Built in baronial style, unassumingly inhabiting an enviable position on the banks of Loch Awe and reached by a single track road, winding through the beautiful Argyll landscape, Ardanaiseig is the ultimate secluded hideaway.
No contrived romanticism here even though you could be mistaken for believing to have arrived in the setting for a wildly romantic novel; the breathtaking beauty, natural, unspoilt countryside and authentic period features give Ardanaiseg the inimitable essence of enchantment and intrigue.
Gazing out from my luxuriously furnished bedroom, I felt I had uncovered some secret beauty, untouched by this generation and I was highly privileged to be part of this scene.
Antique pieces sit humbly against rich coloured backdrops throughout the building with atmospheric art works and occasional humour; there is a subtly amusing painting hanging in the dining room.
Each window creates a perfectly framed, ever changing landscape with scented candles and generous bunches of fresh flowers linking the outside setting with the interiors.
Refreshing to discover were bedroom notes and hotel information (you could be forgiven for having forgotten that this is a hotel) presented within a befitting wooden folder, engraved with the identifiable Ardanaiseig logo and a history of the building and inhabitants, dating back to 1801.
Aperitifs were served in the welcoming library bar, in anticipation of a formal, yet relaxed, exceptional five course gourmet meal. In-season and locally sourced produce feature largely; only that morning, chef had been foraging for the wild mushrooms which formed a major ingredient in possibly the most delicious soup I had tasted. A fantastically rounded menu, each course informatively introduced by the skilled and genuinely pleasant waitress on behalf of the supremely talented chef – little wonder that Ardanaiseig is firmly established as a food-lovers hotel.
The land surrounding Ardanaiseig provides the perfect setting for nature walks and photographic opportunities; seasonally changing fauna forms part of the charm of the place, forest walks hiding their own historical stories.
Enchanting and authentically romantic, it is no surprise that one guest at Ardanaiseig commented that; “this must be the most beautiful place on Earth”.