20 Best Hotels in Aberdeen and the Northeast, Scotland

Atholl Hotel

$ | 54 King's Gate, Aberdeen, AB15 4YN, Scotland

With its many turrets and gables, this granite hotel recalls a bygone era but has modern amenities that now include an elevator and two rooms specially designed for people with disabilities. It's in the middle of a leafy residential area about five minutes west of the city center. The well-maintained rooms are of varying sizes, but all have modern furniture and good-quality bedding. If space is more important than a view, opt for a room on the first floor. The reasonably priced restaurant serves nicely prepared dishes that are a hit with local families.

Pros

  • Family-run establishment
  • Outdoor garden seating for sunny days
  • Private parking

Cons

  • Rooms are blandly decorated
  • Popular with locals for wedding and funeral receptions
  • Unexciting bar
54 King's Gate, Aberdeen, AB15 4YN, Scotland
01224-323505
hotel Details
34 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Auld Kirk

$$ | Braemar Rd., Ballater, AB35 5RQ, Scotland

This simply renovated old church, with some interesting architectural features preserved in its public areas, is a comfortable enough base for a night or two in Ballater. The residents-only lounge bar is a cozy sanctum, serving a wide range of malt whiskies. Tables are set outside for summer evenings.

Pros

  • Private lounge bar
  • Pin-tidy bedrooms and public rooms
  • Family-friendly vibe

Cons

  • Showers are small, and most rooms have no tub
  • No restaurant
  • Not a full-service hotel
Braemar Rd., Ballater, AB35 5RQ, Scotland
01339-755762
hotel Details
7 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Banchory Lodge

$$ | Dee St., Banchory, AB31 5HS, Scotland Fodor's Choice

Right on the River Dee, this Georgian lodge offers the lovely touches you expect at a luxury hotel, but at a moderate cost. Guest rooms are all different but share tweed and tartan flourishes and hillside hues. There's a laid-back atmosphere in the bar and conservatory restaurant. The decked outdoor dining area is delightful for breakfast or evening drinks.

Pros

  • A warm welcome
  • Great bar
  • Excellent food and afternoon teas

Cons

  • Popular for weddings
  • Room sizes vary
  • No elevators so might be an issue for those with mobility issues
Dee St., Banchory, AB31 5HS, Scotland
01330-822625
hotel Details
28 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

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BayView

$$ | Beachgate La., Stonehaven, AB39 2BD, Scotland

This contemporary bed-and-breakfast couldn't be in a more convenient location or have better views. There are standard rooms on the lower level and, upstairs, two larger rooms, one with its own kitchen and balconies overlooking the sea. Each room is individually designed with original artwork and modern furnishings. Huge, healthful breakfasts are served in the Big Moon Coffee House downstairs, which also serves excellent cakes.

Pros

  • Spic-and-span rooms
  • Right on the beach
  • Fresh, modern design

Cons

  • Standard rooms are smallish
  • Narrow driveway not great for larger cars
  • Not all rooms have sea views
Beachgate La., Stonehaven, AB39 2BD, Scotland
07967-645684
hotel Details
7 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Cardhu Country House

$$ | Off B9102, Knockando, AB38 7RY, Scotland

This once-abandoned manse (minister's house) looks as if it has always been loved and lived in: huge bedrooms with wooden floors, antique fireplaces, and large beds dressed in Harris tweed throws are married to contemporary bathrooms. Downstairs the peat fire fills the spacious living room with the smell of rural yesterday. Ample breakfasts are served in the old-fashioned dining room, which looks out onto the front garden. Dinner is available with prior notice.

Pros

  • Period charm and modern comforts
  • Tasty meals on request
  • Great breakfasts

Cons

  • Popular with shooting parties
  • Meals must be ordered in advance
  • Chintzy setting not for everyone
Off B9102, Knockando, AB38 7RY, Scotland
01340-810895
hotel Details
6 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast, No children under eight

Quick Facts

  • $$

Chester Hotel

$ | 59–63 Queen's Rd., Aberdeen, AB15 4YP, Scotland Fodor's Choice
Contemporary style meets original 19th-century architectural detail within this gracious hotel. The color scheme in the rooms and suites emphasizes muted gray, beige, and cream shades, which marks a welcome change from the omnipresent tartanry in this part of the world. Look out for original artwork by Scottish artist John Byrne in bedrooms and public areas, which include a swank cocktail bar. The on-site IX Restaurant is highly regarded.

Pros

  • Fine dining at on-site restaurant
  • Ultracomfortable accommodations
  • Lively bar

Cons

  • Gym is small and basic
  • Popular for meetings and events
  • Bar can get crowded and noisy on weekends
59–63 Queen's Rd., Aberdeen, AB15 4YP, Scotland
01224-327777
hotel Details
50 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Craibstone Suites

$ | 15 Bon Accord Sq., Aberdeen, AB11 6DJ, Scotland

On one of Aberdeen's most attractive squares, these 18 modern and comfortable suites come with fully equipped kitchens. (Look in the refrigerator and you'll find your continental breakfast.) The rooms are well designed and include luxe touches like LCD TVs and king-size beds. There are lots of complimentary goodies in the bathroom.

Pros

  • Great central location
  • Feels more like an apartment than a hotel room
  • Good self-catering facilities

Cons

  • Executive suites are small—go for the grand or superior suites if you need elbow room
  • Breakfast is pretty basic
  • Devoid of character
15 Bon Accord Sq., Aberdeen, AB11 6DJ, Scotland
01224-857950
hotel Details
18 suites
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Craigellachie Hotel

$$ | Victoria St., Craigellachie, AB38 9SR, Scotland
Who would expect a rock-chic hideaway in the heart of sleepy Speyside? But that's what this stylish old town house has become. In part, stars like Kate Moss and Liam Gallagher have been lured by the hotel's Quaich Bar, famed for its 900 single malts. But don't overlook sumptuous bedrooms with four-posters, high-thread-count linens, and cashmere-soft furnishings—or the sybaritic bathrooms.

Pros

  • Stylish decor down to the details
  • Perfectly pitched service
  • Huge range of malt whiskies

Cons

  • Popular for wedding parties
  • Pretentious to a fault
  • Booked up months or years in advance
Victoria St., Craigellachie, AB38 9SR, Scotland
01340-881204
hotel Details
26 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Highlander Inn

$ | Victoria St., Craigellachie, AB38 9SR, Scotland

This very-Scottish hotel prides itself on its whisky bar and its friendly welcome. The good-size guest rooms are nothing fancy, but there is a fine standard of upkeep, especially in the bathrooms. The restaurant serves stomach-lining Scottish meals like haggis and steak-and-ale pie. You are sure to gravitate toward the bar, a belt-and-braces affair that stocks 180 malts: the barman will happily talk you through each and every one of them. Between November and February, connoisseurs who spend £50 a night each on whisky (very doable if you stick to high-end, high-priced malts) earn two free nights' accommodation.

Pros

  • Simple and cozy accommodations
  • Warm atmosphere
  • Great bar

Cons

  • Uninspired decor
  • Could be rather too lively for some
  • Very whisky-focused, so might not be for everyone
Victoria St., Craigellachie, AB38 9SR, Scotland
01340-881446
hotel Details
8 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Hilton Grand Vacations Club Craigendarroch Suites

$$ | Braemar Rd., Ballater, AB35 5XA, Scotland Fodor's Choice

This grand mansion has been turned into a resort with a luxury spa and country club, combining Victorian style with modern comforts. Leisure facilities include two pools (one for toddlers) and tennis and squash courts. The hotel has one of the area's better restaurants, and all rooms and suites have kitchenettes.

Pros

  • Great pool and gym facilities
  • No smoking anywhere inside or out
  • Rooms and suites have kitchenettes

Cons

  • If there's a conference, nonattending guests can feel lost among the crowds
  • Incongruously corporate atmosphere
  • A bit pricey for this area
Braemar Rd., Ballater, AB35 5XA, Scotland
01339-755558
hotel Details
51 suites
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Ivy Cottage

$ | Cluniebank Rd., Braemar, AB35 5ZP, Scotland

Everything at this 19th-century inn, from the silky bedding to the bright bathroom fittings, is of the highest standard and done with good taste. It's set in a peaceful garden, and facilities for hikers and bikers include gear storage, laundry, and drying room. Evening meals can be arranged in advance, and no corkage is charged for those who bring their own booze. A self-catering studio and cottage are also available.

Pros

  • Relaxing rooms
  • Owners who go out of their way to make you feel at home
  • Facilities for walkers and cyclists

Cons

  • No bar or restaurant
  • No check-in before 4 pm
  • Two-night minimum stay
Cluniebank Rd., Braemar, AB35 5ZP, Scotland
01339-741642
hotel Details
5 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Malmaison

$ | 49–53 Queen's Rd., Aberdeen, AB15 4YP, Scotland Fodor's Choice

Part of a British minichain, this boutique hotel with fabulously comfy rooms and suites---some with terraces from which you can watch the sunset---sets the standard by which all rivals in Aberdeen are judged. Think deep-burgundy-and-purple-velvet throws, softly colored plaids, high-thread-count linens, fluffy robes, stand-alone tubs, rain showers, and luxury toiletries.

Pros

  • Stylish rooms
  • Excellent restaurant
  • Delightful staff

Cons

  • Not very central
  • No pool
  • Meat-heavy restaurant could do more for vegetarians
49–53 Queen's Rd., Aberdeen, AB15 4YP, Scotland
01224-507097
hotel Details
77 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Mansefield Hotel

$$ | 2 Mayne St., Elgin, IV30 1NY, Scotland
Four-poster beds add a touch of class to the very comfortable double rooms and suites in this modern hotel in the center of Elgin. Facilities in rooms and public areas are up-to-the-minute, and the restaurant and Mezzo brasserie are the best dining options in town.

Pros

  • Comfortable rooms
  • Free off-street parking
  • Good food and beverage options

Cons

  • Bland decor
  • Popular wedding and conference venue
  • Not much atmosphere
2 Mayne St., Elgin, IV30 1NY, Scotland
01343-540883
hotel Details
42 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Marcliffe Hotel and Spa

$$ | N. Deeside Rd., Aberdeen, AB15 9YA, Scotland

Offering a perfect combination of town and country outside the city center, this elegant hotel stands on 11 acres of wooded grounds and combines old and new to impressive effect. Service is equally impressive. The bedrooms are large and softly furnished with huge beds. The restaurant serves expertly prepared local lobster and crab and top-quality Aberdeen Angus beef, and you can choose from more than 400 wines.

Pros

  • The wooded environs means a stunning dawn chorus of birds
  • Big rooms
  • Well-regarded restaurant

Cons

  • If you struggle to sleep, the dawn chorus
  • A little out of town
  • Popular with wedding parties
N. Deeside Rd., Aberdeen, AB15 9YA, Scotland
01224-861000
hotel Details
39 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Mash Tun

$ | 8 Broomfield Sq., Aberlour, AB38 9QP, Scotland

Curvy yet sturdy, this former station hotel, now a smart bed-and-breakfast with a popular restaurant, is the social hub of the village. The bedrooms, named after local distilleries, are vivid and fresh, decorated with deep hues and an abundance of snow-white pillows and duvets.

Pros

  • Superb accommodations
  • Tasty meals
  • Great atmosphere in the restaurant and bar

Cons

  • Often booked up in summer
  • Small bedrooms
  • On the more expensive side for this area
8 Broomfield Sq., Aberlour, AB38 9QP, Scotland
01340-881771
hotel Details
5 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

No 45

$ | 45 Braemar Rd., Ballater, AB35 5RQ, Scotland

With touches of period charm, this Victorian-era house offers old-fashioned hospitality and simple, understated comfort. The bedrooms are conservatively decorated but pristine, with bathrooms that shine. The lounge and library are all comfort and crackling fires. The conservatory dining room serves an excellent breakfast: the porridge with Drambuie is fit for a queen.

Pros

  • Unpretentious feel
  • Good price
  • Relaxing lounge

Cons

  • A few bedrooms on the small side
  • Slightly garish decor
  • Not for those seeking a full-service hotel
45 Braemar Rd., Ballater, AB35 5RQ, Scotland
01339-755420
hotel Details
8 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $

Seafield Arms

$$ | 17–19 Seafield St., Cullen, AB56 4SG, Scotland

Built in 1822, this gallant old coaching inn has retained much of its period character through its rebirth as a modern boutique hotel. Accommodations are a mix of contemporary, sleekly designed rooms and more traditional bedrooms where tweed and tartan rule. The Grant dining room and Bar 19 are welcoming places for a meal or drink, and the four luxurious self-catering cottage apartments sleeping up to eight are ideal for families.

Pros

  • Local atmosphere
  • Excellent value
  • Casual bar and elegant dining room

Cons

  • Slightly pretentious
  • Used for business meetings, so can feel a bit too businesslike
  • Popular with wedding parties
17–19 Seafield St., Cullen, AB56 4SG, Scotland
01542-841604
hotel Details
16 rooms, 4 apartments
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts

  • $$

The Fife Arms

$$$$ | Mar Rd., Braemar, AB35 5YN, Scotland Fodor's Choice

This opulently quirky, art-filled boutique hotel is a much-needed addition to Braemar's rather thin lodging portfolio. Each room is an art installation in its own right, melding dreamy fantasy themes with heritage elements—think tweed, tartan, velvet, polished mahogany, and four-poster beds. Wood-fired cuisine in the Clunie Dining Room, malt whiskies and craft ales in the Flying Stag bar, and smart drinks in Elsa's cocktail bar add to the elegant mix.

Pros

  • Fabulous, art-filled rooms
  • Locally sourced game, salmon, and seafood on the dining menu
  • Great cocktails

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Overwhelmingly arty
  • Some may find taxidermied animals in rooms and public areas distasteful
Mar Rd., Braemar, AB35 5YN, Scotland
01339-720200
hotel Details
46 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

The Station Hotel

$$ | 51 New St., AB38 7BJ, Scotland Fodor's Choice

This historic yet contemporary hotel in the heart of Rothes is renowned for its luxury designer rooms and suites, its excellent café-restaurant serving hearty pub grub, and its enormous selection of world whiskies and gins, to be enjoyed in the comfort of the stunning Spirit Safe bar. The decor in the public areas is traditional without being stuffy—think floral wallpapers, subtle hints of tartan and tweed, and paintings of pastoral scenes—while bedrooms are elegantly muted, with comfy Hypnos beds, smart TVs, and coffee machines. For the height of luxury, book the Caperdonich Suite, complete with four-poster bed, mezzanine floor with freestanding bath, and mood lighting, as well as a very swish television that folds away into the foot of the bed.

Pros

  • Chic contemporary decor
  • Incredible whisky selection
  • Free car parking

Cons

  • Breakfast buffet a little sparse
  • No elevator
  • Expensive for the area
51 New St., AB38 7BJ, Scotland
01340-832200
hotel Details
15 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Tor Na Coille Country House

$$ | Inchmarlo Rd., Banchory, AB314AB, Scotland
Built as an Edwardian plutocrat's Highland retreat, this mock-baronial mansion hosted Charlie Chaplin and a clutch of small-time European bluebloods in its heyday. Located on the outskirts of Banchory, it sits proudly within its own wooded grounds and tries very hard to evoke its past grandeur with ultraposh rooms, some with four-poster or sleigh beds, freestanding roll-top baths, and other period touches. Fans of Downton Abbey will love it.

Pros

  • Very classy restaurant
  • Incredibly good value at times
  • Salmon fishing on the River Dee

Cons

  • Slightly corporate feel
  • Sometimes overrun with wedding guests
  • Some way from town center
Inchmarlo Rd., Banchory, AB314AB, Scotland
01330-822242
hotel Details
25 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$