The Lovat Loch ness: an award-winning hotel and restaurant deep in the Scottish Highlands

Nestled in the heart of the Highlands on The Great Glen Way in Fort Augustus, The Lovat Loch Ness is the only 4 star hotel in the local area. A family business since 2005, it is now owned by husband and wife team Caroline Gregory and Sean Kelly. Having first been used as a hotel in 1869, The Lovat Loch Ness has long been a welcome comfort break for hikers and cyclists tackling the iconic 117km Great Glen Way that transcends Scotland.

The Lovat’s 28 rooms are individually decorated, with some offering a traditional British countryside feel and others modern Scandinavian inspired interiors to suit guests’ preferred style. Newly refurbished rooms are equipped with Nespresso machines, minibar, mini safe, luxurious super king size beds and Egyptian cotton sheets. The garden rooms with their exclusive outdoor spaces are ideal for guests travelling with their pets.

The 40-cover restaurant is led by Head Chef Sean Kelly and offers a dining experience like no other in the Scottish Highlands. Having worked across the globe in some of the finest Michelin star restaurants, he brings his distinctive and innovative cooking to Inverness-shire. The Lovat was previously home to refined dining restaurant Station Road, spearheaded by Sean, he is now focussed full time on The Lovat Brasserie while continuing to search for a new site nearby to relocate and relaunch Station Road in due course.

LovatConscious of championing local suppliers, Sean’s menus are inspired by what is in season and local to the area. Favoured dishes include the crispy shoulder of hare with Heritage carrots and carrot ketchup and garden beetroot, creamed feta, watermelon and pickled peel. As a trained pastry chef Sean’s creativity truly shines when it comes to desserts including the likes of lemon cheesecake, raspberries and basil ice cream, pictured to the left, this is not your typical cheesecake and shows Sean’s playful nature when it comes to creating his dishes. When not creating in the kitchen, Sean is making the most of the stunning surroundings and reaping the rewards of foraging trips, with ingredients often making their way onto his menus.

At The Waypoint bar guests can enjoy an extensive selection of carefully selected wines, craft beers, over 50 Scottish gins and over 100 Scottish single malt whiskies to warm the soul. 

During the summer, guests can relax on the Lovat’s manicured lawns and opt for an al fresco afternoon tea The Lovat Loch Nessfeaturing freshly baked scones and seasonal treats. The local town, Fort Augustus, has much to get involved in from boat trips on the Loch to Kayaking and Sailing – ideal for entertaining the family. The kitchen also offers a delicious packed lunch for those wanting to make the most of the great outdoors. For a winter break, the Scottish Highlands are the perfect choice. Visitors can soak up the unspoilt wilderness and then cosy up next to the fire in the drawing room and finally finish that book they’ve been meaning to read.

Caroline and Sean take an “eco-conscious” stance to running the hotel in a sustainable way; with the installation of an advanced biomass woodchip boiler and they are now working towards cutting harmful palm oil out of their supplier chain completely. The Lovat supports Scottish conversation charity, Trees for Life, by donating 15p to the charity every time a hotel bedroom is booked, for replantation of trees in the area. These eco-conscious policies have led them to be awarded a Carbon Trust Management Award and CIS Sustainable Hotel Award and Hotel Catey Award.

As a wedding venue, the views of Loch Ness will be a welcome backdrop to any matrimony ceremony. The team have a wealth of local contacts from chauffeurs, florists and photographers and will personally guide you through your special day. The dining room can be hired for special occasions for up to 50 guests where Sean will devise a bespoke menu for the celebration.

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