All these years I’ve been wanting to go to Scotland but the lack of a decent boutique hotel somehow held me back. When I started to read articles about KillieHuntly, I knew this would be the perfect place to start our discovery of Scotland.
KillieHuntly, your house in the Highlands
KillieHuntly is more like a house than a hotel. It is really a guest house with great service, delicious food, and just an amazing decor. It doesn’t have a pool but the nature and the park outside totally make up for it with so much to admire and enjoy.
Despite going there in November, we got very lucky and arrived under a very sunny, fresh and bright sky. The cold outside only made us appreciate even more the warmth and peace that we found upon entering the house.
We were welcomed with a nice hot cup of tea and a delicious home made lemon cake. I love lemon cake, it’s one of my favourites! Sitting at the oak table with the muted grey and blue atmosphere, I knew that we would be at home here.
The beauty of the place is that it really becomes your house. Staff is here to welcome you in the afternoon with a cup of tea and a freshly made cake and for breakfast and diner. Outside of those times, you can feel like the house is yours!
You can stay in rooms or in cottages
The whole house has five bedrooms, a couple with ensuite bathroom, but most of them have a shared bathroom. Each bedroom is decorated in tones of blue and grey. The bathrooms have a warmer yellow or ochre palette.
Scandinavian style is all around the house: so lot of wood and oak, sheep skins as covers for the chairs and beautiful design pieces of furniture in the kind of Danish style that is so on trend at the moment. It’s all very warm. The rugs on the floor are very beautiful as well.
And you have a clear attention to the art on the wall. Lots of different paintings and drawings that really add a touch of personal style. Nature is brought in with plants everywhere, green pots, succulents. Finally all the lights are exactly well chosen and placed.
From each bedroom, you get wonderful views of the Cairngorns natural park which when we came in Autumn was just glorious.
They can’t add beds for children in the room so it’s best to go when your children are older. Plus with no TV (but good wifi), it is probably best suited for tweens or teenagers anyway. So Mademoiselle had her own bedroom which she adored.
We were also very comfortable in our bedroom and I wish I could have the same desk with the same view to blog from every day.
Diners are fabulous with Michelin star food and great company
Diner was absolutely delicious. You feel like if you are in a top restaurant: really well presented food with taste and flavours. It’s a set menu served at a communal table so you have to be sociable but you meet really interesting people. Funnily enough, we met another Franco-English couple with two children. Like us, he was English and she was French.
For Mademoiselle, they actually changed the main course and gave her pizza the first night. As she loves meat, when we learned that venison would be on the menu the second day, we asked that she had the same. It was a good choice as the meat was so tender. It came with a chocolate sauce and a mix of seasonal vegetables.
All cakes and deserts were superb. Breakfast is also very tempting and every day they do a different cooked breakfast.
They don’t serve diner on Tuesday and Wednesday so I would really recommend that you book your stay around the days they have service.
Discover the magical natural park with your own private tour with a park ranger
In terms of activities, it’s of course all about nature: you can do a lot of long walks around the house, you can also go to Aviemore where there is a zoo and you can do some other hikes. And in the winter it’s a ski station.
Back at KillieHuntly, they can organize many activities: fishing, hunting in season, but also some tours of the park.
We had a fantastic great tour in a four by four. A ranger from the park explained everything about what the owner, a Danish milionnaire whose aim is to conserve the land in Scotland, is trying to achieve. He explained to us how for instance other owners have kept deers roaming around as this is what attracts tourists. But deers eat the trees as they grow and contribute to the bare look that you see around Scotland. By regularly culling the deer, this park is allowing trees to grow at their pace.
In the areas of the park where this has been in action for some time, you clearly see how the trees are spread everywhere rather than being neatly aligned for the wood industry. Some areas seemed to remind of the Africa savannah with high grass and tortuous trunks.
We experienced the “four seasons in one day” that Scotland is famous for. We left on a cold crispy day, got to the top of a hill where it was snowing (we stepped into 40cm of snow freshly fallen the day before), had our sandwich outside in the sun and then grey showers at the end of the afternoon.
On the way we also stopped at the owner’s house called Glenfishie. We had a peek through the window from outside and it all seemed really cosy and chic and inviting. It would be a fabulous place to spend Christmas with friends. It is exceptionally available for rent for the next few months.
As you can see, we absolutely loved our stay at KillieHuntly. As our first stop in Scotland it was the perfect introduction to the magic of this beautiful country.
- 4 bedrooms in the farmhouse
- 3 cottages to rent
- From £300
Rate includes Breakfast, Packed Sandwich, afternoon biscuit/cake with Tea or Coffee and 3-course Dinner.
- They do not add cot beds so your children have to sleep in another room
- They kindly accommodated the diner for Mademoiselle with home made pizza
Dinner is served Thursday through Monday evenings. No dinner is served on Tuesday and Wednesday.
From 7th May 2019 till the end of October 2019 dinner will be served 7 days a week.
- Nearest airport is Inverness, then it’s about 1h 30 by car. Check flight times and prices here. You do need a car to explore the beautiful Scotland scenery.