The following post was written by one of our guests during her stay last May 2017.
The Highland Club is nothing but impressive, standing out by the Loch in the façade of a 1729 fortification turned Benedictine monastery. Driving up to the entrance my 9-year-old companion, Dillan, and I were already in competition to count the number of rabbits we could see (I luckily had the advantage of height). As we moved closer, the building with its beautiful stonework seemed to suddenly rise into view, both striking and natural in its beautiful setting of the highlands. With an abundance of parking, we were quickly out of the car and walking through the tall corridors to our apartment for the next 4 days. Inside, every window framed beautiful views of Loch Ness and the mountainsides, as well as the Abbey itself. From a quick glance, I knew exactly where I’d be sitting eating breakfast: on a table facing a window that looked over Loch Ness – the perfect lookout point for Nessie. Despite the views, the apartment itself rivalled the surroundings, the kitchen containing stained glass windows, having been the monk’s private chapel. Dragging myself away from the kitchen and the views to my bed was a hard task, but sleep quickly called and I needed all I could get for the next day.
I can say with absolute truth that it is hard to get bored at The Highland Club. There is so much provided for children and adults alike. In the morning, it seemed as if Dillan had already made a schedule for us to try all the activities. Over the 4 days, we tried croquet, table tennis, throwing stones in Loch Ness, football, reading, exploring, chess, boules, table tennis, and a bit more croquet. Even when other guests were using the table tennis table or the chess set, we could quickly amuse ourselves with a different activity. Also a warning: no matter how inviting Loch Ness looks, try not to fall in. It is cold. This is something Dillan and I quickly discovered after accidentally falling whilst skipping stones (we both blame each other). Next time I will have to bring my swimming costume with me to use in The Highland Club’s indoor pool – it’s quite a lot warmer, and there’s no chance of Nessie catching you in the pool!
One of the best places in The Highland Club would have to be the lounge. A tall and slightly dark room framed with stained glass and filled with plenty of games including table football and pool tables – that’s right, tables plural. A kid’s pool table and more impressively a billiards table are the main attraction of the room. These kept Dillan and I amused for hours on the rainiest day we were there. On the sunny day (a miracle in the UK!), we were outside all day mainly playing on the lawns with breath taking surrounding views. Other kids joined in on football and croquet to really make it competitive, later revitalising with fresh fruit and ice cream bought from the village. The village itself is just past the perimeter of The Highland Club and has everything you need and more. There is a beautiful glassblowing studio that makes and sells miniature Nessies and handmade glass jewellery, as well as the occasional tourist trap shop with plenty of Loch Ness Monster related gifts. A nearby grocery shop easily helps fill the cupboards of the kitchen. As a result, food-wise, The Highland Club works perfectly as a self-catered luxury stay. Our kitchen was fully stocked with all the instruments needed to make up a 3+ course meal.
Nevertheless, a real gem is nearby The Highland Club: a restaurant called The Boathouse, which sits in an old boathouse on the shore of Loch Ness. We ate there two out of the four nights we were staying, each time with plenty of choice and no complaints. The stand out for me would have to be their desserts (it was a struggle to not order two in one night). With the same stunning views and delicious meals, it was hard to not go there every night.
Best of all was a surprise for Dillan on the last night: a Jet Ski ride from the owner of The Boathouse on Loch Ness! Watching him zoom around on the Loch with the sun setting over the mountains was the perfect end to our stay. From the surroundings to the food to the activities, I can easily call my stay at The Highland Club beautiful in everyway.