Inverness, a jewel nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, often remains undiscovered by travellers exploring the UK. The capital of the Scottish Highlands boasts a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that promises an unforgettable experience for those who dare to venture into its embrace.

Whether you're looking for a UK staycation, a rural retreat or are venturing to Inverness from far afield, our list of the 15 best Inverness hotels has you covered with options in the city-centre and the surrounding area to help you find the best base for your Highland adventure.

Why you should visit Inverness

a view of the river ness and inverness hotels on a sunny day in Inverness
While the bustling streets of London and the historic charm of Edinburgh often steal the spotlight, Inverness quietly awaits those seeking a different kind of adventure. The capital of the Highlands, Inverness, offers a plethora of attractions and activities that make it a phenomenal yet underrated UK destination (just don't mention the weather).

Can you get around Inverness without a car?

Yes, you can easily get around Inverness without a car. Inverness and the Highlands, in general, are best explored in a car, but if you don't have access to one, not to worry as you can make use of the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus that hits all the must-see spots. And if you want to venture even further North, take one of the many tours to The Isle of Skye and elsewhere that depart from Inverness Bus Station.

What to do in Inverness

on a day trip from inverness you can visit a ruined castle
Inverness offers a tapestry of attractions that cater to every traveller's interests. From the enigmatic depths of Loch Ness, famous for its elusive monster, to the historic marvel that is Inverness Castle, there's no shortage of sights to see.  The petite size of this city means you can easily walk around the centre to visit all the top spots like the Victorian Market, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Leaky's Bookshop. And you might not think it at first, but Inverness actually has a thriving food scene with delicious restaurants that cater to every taste.

Once you've wandered around Inverness' quaint centre, you can take a walk down the River Ness to the Merkinch Resevoir where you can enjoy incredible views of the majestic Kessock Bridge. On your way back into town, stop for fish and chips at McLeod's which is hugely popular among locals. You can also head up to Culloden Battlefield to uncover the tales of Scottish history or simply take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque River Ness, which winds its way through the city. That being said, if you want to check out the incredible scenery the Highlands is famous for, we do recommend renting a car to give you the ultimate flexibility.

The 15 Best Inverness Hotels

Now that we've covered just why you need to book a trip to the capital of the Highlands, let's explore the 10 best Inverness hotels that promise both comfort and convenience during your stay in this Scottish gem. Whether you're a solo traveler, a couple seeking a romantic retreat, or a family looking for adventure, these Inverness hotels have something for everyone.

1. Columba Hotel Inverness

columba hotel one of the best inverness hotels on the banks of the river ness
Nestled gracefully on the banks of the enchanting River Ness, the Columba Hotel Inverness welcomes you to a world of elegance and charm. With its prime location, this hotel offers the perfect base for exploring Inverness and its surroundings. The hotel's Victorian architecture and warm ambience create an inviting atmosphere that is ideal for couples seeking a romantic escape. The Columba Hotel boasts tastefully decorated rooms, each offering picturesque views of the river or the city. After a day of exploration, unwind in the Columba Hotel's bar and restaurant, where you can savour a delicious meal while gazing at the scenic surroundings. The riverside location makes it a perfect spot for an evening stroll along the Ness Islands, just steps away. For those looking for an affordable Inverness hotel, the Columba Hotel strikes the right balance between affordability and luxury. It's a fantastic choice for couples looking to immerse themselves in the romance and beauty of Inverness while enjoying the convenience of the city centre.

2. Kingsmills Hotel Inverness

one of the best inverness hotels
Tucked away in a serene countryside setting, the Kingsmills Hotel Inverness offers a truly indulgent escape. This luxurious establishment combines modern comfort with a tranquil ambience, making it a haven for those seeking a touch of Highland grandeur. The hotel's facilities are nothing short of impressive, featuring a spa, a championship golf course, a fine-dining restaurant, and a bar. Whether you're in the mood for a pampering spa treatment, a round of golf surrounded by scenic beauty, or a gourmet dining experience, the Kingsmills has it all. Each room and suite is elegantly appointed, ensuring a restful night's sleep. The tranquil countryside setting provides a peaceful backdrop for relaxation, while the city centre remains just a short drive away. Kingsmills Hotel is the perfect choice for those looking to indulge in luxury and serenity during their stay in Inverness. It's a romantic retreat for couples, a golfer's paradise, and a sanctuary for anyone seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

3. Mercure Hotel Inverness

For travellers who value both modern comforts and easy access to Inverness's vibrant city centre, the Mercure Hotel Inverness is an excellent choice. Situated in the heart of Inverness, this hotel offers a blend of convenience and contemporary amenities.The Mercure features well-appointed rooms equipped with all the modern conveniences you'd expect, making it suitable for both business travellers and families. The city's attractions, including Inverness Castle and the bustling shopping streets, are just a stone's throw away. In the evenings, guests can dine at the hotel's restaurant, savouring a mix of traditional Scottish and international cuisine. For a nightcap, the bar offers a selection of fine spirits and cocktails. If you're looking for a comfortable, central base to explore Inverness, the Mercure Hotel is a solid choice. It's perfect for those who wish to experience the city's vibrant atmosphere without compromising on modern comforts.

4. Royal Highland Hotel Inverness

the staircase inside one of the best inverness hotels - the royal Highland hotel
Perched adjacent to Inverness's iconic train station, the Royal Highland Hotel is a testament to the city's rich history and Victorian grandeur. This historic establishment offers travellers a unique blend of nostalgia and modern comfort. The hotel's architecture, with its stunning Victorian features, transports you back in time while providing all the contemporary amenities you need. The rooms exude old-world charm while ensuring a comfortable stay. Plus, the convenience of being next to the train station makes it an excellent choice for travelers arriving by rail.

One of the Royal Highland Hotel's standout features is its restaurant, where you can savour traditional Scottish dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The adjoining bar is a cosy spot to enjoy a dram of whisky or a pint of local ale. This top Inverness hotel is tailor-made for history enthusiasts and train travellers, allowing you to step back in time while still enjoying modern conveniences. The city centre, with its shops and attractions, is just a short walk away, making it a convenient choice for exploring Inverness. Make sure you nip in for a drink at the Gellions, Inverness' oldest pub where you can enjoy traditional Scottish music and rub shoulders with the locals.

5. Loch Ness Inn: A Cosy Retreat Near the Legendary Loch

the loch ness inn in drumnadrochit scotland
Nestled in the charming village of Drumnadrochit, the Loch Ness Inn offers a cozy retreat for those intrigued by the mysteries of Loch Ness. This inn provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for travelers seeking relaxation and adventure. The Loch Ness Inn is conveniently located just a stone's throw away from the shores of Loch Ness, making it an ideal base for exploring the famous loch and its surrounding attractions. The inn's comfortable rooms offer a comfortable night's rest, ensuring you're ready for a day of Loch Ness exploration. After your Loch Ness adventures, return to the inn's restaurant, where you can indulge in hearty Scottish cuisine and perhaps a wee dram of whisky to warm your spirits. The friendly atmosphere of the inn and its proximity to Loch Ness make it a popular choice for those enchanted by the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.

6. The Clansman Hotel

the clansman hotel - one of the best inverness hotels
For a truly immersive Highland experience, The Clansman Hotel, perched on the shores of Loch Ness, is an excellent choice. This hotel offers not only comfortable accommodation but also breathtaking views of the world-famous loch and is a cosy retreat after a day of exploring the Highland landscapes. Wake up to the gentle lapping of the Loch Ness waters and take in the mesmerising scenery right from your window. The hotel's restaurant showcases a selection of Scottish delicacies, including fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. It's an excellent place to savour traditional Scottish fare while enjoying Loch Ness views. Beyond the Loch Ness enchantment, The Clansman Hotel offers easy access to the Urquhart Castle ruins and the Loch Ness Visitor Centre, making it an ideal choice for history buffs and Loch Ness enthusiasts. But please note, this hotel is best suited to travellers with a car due to its remote location.

7. Glen Mhor Hotel & Apartments

Situated on the banks of the River Ness, the Glen Mhor Hotel & Apartments offer guests a blend of elegance and convenience. This establishment provides a variety of accommodation options, including apartments, making it suitable for families and extended stays. The hotel's riverside location ensures a tranquil ambiance while being just a short walk from Inverness city center. Each room and apartment is tastefully decorated, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Glen Mhor's restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and a selection of whiskies and cocktails at the bar. The riverside terrace is a delightful spot to enjoy a drink while taking in the scenic beauty of the River Ness. This hotel's versatility and prime location make it an excellent choice for families and those seeking spacious, self-catering options while still having the amenities and services of a hotel at their disposal. Why not take the kids to the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre or ice rink for a fun family day out? And you can finish off the day with a play at Inverness' famous Whin Park that even has it's own miniature train.

8. Aviemore Highland Hotel

nature reserve in aviemore near inverness
Nestled in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, the Aviemore Highland Hotel beckons adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. This hotel offers a unique Highland experience amidst the stunning landscapes of Aviemore and is only a short train journey from Inverness.

The Aviemore Highland Hotel boasts comfortable rooms with modern amenities, making it an ideal retreat after a day of outdoor activities. From Aviemore, you can easily access the Cairngorm Mountain Range, where you can enjoy activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and hiking, depending on the season. The hotel's restaurant serves hearty Scottish fare, perfect for refuelling after a day of adventure. You can also unwind in the hotel's bar with a selection of beverages and a cosy atmosphere.

Aviemore, known for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures, is an excellent choice for those seeking an active Highland holiday. The Aviemore Highland Hotel places you at the doorstep of the Cairngorms, ensuring you make the most of your time in this picturesque region.

9. Glen Affric Estate: Wilderness Retreat Amidst Natural Splendour

glen affric estate one of the best inverness hotels situated on loch affric
For those seeking an off-the-beaten-path Highland hotel experience surrounded by pristine wilderness, the Glen Affric Estate is a hidden gem worth discovering. Located in the heart of Glen Affric, often described as one of Scotland's most beautiful glens, this estate offers a unique retreat amidst natural splendour.

Accommodation at Glen Affric Estate varies from charming cottages to spacious lodges, providing a range of options for families, couples, and groups of friends. Each property is carefully designed to blend harmoniously with the stunning natural surroundings, offering a truly immersive Highland experience. As you step outside your accommodation, you'll find yourself immersed in the breathtaking landscapes of Glen Affric. Explore the ancient Caledonian pine forests, follow hiking trails that lead to tranquil lochs, and keep an eye out for local wildlife, including red deer and golden eagles.

10. Leonardo Hotel

Location: xCity-Centre
Located only a stones's throw from Inverness Train Station, The Leonardo Hotel (formerly the Jurys Inn) offers a contemporary and convenient base for travellers looking to explore the city and its surrounding attractions like the atmospheric Victorian Market and the bustling Eastgate Shopping Centre. The Leonardo Hotel also offers convenient perks like express check-out, dry cleaning services and a 24 hour reception.

11. Pentahotel Inverness

the pentahotel is one of the best inverness hotels scotland
Location: City-Centre
For those seeking a convenient hotel stay in Inverness, Pentahotel offers modern comfort and style in a prime city-centre location. With sleek design and convenient amenities, including a restaurant serving locally sourced cuisine and a bar with expertly crafted cocktails, Pentahotel provides a perfect retreat for travellers seeking both relaxation and exploration in the Scottish Highlands. In only 10 minutes, you can walk to the Visit Scotland Information Centre and the fascinating Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

12. River Ness Hotel

river ness hotel inverness scotland
Location: City-Centre
Situated along the picturesque banks of the serene River Ness, the River Ness Hotel invites guests to indulge in serene tranquility amidst the bustling city centre. With its charming riverside location, the hotel offers a peaceful escape while remaining conveniently close to Inverness's vibrant attractions. Boasting flat screen TVs, memory foam beds and Egyptian cotton sheets, the River Ness Hotel provides a welcoming haven for travellers seeking a relaxing Highland getaway. Enjoy scenic views of the river from the hotel's cosy rooms, and savour delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients at the on-site restaurant. Whether exploring the nearby historic sites or simply unwinding by the river, River Ness Hotel promises a memorable stay in the heart of Inverness.

13. Ness Walk

visit the ness walk hotel one of the best inverness hotels
Location: City-Centre
Ness Walk Hotel exudes elegance and refinement in the heart of the city. With its idyllic riverside setting, the hotel offers a peaceful Scottish sanctuary while still being within easy reach of Inverness's lively attractions like the Inverness Leisure Centre and Eden Court Theatre. When staying at this top Inverness hotel, you can enjoy a delicious Scottish meal at Torrish, 24 hour room service and free internet throughout this luxury Scottish hotel.

14. Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel

Location: City-Centre
The Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel is another Inverness hotel situated alongside the picturesque riverbanks of the city, the hotel provides a serene oasis amidst the city's vibrant energy. Discover refined luxury in the hotel's intimate rooms, each thoughtfully designed to provide a haven of comfort and sophistication. Delight in culinary delights at the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, where locally sourced ingredients are expertly prepared to tantalise the taste buds. Whether exploring nearby cultural attractions or simply relishing in the riverside ambience, Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel ensures an unforgettable Highland experience, blending boutique allure with riverside tranquillity.

15. Lochardil House Hotel

lochardil house hotel is one of the best inverness hotels in scotland
Location: Lochardil
Located 5 minutes by car from the tranquil Bellfield Park, the Lochardil House Hotel is rated for its exceptional cleanliness. Guests can tuck into a delicious cooked-to-order breakfast from 7am to 10am, make use of convenient luggage storage and free onsite parking - perfecting if you're using Inverness as a base to kick off your NC500 road trip.

Gift a night at one of these Inverness hotels with a hotel gift card

inverness castle near one of the best inverness hotels scotland
Now that you're captivated by the allure of Inverness and its selection of top hotels, why not share this Highland experience with your loved ones? Hotelgift offers the perfect solution with their hotel vouchers. Yep, that's right, you can buy a hotel gift card to give someone the chance to stay at one of these top Inverness hotels and explore the Highlands for themselves.

But that's not all; a hotel gift card provides flexibility that extends far beyond Inverness. Recipients can use them to explore hundreds of other incredible destinations in the UK and abroad, making it the best last-minute gift for any travel-loving soul. Inverness, with its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and world-class hospitality, is a destination that deserves to be uncovered and cherished. So, pack your bags, book your stay at one of Inverness's finest hotels, and prepare to embrace the warm Highland hospitality that awaits.