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Live Like a King! A Night Of Luxury In A Scottish Castle

I doubt Queen Victoria showed up at Inverlochy Castle in the Scottish Highlands covered in mud. After a 10-mile hike to the summit of Ben Nevis (4,413 feet), the highest mountain in the British Isles, I wasn’t exactly the picture of a put-together courtier on a visit to this Scottish landmark.

As we passed a gatehouse and turned up the castle’s treelined drive, the mountain stood like a hulking sentry behind the bright stone towers, which in turn, gleamed against the acres of lush, dark-green forest that surround it. I felt even grungier when we parked our smallish rental car behind a stately Rolls Royce Phantom in front of the imperial-looking entrance.

“Welcome to Inverlochy Castle,” cooed the well-groomed greeter who led my husband Jack and me into the sizeable foyer. “How was your walk today?”

A Castle Hotel

Inverlochy Castle, in Fort Williams, was part of a small group of Scottish castles and manor homes, including Greywalk near Edinburgh, Cromlix in Perthshire, and Crossbasket in Glasgow, that have been turned into five-star boutique hotels. Each one offered a chance to step back in history while indulging in fine food, over-the-top service, and other comforts fit for a king, or queen, in the Inverlochy’s case.

There was no check-in counter. Instead, our greeter showed us to two velvet and silk-upholstered chairs in front of an oversized, overshined wooden desk that likely dated back to the 19th century when Queen Victoria (1819–1901) once used the castle as a place to escape from the challenges of running her empire.

The castle has 17 bedrooms and suites, each uniquely and tastefully decorated with every modern convenience but with a stately flare that harkens back to an earlier, more formal era.

Story and photos by Lisa Ballard

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