The Torridon Hotel is set on Upper Loch Torridon with spectacular views in the northwest of Scotland opposite the Isle of Skye. Driving to the Torridon is a visual feast of soft rolling orange fern-covered hills peppered with scintillating streams and lakes. It is an area of outstanding beauty and the hotel is the ideal place from which to explore. This is one for the romantics, the perfect venue for a spring, summer or winter weekend.
The third stop on our McLaren 720S tour of Scotland for International Excellence Magazine, we were delighted by the glorious nature and wildlife we passed on the route up from Islay. The roads in such a remote setting are supercar heaven, though any car or even a bicycle would provide a magnificent experience in these surroundings.
This 19th-century gothic house is warm and welcoming as you step into the Scottish baronial hall with comfy leather sofas pointed at the sumptuous view of the lake and immaculate ornamental gardens. We were quickly shown to our deluxe rooms, mine being named Liathach after a mountain in the Torridon Hills. Textured gold walls reflected a warm light over soft grey armchairs. A large king-size bed and a freestanding clawed bath sat in the corner with views over the lake. I freshened up for dinner in the modern en suite bijou bathroom, part of the oval clocktower.
That evening, we partook in another splendiferous whisky flight with a few wee drams in The Torridon Whisky Bar. They have 365 whiskies, one for each day of the year. That's clearly a ruse to draw in whisky fans with the challenge of staying the whole year to taste every single one. They make their own superb Arcturus Gin too. As the evening wore on, we sank even further into the deep leather sofas in the dark oak bar, supping some of the best cocktails and whiskies Scotland has to offer.
Then dinner in the 1887 Restaurant, panelled in elegant Scots pine, which consisted of four courses with a wine pairing: Reisling, Pouilly, Barbera and a Chateau Coutet, before finishing off with a Tawny Port. I went with oysters to start then langoustine and crab with local vegetables. My colleague David went for the Highland steak reared on the on-site farm. 1887 prides itself on using fresh seasonal produce from The Torridon Farm and its Kitchen Garden, where they rear their own livestock. The restaurant is named after the year the hotel was built by the Earl of Lovelace, an evocative name that sounds like an avant-garde jazz band!
The sunrise over Loch Torridon is one of, if not the finest, I have ever been privileged to witness. The light flowed like gleaming honey over the purple emerald mountains before sliding sinuously over the loch and the ornate manicured grounds of the hotel. I fully expected a delicate watery hand to thrust itself from the lake's surface holding aloft a magical glaive.
In the morning I went for the full heart attack Scottish breakfast with Highland bacon, black pudding, haggis and potato scones. Then we took the McLaren 720S and the hotel's Porsche Taycan (they have a Porsche for guests) for a ride around the loch. The all-electric white Porsche and the black McLaren V8 represented the forces of good and evil as we took in the remarkable terrain around the hotel. Miles of flawless track with nothing but glowing satin-hued mountains and glimmering lakes all around.
If you want a more relaxed and private stay the hotel also has stables offering 12 bedrooms around a courtyard. There is no direct view of the lake, but it is a family-friendly alternative as you have your own space to explore the amazing surroundings and can even bring a pet. The same resort with all the facilities but for less outlay. And the ground floor rooms of the hotel are accessible to wheelchairs with easy access showers and light switches.
Next to the stables is the Bo and Muc Brasserie, Gaelic for pig and cow, where they serve simple food including their own shellfish, resort game, pork and Highland beef whilst also showcasing local producers. The neighbouring Beinn Bar offers local ales, as well as Scottish gins and whiskies.
They also have an exclusive luxury private lodge, The Boathouse, perched directly on the loch with two bedrooms, a modern kitchen and a comfortable lounge with a conservatory that looks out over the picturesque lake. All the advantages of a private lodge plus the hotel amenities and service.
Our one night was not enough, there are so many activities to enjoy: guided walks, mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, archery, sea kayaking, gorge scrambling, coasteering, hiking, swimming, sailing and of course, whisky flights.
Next, we were headed for Murrayshall Country Estate near Scone in Perthshire. We drove the McLaren 720S through the glorious undulating vistas and passed a majestic Stag standing proudly on a hillock by the side of the road. It eyed us thoughtfully as the rain lashed down whilst we snapped a few pictures. The landscape stretched on to infinity with just the Stag posing haughtily framed by the soft taupe and chestnut mountains in the background.
The Torridon Resort is justly famous as one of the finest hotels in Scotland and Scotland is host to the best hotels in the United Kingdom. The location is exquisite, beauty beyond compare, whether it's bathed in glorious summer sunshine or framed by cinematic winter mists, the Torridon Hotel is a romantic destination of unparalleled elegance. The highlands of Scotland are an enchanted place and far more dazzling than even the best photographs suggest, visit in person as soon as you can.
The Torridon Resort