It might be a former hunting lodge used by Queen Victoria but there’s nothing Victorian whatsoever about this serenely designed lodge, done out in uber-tasteful linens, raw materials and soothingly natural tones. There’s lots of lovely nooks and crannies to mooch between – the sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi are particularly welcome after a long day on the moors. With shooting rights to 20,000 acres, a two to four trip to grouse moors Gairnshiel and Micras can be arranged. For a slower pace, take a leisurely hour and a half’s walk to the lunch hut, where an aperitif and barbecue reward your efforts. On the doorstep is Balmoral, mountain biking through the Cairngorms and accessible but beautiful hiking trails. Sleeping up to 16 fully catered, expect wholesome food to nourish the soul. This is the new way to do luxury in the Highlands.
Walk or bike around the beautiful Loch Muick, or take a hike to the lunch hut in the mountains.
At Rothesay Rooms in Ballater (the restaurant of Prince Charles) or the restaurant of Fife Arms in Braemar.
A must buy is definitely the smoked salmon at the royal butcher in Ballater, or the tea and soap they sell at Gairnshiel.