Beautiful Heritage Hotels In Edinburgh, Surrey, Belfast & Dornoch
Small Luxury Hotels of the World recently welcomed four new hotels to its collection of member hotels. This includes hotels in Edinburgh and Dornoch, Scotland; in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and in Surrey, England.
While new to the group of “independent spirited hotels” these hotels have actually been around for quite some time. Thus, guests can expect top-notch service and accommodations befitting up-scale boutique hotels. Meanwhile, the buildings they are housed in would have even more stories to tell, built between 1665 and 1876 between the properties. From restored Victorian townhouses to former residences to courtiers of King Charles II, history-lovers will get to thoroughly enjoy a blast into the past staying at any of these properties and exploring the nearby towns or cities.
The Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh, Scotland
Just reopened on 7 May 2021, this charming boutique hotel in Edinburgh actually consists of two restored Victorian houses. Built between 1866 and 1869, The Dunstane House and Hampton House sit across the street from each other, and are just a 15-minute’s walk away from Edinburgh city centre. Inside, rooms range from cosy, well-appointed guest rooms to spacious suites with luxurious baths (think chrome roll top tubs).
Meanwhile, what’s unique about this hotel is that although it’s in Edinburgh, the owners have brought some Orkney charm from their home town. Here you’ll find goods such as Orcadian gin, whiskey, art and even produce at the breakfast table, all coming from this archipelago known for its archaeological sites like the 5,000-year-old Neolithic village of Skara Brae and the Odin Stone.
Of course, there is much to explore in areas near the Dunstane Houses. Starting from the inside out, the hotel’s all-day Scottish dining outlet, Ba’ Bar serves classic Scottish dishes with their own twist, while the lounge is perfect for spending a relaxing evening at. Meanwhile, places you can go to on foot includes Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. If you want to, you can walk about an hour or so to get to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park for a magnificent view of the city. Alternatively, you could also get to this ancient extinct volcano via a 25-minute’s drive.
Links House At Royal Dornoch, Dornoch, Scotland
Just reopened on 26 April 2021, you’ll find peace and serenity at this award-winning property that consists of the Main House (built in 1843), The Mews and its newest building, Glenshiel. The interior is decorated with tasteful antiques, tartan prints balanced out with luxe Italian linen, and comfortable furnishings that enhance that cosy, relaxed feel.
It’s not all lazy days and chill-to-the-max at Links House, though. You can also enjoy a spot of golf at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club just outside link house, or have a bit of fun on the putting green. Or, what about some fly fishing? The hotel’s Director of Fishing will be delighted to teach guests the art of catching salmon and trout. You could also hike or bike along the shorelines towards waterfalls and lochs, or drive along the North 500 in a classic car.
Back at the hotel, satiate your hunger with locally-sourced dishes at the very cool Courtroom or fine dining at MARA. You could also eat up while enjoying the outdoors at The Courtyard and taking in the sights and sounds of the Royal Dornoch.
Culloden Estate & Spa, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Built in the Gothic style in 1876 and once home to the Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, the Culloden Estate & Spa looks more like a castle than a mansion and will have any guest feeling like royalty here. Reopening in May 2021, the property has undergone extensive renovation while retaining the charm and legacy of its original structure.
Walk through the grand front doors and take in the regal staircases, stained glass windows, and opulent, classical furnishings. Then, experience a Bridgerton-themed afternoon tea at the Lough Bar, inspired by the popular Netflix historical drama, specially for guests staying during the estate’s promotional opening period. Meanwhile, Vespers Restaurant offers a refreshingly more contemporary setting if you need a change of scenery.
At the Culloden Estate & Spa, the rooms and suites are decidedly more modern and airy, with big bay windows letting in ample light or glass doors opening up to balconies. From upper rooms, you’ll get views of the estate grounds and even of the Belfast Lough. Surrounded by towns such as Bangor, Carrickfergus, Holywood (where Culloden Estate is located), Helen’s Bay, Greenisland and Whitehead, the Belfast Lough is a sea inlet that connects Belfast to the Irish Sea. Expect beautiful views all around from your room!
Outside, there is a world of gardens and woodland to be explored in the property’s sprawling 12 acres. Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of the Game of Thrones (GoT) TV series, it might be worth your while to drive about one hour and half to Ballintoy, on the County Antrim Coastline. The village featured as the location Free Cities, where the character Varys was born. It is also where the character Theon Greyjoy first meets his sister Yara. Even if you’re not a GoT fan, you might just want to visit for the experience and photo moments, as this area has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Mitre Hotel, Surrey, England
The Mitre Hotel is quite new, having just opened in September 2020, and reopening soon in May 2021. However, the property itself has been standing for hundreds of years. It was built in 1665 as residences for visiting courtiers of King Charles II, and is listed as a Grade-II property by Historic England. Sitting on the banks of the River Thames in serene Hampton Court, alfresco wining and dining at its riverside restaurant, brasserie or bars is sure to be utterly delightful.
As for the rooms, although decorated in a more contemporary style and colour scheme, a sense of regality can be felt throughout. With four-poster beds and in-room roll top baths, no one can fault guests for almost believing they are royalty. In fact, you’ll feel this even more strolling through the Mitre’s gardens.
And if you can’t get enough, just cross the street to get to the official ticketing office to the Hampton Court Palace. Tickets bought, you can then start exploring the palace, rose garden, the iconic Fountain Garden, and the kids’ playground, the Magic Garden, among others.
Adding These Hotels In Edinburgh, Surrey, Belfast & Dornoch To Your Bucket List
Bookmark these hotels if you’re a fan of British history or period television shows. Even if you’re not, you’ll still have a great time exploring the towns or cities these hotels are located in. It’s obvious that these beautiful heritage hotels in Edinburgh, Surrey, Belfast and Dornoch in the United Kingdom should be your go-to not just for the amazing accommodations but also to experience the history and interesting surroundings. You’ll come away refreshed, rejuvenated and also enlightened, having explored a part of the world and history that has always been captivating to British history culture vultures.
Want more on heritage? Read: Preserving A City’s Heritage For Future Generations
From an avid magazine reader in her teens to a writer and editor today, Zurien honed her skills at various publications including CLEO, K-Zone, Prestige, The Malaysian Women’s Weekly, LISA Malaysia, MSN.com.my, GLAM Junior, Going Places, kayak.com, HerInspirasi.com, Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia, Tropicana Magazine and Convergence by Malaysia Airports. Zurien hopes to inspire readers to enjoy the best of travel and lifestyle experiences at Gadabout.