Where to Stay in Inverness & Loch Ness: Best Hotels & Hostels

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by Michael Rozenblit

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As a popular stop on a Scottish Highlands road trip and a great base for exploring the Highlands, many potential travellers wonder where to stay in Inverness or if they should skip the city and stay by the shores of Loch Ness. Both are excellent options depending on what kind of holiday you’re after with plenty of accommodation options to suit all kinds of visitors.

This article outlines the best hostels and hotels in Inverness. We’ve also covered some amazing options near Loch Ness if you’d prefer to be surrounded by the incredible Scottish countryside. Both Inverness and the area around Loch Ness are perfect jumping-off points for exploring the best of the Scottish Highlands.

Want a quick answer? Here are some top choices for where to stay near Loch News or in Inverness!

Inverness: Black Isle Hostel (Budget), Torridon Guest House (Mid-Range), Heathmount Hotel (Luxury) & Charming Riverside Cottage (Private Rental)

Loch Ness: Lochside Loch Ness Hostel (Budget), Drumbuie Farm B&B (Mid-Range), The Lovat, Loch Ness (Luxury) & Cosy Rural Cottage (Private Rental)

Why You Should Stay in Inverness

Staying within the Inverness city centre is a great option for travellers, particularly if you’re only visiting Scotland for a short trip.

It allows you to use the city of Inverness as a base to explore the Highlands and allows you to explore the charming city known as the “Gateway to the Highlands.” While Inverness itself isn’t necessarily packed with incredible sites and has more of a small-town feel, it’s still worth taking the time to explore.

And if you use Inverness as a base, it allows you to benefit from using your evenings and afternoons to see this small city while also having the time to head out to some incredible nearby attractions scattered throughout the Highlands.

There are plenty of excellent day trips from Inverness, including the Culloden Battlefield, Speyside Whisky Region, Cawdor Castle and, of course, Loch Ness.

Some of the highlights of Inverness itself include the picturesque Inverness Castle and the gorgeous and peaceful Ness Islands. If you’re a bookworm, make sure not to miss Leakey’s Bookshop, which boasts being Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop! You’re sure to find a unique title or two here.

And if you want to listen to some great traditional music in a comfortable setting, then heading to lively Hootananny’s one evening is a great option if you’re staying in Inverness. It’s been voted the best live music venue in Scotland for several years in the past (most recently in 2019) and it’s a great place to catch some trad music!

Also, Inverness has a growing restaurant and bar scene which makes it a great city to stay in for a few nights.

Inverness skyline
Inverness skyline

Best Hotels in Inverness

Torridon Guest House – Located just a few minutes walk from the River Ness, this guest house offers a range of private rooms including family rooms that can accommodate up to four people. Rooms are modern and clean and a hearty Scottish breakfast is included in the rate. Free parking is available.

Carisbrooke Guest House This Inverness hotel is located right in the heart of the city. They offer a few different private rooms including a single room which is a great affordable option if travelling solo and not wanting to stay in a hostel.

Culliss House B&B – A cosy B&B also located near the River Ness, they offer double rooms with friendly hosts. Rooms are equipped with everything you need for your stay and there is a lovely breakfast included that will fill you up for a day of exploring!

Heathmount Hotel – This luxury boutique hotel is one of the best places to stay in the city if want to treat yourself. It is located in the heart of Inverness and offers a range of double rooms, including some that can accommodate families. Breakfast is included, free parking is available and there are two bars on site.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Inverness!

Enjoying the serenity of the Ness Islands in Inverness
Enjoying the serenity of the Ness Islands in Inverness

Best Private Rentals in Inverness

Charming Riverside Cottage – Centrally located close to the banks of the River Ness, this riverside cottage is perfect for couples as well as larger families and contains everything you need for a comfortable stay in the capital of the Highlands!

City Centre Apartment – A two-bedroom flat in the centre of Inverness, it’s furnished with modern amenities and is located close to a number of shops and restaurants. It contains kitchen and laundry facilities.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other private rentals in Inverness!

Best Hostels in Inverness

Black Isle Hostel – One of the best places to stay in Inverness if you’re a solo traveller, this hostel offers a range of different dorm options as well as private rooms. Guests have access to a large communal area including a fully equipped kitchen and a popular bar on site which is a great place to meet other travellers.

Bazpackers Hostel – Another great hostel that offers both dorms and privates located in a traditional Scottish Victorian house. There’s a cosy common room with a fireplace and a nice garden outside for those rare sunny days.

Inverness Student Hostel – A cosy hostel located near the River Ness, they have a few different dormitory options. There’s a large common room and the staff are helpful in organising activities like tours or transport.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hostels in Inverness!

Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle

Why You Should Stay in Loch Ness

Alternatively to staying in Inverness, it can also be a popular option to base yourself near Loch Ness. Scotland’s second-largest and arguably most famous loch is only about 20 minutes from the centre of Inverness. However close in proximity to the city, staying near Loch Ness gives you a completely different experience than staying in Inverness.

Those looking for a peaceful, countryside escape may love the idea of staying close to the Loch. Being this close also allows visitors to get to the main sites – such as Urquhart Castle or on a boat tour – early, before lots of day trippers arrive from Inverness or all the way from Edinburgh.

There are several villages along the banks of the loch that have lots of different accommodation options, but it is worth keeping in mind what is around you to narrow down where exactly to book your overnight stays.

Generally, it can be a better idea to stay near Loch Ness if you’ve hired a car for your Scotland trip, as many accommodation options are pretty far-flung and don’t have good public transport links. There also may not be many restaurants within walking distance.

You will find that villages like Fort Augustus on the southern banks of Loch Ness have a bit more on offer for visitors (ie, more restaurant options and a bit more of a “town” feel) than settlements like Drumnadrochit.

However, if you don’t mind hopping in the car for dinner or picking up some groceries in Inverness and cooking your own meals in a self-catering accommodation option, then staying in a small village close to Loch Ness can be an excellent choice!

Magical Loch Ness
Magical Loch Ness

Best Hotels in Loch Ness

The Lovat, Loch Ness – A family-run luxury hotel located in the village of Fort Augustus. They offer a few different types of private rooms including some with views of the Loch. Rooms are clean and modern with free parking offered and the option to include breakfast in your daily rate.

Ach-Na-Sidhe – Located within a five-minute drive of Loch Ness and a ten-minute drive from Inverness, this hotel is one of the best places to stay near Loch Ness if you want to be close to both the city and stay in the countryside. They offer private rooms with fantastic views and a great breakfast is included in the rate.

Drumbuie Farm B&B – A cosy B&B located close to the banks of the Loch Ness, their rooms are clean and comfortable with the hosts going out of their way to ensure you have a pleasant stay. This hotel is ideal for couples looking for a getaway.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Loch Ness!

View of Loch Ness in Fort Augustus
View of Loch Ness in Fort Augustus

Best Private Rentals in Loch Ness

Cosy Rural Cottage – This cottage is ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway in Loch Ness. The cottage has all the amenities you will need for a comfortable stay and is surrounded by wildlife and hiking opportunities.

BCC Loch Ness Cottages – Located in Drumnadrochit, these cottages are close to the shore of Loch Ness while also offering a peaceful setting to enjoy the countryside. The cottages are fully equipped with kitchen facilities and offer a good base for exploring the area.

One Bedroom Cabin – If you’re looking for modern accommodation in a rural setting, this one-bedroom cabin offers refurbished facilities with fast WiFi while still being surrounded by the beautiful Scottish countryside.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other private rentals in Loch Ness!

Best Hostels in Loch Ness

The Lochside Loch Ness Hostel – Located directly on the shores of Loch Ness, this hostel is a convenient option if you don’t have a car as a number of buses stop nearby. This hostel is fairly isolated so it makes for a perfect stop if you want to explore the countryside, get away from technology and meet fellow travellers. There is a large common room, equipped kitchen and they have a small shop on site.

Loch Ness Backpackers – A great hostel to stay in while still remaining within a 20-minute drive of Inverness. The hostel is set in a farmhouse, and the friendly staff go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. They offer a range of dormitories and private rooms with a fully equipped kitchen.

Morag’s Lodge – Another fantastic option, this hostel is close to the village of Fort Augustus where travellers can enjoy some small-town life while being in the countryside. Dorms and private rooms are offered with a bar on site and the option for the lodge to organise meals.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hostels in Loch Ness!

 Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness

Whether you choose to stay in Inverness or on the banks of Loch Ness, you’re sure to have an amazing time exploring the majestic beauty of Scotland and be sure to want to plan a return visit in no time!

Are you looking for a place to stay around Inverness? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael

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