The travel industry has changed drastically in the last few decades, with higher standards of excellence and an increase of low-budget travel operators all competing for the best deals on the travel hypermarket. Demand is up, and supply is struggling to match it.
But the simple fact remains: you can’t put a price on luxury. Of course, you’ll have to number crunch and scout out the best location for the type of holiday you want – a romantic getaway, a family weekend, a retirement retreat – all of these come with very different criteria.
But when it comes to a base, even the most intrepid traveler, I’m sure, would be hard-pushed to turn down some luxurious extras.
Scottish Holiday Experience
If Scotland’s your destination of choice, then whether you’re planning a castle tour, hiking through the glens or sampling the urban nightlife, a luxury Scottish hotel might just be the perfect place to rest, retreat to, rejuvenate, ready for the next day’s activities, as strenuous or as luxuriant as they might be.
And if you do decide that you can spare the extra pennies for the convenience of an on-site spa, pool, golf course or whatever else you decide is ‘luxury’ to you, then you’ll want to make sure that the rest of your holiday matches up. Because it’s not just the hotel that should get a star rating.
Here are my picks for a five star Scottish holiday experience:
Scotland’s ‘Misty Isle’ of Skye prevails as one of its most visited places – the road to Elgol takes you to one of the most stunning views anywhere in Scotland; an uninterrupted panorama of the Cuillin Hills.
This is glorious rambling territory, just make sure you come weather-proofed! It’s also great also for wildlife and hidden sandy beaches. For something a little different, try the Orkney Islands instead.
Princes and Princesses
What’s more luxurious than a taste of the regal? Scotland boasts some of the finest castles in the world. Edinburgh Castle is the bastion of medieval grandeur, and the birthplace of King James I.
Entering William Wallace territory, try Stirling Castle and look out onto the ancient battlefields. The ruins of St Andrews Castle are also impressive, clinging to a rocky outcrop over a small sandy beach.
There are festivals all year round, but for maximum luxury, forget the tent and hire a tipi, yurt or (promisingly) a ‘cloudhouse’ at the Wickerman Festival. And for high-end culture, try the Edinburgh Film Festival in June or the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.
For alternative chic, try the Hebridean Celtic Festival in July, or the wonderfully eccentric Stonehaven Fireball Festival. Piping and drumming accompanies a procession of kilted fire-dancers, right to the water’s edge where they hurl the flames into the sea.
I hope this helps you plan your next trip or your study abroad in Scotland!
(photo credit: 1)