In the small town of Inverary, tucked between the main street and the banks of Loch Fyne, The George Hotel has been in the Clark family since it first opened in 1860. Seven generations later, and now the longest running family owned hotel in Scotland, it has 24 rooms alongside a successful restaurant, pub and cocktail bar, but with the feel of a smaller place.
The historic pub is at the heart of the operation. Soft lighting, open fires and comfortable seating bring warmth to the centuries-old stone walls. Over 400 whiskies are an offer here, balanced precariously atop one another behind the bar.
Head chef Craig Thomson oversees the restaurant next door. The menu, all about fresh, local produce, offers venison from Inveraray and Loch Fyne oysters delivered daily. In summer, you can dine outside in the Garden Bar with its street food menu.
Upstairs are colourful bedrooms, filled with antiques, ornate wallpapers and open fires. Some are distinctly grand, particularly The Library Suite, with its full wall of Scottish literature. Velvet curtains and candle-lit bathtubs lean into the hotel’s long history and traditional feel. This indulgent, opulent style isn’t for everyone, so if you’re looking for something more low-key, perhaps opt for a Standard Room.
The George is one of the older hotels on the site, but there is nothing tired about it. Its buzzy atmosphere brings the historic buildings alive for a satisfying blend of old and new that is hard to find.