Last week, I visited the Culloden Battlefield with Trent and a good friend of ours to trace the steps of my ancestors (post on this experience in the works) who fought on that moor, and after reading that Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at the nearby Culloden House Hotel the eve before the battle, we decided to stay there the night of our visit. In less than ten minutes from the battlefield, we were pulling into the drive of the hotel, marveling at the truly grand mansion set before us. The house and grounds are beautiful, and we pulled excitedly before the front door to unload and check in. Here are a few points from our stay:
1. History - This place is impressive, y'all. Bonnie Prince Charlie is known to have stayed in the mansion, strategizing about his upcoming battle on Culloden Moor. Besides the Bonnie Prince, the mansion also has a rich history of over 200 years, but parts of it also date back to medieval times, as a 16th century Jacobean castle once stood on the site. Pretty impressive, right?
2. Proximity - The Culloden Battlefield and Visitor's Center is less than 10 minutes away by car, and it only took us 15 minutes by car to make it to downtown Inverness from the mansion. It felt like a pretty easy distance for us to get to all that we needed.
3. Staff - The staff were truly wonderful. The gentleman who checked us in was friendly and helpful, and he also served as our bartender and teacher shortly after in the Library Bar. He spent time answering our questions about Scotch and helped us select the right drink for each of us. He also helped me look through some of their books to see if I could find my ancestors listed there from the '45! Staff truly makes a huge difference in your stay, and he helped us feel welcome and well looked after.
4. The food - The Dining Room was absolutely beautiful, and they served a delicious meal for us all. The atmosphere was calm and upscale, and the food was up to the task of matching the atmosphere. I also happen to be an Outlander fan, and Trent and I loved that they were playing the Season One Soundtrack softly in the background - it added a little something extra to the experience. Now, another staff note - our waiter was very kind and patient, and he made sure that my food allergies were accommodated without making me feel like I was a bother, which isn't the case everywhere we go. We had a great time with him, and he had a sense of humor that I appreciated, because I try to be humorous about my allergies, and I appreciate when waiters can pick up on the personalities at their tables and have a good time with you. Likewise, our server for breakfast was attentive and helpful, and we enjoyed that experience very much as well.
5. The facilities - We enjoyed the Lounge, Bar, and Dining rooms. Each were decorated tastefully and gave an authentic feel to the rooms. Speaking of rooms, ours was wonderful - spacious, well decorated, and it boasted the most comfortable bed we slept in during our entire trip. Our room also had a trouser press, which Trent was really excited about, considering he did need to make use of that feature. The bathroom was nice and spacious, and I'm always excited about a spacious bathroom and good shower. The grounds about the mansion are beautiful and well kempt, and they certainly add to the beauty of the place.
While we were away on this trip, we had the pleasure of staying in many lovely hotels and apartments, but we all came away with one mind on the subject: The Culloden House Hotel was absolutely our favorite. Trent and I want to get back soon and take my parents to the battlefield, and we'll be staying at the mansion again without doubt (and a little longer to enjoy the place more). If you're in the area, don't miss the opportunity to stay there, and let us know about your experience!