There are thousands and thousands of beautiful hotels out there, but how many actually boast character and charm in all the nooks and crannies? New builds may offer all the luxuries you may desire, but what about when you’re longing for something quaint and nostalgic, surrounded by breathtaking scenery?
The independently owned Four Seasons Hotel in Saint Fillans, Scotland is situated on the banks of Loch Earn with exceptional south-west views across the loch. Ideally located to explore all that central Scotland and the Trossachs National Park has to offer, this is one of those hotels which is all about location, location, location. The original building was constructed in the early 1800s and was converted into a hotel in the 1900s. The new owner has a wealth of experience as a hotelier, matched only by her sincere passion and love for this hotel.
With twelve bedrooms, six hillside chalets, a holiday apartment and two restaurants, the hotel has a lot to offer, but its location carries it to the next level. The views are incomparable and change throughout the seasons, making it an attractive place all year round. The Four Seasons likes to think of itself as a home from home and when you arrive, it’s easy to understand why. With a very friendly and informal attitude, the hotel has a feeling all of its own, one where you just want to relax and enjoy the ambience. Staff are clearly passionate about the hotel and the experience of each guest, which is a faithful testament to the ethos of the hotel.
The interior is chic in places, whilst other spaces are more retro. Rooms are relatively basic but provide everything you need. Much of the original character has been retained and there is a curious ‘summer holiday’ feeling to the hotel, which I loved. My favourite room had to be their front-facing bar/lounge, with a cosy wood-burning fireplace nestled in a stone masonry wall, knotty-pine panelling and a well-stocked bar full of local ales, fine wine and whiskies! All of this and a huge box window flaunting the beautiful loch and fells.
During my visit, it was still winter, with morning mist rolling over the hills and hovering above the loch – a magical time and hauntingly beautiful. I imagine the spring and summer months are even more picturesque. I’d recommend booking a room with a view of the loch, although with so many activities available, you won’t be spending much time in your room.
There are so many opportunities for walking, hiking, cycling, fishing, shooting plus a host of water sports facilities at the Loch Earn Watersports Centre. For golf lovers, there is a quality 9-hole course at the Comrie Golf Club, less than 10-minutes away and the beautiful town of Comrie is worth exploring too. I have to say that the driving roads are some of the best I’ve seen in the UK with plenty of lay-bys to stop to take in the scenery, so if a road trip is on the cards, I would definitely recommend this part of Scotland. The hotel has free parking, free wifi and is pet-friendly.
Things to do:
Walking / Hiking / Cycling
Loch Earn Watersports Centre
Comrie Golf Club
The hearty breakfast at The Four Seasons is sure to prepare you for the busy day ahead, with plenty of options available (including vegan). I opted for the Scottish Breakfast, which included scrambled eggs with seasoning, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, haggis, waffles, bacon rashers and toast, with all ingredients locally sourced. Perfect with a pot of breakfast tea.
Meall Reamhar offers fine dining at the hotel with wine-pairing evenings and the Tarken Bar & Bistro is a more informal affair, which has a ‘Beatles’ theme honouring The Beatles who stayed at the hotel back in 1964. Look out for our dining review which will be up on our website soon.
Words & Photography by Ian Cole for Client Voyage