The Fife Arms
Braemar, Scottish Highlands
At a Glance
Housing an impressive collection of artwork, The Fife Arms is a landmark hotel in the village of Braemar
Perfectly positioned within the national park, the hotel is just 15 minutes drive to the Queen's resiendence, Balmoral
Explore the local area with their in-house ghillie discovering castles, distilleries, rivers and wildlife
Mingle with the locals in the hotel's own pub housing over 180 whiskeys!
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
It is very difficult to predict the weather in the Scottish Highlands - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but Scotland does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.
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Located in the scenic village of Braemar, The Fife Arms is a landmark hotel that has undergone a transformation from traditional Victorian coaching house to luxury hotel, nestled within the majestic Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
Dating back to the 19th Century, the original building was constructed to be close to the royal residence of Balmoral, where Queen Victoria frequently visited. The current owners have carried out a sensitive and thorough restoration to bring the property back to its glorious heyday, maintaining original features such as the timber sash windows and original chimney stacks.
Featuring over 14,000 art pieces in the form of furniture, paintings and antiques, the Fife Arms offers an incredible balance between traditional Scottish flair and modern accents. The walls and ceilings are adorned with creative pieces from glass-blown chandeliers to walls decorated with elk horns and an impressive metal spider sculpture in the contemplation courtyard. There is even a Picasso housed in one of the main drawing rooms, attracting art connoisseurs from around the globe to this enchanting hotel. While the art pieces give the estate a contemporary edge, the traditional tartan carpet, which was made especially for the Fife Arms, and the custom tweed pattern on the walls is another nod to Scottish heritage.Each of the 46 rooms of this boutique hotel encapsulate a unique theme ranging from traditional Scottish culture, celebrating some of Scotland’s leading figures in science and the arts, to nature and poetry rooms featuring materials native to Scotland such as heather, horn and tweed. The suites are inspired by some of Braemar’s most noble visitors and reflect the hotel’s history as a 19th century coaching inn.
Dining options are aplenty here with the Clunie Dining Room showcasing contemporary British cuisine and wood-fire cooking with seasonal produce. Otherwise, for a relaxed and lively setting, The Flying Stag, The Fife Arm’s own public house, serves classic Scottish dishes and ales with live entertainment attracting many locals. Once refuelled, uncover the cosy library featuring a seemingly endless number of books or head to the spa for a relaxing wind down after a long day exploring!
There are 46 individual guest rooms and suites are decorated with the aim of telling the stories of Scotland and of course their local town of Braemar. Views vary from the town of Braemar to the Clunie River.
These small rooms have traditional cabin beds and walls hand-painted to reflect the Scottish wilderness, which the rooms overlook.
|Nature and Poetry Room||
Slightly larger than the Croft Rooms, the nature and poetry rooms feature objects made from natural materials such as heather, horn and tweed and wooden headboards with quotes by Scottish Poet Alec Finlay carved into them.
|Scottish Culture Room||
Inspired by literature, astronomy, engineering and more, these rooms are a celebration of leading figures in the Science and Art fields.
Reflecting the hotel's history as a 19th century coaching inn these large rooms are decorated with antiques and printed wallpaper offering views over Braemar and the surrounding landscape.
The largest rooms in the hotel the Royal suites are inspired by some of the most notable visitors to Braemar with views over the Clunie river and surrounding landscape. The suites feature a separate sitting room with free-standing copper bath tubs and rain showers in the bathroom.
There is a family room available packed with activities suiting all ages from toddlers to teenagers.
The Albamohr Spa features a sauna and three treatment rooms, blending holistic style with a local, herbal approach to wellbeing. For evening meals the flying stag, the public bar, and the more formal Clunie dining room offer great options showcasing Scottish flair and cuisine.The picturesque dining room provides the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee or afternoon tea and, in the evening, pay a visit to Elsa’s, an art deco cocktail bar, created in honour of the iconic fashion designer, and regular visitor to Braemar, Elsa Schiaparelli.
There is also a library, featuring books a board games, a family room, small gymnasium and a boot room.
Perfectly situated to explore the rugged highlands, the Fife Arms is well-equipped providing boots and jackets for guests to venture out on gentle walks or bracing hikes. The hotel’s very own ghillie, or nature guide, can arrange a vast wealth of activities from history and nature tours, to foraging walks and workshops, family activities such as horse riding and castle visits, picnics, whisky distillery visits and even helicopter rides.The Fife Arms also offer regular art tours of the hotel to discover the 14,000 antiques, artworks and furnishings within.
Sierra Obermark (Staff)
This traditional style hotel screams Scottish nature from every wall. You will feel almost as if you are in a museum as you walk the halls and admire the extensive art collection of both traditional and modern art; you can even spot an original Picasso. Each room is different, drawing on various arenas of Scotland's culture, history, and landscape. The staff may be as varied as the rooms, both in origin and in reason for relocation to the middle of Braemar, but one thing is the same throughout each person: an expert level of service. Fife Arms creates a unique and perfectly located experience that is sure to charm you.
Haile Brant (Staff)
As you wander through the Fife Arms Hotel, be sure to take notice of the incredible balance struck between traditional Scottish flair and modern art pieces. The two are woven together at the property seamlessly featuring a custom tartan and tweed throughout as well as over 14,000 pieces and installations of art. Some of the most stand out items to me included a ceiling resembling a geode one might find on a hike in the highlands, a chandelier mixing typical stainless steel kitchen items in India with colored strands of lights and even a pairing by Picasso on display. Pine cones decorate the elevator, an entire hall of buck heads and antlers and a spider in the internal courtyard are just a few more pieces that inspire awe and wonder in the hotel.
Over the top is a great way to describe the hotel, but in an entirely positive way. It is as if the owner awoke from a dream and put everything into action in one place. The unbelievable incorporation of art and Scottish design continue through to the rooms, each unique in style in dcor. The room categories are based on influential individuals, nature and poetry, and of course Scottish culture. The room I stayed in, Zoology, was a room clad with animal wall paper, taxidermy birds like a halo across my headboard and a bright turquoise bathroom! There is even an artists suite, noticeable immediately due to the hallway blasted with rainbow brush strokes from floor to ceiling leading up to it. On your art tour, youll find a library with a special guest, a mud room for clean up after a good hike, a small gym and even a spa. Take ample time to explore here, as every corner is filled with a surprise.
A privately guided tour of the Royal Lochangar Distillery
Located close to the Balmoral Estate the Royal Lochangar Distillery received its Royal Warrant in 1848 following a visit by Prince Albert, the distillery itself was built in 1826 making it one of the oldest in Scotland.
Braemar Highland Experience and farm visit
Explore the beautiful surroundings of Braemar accompanied by a local guide in an iconic Land Rover Discovery before gaining an exclusive insight into Scottish Upland farming.
Braemar Highlander Experience
Set off on an adventure like no other as you head into the wilds of Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park in search of golden eagles, red deer, spellbinding views and rich flora and fauna.
Cairngorms reindeer adventure
Head to the hills of the Cairngorms National Park in search of the only wild reindeer herd in the UK. Accompanied by your expert guide, you'll meet the ranger and the reindeer, before a picnic lunch and a lesson in bush craft skills.
Culloden is an evocative place. The site of the last battle on British soil, and the last stand of an ancient royal dynasty whose lineage dates to the Dark Age Kingdom of Dalriada, a visit to Culloden battlefield is a must for keen historians.
Dunrobin Castle guided tour
Make your way to the ancient home of the Sutherland Clan, Dunrobin Castle, where you will enjoy a tour of the historic building and its beautiful grounds. After a delicious lunch you'll be treated to an impressive private falconry display.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is recognised around the world as one of the most iconic images of Scotland, situated amid a striking landscape on an island where three great lochs meet. The entirety of the castle and a visitor centre can be explored at your leisure.
Explore the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the United Kingdom and home to a quarter of Scotland's native forest, a third of the UK's land above 600 meters and a quarter of the rare and endangered species in the British Isles.
Fishing the River Spey
Enjoy some of the finest salmon fishing in the world along Tulchan Water on the River Spey. Whether you're a novice or a highly experienced angler, the experienced ghillies will ensure that you get the most from your day on the river.
Guided tour and tasting at Glenturret Distillery
Tour the Glenturret Distillery to discover the intricate process of making whisky and taste the end result paired with locally made fudge.
The fun and spectacle of the Highland Games, one of Scotland's most quintessential experiences, makes a wonderful day out and offers a great chance to meet the locals. Events like tossing the caber, tug of war and highland dancing are bound to enthral.
The Jacobite Steam Train runs between Fort William and Mallaig on the wonderfully scenic West Highland railway line, famed for its iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct which may seem familiar as it is on the way to Hogwarts in three of the Harry Potter films.
Loch Ness cruise from Fort Augustus
Search for the mythical Loch Ness Monster during a cruise across the impressive loch. Take in the beautiful views as you cruise across the water, before landing at Urquhart Castle and exploring its ancient ruins.
Private Luxury Cruise on Loch Ness
Step aboard a luxury motor cruiser to enjoy an exclusive boat trip along Loch Ness. Your charming local hosts will regale you of stories of the loch and its many mysteries, as well as giving a delightful insight into the local life of Inverness.
Private Tour of the Balmoral Estate
Balmoral is Her Majesty The Queen's private Scottish residence and where she resides for much of the summer. On this exclusive tour you'll be joined by one of the Balmoral Estate Factors for a rare insight into the Queen's favourite estate.
Red Deer Photo Stalking
Experience the wonder of Scotland's Highland wilderness as you get up close to Britain’s largest and most magnificent land mammal, the red deer, in the company of an experienced stalker.
The Cairngorms by mountain bike and canoe
Discover the Cairngorms National Park with your knowledgeable guide, exploring by canoe and mountain bike. Make your way across one of the park's most beautiful lochs before continuing by bike on the other side towards a barbecue lunch.
Magnificently positioned above Loch Ness, the ruins of Urquhart Castle has stood for well over a thousand years. Visiting Urquhart Castle offers superlative views and a fascinating history from St Columba to the seventeenth century when it was blown up.
Visit Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker, with its bewitching island setting against a dramatic mountain backdrop, has made it an icon of the Scottish Highlands. It is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses in western Scotland and a wonderful subject for photographers.
Location & directions
Braemar, Scottish Highlands
The Fife arms is located in the heart of Cairngorms National Park in the small and charming town of Braemar.
How to get there
Edinburgh Airport is a 2-hour scenic drive through the hills of Glenshee.
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