This impressive former Victorian coaching inn in the Scottish Highlands has freshly undergone a complete renovation. Hotel Fife Arms is located within the pristine nature of the Cairngorms National Park in a historic village called Braemar. This place hosts the Braemar Gathering every year since 1832 at Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park. The games include tossing the caber, hammer throwing, and tug of war. Expect the first Saturday in September to be busy as thousands of spectators join to see the traditional competitions, along with Her Majesty, Elizabeth II.
The Fife Arms is home to an extensive collection of artworks and antiques (14,000 historic objects!), as well as contemporary art by Bharti Kher, Guillermo Kuitca, and Zhang Enli. The large-scale spider in the courtyard by Louise Bourgeois is especially striking with its 4 meters spread. Luckily the hotel's public bar, The Flying Stag, offers plenty of drinks like the selection of over 180 whiskies to ease arachnophobia.
Hotel Fife Arms has 46 uniquely designed suites and bedrooms by Russell Sage. Each of the rooms is a homage to either a place, person, or event. Apart from the previously mentioned Flying Stag, the hotel offers wood-fire cooked meals from seasonal Scottish ingredients at The Clunie Dining Room, cocktails at Elsa's art-deco bar, and tea and coffee in the picturesque Drawing Room.
The natural beauty of Cairngorms National Park invites for long hikes. The network of local trails is suitable for all abilities, like the Morrone Birkwood (4.5km / 2.75 miles) and the Creag Choinnich (2.5km / 1.5 miles). The nearby Glenshee mountain (1068 meters / 3,504 ft high) is a treat for skiers and snowboarders alike. If walking is a bit dull, how about a thrilling helicopter ride over the Cairngorms?