It was built as an Inn between 1752 and 1755 by Alexander MacDonald VII of Glenaladale who was wounded at Culloden fighting for Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

Glenfinnan House Hotel now overlooks the monument that was later erected in tribute to  'the generous zeal and undaunted bravery' of those Highlanders who fought in the unsuccessful 1745 Jacobite uprising.

Since it's first incarnation, the property has been a farm steading and a mansion seat for Angus MacDonald XII, Laird of the Glens.

The Herald: The hotel is a few minutes walk from the Glenfinnan monument The hotel is a few minutes walk from the Glenfinnan monument (Image: ICMI)

The house was in an advanced state of disrepair when it was bought in 1971 by the Macfarlane family who worked steadily to restore the building and transform it into a four-star hotel that prides itself on offering, "genuine, unpretentious hospitality."

Maintenance of the historic building on the shores of Loch Shiel is a concern but it has been given a new lease of life with a two-year renovation under new management by ICMI, which also runs the five-star Inverlochy Castle.

The refurbishment includes a ramp of the hotel's 14 bedrooms along with a new bar and restaurant concept and outdoor seating.

Owner Jane MacFarlane secured up to £175,900 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the works.

The Herald:

The renovation also included winter-proofing the building, installing double glazing, re-routing pipework and upgrading insulation to allow it to open all year round.

"You could see through the walls to the room next door," said the hotel's general manager Johnny Ormenisan. "This gives you an idea of the scale of the project."

A school friend of owner Jane MacFarlane was responsible for the interiors that have added fresh new touches that "still keep the sense of the old country house".

The Herald:

"The design has been really in keeping with the views of Glenfinnan so the loch views,  the pattern of the wallpaper, the colour system - it feels like the room is an extension of what you see when you look out the window," said Niki Gillies, group operations manager at ICMI.

The Herald:

She said bookings this season are looking to exceed 2019, ICMI's strongest year since it took over a string of Highland hotels.

"The reservation system has been open since October, when we took over and we are practically fully until September. Bookings have been really strong.

"I'd say we are the highest calibre hotel within a 20-mile radius," she added.

Glenfinnan attracts around 500,000 visitors a year, thanks to its proximity to the famous viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films.


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'Uncertainty' over future of flagship train could hit Highland tourist season 

The company that operates the Jacobite steam train is waiting to learn if it will be permitted to operate a full service without upgrading to centrally locked doors.

West Coast Railways has introduced a fleet of shorter carriages with central door locking with a reduced service.

The hotel is capitalising on passing trade with the addition of BBQ lunch-time dining by the loch, which will be available during peak season.

The Herald:

"We are very close to the Glenfinnan monument so we've been getting a lot of passing trade," said Ms Gillies. "Word has got around."

ICMI was founded more than a decade ago by the senior management of Inverlochy Castle, one of Scotland’s most renowned small luxury hotels, to provide consulting and management services to the hotel and hospitality industries.

Its porfolio now includes nine Scottish properties including: the Crossbasket Castle in Glasgow, The Colonel’s House and Greywalls Hotel, both at Muirfield, The Inch in Fort Augustus ad the Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa near Oban.

Inverlochy has re-opened the Factors Inn as a country pub with the lure of a bottomless menu that includes Rib Eye steak.