THE HOTEL: Ness Walk is the latest hotel to open within the Kingsmills Hotel Group portfolio. Since opening in Summer 2019, the five-star hotel is yet to have a full year of trading without Covid-19 but that has not held it back in cementing its position as one of the most luxurious hotels in Inverness. The hotel is ideally located at just a 10-minute drive from Loch Ness and a short walk into the vibrant city centre.
THE ROOM: The trees that fill the grounds of Ness Walk have lent their names to the range of 47 rooms and suites available – Laurel, Cedar, Oak, Rowan and Wellingtonia. Décor is consistent throughout, with a warm, neutral colour palette alluding to the surrounding nature. Available in a twin or king format, the Oak Room features a spacious bathroom with environmentally-friendly Arran Sense of Scotland toiletries, Illy coffee machine and complimentary WiFi.
THE FACILITIES: The property’s architecture offers a striking fusion of old and new features following extensive renovations prior to opening. A Grade B listed 19th century house has been extended with a modern annex that houses much of the accommodation.
Within the modern section of the property is the Riverbank Room, a multifunctional space available to hire for meetings and events. Hosting up to 100 delegates, hire of the room includes WiFi, a projector, PA system and blackout facilities.
Outside, the hotel has recently installed a selection of electric car chargers, which cater for every model of electric car.
DINING: Initially opened in response to Covid restrictions, Ness Walk’s Bruach outdoor ‘bistro & booze’ experience has proved so popular it’s earned its place as a permanent fixture. The heated seating area serves as an ideal place to soak in Ness Walk’s idyllic location whilst sampling the finest local cuisine.
Indoors, the Torrish restaurant offers quintessentially Scottish cuisine made with local produce, enjoyed in what used to be the original drawing from of the 19th century property. A bar of the same name serves local spirits and craft beers, with staff happy to advise on their preferred whisky or gin.
COVID SAFETY: Ness Walk has developed a Safely Sound programme to keep its guests safe. This includes contactless check-in and check-out and a welcome pack for each guest containing a face mask and sanitised room key. Between guests, rooms are disinfected and double-checked for cleanliness with a UV black light. Traditional housekeeping has been paused unless requested. Instead the hotel is offering a ‘Housekeeping Light’ service. At the time of my visit, masks were worn in communal indoor areas by both staff and guests and overall I felt very safe.
THE VERDICT: For a luxury getaway on the banks of the River Ness, Ness Walk is your port of call. Staff are happy to go above and beyond to make their guests experience as seamless as possible, and Covid safety is taken seriously.
THE DETAILS: Ness Walk Hotel, 12 Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ
Tel: 01463 215215
Rates start from £140 for a one-night midweek stay in January 2022. Breakfast is included, with free cancellation up to 6pm the day before arrival.