The Airds Hotel and Restaurant is set in simply stunning scenery: overlooking the Morvern mountains and with a garden running down to the stony shores of Loch Linnhe. Travellers would and still do stop here on their way to the islands, although its safe to say that Airds - having earned an international reputation for its discrete and friendly service and outstanding food - is now a destination in its own right.
The interior is elegant, impeccable and welcoming, made up of a snug bar (with a great range of whiskies from all across Scotland) and two tranquil sitting rooms, furnished with comfortable chairs and sofas, soft carpets and open fires. In the evening, you can pick a DVD from their impressive 200-strong DVD library and retire to your room.
Each of the bedrooms is individually decorated and prettily furnished, with the added comfort of Frette sheets, Vi-Spring beds, fluffy dressing gowns and Bulgari toiletries. Most have loch views.
Dinner here is a real treat. Food is cooked by talented young chef David Barnett, who earned three rosettes early in his career, and the restaurant has racked up a host of other awards also - all with good reason. You can choose a five course menu or settle happily into a seven course tasting menu. Both are excellent, making use of seasonal and local produce. There's an emphasis on seafood and fish, but meat and game are available seasonally, and the chef will happily tailor food to individuals' needs, given notice.
A long-standing favourite of ours, and without doubt a place worth returning to.