The Wonders of Loch Ness – Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

For many years now, the wonder of Loch Ness has attracted visitors from far and wide.  Some to enjoy the staggering natural beauty and wildlife of the loch, and for others to explore the Jurassic Park reputation in the hope of adding to the 1,000 reliable sightings of “The Loch Ness Monster”. The Loch Ness visitor centre is a multi-lingual, multi-media 5 star visitor attraction. Scottish Natural Heritage called it  “A portal to the unique natural phenomenon that is Loch Ness”. Opened by Sir Randolph Fiennes, the centre does a wonderful job of feeding the desire for evidence of “Nessie”; there are many well publicised and convincing photographs on display.  On the other hand, hoaxes and illusions, Scotland’s journey and the legacy of the ice, life in the abyss and a possible underlying truth are given equal voice. Covering 500 million years of history, natural mystery and legend revealing the unique environment of Loch Ness, the visitor centre is a “must see” when visiting Inverness. One of the very best ways to truly experience Loch Ness is by cruise boat.  Several operators do this exceptionally well and indeed some stop off at the Visitor centre so you get the full experience. The cruises last from a short trip of around 1 hour, right up to 6 hours on the loch.  You can fully appreciate the majesty of this legendary place in the Highlands and along with way you will no doubt be stirred by the history and mystery around you. If you are planning a trip to Inverness, to see whether you can spot “Nessie”, The Kingsmills Hotel is the perfect place to rest your head after a long day down on the loch. To view our special offers please click here, or to view our amazing rooms you can click here.

Image of the Loch Ness Monster

 

 

 

Hold Your Baby Shower at The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

Baby Showers – Traditionally, this was a time for the women in the family to gather and pass on their pearls of wisdom (or should that be perils of wisdom) about parenting.  Such as; if you are craving ice cream you are having a girl!  Or if you stand your baby on your lap to bounce them, they will be born bow-legged!  Or one of the more terrifying titbits; if you look at a mouse whilst pregnant your baby will have an unsightly birthmark.

Fortunately some traditions have been de-bunked and updated!  And the baby shower is a great example of one that needed to be!

Perhaps “mother-to-be-shower” may be a more appropriate term than “Baby shower” as it is the new mother who will be showered with gifts on this special day with friends and family!  With everyone gathered to pamper the new mother before a little person comes along to pop her into permanent second place!

mother and baby

 It is a time for celebration and gift giving, and its popularity is growing a-pace with many showers being themed and the room decorated.  We have even seen a 3 tier nappy cake!

 The Kingsmills Hotel has a lovely Baby Shower package to help with the preparations:

  • Afternoon tea, including a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, tea and coffee
  • Jugs of fruit juice
  • Reserved area in the Lounge or in one of our private rooms
  •  Complimentary spa treatment for the mum-to-be

This package only costs £8.50 per person and you can upgrade to include a glass of bubbly on arrival. For more information on this amazing package you can click here. OrtTo book simply call the Events Team on 01463 257102 or email  events@kingsmillshotel.com

Three Surprising Wedding Cake Trends

When it comes to selecting your wedding cake, traditionally it has been a toss-up between choosing royal icing or buttercream, chocolate cake or traditional fruit cake, cute cupcakes or a multi-tiered showstopper. But have you ever considered pork or Stilton? Here at The Kingsmills Hotel, we can open your eyes to the wonderful world of alternative wedding cakes…

It seems that grooms – who, let’s face it, are often excluded from many wedding decisions – are starting to find their own voice, and push back against the girliness of the whole affair. Over the last couple of years, more savoury, ‘macho’ alternatives have started to emerge in the form of pork pies, Guinness cake (yes really!) and giant masterpieces constructed solely of blocks of cheese. What is going on?

A delicious wedding cake trend
Guinness Cake – bring ‘the black stuff’ to your big day

According to The Fine Cheese Company, purveyors of every type of cheese wedding cake imaginable for over 10 years, grooms are becoming increasingly interested in the details of a wedding purely on the basis that they are starting to put their hands in their pockets to fund their weddings themselves. Furthermore, cheese goes so much better with wine at the evening reception! The Fine Cheese Company claims that their multi-tiered cheese creations look every bit as elegant as a traditional wedding cake, whilst also being more substantial and doing a better job of filling up hungry wedding guests.

Savoury wedding cakes
The Hannah Cheese Wedding Cake

It is more challenging to make a pork pie look elegant, but Lincolnshire pork pie makers Adams & Harlow seem to have nailed it. They have conjured up a five-tiered extravaganza, consisting of pork and chicken pies, each hand-crimped around the edges and decorated with ribbons and flowers. I’m sure you will agree that the end result is actually rather aesthetically pleasing.

Surprising wedding cake trends
Adams & Harlow pork pie wedding cake

 

Whatever kind of wedding cake strikes your fancy, one thing is for sure: you are no longer restricted to the traditional fruit cake, and have free reign to use your imagination and make it a focal point of your wedding celebration. If you are a bride or groom to be, and are looking for a stunning wedding venue in Scotland – make sure you take a look at Kingsmills Hotel for the perfect Highland Wedding!

Highland Adventures around Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

If you are looking for a destination that will give you thrills and chills, or if you prefer more peaceful pastimes, all set in an area of abundant beauty, then the Highlands of Scotland is most certainly worth a look.

Photo taken by Visit Scotland
Photo by Visit Scotland

As Ernest Hemingway says “anyone can be a fisherman in May” – well, we would go one step further and say anyone can be a fisherman in the Highlands!  Particularly on the Spey;   the jewel amongst Scotland’s finest salmon rivers.  From its source, it descends 1000ft, some 107 miles.  This descent creates a great flow all season which makes for some very exciting fishing with high expectations on every cast.  A river as vast and powerful as the Spey produces the Hulk Hogan of salmon!

If walking is your activity of choice then the Great Glen Way will lead you through some of the most staggeringly beautiful and dramatic scenery.  By lochs and rivers, your effort will be rewarded with visual splendour at every turn.  And of course if you are a Munro Bagger, then the highlands has plenty to offer.  But don’t be mislead that they are all a test of endurance; some have accessible routes with the focus being on the majestic panoramic views rather than the sweat and toil!

The Cairngorm Mountain range has enjoyed spectacular snow and snow activities over the past few years.  For the nay-sayers who think Scotland doesn’t offer real snow sports, visit this impressive national park and take another look.  The variety of terrain in this area is a big attraction for skiers and snow boarders of all capabilities.

And in the summer months these same mountains are a draw for mountain bikers.  Now mountain biking could never be considered a sport for the faint of heart, but the bonus after the hard work, is some of the longest single track descents in the UK.

Some might say that your opinion on hunting and shooting depends on which end of the gun you are at!  The Highlands of Scotland are famous the world over for their country sports and for the professional way in which the land is managed and conservation is practiced.  The sports take place on estates with professional gamekeepers and are located throughout the Highlands.

And let’s not forget the water based activities; the Great Glen Canoe trail is the first of its kind in Scotland and will take you over 60 miles following the Caledonian Canal from Corpach to Inverness.  Paddling and amazing scenery sounds the perfect way to pass 5 days!

Whichever adventure you decide on, you can be sure that the Highlands will deliver on a grand and majestic scale and Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness will be the perfect place to rest your head after your Highland Adventure! To view all Kingsmills Hotel’s Special Offers please visit the official website here.

Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards 2013

The finalists have been announced for the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards 2013.  As the current holder of the award for Best Hotel of the Year, we remember all too clearly the nerves and tension around the hotel on the run up to the big night.  Can you imagine how we feel this year, having been short listed for not one, but three awards! As I reach for the Bach Rescue Remedy, let me tell you which categories we have been nominated in; Once again we have been nominated in the Best Hotel of the Year Category, and that is not a mantle we will give up easily.  If it is possible to care for our guests with even greater dedication and passion, then we will do it! Our Managing Director, Tony Story has been nominated in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.  Tony has taken the hotel to new heights since the acquisition in 2007.  He has led a programme of refurbishment, the development of the Kingsclub and Spa in 2010 and the current development of the Kingsmills Suite Conference Centre.  In addition to all of this we have just received planning permission for 12 lodges within the grounds of The Kingsmills Hotel.  And finally our Restaurant and Bar Supervisor, Angus MacLeod, has been nominated for the Young Ambassador of the Year title. The Awards are announced on 4th October so wish us luck.  Must go and plant some lucky white heather!

highlands and islands tourism awards

Autumn Weddings at The Kingsmills Hotel

Autumn, the Season of Colour, is a truly magical time to hold your traditional Scottish wedding. Crisp orange sun-gilded leaves, acorns crunching underfoot, crab apples and the delicious waft of freshly baked pumpkin pie – what could be more romantic?

The Kingsmills Hotel, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, boasts four acres of beautifully landscaped grounds in an elegantly restored 18th century building – perfect for luxury weddings in Scotland all year round. Our garden weddings are notorious for their magical fairytale atmosphere, with our grounds forming the perfect tranquil back drop for those all-important wedding snaps.

WHITE_ROSES_KINGSMILLS

In Scotland however, we would be foolish not to take the notoriously inclement weather into consideration when planning a wedding. Outdoor weddings can be a risk – Autumn doesn’t seem quite so romantic when you’re trudging through soggy leaves with your dress hitched up to your knees. You will be relieved to hear that we offer a variety of sheltered areas for both your ceremony and your reception, ensuring that your day runs smoothly whatever the weather. Alternatively, a fantastic way to bring the outdoors to your big day without the need for umbrellas and wellies is to host your wedding reception in one of our tasteful indoor reception rooms overlooking the grounds. Each of our five function rooms has a different understated personality, meaning that they make a brilliant foundation for your personal tastes on the big day.

The Kingsmills Hotel’s dedicated wedding co-ordinators take pride in creating a personalised, tailored service, and truly get to know each bride in person to ensure those special touches of luxury. If you’re planning your dream Scottish wedding, this is undoubtedly one of the most appealing wedding venues in Scotland. Check out the our wedding brochure (http://www.kingsmillshotel.com/planner/food-and-beverage) for inspirational wedding ideas or give us a call on 01463 257 102 to speak to an expert and get the ball rolling.

A Room with a View

The exciting new development project at The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness is coming on a-pace!  This great summer weather has certainly helped to keep work moving forward and we can now get a really solid idea of what our new conference and events space, and our 38 new Luxury Bedrooms are going to look like!

 

We have even managed several site visits now with clients, who have been happy to put on a hard hat and steel toe capped shoes!  They have been delighted with progress and the vision of what we are creating.  For the team at The Kingsmills, it is these site visits that create the excitement – we are really getting a sense of how the space is going to work for our clients and it’s encouraging to see the diary filling up.

 

Our new dedicated air-conditioned events venue within the grounds will host 410 sqm of the newest, design-led meeting and events space – The Kingsmills Suite.  This makes us the largest conference venue in The Highlands, which can also offer car parking and a large number of bedrooms for business travellers – perfect for large-scale events in Scotland. For more details about our events facilities, please download our sparkly new events brochure here.

 

luxury hotel rooms, luxurious hotel rooms, inverness hotel, scottish highlands, scottish events venueWe are also adding 38 beautiful bedrooms above The Kingsmills Suite. We are entitling these rooms ‘Luxury’, and they truly epitomise Luxury in its finest form: spacious and extravagant, offering king-sized beds, sumptuous duvets and cottons. And it doesn’t stop there, with en-suite bathrooms boasting separate bath and walk-in shower as well as fluffy towels to engulf you.  And boy!  What a view!  This photograph taken earlier today shows you the view from our new Luxury rooms.  You can see out over the fairways of the neighbouring Inverness Golf Club and further on to the hills and out to Loch Ness – idyllic!

August Bank Holiday Family Fun in The Scottish Highlands

Here at The Kingsmills Hotel in The Highlands of Scotland, we are continuing to enjoy the lazy hazy days of summer. And the forecasters (who we all know are never wrong about such things) tell us the sun will keep shining throughout August…here’s hoping!

 

There really is so much going on in The Highlands to keep you and your family entertained over the summer, with a wealth of activities for children on our doorstep. It really is a breath-taking part of Scotland in which to enjoy a family break over the August bank holiday weekend.

 

Discover Explore is a great online and offline game in which you and your family can become explorers.  You will discover hidden and extraordinary historical stories in and around the magical Great Glen.  You will uncover 400 million years of stories through a series of daring missions.  Click here to find out how you can take part.  There are so many iconic locations taking part in Discover Explore but you can equally visit them in your own leisurely time.

 

Culloden Battlefield is now restored to as close as it was on the fateful day when the two sides marched on it.  It takes on a whole new meaning with the exciting award-winning visitor centre now open.  Come and find out why this battle, which lasted only one hour, changed the way of life in The Highlands forever.

 

Merkinch Nature Reserve is a hidden gem in the heart of Inverness.  An area full of wildlife with roe deer, herons, cormorants, weasels and many colourful creatures, it will be a day well spent!

 

Plodda Falls, activities in Scotland, family friendly activities, family adventure, Inverness sightseeing, Scottish Highlands
The spectacular Plodda Falls

Equally, Plodda Falls is the highest and most spectacular waterfall in the area at over 40 metres high.  Set within beautiful walks and trails you will enjoy both the scenery and the wonders of nature. Take a picnic and enjoy an unforgettable family day out.

 

For more active pursuits, Experience 4×4 offers off road and all terrain vehicle trails.  Hilarity from start to finish and suitable for kids too!  Sharing in this family adventure is sure to result in lots of laughter – both from nerves and the fun!

 

tourist attraction scotland, scottish highlands, family holiday scotland, family breaks, family adventure
Landmark Forest Adventure Park – great fun for all the family!

 

A firm favourite in The Highlands is a day at Landmark Forest Adventure Park, with its many great attractions and family friendly activities – some not for the faint-hearted! Water rides, high rope trails, sky diving and a maze is just some of the feats you will endure!

 

The Kingsmills Hotel has some amazing deals on over the August bank holiday, making sure that you make the most of the family break.  Why not take a look at our Family Breaks offer, in which kids stay free! This includes 2 night’s accommodation in one of Kingsmills Hotel’s beautiful family rooms, breakfast for the whole family each morning, complimentary use of our leisure club AND entry tickets to Landmark Forest Adventure Park for 2 adults and 2 children. Alternatively, book at least 7 days in advance to take advantage of our Summer Saver offer, saving a minimum of 10%.

 

Whichever option you choose, you are guaranteed an unforgettable August bank holiday weekend in The Highlands of Scotland.

 

Planning the Perfect Stag Weekend in Inverness

More often than not, these days the stereotypical stag weekend tends to involve groups of rowdy lads jumping on a plane to Prague and trekking through the city in morph-suits drinking their body weight in beer! Here at The Kingsmills Hotel and Kingsclub & Spa, Inverness, we offer more traditional and cheaper stag weekend options in beautiful Scotland, designed for the more sophisticated gentleman.

 

Our stag packages include activities such as mountain climbing, distillery tours and sailing, whilst our leisure club is the ideal place to unwind. We offer fantastic room rates in a wide selection of beautiful bedrooms, all with full access to The Kingsmill Hotel’s excellent facilities.

scottish golf, stag weekend scotland, inverness hotel.

 

If golf is your game, Inverness offers an incredible selection of idyllic courses, whilst the surrounding scenic Highlands offer exciting golfing challenges in some of the world’s loveliest and most diverse landscapes. The Kingsmills Hotel is proud to have special partnerships with some of the best Scottish golf courses, offering a selection of fantastic golf breaks at courses including Castle Stuart Championship Golf Course, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, The Nairn Golf Club, Nairn Dunbar Golf Club and Inverness Golf Club. Have a look at our golf packages here.

 

Whatever you are looking for from your stag weekend, our dedicated team of golf specialists can work with you to create a tailor-made golfing weekend in Scotland. We can organise tee times on multiple courses throughout your weekend, and will cover off practical planning elements such as sorting transportation, meaning that all you have to worry about is not being out-done by the Father-of-the-Bride in the golfing stakes!

 

scotch whisky, luxury hotel inverness, stag weekend scotland, malt whiskyAfter all that time spent outdoors, you will be ready for some of the very finest Scottish cuisine. Look no further than our selection of on-site restaurants, including the elegant Inglis Restaurants, and the airy Conservatory Brasserie. We also offer exquisite private dining rooms for group dining, which are perfect for stag celebrations. Why not wash down all that delicious grub with a night-cap of the finest Scotch whisky – we can even arrange a whisky tasting as part of your evening.

 

 

The choice is yours – this is your stag weekend. Give us a call on 01462 257 100 to get the ball rolling…

The Show Must Go On!

Working in an environment that is based around an ethos of outstanding service, providing world class guest experiences and going the extra mile means that The Kingsmills Hotel staff sometimes have to get creative…

 

That creativity can be about developing a really fun (albeit slightly off the wall!) Girls Slumber Party Package and other innovative special offers, or creating a truly indulgent spa experience.  Have a look at our spa treatment menu here if you’re in the mood for some pampering! Recently, however we took the concept of creativity quite literally to help one of our guests out of a potentially sticky spot…

 

The Kingsmills Hotel recently hosted a group of actors who were filming a period drama at a nearby stately home, and it was great for staff and guests to see the colourful characters around the hotel.  One of the actors was understandably alarmed to realise that she had arranged to have her costume laundered, unaware that the laundry would be closed on the Sunday – the day of filming!

 

Thankfully our Operations Manager, Sandra, understands fully two important concepts which are ingrained in each and every staff member here at The Kingsmills Hotel:

 

  1. Always go above and beyond to create a great guest experience, and
  2. The Show must go on!

 

Kingsmills hotel, hotels in Scotland, excellent customer service

Recognising the guest’s alarm, our Operations Manager asked ‘What does your costume look like?’  Thankfully this particular guest wasn’t playing aristocracy and didn’t require puffy sleeves in opulent fabrics or elaborate bodices adorned with jewels!  Grateful to learn that the actress’ character came from the other end of the social hierarchy, and needed only a long black skirt with black cape and cream coloured ruffled collar, Sandra set to work to make a replacement.  It’s amazing what banqueting covers and a ‘can do’ attitude can create! So, with Sandra’s help, the cast pulled off an amazing performance, the show, indeed, did go on as planned.