STYLE AND SUBTANCE

Perched on the lush banks of Loch Awe, this 19th century converted manor exudes a blend of grandeur and country-house comfort. A 16-bedroom masterpiece designed by William Burn – one of Edinburgh's most feted architects whose portfolio also includes the Melville Monument and George Watson's school – the ivy-wrapped Ardanaiseig Hotel is one of Scotland’s most romantic getaways and is a perennial finalist in the category.

SLEEPING MATTERS

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Every room is aptly christened after the stunning natural landmarks that surround the hotel. All are endowed with either king or twin size beds while the premium rooms have a king four-poster or a roll-top bath. Robes and luxury Scottish toiletries by Arran Aromatics or Molton Brown come as standard. There is a chic honeymoon suite called the Boatshed sited away from the main hotel on the banks of the loch. Its glass frontage has unparalleled views of the water. The Boathouse, a self-catering cottage for up to four guests, is perfect for families or a group of friends.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

With much of the produce sourced in Argyll and Bute (including the fine salmon from the nearby Inverawe smokehouse), the culinary experience at Ardanaiseig Restaurant equals the breath-taking views enjoyed from the dining room. The gourmet dishes are beautifully presented and can be paired with an extensive selection of wines. After dinner, a seat in the library bar with a whisky next to the log fire is a perfect digestif. The quality of meals has been recognised after the venue was shortlisted for the title of the coutnry’s top hotel at the Catering Scotland Excellence Awards.

DRINK IN THE SIGHTS

The baronial-style architecture of Ardanaiseig is swaddled by enchanting natural beauty: small herds of deer roam the 120-acre estate and often drink from the softly lapping waters of the nearby loch, while almost every tree sings with birdlife. The peaks of Ben Lui and Cruachan dominate the skyline.

NICE TOUCH

It's got to be the attentive staff. Always quick with an umbrella or welly boots to aid the zealous walker in poor weather. One of the most eye-catching attractions is the collection of paintings. Some have been over-painted with faces from famous figures from yesteryear. In the dining room hangs one that once occupied a space on the walls of famous Piccadilly nightclub Tokyo Joe’s. Originally a group portrait of Lancastrian town councillors from the 1840s, they now sport the faces of celebrities including Mick Jagger, Jimmy Goldsmith and Peter Gabriel.

ABOUT THE AREA

Ardanaiseig lies a handful of miles away from Cruachan Power Station which is set inside Ben Cruachan – the hollow mountain – and is one of Britain’s most striking engineering achievements. It attracts around 60,000 visitors every year and has been awarded five-star visitor status – the same as Edinburgh Castle. It has featured in a number of films including the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Ardanaiseig Hotel, Kilchrenan, Taynuilt, PA35 1HE

Phone: 01866 833333 or visit www.ardanaiseig.com