The small city of Inverness in the northeast coast of Scotland, also known as the Capital of the Highlands is popularly visited because of its ideal location to exploring Loch Ness. Loch Ness is the most famous loch in the world for the legendary resident, the Loch Ness monster. In addition, Inverness is at a central point and a gateway to the northeast coast offering opportunities to explore the breathtaking landscapes, the ancient sites and the wider region of the Highlands. As such, the city offers a number of accommodations to suit all budgets and lifestyle. With so many choices, finding the most suitable place to stay can be time consuming. Therefore, in this article, there are carefully selected top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness city centre for you to peruse, select and book.
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Why select a hotel in the heart of Inverness city centre | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
1 | A compact city
Inverness is compact and is easy to walk around the city. The main attractions in the city are all within easy reach and public transportation is not really needed.
2 | Choices in entertainment and eateries
The city is lively and offer great choices in entertainment in the evenings. As well there are a good selection of restaurants and eateries for you to try classic Scottish recipes. Visit one or more of the many Scottish pubs dotted around the city for the hospitality, ambience and a classic Scotch on the rocks, for a memorable experience.
As for places to eat, try the Castle Tavern which is popular amongst visitors to Inverness. Known for good service, it is said to serve the best haggis in town!
Address: 1 View Place, Inverness IV2 4SA Scotland
3 | Lots to do during the day
There are so many things to do in and around Inverness during the day that you will not be bored during your stay here.
For places to visit in Inverness city centre, I would highly recommend a visit to Inverness Castle. The red sandstone fortification sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness. Although the Castle is used as a Court house and there is no public access into the castle, visitors can purchase a ticket to access the viewpoint at the Castle Tower. The Castle Tower offer 360° degree views over the city of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.
For more recommended activities to do on your visit to Inverness City, the Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands offers 11 suggestions for you to experience in the city itself and further activities that you could do around Inverness. Includes day trip options as well.
Just so you know, all of the hotels listed below, Top 5 hotels in Inverness City are conveniently located to the following popular attractions:
4 | Major transport hub | Air, Train and Road
Furthermore, accessibility to public transportation such as Inverness train station and the bus/coach station is convenient and located only within minutes of any the following centrally located hotels.
Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City centre
As you may know, my go-to place for booking accommodations is Booking dot com. Booking offers vast choices in accommodation style such as hotels, hostels and aparthotels to suit varying budgets. In addition Booking offers a choice of cancellation policies and depending on the properties you select, you could either pay in full upfront or pay later.
Here are the selected 5 hotels which I know is a great place to stay:
1 | Ness Walk | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Ness Walk is located in a beautiful setting along River Ness and is rated as superb with friendly staff and world-class service by customers. Within steps, you would be walking along River Ness and enjoy a stroll to Ness Island, watch the sunset over the city of Inverness or the adventure in you may lead you along the Caledonian Canal which is a stone’s throw away. Whatever you choose to do during your stay at Ness Walk, you are assured of a celebrity treatment.
The accommodation comes with free WiFi, continental breakfast daily and attractions within minutes of the property.
2 | Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant
Rocpool is a luxurious boutique hotel, bar and restaurant located in the heart of Inverness and offers nothing short of a world-class service.
This 5-star hotel, Rocpool Reserve boast numerous awards, including Conde Nest Johansens Most Excellent UK City Hotel 2008 and 2010.
Though not 5-star rated, the following three hotels provide good comfort, style and friendly service.
3 | Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Located along the banks of River Ness, Inverness Palace Hotel offer direct views of Inverness Castle which looks glorious at sundown. The hotel offers swimming pool, leisure club, spa and free WiFi. Riverside restaurants and bars are within steps of the hotel. Train and coach stations are about 10 minutes walk – you need to take the bridge across River Ness.
Address: 8 Ness Walk, Inverness
4 | The Royal Highland Hotel Inverness |Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Literally just about 10 steps from the entrance/exit of Inverness train station is the The Royal Highland. One of the oldest in Scotland, The Royal Highland has been around for 160 years.
Boasting a grand staircase that was an inspiration for the very same in the movie “Titanic”, the decor is traditional, rich and warm. Dining here is an experience in itself – Ash is contemporarily styled and serves an à la carte menu. Food is sourced locally – fish comes from nearby lochs and rivers. Ash Restaurant is one of the best drinking and dining venues in Inverness.
5 | Mercure Inverness Hotel
Located at just 200 metres from Inverness train station, Mercure Inverness Hotel is best if you have to join guided tours or if you wish to explore surrounding areas by train. Guided tours usually drop you off at about 8 p.m. by which time you may just want to head straight to your hotel.
Mercure Inverness offers breakfast daily and free WiFi.
Besides these top 5, there are many more in and around Inverness which you may want to research upon and select to suit.
Travelling to Inverness City | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Inverness is well-served by both train and air along with good ground transportation such as bus/coaches. Roads around Inverness are good, and it was nice to drive around. Just remember that in Scotland as is in the rest of United Kingdom, we have a right-hand drive but drive on the left side of the road.
Train Travel to Inverness City
Train services to Inverness is mainly served by ScotRail trains. There are frequent services from Aberdeen to Inverness (2 hours 12 minutes), Glasgow to Inverness (3 hours 13 minutes), and from Edinburgh to Inverness (3 hours 33 minutes).
If you are travelling from London to Inverness, the journey with no changes of trains takes about 8 hours.
Georgina: I travelled to Inverness recently from London onboard the Azuma – it was a comfortable train ride. Long 8 hours but the comfort of the First Class carriages and the scenic route made the journey pleasant. If you are not driving to Inverness, Scotland, I would recommend a train journey.
Navigate to the 8 Most Scenic Train Journeys and Trainline in UK to learn more about train travelling in the UK. For extraordinary train journeys, take a look at Unique Train Travel Experiences | Britain by Train.
Travel by Air to Inverness
Inverness Airport is located in Dalcross, about 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) northeast of Inverness city. It is an international airport offering a range of flights daily to and from key destinations such as London, Amsterdam and Dublin . The Airport Terminal provides customers with a variety of cafes, restaurants, shops.
Exploring Inverness and the Scottish Highlands by car is one of the best ways to see and experience the many dramatic vistas of this region. Car tours are specially useful if you have only a few days but you would like to maximise your time and cover lots of areas.
If you are considering travelling by train or by air to Inverness city and would like to explore more of the Scottish Highlands, then you may find the following suggestions helpful:
1 | Hire a car when you arrive in Inverness to explore at your leisure
2 | Book day or multi-day guided tours with reputable sight-seeing providers so your booking is secure, refund is possible if you change your mind and tour guides are local as well as knowledgeable to maximise your experience.
Pro tip 1 | Combine a stay in Inverness and Explore the Scottish Highlands by Car
As a gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness allows you to explore more than just the city and its immediate surrounds. It would of course depend very much on your time and what you plan to achieve when visiting Inverness. Taking a road trip to the Scottish Highlands allows you to explore at your leisure. You will experience more of the beautiful scenery and many Scottish heritage, castle ruins and dramatic coastlines. You will navigate through mountainous peaks, shimmering lochs and single track roads with friendly hairy Highland cows beckoning a stop for a photo-shoot. The unbelievable natural beauty will have you planning your next trip in no time.
Road trip to Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is one of the most visited destinations in the Highlands. Skye can be visited from Inverness in one day and the journey is about 3 hours each way. Whilst this is possible, it is a lot of driving. To make the best of your visit to the Isle of Skye, I recommend either one or two overnight stays in Portree, a charming harbour town or any other place you would prefer.
The highlights on this road trip will include Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Skye Bridge, Quiraing, Fairy Pools, Bridal Falls, Kilt Rock The Old Man of Storr, Lochalsh, Portree and so many more depending on how many stops you make.
Suppliers of good value for money combination of an All-in-One
For great value for money holidays to the Scottish Highlands travelling by air or by train, take a look at EasyJet for cheap flights and Travel Supermarket for unbiased information. Select what suits your itinerary and book in advance to avoid disappointment. Always check cancellation policies and fine prints before finalising your booking.
Combine cheap flights with handpicked 3, 4, or 5 star accommodations from self-catering, to boutique with EasyJet Holidays. Add any extras you may need such us car rental, airport transfers.
To save time and money, Travel Supermarket offers unbiased information on all travel products. You can compare prices and book a package holiday by selecting flights, hotels and car hire.
Pro tip 2 | Book day or multi-day trip guided tours
To make the most of your stay in Inverness, and if you do not wish to drive, join a guided tour with a reputable tour provider and let someone else drive you around. You could easily do a day trip from Inverness or a multi-day trip to explore the Highlands Here are a few carefully selected day and multi-day trip guided tours with reputable tour providers.
Peruse the following day trip:
Peruse the following multi-day trip and book early to avoid disappointment:
Trusted partners of mytimelessfootsteps who are suppliers of guided tours and activities are Viator, Get Your Guide and Rabbies. Learn more about our Trusted Partners.
Finally, don’t forget Travel Insurance! Never leave home without it even if you are a domestic traveller. I use World Nomads and I also check Travel Supermarket to compare prices, so I get the best value to suit my travels
My thoughts on Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness city centre
Whether you spend the day hiking, and exploring the wonders of Loch Ness, driving far and discovering the joys of single track roads or guided by knowledgeable locals, you are going to need a good night’s rest! I hope my selection of the top 5 hotels in Inverness will give the comfort and relaxation needed whilst away from home.
Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Inverness? If so, please let me know in comments below or or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. If you have visited Inverness, please share your experiences – you never know who you might inspire.
Have a splendid time exploring Inverness and surrounds
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