The Lodge is a design lover’s oasis in Aberfeldy, Scotland. It offers a range of Highland experiences and a high-level of service for a self-catering holiday rental.
Simplicity isn’t simple. The ultimate level of sophistication happens when the refining process is so complete that there is truly nothing to add or to take away.
This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
In case of official travel restrictions either in Scotland or at the origin of travel for guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Highland Lodge will offer a full refund up to 48 hours of the arrival date. Guests can choose between a full refund or a rescheduling to a different date.
Many places in Scotland are an hour to the closest pub and guests have to get into their cars to go anywhere. But at Highland Lodge, you can stay an entire weekend and never get into your car, with lovely coffee shops, bookstores and pubs all just a short walk away.
How would you describe Highland Lodge in a nutshell?
Highland Lodge is a design-led country estate and the first in Scotland to have that focus. So you won’t find any tartan or stags heads, but rather a simplistic, somewhat Scandi-influenced aesthetic within an old building on the edge of Aberfeldy. We’ve gone for high-end interiors and a non-bling design — we like to say that Highland Lodge is extremely luxurious and comfortable without being ostentatious.
What was the inspiration and story behind Highland Lodge?
My wife, Susie White, is an architect and designer, having spent many years working in high-end architectural practices in New York and San Francisco. We now have a small building company in Perthshire that specialises in renovating old and listed buildings, so we came to the project with experience.
We had been on the lookout for a large property to renovate and convert into high-end, exclusive accommodation for some time and were passing Aberfeldy on a regular basis doing building work in a nearby village. When we first saw the property, we were attracted to it because of its location — set across 5.5 acres in an elevated position and with fantastic views, all while being within walking distance to the town.
Many places in Scotland are an hour to the closest pub and guests have to get into their cars to go anywhere. But at Highland Lodge, you can stay an entire weekend and never get into your car, with lovely coffee shops, bookstores and pubs all just a short walk away. It’s also within walking distance of Dewar’s Whiskey Distillery and several nationally-known walks, including the waterfall trail that leads to the Birks of Aberfeldy.
How would you describe the atmosphere and what it’s like staying at Highland Lodge?
A lot of guests who stay at Highland Lodge come back to us and say how much their expectations were exceeded and comment on the soul of the property. So I think it’s something you really have to experience yourself.
For many guests, their favourite part of the house is the central staircase and hallway, which is painted in an off-black colour and has a moody, warm Highland feel, especially when the fireplace is going. As you move away from the main hallway, there’s a big contrast, with large windows that offer sweeping landscape views and lots of light. We have directional lighting throughout the property that adds to the atmosphere, as it picks up details such as the wood panelling on the walls.
I think it’s also important to mention that we are in the final stages of applying for the Green Tourism Award and creating a sustainable property is at the heart of what we do. Aside from reducing our energy consumption, recycling and providing electric car charging stations, we’ve also planted the grounds with native trees and shrubs to attract wildlife. Outside of the stone walls, we’ve left nature to re-wild the space and it’s now providing habitat for deer, pheasants, owls and a variety of other local birdlife.
Is Highland Lodge suitable for families with children?
Yes, we designed Highland Lodge so that it was suitable for everyone, including multi-generational families with kids. It’s a very robust house and we have a little library/playroom for children off the cinema room, as well as cots onsite for babies.
But it’s also ideal for corporate groups or friends wanting to get away for the weekend to have a craic together with great food and wine. We also do small, intimate weddings and are in the process of renovating a separate cottage (which will sleep eight) and creating a flower meadow where larger weddings will be hosted.
Highland Lodge is an exclusive use venue situated in Aberfeldy Perthshire, Scotland. The house sleeps up to 18 guests in 9 sumptuous individually designed bedrooms, each with a private en-suite bathroom.
Highland Lodge is set across 720 square metres, with a large dining and lounge area that runs the full length of the house. It’s here that you’ll find the 5.5-metre-long table that we designed and had cast from a single piece of bronze on the Black Isle in northern Scotland, with an oak wooden top added by another company. It sits 20 people and weighs over half a ton – we had to have it craned in and positioned with the help of 16 men!
Also on the ground floor is a separate TV room and a formal sitting room, plus a kitchen that we designed and had made by a local company in Aberfeldy. It features walnut cabinets and a dark stone worktop, as well as Italian tiles in six different shades of dark navy and grey. We wanted it to be timeless and comfortable enough for guests to cook in while being equipped for our catering team to prepare meals for up to 50 people.
There’s also a butler’s prep area on the ground floor for serving drinks, with a drinks cabinet, wine cooler and an ice machine, as well as a fully accessible en-suite bedroom for guests in a wheelchair or those who have difficulty with stairs.
On the top landing are five en-suite bedrooms while the mid landing has another three en-suite bedrooms, plus a cinema room. All of the bedrooms are well proportioned, with two having freestanding baths and one with its own private steam room (although we don’t advertise that too loudly and leave it as a surprise for guests on arrival).
When you book a stay at Highland Lodge, the rate includes a private butler, although this isn’t a “stuffy” experience and more to ensure that things run seamlessly and to provide support for guests. We also offer daily housekeeping and a turndown service, as well as breakfast each morning provided by the team at Ballintaggart Farm. This fantastic local company recently made the Michelin Guide and offer local, seasonal food that’s served with passion.
We work with each group before they arrive to come up with a tailored itinerary that includes not only guest experiences but also meals. We’re very flexible in terms of catering, from summer barbecues to packed lunches on hikes and local restaurant recommendations — we try to customise meals to individual group needs. Our full concierge service includes a wide range of Highland experiences — we can organise everything from mountain biking to whitewater rafting and private whiskey tasting in Dewar’s Secret Bar (where Ed Sheeran likes to hang out with his friends during regular stays).
I would definitely recommend doing some of the walks that depart directly from the house or taking to the waters of the River Tay (the largest river in Scotland) to go kayaking or whitewater rafting. We work with a company called Beyond Adventure that can deliver bikes to the property if you want to go mountain biking or you can go on a 4x4 off-road adventure with Highland Safari for the day.
On the shores of nearby Loch Tay is an ancient crannog — a wooden “island” structure that’s accessed by a bridge — where we host whiskey and storytelling evenings around a big open fire, which is always a great experience for guests. And of course, touring Dewar’s Whiskey Distillery with a private tasting afterward.
We also have tailored a range of Unique Highland Experiences for guests staying at Highland Lodge, some which are listed below:
Highland Lodge is 600 metres from the heart of Aberfeldy. If you drew a triangle between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberfeldy, Aberfeldy would be the tip of the triangle. It’s a 1.5-hour drive from both Edinburgh and Glasgow in the historic county of Perthshire, which is known as “Big Tree Country” for its huge forests.
Aberfeldy is a typical Highland town with stone buildings and quite an arty feel to it. There’s a beautiful old watermill that’s been converted into a cafe, bookshop and gallery space (and has been rated as one of top 75 bookshops in the world), as well as another coffee shop that’s been awarded for having the best barista in Scotland for the last three years. Another highlight of the town is its old Art Deco cinema, which was renovated by the community and now operates two screens where guests can catch a film in the evening.
Scotland is a year-round destination, with different experiences throughout the seasons. In summer, you might go swimming in the river and mountain biking while the winter months are conducive to long walks followed by a fireside whiskey. Christmas and New Year are our busiest times, particularly with families and groups of friends wanting a space to come together.
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