Ardanaiseig is situated at the end of a winding single-track lane, deep in the wilderness. A remote country estate built on the shores of Loch Awe (the third-largest freshwater loch in Scotland, and famed for its trout fishing), it's an aptly named and wonderfully atmospheric spot. At the bottom of the hotel’s woodland garden, right on the water’s edge, is what was once the old boat shed. Now it has been converted into a glass-fronted, self-contained ‘cottage’, surely one of the most secret spots in Britain.
The Boat Shed has just one double bedroom, a tiny kitchen and huge living space. It’s the ultimate lovers’ retreat – totally secluded and entirely glass-fronted, so from your mezzanine-level, king-size bed, you can watch the mist drifting across the Loch. Residents are provided with the use of a golf buggy during their stay, in which to zip around.
But you’ll need to do a fair bit of tramping through the beautiful Ben Cruachan hills to work off all the food (served in the main hotel). Tempting dishes such as lobster ravioli, melt-in-the-mouth lamb fillet, and full-on Scottish breakfasts will have you lulled into a stupified haze. You can eat, try your hand at clay-pigeon shooting, eat some more, play chess by the blazing log fire, and career home by moonlight to your little waterside hideaway.
- All the privacy of your own separate bolthole
- All the facilities of a hotel
- The seriously cosy and comforting hotel library and bar
- The pure, Scottish air – just breathing here makes you feel healthier
- Nightclubbers need not apply
Need to Know: The Boat Shed Ardanaiseig
Number of rooms: 18
Check-in/check-out times: 1pm and 11am
Swimming pool: No
Spa: No, but in-room massages are available.
Dogs welcome: Yes
Eating and drinking: The hotel describes the dining experience as ‘Fine dining with breathtaking views'. It’s not exaggerating. Medaille D’Or-winning gourmet meals overseen by head chef Gary Goldie can be enjoyed in front of an uninterrupted vista of the loch and mountains.
Location: Located on Loch Awe, 20 miles from Oban, the best way to pass the time here is to get outdoors – roam around the gardens, head to the hills or go deer stalking or clay pigeon shooting as arranged by the hotel. Or you can go for helicopter and seaplane rides if you dare...
Getting there: The closest airport, Glasgow, is 80 miles away – around two hours in the car, up the A82 to Oban exiting towards Taynuilt.