Sitting prettily on the banks of the loch is Cameron House, a 17th-century baronial mansion-turned-hotel. The Category B listed building is a gorgeously Gothic castle with peaked gables and soaring turrets. It was owned by the Smollett family for three centuries, during which time a number of prominent guests visited — Samuel Johnson, Empress Eugenie of France and Winston Churchill.
Following a devastating and fatal fire in 2017, a long and careful restoration project was undertaken before it reopened its doors in the fall of 2021.
Cameron House was rebuilt and restored following a devastating fire in 2017 / ©Cameron House
There are 140 guest rooms to choose from, but be sure to book one of the 14 suites in the historic Auld House. Each suite is named after one of Loch Lomond’s islands — except for the namesake Cameron Suite. This penthouse, split over two floors, is the hotel’s largest; the bedroom (with an utterly enormous bed and marble-clad bathroom with freestanding tub) is on the lower floor.
A grand staircase leads upstairs to the spacious living and dining area — an excellent spot to entertain guests. But the suite’s biggest draw is the two terraces: Each has such tremendous, soul-stirring views of the loch that you might find yourself transfixed and forget all about your dinner plans. Luckily, guests of the suite receive complimentary pre-dinner canapes to snap you out of that trance.
The decor is welcoming and stylish, and considered touches provide a sense of place: thistle throw pillows, tweed blankets, welcome bottles of whisky and Scottish shortbread, of course. If you are seeking more seclusion, book one of the lodges. These charming Chalet-style accommodations are set away from the main hotel with views over The Carrick Golf Course. Choose from one-bedroom bungalows to spacious four-bedroom lodges.
The Cameron Suite is a two-story penthouse / ©Cameron House
Tamburrini & Wishart (read our extensive review here) offers fine dining in a chic 1920s-style restaurant with shimmering chandeliers, velvet sofas and deep-red tartan carpeting. The five-course tasting menu changes every two weeks, but you can expect inventive dishes that are ‘inspired by Scotland’s natural larder.’ A delightful journey of textures and flavors, personal highlights from the tasting menu include the rich yet delicately frothy parmesan soup. The Grill is more laid-back but still smart, with views of the loch. Order the Orkney hand-dived scallops and the succulent dry-aged rib eye on the bone.
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The spa at Cameron House is a short drive away at the Cameron Club (guests have access to a shuttle service). Carve out a good few hours to spend here — there’s a heated rooftop infinity pool with views over Ben Lomond, a generous hydrotherapy pool, a 66-ft indoor pool with hot tub, ice fountain, multisensory ‘experience’ showers, sauna, infrared sauna, tepidarium and caldarium.
If you’re visiting with your significant other, book a couples treatment—enter your private steam chamber for a rasul treatment, where you apply an exfoliating mud treatment to your body and relax in the steam. The spa menu has a wide variety of treatments from deep full-body massages to scalp and facial treatments, reflexology and pre/post-natal massages.
Board the hotel’s own yacht, Celtic Warrior, for a champagne cruise around the loch / ©Cameron House
Naturally, water-based activities are a must. There is a 234-berth marina as well as a chic-and-cozy boathouse (order the truffle mac and cheese with lobster tail). Board the hotel’s own yacht, Celtic Warrior, for a champagne cruise around the loch, where you’ll get a closer look at the islands, including one that is home to a nudist colony—a seriously brave endeavor in the chilly Scottish climate! For a faster pace, head out on a speedboat or Jet Ski or, for something more gentle, try paddleboarding and freshwater fishing.
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As Cameron House is surrounded by some 400 acres of sublime Scottish countryside, pack your hiking boots or wellies (or, if you’ve forgotten them, a pair of Hunter wellies can be loaned for the duration of your stay) and explore at your own pace, or jump in a 4×4 and tackle some challenging terrain into the hills— your reward is the sublime views across the loch and the islands.
Cameron Suite from $4,250 per night. Contact Kayleigh Hawthorn, reservations supervisor, email@example.com, +44 138 931 0777, cameronhouse.co.uk