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Royal Highland Hotel 3.0

Inverness, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

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Review Summary

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  • Right next to Inverness train station in city center
  • Plenty of period charm with contemporary touches
  • Well-maintained rooms with satellite TV and Wi-Fi
  • Good selection of buffet and cooked-to-order breakfast
  • On-site parking free of charge (though limited spaces)
  • Quality restaurant, wine bar, and cafe on-site
  • Room service available around the clock


  • Some rooms are small
  • Small and slow elevators
  • Outside noise can be an issue
  • No leisure facilities

Bottom Line

The Royal Highland Hotel is a mid-range, 86-room property set in a 19th-century building attached to the Inverness train station. While showing a few signs of age in places, the hotel is generally well-presented, and blends period charm with plenty of contemporary art. Rooms are clean and bright with decent-enough amenities, though some are prone to city-center noise. All in all, it's a characterful property that super convenient for train connections, with competitive rates for this category. The Best Western Inverness Palace just across the river, however, has a pool and spa facilities for around the same price. 

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Nineteenth-century station hotel blending historical charm and contemporary art

First opening its doors in 1854, this station hotel dates back to the days of the steam engine and its stone facade retains plenty of the charm of the era. Stepping into the entrance area, visitors are met by trophy ram heads, wooden paneling, and original tiled floors that set a stiff and traditional tone. Passing through a pair of elegantly carved doors, however, guests enter a reception area that introduces playful mixture of contemporary touches to the 19th-century fixtures. A grand mirrored staircase with intricate wrought ironwork -- inspired by the stairway in the Titanic -- takes center stage while striking modern art pieces adorn the walls above antique furnishings. While some hallways are creaky and a little dated with scruffy carpeting, others are bright and colorful with attractive wallpaper. Elevators, however, are cramped and rather slow. The vibe is friendly and bustling, and the hotel is mostly popular with vacationing couples who are after easy rail access to the highlands. 


City center location adjoining Inverness's main train station

The hotel is attached to Inverness' main train station, set back from a busy street in the center of the city. Its central location means there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping within a short walk, including the Eastgate shopping mall just a minute away on foot. The neighboring station means particularly easy access to the Scottish Highlands by train as well as direct connections from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Inverness Castle is also just a five-minute stroll away while the famous Loch Ness is about a half-hour drive.


Colorful, traditionally styled rooms -- some with noise issues

The hotel has 86 rooms, all of which are decorated in a blend of mostly traditional styling including floral drapery and antique-style furnishings with the odd modern touch. While rooms are generally clean and well-maintained, some are certainly on the small side and can feel a little dated. Amenities include flat-screen TVs (with some satellite channels), tea/coffee facilities, and Wi-Fi -- though it is only free for the first 45 minutes. While most rooms are relatively free of noise despite its location, there have been reports of street noise being an issue in some rooms. Bathrooms have marble tile and shower-tub combos.


Impressive buffet breakfast selection and limited on-site parking

The hotel serves a decent breakfast buffet each morning of a good selection of hot and cold items as well as cooked-to-order and traditional favorites such as smoked kipper and haggis. It is included in some rates but not all. Ash Restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner with produce sourced from the surrounding Highland pastures and lochs. A small bar has a good choice of wine while the lobby cafe serves afternoon tea; room service is available 24 hours a day. There is limited on-site parking free of charge (up to nine cars) but no spa or leisure facilities at the hotel. 

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18 Academy Street, Inverness IV1 1LG, United Kingdom

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