Condé Nast Traveller
By Steve King

Some of the best hotels in Scotland exist outside of the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow – that's not to say you can't find somewhere exceptional to stay wherever you wish to lay your head. Whether you're looking for a cosmopolitan city break or hoping to explore Scotland's stunning coastline on the road trip of a lifetime, there's somewhere stunning for any type of traveller.

The key to finding a Scottish hotel is to consider what suits your trip; will you be looking for memorable cocktails, unique shops and a buzzy atmosphere, or are you more about long walks, scenic views and cosy evenings in front of a fire? Whatever your decision, we're confident our pick of the best hotels in Scotland will inspire the trip of a lifetime. Scroll through for our favorites, in no particular order.

Rusacks St Andrews

To golf nuts, the Old Course at St Andrews is hallowed ground – and Rusacks is separated from it by nothing more than a low wooden rail. To non-golfers, the hotel is a charming, historic base from which to explore charming, historic St Andrews. The city’s other principal points of interest – the cathedral and castle ruins, the harbour and pier, the university – are within easy walking distance. The magnificent beach where the opening sequence of Chariots of Fire was filmed is directly opposite, just beyond that broad strip of well-mowed lawn – sorry, beyond the golf course.

Following a change of ownership and a major refurbishment, Rusacks reopened in 2021. The rooms are approximately Victorian in style, with Scottish accents and golf-related accoutrements, plus big bathrooms and Chrome-enabled TVs so golf tragics can live-stream golf tournaments from elsewhere in the world even if there is one taking place below their balcony at the same time. Look out for the sculpted godwits in the chandeliers – a lovely touch, easily missed. The brand-new rooftop restaurant, 18, is a fine-dining affair that specializes in beef, game and seafood. The views are as delicious as anything on the menu – possibly the best views in town, if you step onto the narrow outdoor terrace (which, rather wonderfully, includes a tiny putting green of its own).

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