster, or family room. The standard rooms right at the top of the hotel feature sloped ceilings, while the poster rooms are ideal for a romantic getaway.
A popular spot at the hotel is the contemporary Scottish restaurant and the bars. You’ll need to check if the restaurant allows walk-ins as bookings are essential. However, the heated Terrace does not take bookings, but guests are welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis. The covered terrace is a good place to unwind with its open fire pit, live TV, and music. The bustling pub is also open but allows a maximum group of 10. The pub boasts the widest selection of artisan spirits and craft beers in Inverness. You can also enjoy a mean cocktail rustled up by skilled mixologists.
One of the best hotels in Inverness city centre to base yourself at is the pentahotel Inverness. The hotel sits bang in the middle of town, putting you within a convenient distance of restaurants, shopping, and attractions. This hotel is more suited to those looking for something more hip and modern than traditional townhouses and mansions.
The cozy lobby bar with its bare brick walls and light effects is a good place to hang out, especially in the evenings when the lights dim. There are cozy leather sofas, books, a billiards table, and the bar, of course. The Pentalounge also serves chain restaurant favorites for those hankering for a bite. Away from the popular lobby, the rooms are more toned down with simplistic decor. That being said, they’re clean and comfortable with a host of little extras.
What’s unique about this hotel are the dedicated bedrooms for smokers and vending machines on each floor. There’s also a fitness room that’s open 24 hours and laundry service and 24-hour room service.
Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant
Within easy walking distance from High Street and Inverness Castle, Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant embodies elegance and comfort. Treat yourself to five-star luxury in the heart of Inverness. Though you won’t find many five star hotels in Inverness city centre, this one comes close.
The rooms border on the smaller side, but they’re stylish and comfortable. You can choose from Hip, Chic, Decadent, or Extra Decadent categories. All rooms come with a good range of comforts such as Bose Bluetooth Sound Systems, flat-screen TVs, clock radios, coffee and tea makers, and a fully stocked minibar. Depending on the kind of room you choose, extra perks include split-level rooms, private balconies, and outdoor hot tubs.
Like most inhouse restaurants in Inverness, this one also has an a la carte menu with a good selection of dishes. The restaurant attracts outsiders too as it’s renowned for its delicious meals. However, the menu is only available for dinner. For other dining options, you can head to the R Bar to have your choice of cocktail or light meals.
Glen Mhor Hotel
Another hotel that’s in the heart of Inverness is the Glen Mhor Hotel. With 110 bedrooms set across 10 gorgeous Victorian buildings plus 11 self-contained apartments and a luxurious 4-bedroom villa, the hotel has a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets. It’s the ideal location for someone looking to be in the midst of all the action.
As with most hotels in Inverness city centre, the hotel offers excellent views of the river. Bedrooms and suites reflect the Scottish charm and comfort with a tasteful design. They’re outfitted with all the comforts you would look out for. The hotel is currently embarking on a design makeover so expect upgrades in the rooms.
The Waterside Restaurant at the hotel is the ideal setting for a relaxed meal. It offers breathtaking views of the River Ness combined with a wide range of delicious dishes. Apart from the a la carte menu, there’s also a kids’ menu. Alternatively, you can head to the Beer Garden for alcoholic drinks and food.
Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel
Set on a tree-lined river bank terrace, the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel is your answer to luxury and solitude. The city center is an easy 10-minute walk from here, while Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye, and the Scottish Highlands are within easy traveling distance.
The hotel has a contemporary look with pops of red blending in with tweed, leather, and dark wood. Guest rooms feature comfy mattresses and blackout curtains. Free onsite parking is available for guests, as is WiFi and fresh milk. Families looking for more spacious accommodation can check out the self-contained one and two-bedroom apartments.
Breakfast is included in the rate, and for any other meal, head to the award-winning Contrast Brasserie on the ground floor. At this independent family-run restaurant, you get to savor the best of Scottish cuisine. Though there are a few seats for walk-ins, it’s a good idea to book in advance during peak season. The Whisky and Piano Bar is another welcoming space at the hotel with its contemporary yet mellow decor. It’s a good place to unwind with a cocktail or Scotland’s national drink.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Inverness:
- The Dores Inn – Located on the historic road that runs south of Inverness, this traditional family-run inn provides excellent food and drink. You can enjoy classic staples such as steaks and fish and chips amidst a stunning setting.
- Black Isle Bar – If you enjoy craft beer, one of the best places to indulge yourself is as at this bar behind the river. It offers an excellent range of lagers and ales as well as beers from the Black Isle Brewery. Enjoy your beer with some lip-smacking snacks or wood-fired pizzas. The place also has comfortable rooms above the bar so if you’re still looking for a place to stay, you may want to check out these rooms.
- Highland Dining and Storytelling in Inverness – Enjoy the best of all that the region has to offer during this three-course meal. You also be regaled with tales relating to the history of the region plus folklore and other conversation.
Recommended Activities in Inverness:
- Full-Day Loch Ness and Highlands Tour – Obviously if you’re in Inverness you’re definitely going to head to Loch Ness or want to see the Highlands. On this one day tour you’ll get to cruise on the lake and also visit the Urquhart Castle. Other attractions on the tour include a visit to the Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach.
- Inverness Hop-On-Hop Off Bus Tour – One of the best ways to see the sights is on the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour. With the 24-hour ticket you can choose your route thad includes up to 12 stops. You’ll be able to visit the Inverness Castle, St Andrews Cathedral and many other iconic sights. It’s easy to get on the bus if you’re staying in one of the hotels in Inverness city centre.